Day 11: Behind the Scenes

Behind the scenes

Aloha Awakea Kākou

Jason and Skawennati, Co-Directors

Production is now in full swing.  Each day we enter the Halau nana, where we’ve created our classrooms, to find participants who are often early and into their work well before our scheduled start time. We have local visitors almost every day and I guess they are getting the word out. On the weekend, I attended the La Hoihoi Ea Hawai’i Sovereignty day event  where I heard about our “amazing game workshop”.  Community is excited. This is certainly inspiring!

I thought it was about time I introduce you to the organizers, instructors and other collaborators.

Kehau, Kamehameha Schools rep
Gonzo and Bryan, , Kamehameha Schools reps

There has been a lot of coordination behind the scenes to create the Skins 5.0 workshop here in Honolulu. In October 2016, Jason Lewis, Skins Co-Director, attended, as usual, the imagineNative Film + Media Festival. There he met four individuals from Kamehameha Schools in Hawai’i, Kehau Abad, Ryan “Gonzo” Gonzales, Bryan Kuwada and James Paul. He told them about our philosophy and method, sparking an interest in bringing the Skins workshop to Hawai’i. They went home and began to nurture the seed that would make Skins 5.0 a reality.

Pippin and Rilla (Concordia faculty), Game Design and Assessment
Chad, Local Instructor for graphics

It took over 6 months for Jason, Kehau and others to develop the partnership agreements and budget, select a team, and organize travel and lodging. It takes a lot of people to ensure that everything flows smoothly and to troubleshoot before it is required. One month before the workshop, four Research Assistants were hired to update and develop the curriculum, lesson plans, and schedule.

Noelani, Participant-Mentor
Matt, Local Instructor for Sound

We feel that all that planning was well worth it when we hear participants making comments like this: “Aloha mai kakou, I am enjoying this workshop very much.  It is so exciting to be a part of this collaborative effort that will help open the doors to Hawaiians and other indigenous people to express their culture through video games.

I would really like to continue creating games of my own but also collaborating with other participants (and future participants) for sure.

I met so much great people from this experience already, I know for a fact that many great things will come from these new friends in the future.  I am proud to be a part of this team and doing my best to represent our culture in the right way but also creating an interesting game to play.  Spreading this new gained knowledge and inspiration is also something I am planning/willing to do, let’s create more creators!” –Nathan Nahina

Nancy, Producer
Lianne, Research Assistant (Assistant Producer/Workshop Coordinator/Instructor)
Michelle, Assessment




“The opportunity to tell a multi layered story,  in a multi dimensional game of time and space with inclusion of many voices in our community has been incredibly rewarding. While many had different story ideas, the ideas all resulted in telling a pono story built in the past, present, and future of Hawaiian sense of place. I really love that we honored so many different mo’olelo through the process, and decided to start our game as the kumulipo started in po. I believe the team did a masterful job of weaving our ancestral stories with a contemporary way of storytelling. I believe this is a way to build tangible skills and create a thriving creators, storytellers, and makers in our community. I would absolutely recommend this workshop. I hope we’re able to build a strong and lasting partnership with IIF. Me ke aloha.” – Forest Frizzell


Lilikala, Cultural Consultant
Owisokon, Cultural Consultant/Senior Mentor
Jasmine, Research Assistant/Instructor
John, Local Instructor for animation
Zachariah looking forward to playtesting

It has been a real joy witnessing the germination of the Skins 5.0 seed. Participants are a real joy to watch as they have become a unified team, taking on game-industry roles to turn one of their stories into a playable video game during this three-week intensive workshop.

Pippin, Julian, Simon-Albert, Jasmine
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E holomua a hana i mau pā‘ani wikiō maika‘i

(Go forth and make good games)

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