Are you planning on watching tonight’s episode of Hawaii Five-O? If so, you might recognize a familiar face. No, not guest star Rick Springfield. It’s our very own Honolulu-based travel photographer Marco Garcia. When he was asked to work on an episode of the CBS show Hawaii Five-O, he jumped at the chance.
It’s not often you get to be on TV and do what you love to do.
One of the show’s production supervisors, familiar with Marco’s photography, wanted him to join them on set. Not only would Marco be coordinating all the photographic lighting and grip equipment for a “made for TV” photo shoot, he would be assisting the show’s director during real photo shoots (both on location and in studio), and most excitingly, he would act as on screen photo assistant to Grammy Award winner and actor Rick Springfield during the episode. Yes, “Jessie’s Girl” Rick Springfield.
For the first part of the job, my task was to dress a beach setting creating the feel of a real magazine photo shoot. The directors wanted more flash than what I would call functionality but the key phrase was the “bigger, the flashier, the better.” All the lights were synced to the set camera Springfield fired when he faked his pictures.
I was surprised to also find that I actually had to coach Springfield in the art of photography. I [taught] him how to properly hold a large DLSR camera, how to focus and zoom in/out with the lens, how to properly stand when taking the pictures, and even what dialogue. With the dialogue, I had to channel my inner Austin Powers and gave Springfield such key phrases as “right in the lens, baby” and “give it to me, baby” and other over-the-top phrases that make for good TV.
When asked what his acting role entailed, Marco told me:
While playing Springfield’s assistant I basically just held a Profoto Ring Flash above his head during the scene. I had no dialogue and was loutishly dressed by wardrobe in a loud Hawaiian printed shirt. I felt more LA than HNL, but I figured people would be looking at Springfield and not me. My past years of working as an assistant in New York allowed me to act naturally. Sure the set was fake, but my experiences were not.
According to Marco, being on set was great. The entire experience was enjoyable and Marco was able to make a lot of friends while showing off his photo chops. He just hopes that in the future he may be hired to play the actual photographer and not just the assistant.