For our first day of production, the two teams split off into assigned groups to tackle numerous interviews throughout the day. Professor Lou Guarneri’s group left early to visit Isaac Hale Beach Park. To start, the group interviewed Scott Cate and Crystal Richard, who recounted their personal experiences and issues with how the government handled the eruptions. After other various interviews, the main event entitled ‘Unko Boogie’s Pohoiki Bay Surfing Classic’ began.

This event was important because it was the first time something was held at the beach since the eruption last year. The eruptions caused a new land mass to be formed, including the creation of the Pohoiki black sand beach. It was a family oriented event, filled with live music from Hawaiian natives and raffles that gave back to the community. The event help capture the longevity and preservation of the hawaiian culture. The mayor of Hilo, Harry Kim, also made an appearance at the event and was praised by event goers through a welcome chant.

Before Mayor Kim made his way to Isaac Hale Beach Park, Dr. Luskay’s group had the privilege of interviewing him in his office building. He spoke in a gentle and polite political fashion, speaking on a different kind of pressure that the eruption created.

Professor Kelly Moran did the same. Moran is a realtor and teaches real estate finance at the University of Hilo. Through this interview, we learned how the eruption affected the economy, the tourism industry, and the housing market. He predicts that although the market took a hit, it will not stay down for long. Current air levels in Hawaii are the cleanest they have been in a while, despite the lingering effects of the 2018 eruptions.

Another interviewee, Jill Steele, lost her home in the destruction. She lived in a cottage on a beach in Kapoho and although aware of the eruptions, never thought they would reach her house. Jill and her husband had a few bags packed with valuables in case an evacuation was necessary, but their entire property was destroyed.  

Along with the valuable interviews that took place today, the Pace Docs crew captured  magnificent footage of the natural scenery on the island. Some students were able to visit Papaikou, which is a few miles north of Hilo. We got a lead on the area from a local who reached out to us when he heard about our documentary. He showed us the way to the edge of the island, where we spent time filming and learning more about the area.

In all, the two teams managed to get lots of useful information on our first day of production. We noted that everything the Hawaiians do is out of love. Love for the community, the land, and the culture’s spirit.