Edge City Films is the creation of Cinematographer Shawn Hiatt. He started the company in 1989 as an entity for his freelance work and as an outlet for independent films. |
Award winning Cinematographer, Shawn Hiatt grew up on the mainland US before moving to Hawaii in 1985 to attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa, earning a B.A. in Broadcast communications, with a concentration in Advertising.
In 1988 he interned with Hawaii's #1 production company QDD.
After graduation in 1989 Shawn joined Pacific Focus Inc. and grew to be a staff Cinematographer. Since pusuing his freelance career in 1998, his client list continues to expand.
Recent clients and credits include; national spots for JEEP Tour of Duty, McDonalds, Steinlager, Regional work such as: Phillip Morris Asia, Swedish American Hospital in Illinois, First Hawaiian Bank, Bank of Hawaii, American Savings Bank, Central Pacific Bank, Island Insurance, Farmers Insurance, Hawaiian airlines, and Sempra (a California energy company serving all of Southern California).
Films and long format projects include; KNOTS a freature length movie about a mother and her daughters who run a wedding planning service, an ESPN documantary on Polynesian Football Players, a documentary on aging (for PBS / Annenberg CPB), trailers for the Hawaii International Film Festival, Ho'olawe Give and Take a feature film written by Lee Cataluna and directed by Michael Wurth (shot on HD to be transferred to 35mm for theatrical release. The first feature in Hawaii shot on HD to be transferred to film.)
6B (sieries of short films), THE ROUNDUP, BLUE LIGHT, THE VAULT, TO HONOR ASPODELS, O-MAN, THE LEGEND OF CHANG APANA, CUTBACK, DRIVING HOME, TIDE IS HIGH, SAND ISLAND DRIVE-IN ANTHEM, THE FIRST HAWAIIAN SNOWBALL FIGHT, SUNDAY WIND, MAKE LOVE TO A GUN, LOVE ABRASIVE, Glacier (16mm, Sci-fi short film), Dances With the Long Bone (part of the "Tradewinds Series", a 30 min made for tv movie), a documentary for JuniRoa Productions on the life of U.S. Senator Dan K. Inouye filmed on location in Washington D.C. including interviews with Senior U.S. Senators at the U.S. Capitol (Including Warren Rudman, John McCain, George Mitchel, etc.), Ramshackle (a Sci-fi thriller short shot on Digital Video), "Top 10" an A&E special on the Hawaiian Islands,
QVC Japan, Merrie Monarch (Jib and Hard Cam), Lantern Floating Festival, Good Morning AmericaOC16
Music Videos for BET, MTV's AMP, and artists on the international lable Cleopatra.
Some recent Q&A for a Class I am teaching July 17th:
What I love about working behind the camera is that, I love being there creating and catching the "perfect" moments that happen, the camaraderie of the crew and working with a director to realize their vision for their film or job is wonderful.
Today's film and video industry in Hawaii is completely different from when I started in 1988. When I started there were no TV series in town, and if they did come to town they were inaccessible to young folks. There were only 2-3 production companies in town doing all of the commercials that were on the air. You pretty much had to wait for someone to die before everyone could move up... All of the equipment was super expensive and also UH had NOTHING in the way of gear when I moved here in 1985. You really had to love it and beg borrow and steal to have any access to anything or any opportunity. The big commercials were all shot on 35mm film, mid sized budgets were on 16mm and the low end commercials and the ones done by TV stations were all on Portable 1" videotape or 3/4" Videotape. Non-linear editing did not exist yet and no one had editing systems except for the production companies, the TV stations and a couple of basic ones at Oceanic Community cable (before it was Olelo) and in the University of Hawaii system.
With everyone having access to some form of Camera system, whether in their phone, an IPad, DSLR, whatever form it will take in the next 5 minutes, it is an amazing opportunity to make any kind of project one can dream of. If you want your finished project to have impact, the language of cinema is still essential to know no matter what you are shooting on, so the basics still matter... it's just the format that doesn't matter today.
The good and the bad about our camera systems today... The new cameras are beautiful and the images are as clean as they have ever been. The good is the super fast turnaround to put the images to use and the depth of the image data for color correction and latitude. The bad is that the images are all ones and zeros and can be lost accidentally wiped clean very very easily and may not have a long shelf life for archival purposes due to hard drive life. On the set, being able to see so much on monitors has created issues for makeup, set decoration, and given clients / producers / directors a chance to have an opinion about every little thing they see on the monitor. In the beginning there was no video tap and everyone trusted the Director of Photography to make it amazing, then with the video tap being of very poor quality it was understood it was just for framing and not for picture quality... now the HD picture on the set is still for reference, but with the picture being so clear it has taken away a lot of the independence and mystique from Cinematographers and Dp's. I haven't done any 3d projects yet, but I'm sure it will be a staple of production from now on.
I don't have one favorite movie, but a short list of my favorite would be: Casablanca, The Matrix, A Room With a View, Gattica, Blade Runner, Hero, A Hard Day's Night, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The first season of Dead Wood, to mention a few.