Another fan story originally posted on ‘Alex O’Loughlin Rocks’
on 10 June 2012 by Mizzoh
When CBS launched the “Hawaii: Undiscovered” web series last March, fans also had to opportunity to win a trip to Oahu and visit the Hawaii Five-0 set. The majority of us who have entered sweepstakes never win anything. In fact, we wonder whether there ever are any winners at all…
In this case, there certainly was. The lucky lady is Ranae Bradford, who kindly shares her story — and some photos.
Towards the end of Season 1, CBS ran a sweepstakes called “Hawaii Undiscovered”. The prize included round-trip flights for 2, hotel for 5 nights, $500 spending money and a Hawaii Five-0 set visit. All you needed to do was go to cbs.com and enter your email address, which I did.
I figured that was the end of that and then totally forgot about it.
About six weeks later, I received an email from a woman at CBS Interactive stating that I was the “potential winner” if I filled out a couple of forms, including one that asked for my social security number and other personal details. Of course, I was super hesitant and so I answered some basic questions, but I also wondered, since I was a “potential” winner, did I really need to return the other form with the really personal questions? She responded that since I did qualify as the winner, I had to send that form back.
I’m not normally an overly cautious person, but this seemed too good to be true and so I called CBS in California. I reached a woman who said it was only necessary for a background check. She also told me a supervisor would call me back to verify the legitimacy, and within 30 minutes, the woman I had been emailing with at CBS Interactive sent me a message stating she had received a call from the CBS lot in Los Angeles, and I could call her supervisor for further verification that this was legitimate.
At this point, I figured I had done enough checking and it was true, but it still seemed too good to be! This was back in June 2011 and looking at my work schedule, the soonest I could go was the first week in November.
I invited a really good friend of mine — after refusing a lot of bribes from other friends — and we departed for Oahu on October 30th.
After a few days of sightseeing — this was my third visit to this particular island — we were told that our set visit was going to be on November 2 at 1 PM at a certain location about an hour away from Honolulu. Just as we were pulling up to the address, I received a call from Erika Kauffman — the Hawaii Five-0 publicist — stating that they were running behind and that none of the cast was on location yet, so could we come at 3 PM instead? And so we killed time at the Walmart, and on a beach nearby.
“Hi, I’m Alex — nice to meet you”
Finally, at 3 PM we pulled up to a location that was basically an abandoned warehouse. Having lived in LA and having been an extra on a couple of movies, I thought it didn’t look like your typical set. But it was, and Erika greeted us and escorted us inside the building.
They were in the middle of a scene change, so the crew and cast were mingling around. Right away, I saw Daniel and Scott and all of a sudden, Alex appeared! He walked straight up to Erika, gave her a hug and as she started to inform him of guests on the set, he walked up to me, smiled his sweet grin, extended his hand and said, “Hi, I’m Alex — nice to meet you.”
Of course, I knew who he is but I appreciated that he was so casual and humble about himself. He stepped away and sat down on a ledge as Erika showed us some props like their combat gear, badges, and weapons — I wish I had taken a picture.
She walked us over to the video village — a bunch of monitors under an awning — where a crew member had set up Five-0 chairs that said “Guests” on it. (I’m sure they all thought we were more important than who we really were.) And as they were setting up the scene — episode ‘Pahele’, the scene on the school bus where they are looking for the abducted kids — Erika asked us who we were and why we had this visit. I told her I had won the trip and it included the set visit .
Erika was amazed. “You’re not a local? You could totally pass as a local! I had no idea you won this!” she exclaimed.
We were given headsets so we could listen to what was being said during scenes or between the cast and crew between scenes. Although I was asked not to listen during scene changes, of course I did so that I could hear Alex’s lovely Aussie accent!
I also met one of the writers of the episode, Melissa Glenn, and was able to watch about two hours of the scene being filmed. Finally, after about three hours of what was originally going to be just a one-hour visit, they got the shots they wanted and started to close down for the day (the actors had been on location since 5 AM).
Erika excused herself for a few minutes and suddenly, DDK and Grace Park came around the corner of the tent and DDK is saying, “So, what did you win??!!”
They both introduced themselves to us. Grace mentioned that she was exhausted because she had been up too late the night before. And DDK started asking again about me winning this visit to the set and then realized that I wasn’t a local, and that I had won an entire trip to Hawaii! He said, “I have never known anyone to ever win one of these things!”
They both said, “You’re not a local?! You could totally pass as one!”(I get that every time I visit the Hawaiian islands!) Both stated they wished they could win a trip like this and I was like, “But you live in Hawaii! Why would you want to win a trip somewhere else?!”
We took a picture, exchanged pleasantries and then Erika said, “Okay, let’s go.”
My heart sank. I had already been told that Scott doesn’t like having his picture taken on set, so I was hoping that Alex wasn’t the same. I leaned over to Erika and asked, “Do you think we can get one with Alex?”
And Erika responds, “Yeah, we’ll go find him.”
I guess he was with wardrobe, returning his vest. I was very limited in what I could photograph, and so Erika took the first picture, in which Alex ended up looking like Luke Perry! I then asked if we could take one with a camera phone and apologetically explained to him that the girls at work were waiting for a picture.
He smiled, and said, “No problem!”
That picture ended up better, as it actually looks like him, but the quality of the pic from the phone isn’t what I had hoped. But, hey, I got to meet Alex O’Loughlin, so I can’t complain!
One of the things that sticks out in my mind about the whole visit — aside from having Alex’s arm around me! — was how courteous and accommodating the entire crew and cast were. We were treated with such respect and kindness, so it’s hard to believe the story that later surfaced about the experience at the grave site. Although, I can see some impatience happening as filming is always on a timetable, I do not think that the cast was intentionally disrespectful in any way that day.
Anyone who has ever been on a film set — like I mentioned, I have been an extra before — knows crew can come across as rude and abrupt, but we all are in some aspect of our jobs, whether it be in an office or on a set!
By the way, the scene I watched being filmed took up only about 30 seconds of the episode, which I found amusing, but it was a great experience and a dream come true!
The pictures we added to the original story, are screencaps from the episode (2:11), filmed at the time when Ranae visited the set in November 2011.