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Boto Boy Films

October 16th, 2012

Boto Boy Films
An interview with Evan Loney
By Anton Glamb

Riding the line between mockumentary and documentary, the actors of Boto Boy Films play characters that are exaggerated versions of the actors’ real selves, presented in a way that even friends can’t tell what’s real and what’s not. In a sort of hyper-real, anti-reality television form, Boto Boy’s comedic shorts paint a picture of what it’s really like to be a young adult in Honolulu.

Boto Boy has been garnering a lot of local attention lately, placing in the past three Showdown in Chinatown film competitions—taking home two first place prizes, landing an international promotion campaign with In4mation and Casio G-Shock, and having films screened at the Honolulu Museum of Art and the 2012 Hawaii International Film Festival.

Anton Glamb: How did Boto Boy Films start?
Evan Loney: Really, Boto Boy was a joke at first, I just needed for a production name for Showdown in Chinatown, but it grew on us.

Who’s in the Boto Boy crew?
It’s me, James Unabia, my brother Kurt helps out, Aina Paikai usually helps out and now you’ve been helping out. We run with a skeleton crew. It’s usually just a director, an operator and a sound guy…and we rotate positions too, which I think is interesting. Some short films I’ll direct and some James will direct and we just trade positions. Everyone fills in with things like locations and lighting and all the other departments that would exist on a normal film crew. So editing, motion graphics, directing and cinematography all fall on me, James, my brother and whoever else is around.


How do you feel about using a small crew versus a full crew?
For us, it’s really good with the way we work. I usually get bogged down working with people that I don’t necessarily vibe with. I think working with a small crew is really important for us because we have a very distinct style that probably only we totally understand or care about. So it works for us, but I definitely do not think it would be a good thing if all film crews used the skeleton crew method. It would leave a lot of people out of jobs and a lot of things probably wouldn’t be as good.

How would you describe your films? Is there a common vibe?
Retarded. Our films are meant to be fun and not to be taken too seriously. It’s our take on our life I guess… But really it’s about our Hawai‘i, which I’m really not too sure how to explain. Our first goal is to make films for us. Films that we are stoked on and films that our friends are stoked on. Then hopefully other people will be stoked on them as well. Our films are supposed to be funny, but at the same time we want to keep to telling good stories and keeping things interesting, making something new and something that we can be proud of for the amount of resources that we have.

What’s your take on competitive filmmaking?
Competitive filmmaking doesn’t really exist to me. Even though Showdown in Chinatown is a competition, it’s more of a collaboration of filmmakers than a competition. It really doesn’t matter who wins Showdown, it’s more about meeting other people who are hungry to make art and make films and getting to see what other people are interested in. The actual competition side of it is my least favorite, but I think it’s good because it pushes lazy filmmakers to get out and do something. For me Showdown in Chinatown is more about having a place to screen films to like-minded people.


What’s big in Boto Boys’ future?
The biggest thing coming up is our film: Anton Glamb’s First Day of Summer playing at The Honolulu International Film Festival and the music videos we’ve been doing for your upcoming EP, Transition. James is also making his big screen debut at HIFF in Hang Loose, starring Dante Basco (Rufio from Hook) and Kev Jumbo. They actually wrote James into the movie as himself, which is pretty cool. I guess the other thing that I’m really excited about that’s not really Boto Boy films is Kama’aina Creations continuation of the Moke Action series, which was one of the best projects I’ve ever shot. And of course there’s always stuff in the works, but I’d rather not spoil all the surprises.

How does it feel to be a Boto Boy.
We’re still ironing everything out, but I think it represents us well. With a name like Boto Boy, we can’t take ourselves too seriously, which is important. I always hate it when people take themselves too seriously, and I want to be careful not to do that.

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