Secret of the Crystal Skulls

I’ve seen and read much more fiction and writing in general about Kauai recently, and about Kalalau specifically, so I’ve been wanting to blog about it. I don’t know if I just have a larger circle of aquaintances through which books and ideas can reach me, but it just seems that there are more people publishing about Kauai.

The first one I’ll present today is a screenplay for a movie to be called Secret of the Crystal Skulls, by Nadya Wynd, a Kauai resident. The plot unfolds on Kauai mostly, with the Na Pali coast as a backdrop and the Kalalau trail itself playing a major role.


From the screenplay synopsis:

A life-sized crystal skull with mysterious powers is being cared for by the Menehune, magical little people living on the island of Kauai. A diverse group of individuals is inexplicably drawn to the cave where the skull sits on an altar, magnificently reflecting light in all directions from a skylight above.

Mat, a jaded fifteen-year-old from the San Fernando Valley, is sent on an outward-bound hiking trip of the stunningly beautiful Na Pali Coast of Kauai, while his mother honeymoons with husband #3 at the Hyatt. […] Kilo, Mat’s Kahuna guide, introduces him to Huna (Hawaiian spirituality), and shows him an ancient fishpond purportedly constructed by the Menehune. Mat is intrigued, but the mood is broken by the arrival of his fellow hikers, preppies flashing their brand-name equipment, GPS locators, and attitude. They head out as Mat befriends Jill, an ecology-minded seventeen year-old who appreciates the beauty of Hawaii and its mythology. […]

[A] tropical storm becomes a hurricane, takes an abrupt turn, and heads directly for Kauai. The hurricane turns the teenagers’ hike into a life-threatening event until a rescue helicopter comes to their aide. Only able to carry five, Mat and Jill volunteer to wait with Kilo for the helicopter’s return. When Kilo is seriously injured, Mat and Jill must seek help from the Menehune.

I’m always on the lookout for stories about hiking on Kauai, and what could be better than a movie that shows how hiking and being in nature can lead to personal transformation. Granted, the characters are more transformed by their encounters with Menehune, depicted as hobbit-like people with supernatural powers, and with the crystal skulls. Yet it is the hiking and the mystical feelings of Kalalau that lead them to the Menehune, and better yet, it’s their attitude towards hiking and being in nature that makes them worthy of transformation.

Unfortunately, the script is not published yet, rather the author is looking for producers and financial backing. I heard about this screenplay because my wife is a web designer and she made the entire website for the author. So eventhough I’m helping her promote the website, the subject matter fits perfectly into the material I like to cover on this blog. As an insider of sorts, I got to read the script, and I think I can share non-critical tidbits such as the one above.

There are also some hiking and Kaua’i-related tidbits to glean on the website. First, the author has some personal anectdotes about living on Kauai, including about Hurricane Iniki in 1992, and a hurricane figures prominently in the story-line. She also talks about a flood in Anahola that killed 4 people in 1991. I had never heard of this, and I immediately thought of the Kaloko disaster. Apparently, flooding is much more deadly on Kauai than hurricanes–I suppose that there is much more warning and preparation in the case of a hurricane.

I also learned a lot about the Hawaii tax credit that the state grants to film productions. There used to be more filming on Kauai (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, etc.) but cheaper locations in the tropics such as Central America have taken much of the business. To remain competitive for Hollywood productions, Hawaii offers the tax incentive of up to 20% of production costs, which is significant.

Then, I found a contemporary song about Na Pali and Kalalau, at the bottom of this page. It’s not a Hawaiian tune, but it does have a nice melody and a pretty voice.

Last but not least, there is a neat photo gallery with some previously-unpublished images of the Na Pali coast and Kalalau. I know the photos are unpublished because I contributed most of them to the website myself, and they’re quite nice if I may say so.

I think it’s exciting that people are writing movies set on Kauai, where Kauai itself and its legends play a pivotal role. I also think it’s encouraging that everyday people on Kauai are becoming authors and sharing their vision of the island in a literary or visual way. If you’re interested in learning more around the Secret of the Crystal Skulls, follow the author’s blog about the various topics that are woven into the screen-play.

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1 Comment   »

  1. Nadya Wynd says:

    I loved your blog post about my film project. Thank you so much for getting the word out. I read some of your other posts while I was stopping by and I’m very impressed with the great service you are providing people interested in hiking, the environment, land use issues and many more Kauai-related topics. So much helpful information. I will save your site to my favorites and share it with my visiting guests. Keep up the good work.

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