Film from ABC's hit show "Lost" was ruined when security employees at the Honolulu International Airport accidentally X-rayed the canisters despite warning labels asking them not to.
HONOLULU — Film from ABC’s hit show “Lost” was ruined when security employees at the Honolulu International Airport accidentally X-rayed the canisters despite warning labels asking them not to.
The show’s crew had to reshoot the scenes because there were no copies.
“This is the first time anything like this has happened,” said state Film Commissioner Donne Dawson, adding that steps have been taken to prevent a repeat of the incident.
The loss will not affect the broadcast schedule for the popular show, according to co-executive producer Jean Higgins.
Higgins declined to say how much the gaffe cost ABC.
“That’s proprietary information between us and the insurance company,” she said. “We’ve already reshot. We are still on schedule.”
Having to reshoot film is a monumental issue, said Anne Misawa, a local film producer and instructor at the University of Hawaii Academy for Creative Media. A reshoot involves paying added costs for actors and venues.
For a commercial, those costs could easily top $100,000, and for a big-budget production such as “Lost,” a reshoot could be more expensive. “You have to redo everything related to the production of the damaged dailies,” Misawa said.
“Lost” reportedly spends $1.5 million to $2 million or more per episode with about 200 full- and part-time workers. Normally it takes about eight days to shoot an episode of “Lost.” So if one day’s worth of film was destroyed, the cost could be close to $200,000.
A commercial for Bank of Hawaii also was accidentally X-rayed and ruined on the same day the “Lost” film was X-rayed.
The incidents occurred when the film canisters were mistakenly mixed with passenger luggage and then sent through an X-ray machine. The canisters were left unattended at X-ray machines along with other nonfilm cargo. The film apparently was then thrown in with piles of passenger luggage without regard for the warning labels indicating not to X-ray the sensitive contents within.
According to an informational Web site run by the film office, the mistake occurred following a new Transportation Security Administration cargo security directive that requires that all small cargo packages traveling on passenger planes be screened by air carriers via an explosive detection system or explosive trace detection system.
Explosive trace detection testing involves TSA agents swiping items with cotton pads then testing the pads in a machine that detects explosive residue. That test would not destroy film.
Film shot in Hawaii typically is sent to the mainland for processing.
The state film office said it has worked with TSA and United Airlines to put a new process in place that will prevent future accidents.
“The issue has been addressed, and they have procedures in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” said Dawson, the state film commissioner.