During the premier of the third season of Hawaii Five 0 at last week’s Sunset on the Beach in Waikiki, Alex O’Loughlin or as everyone knows him as Steve McGarrett, called the tandem of Lenkov and Orci as Laurel and Hardy. True enough, Orci was indeed entertaining while joking on stage with his captivated audience. He should consider doing that kind of speaking more often.
For the fans who camped out on the beach from the night before the festivities, Orci was such a “hit” – he posed for pictures, he signed autographs, he chatted…and yes, some of them (the fans) he remembered — “Oh you are here again?” kind of remarks just made the fans go more giddier (if they could get more giddier than they were already).
That’s what makes the cast, the crew, and the writers of Hawaii Five 0 so special. They remember and they appreciate. To a fan, that means more to them in the whole world – an acknowledgement of their support and dedication to the show to which they have a privilege to be a part of every Monday night. And when one fan was asked about the H50 S3 SOTB experience, you got “I want to live in Hawaii! SOTB was like a state holiday!”
Hawaii Five 0’s executive producer and show runner Peter Lenkov says, “Working with Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman is a “dream come true. I’m a fan, so it was a huge honor and delight to team up with Bob and Alex. Both of them are gifted storytellers.”
Roberto Gaston Orci, the “other-half” of the Kurtzman-Orci Paperwork’s, proudly carries his very rich Mexican roots on his shoulders. Born to a Mexican father and a Cuban Mother, he is one of the most in-demand writers in the business and was named as “the most influential Latinos” in Hollywood. Bob was raised in Canada, Texas and Los Angeles, where met “the other half” Alex Kurtzman and thus started a long lasting friendship as a “penned journey” to Hollywood.
1. At what age did you pick up the pen?
Wrote my first story when I was 9. It was called JOE THE DUCK about a lonely and hungry duck who builds a ladder to the moon because he is convinced it is made of cheese. Once he reaches it, he lives there until he ends up eating the whole thing and falling back to earth.
2. Were you the kid with the wild imagination and daydreaming in school or were you the studious one that got creative outside the classroom?
I was a little bit of both. In high school, I was on the debate team which actually taught me more than anything else.
3. What were your favorite genre(s) of movie growing up?
I didn’t know the word genre growing up. I liked the usual things someone my age liked. Star Wars, Raiders, Back to the Future. Not until late in high school did I discover the films of the French New wave, etc…
4. Who were your favorite actor(s) or actress(es) growing up?
As a kid, John Travolta and Harrison Ford and Dustin Hoffman and Teri Garr.
5. What intrigued you about the television and movie industry to go into the script writing?
I was born in Mexico City and lived there until I was 8. I remember we had two cable stations that played American shows, from which i learned a lot of English. That and my mom is a huge movie buff, so I just inherited her fascination with American movies and shows. I didn’t think of it as a career, though, until I moved to LA my last year of high school.
6. What was more important in your early development as a writer/producer, the school experience or the practical experience?
Practical experience. I started writing screenplays in high school and never stopped writing. That is the best thing a writer can do. Keep writing!
7. Besides your parents, who were the most influential person/people in your life?
Three (3) teachers: My science teacher, Mr. Moore, who taught us how to b free thinkers. My debate coach, Ms. Reep, who taught me how to structure my thoughts. Jim Hosney, my high school film teacher, taught us how to analyze stories. And finally, my grandmother, who was the best story teller I ever knew.
8. How does an idea for a story come to you?
First, by reading as much as possible, I pretend that I have never left school and I make sure I am always in the process of learning a new subject. When you are a student of life, stories start to reveal themselves.
9. Which movie or television show was the most challenging to write and produce?
Alias was tough, it was a movie every week with big action, complex plotting, and lots of locations. And Star Trek was tough because the margin for error was so small.
10. What is your particular process to writing and why is it different from…?
I have been writing with my high school pal Alex Kurtzman for 20 years. We sit in an office together and our conversations become the script, which is obviously different that a novelist or something.
11. How do you know when you have a completed/finished product?
When more people like it than dislike it.
12. What stories do you have “in the can” or are not ready for prime time?
The first few scripts that we ever wrote will never be seen by anyone. Ever.
13. What factors are involved to get a story written and onto the screen/television?
Structure is the most important thing for a screenwriter to learn. The second most important thing is developing your voice on the page so that others who read you script find it distinct from the competition. You have to read a lot of screenplays to develop that ability.
14. Aside from television, have you ventured on writing any plays?
15. What advice would you give to young writers to do or concentrate on while in school?
Write as many scripts as possible. Don’t dwell on one script. The more you write, the better you get.
16. What do you do when you get writer’s block?
I read. Read. Read. Read.
17. What are some of your hobbies/pastimes?
I have a collection of various guitars and various musical instruments, some of which I can play.
18. What philanthropic cause are you passionate about?
The usual suspects. I’ll mention one here, THE CHILDREN’S DEFENSE FUND is an amazing organization.
19. Could you have been the person you are now somewhere else other than in the USA?
20. What quality do you think you have that sets you apart from the other writers/producers?
That I don’t know. Not good at self analysis.
Of course we won’t let Mr. Orci go without throwing some Five O questions:
1. After two seasons, are you satisfied in the direction of the show, the story and development of its characters is going so far?
So far so good. It’s nice to see the caliber of guest stars that are willing to do the show. I think it speaks well of what we have done so far.
2. How do you handle the H50fan tweets?
With a smile.
3. Is there a message you want to tell the fans of H50?
Thank you for watching. We will try not to let you down!
You can connect with Bob Orci on Twitter @BobOrci
Photos are courtesy of @TeamH50