Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Haka

Just as a heads up, I took down this video right after I released it to make a couple of changes to it; it will be released in a once I’m satisfied with its quality. Sorry for the delay.

Until then, here’s all the info that went into the making of it.

As far as the individuals in the video, half of them were Maori people (New Zealand natives) and the other half were Hawaiians. The performers are part of a team that competes in Haka competitions; their team name is ‘Te Kohao!’.

My Hawaiian mom, Nikki Mozo, hooked me up with team ‘Te Kohao!’; the members that appear in the video are:
Mauri Ora, Shannon, Tama, Alex, Ricky, Moko, Tema, Ahe, James, and Hailama.

Additionally, I had a lot of help from my friends to film this video:
Melinda Kendall, James Choi, Jase LeRoy, Aaron Nelsen, Kuuleipualani Akina, and me :)

In the video, the Haka was performed. According to Wikipedia, Haka is “…a traditional dance form of the South Pacific islander mostly known from the Māori of New Zealand through their rugby team display. It is a posture dance performed by a group, with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet with rhythmically shouted accompaniment.” For more info on the Haka, feel free to check Wikipedia!

As far as the location of this video, we filmed it at Kualoa, which is also one of my favorite places in Hawaii. Here is a link to their website.

The Haka performers also perform at the Polynesian Cultural Center which is the number one tourist attraction in Hawaii. It's like Disneyland, but Hawaii style, where guests learn and experience the full Polynesian culture. If you want more info on this place where you can see the Haka performed live, check out the link below (p.s. no one is paying me to say these things, I just think they’re awesome). :)

The Haka that was performed in this video is called "Te Oranga o te Matauranga". The words were written by the other male leader of the group, Iraia Bailey. He now lives in Hong Kong with his family doing fireknife for Disney's Lion King show. The actions and rhythm of the Haka were choreographed by Tama who was the man leading the chant.

As far as the English translation of the chant, here it is:

The call is sent out to all the land
What is happening to the miro (education) that the birds of Tāne (children) are starving for? That will provide sustenance in this world.
And where are the strong branches (teachers) that provide support for my nest
Please extend your help for you are the safe haven (for our children)
However the great Totara (Government) stands bare for Tāwhirimātea has stripped all her leaves (funding) and carried them beyond the horizon and there is no more protection for our children there is no miro (education) for them to feed.
The branches are weak and flimsy there is no hope at this moment for the body is putrid (referring to the furlough Fridays and options taken to save money)
Soon you will see. Soon you will hear
Of the weakness of the Tōtara (the government)
By what means shall miro (Education) be obtained to fill the belly of our malnourished children
What paths will our youth take to fill the void of education?
They will turn to other pathways. They will seek other food
Food that will destroy the spirit because of the frail and feeble actions of our government.
Give us the power. Give us the strength
So our minds will be invigorated. So our bodies will be strong. So our hearts may be uplifted
Why? So that we can think of what is best for our children who are getting beaten by the lack of an education, lack of miro, alas the hopeless educational system of Hawaii.
Let us provide support for our teachers and help teach our children for that is where we will find our solution.

As far as the making of this video, it was shot on a Canon 5D Mark II, two Canon 7D's, and two Canon T3i's. We used a Canon 16-35mm F/2.8 L series lens for all the wide angle shots and a Canon 70-200mm F/2.8 L series lens for all of the tight shots; additional lenses were used for accompanying shots.

As far as making the camera look like it was "flying", I used a Glidecam 2000 HD for all those shots. You can check out the exact model on their official website below. Once again, I don't get paid to suggest any equipment, I just try and let you know what works well for me! :)


  1. Love it man!
    Questions: I noticed you normally use the Glidecam 4000...why the move to the 2000?

    Also, what time of day did you shoot this?

    Thanks for posting!

    1. Old I know, but figured I could answer some questions in the comments (love sharing knowledge I've picked up). Devin has mentioned that he shoots during the 'Golden Hour'. That's the hour right after/before sunrise/sunset respectively. Which may or may not be an actual hour depending on location and time of year.

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  2. I tried watching the video and it says "it's private."

  3. Like always, I love the glidecam shots! What peace of software do you use to make it more steady in post?

    1. I notice some warping in this video. (which makes me super happy because I've been nitpicking my own work for the same problems not even realizing that Devin was experiencing the same issues right in front of me.) Anywho, the footage suggests that he's using the Warp Stabilizer in either Premier Pro or After Effects.

  4. Devin,

    As always your videos are very well done. What I'd like to know is how you manage to keep your glidecam shots in focus while using a 5D or other DSLR, I can't make it work for me. It's awesome to see a BYU guy making it. Well done.

    1. The key to maintaining focus is to use a wide angle lens. With a wide angle, almost everything can be in focus if set up properly before shooting.

  5. Still says the video is private

  6. great work.

    i would also like to know why you are using the Glidecam 2000 instead of the 4000 and are you using a software to make it more steady? when Yes, which software is it?

    1. Some warping can be noticed in the video (especially around the mountains). This warping suggests that he's using the Warp Stabilizer in either Premier Pro or After Effects.

  7. I like this video very much and I would like to add it to my favourites but I can't do it because the video is private.
    If you could do something about this I would appreciate.


  8. Hey Devin,

    I'm a Maori filmmaker living and working in New York City for the past 12 years. I also spent my childhood in Hawaii. I was disappointed to see that your video, "The Haka," was inaccessible to the public. Is there anyway I could have access? I would love to see it.


    Reel Story Films LLC
    website //
    vimeo //
    e-mail //

  9. I'm Māori and living in New Zealand. I am really excited to see what you have come up with when the video comes online again.

    Thanks for posting.

  10. I was wondering if this video is available to watch yet?

  11. Devin I have been checking back periodically to see if this video has been posted because I thought it was pretty neat but it seems it has been put on the back-burner. I would like to see this video posted if possible as it interests me very much. Thanks for your time.

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