Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hoto Iti

Kualoa Ranch

We arrived. It's a rainy, misty day.  The clouds are low and sweep past the rugged volcanic cliffs that make up the valley walls. Someone left the gate open last night so the area we are supposed to use has a herd of moo-ing cows.  Our rope "pullers" from UH, the local Navy base and elsewhere are showing up sporadically  The crew has set up a tent for the group of pullers - craft services and what not.  The rain, though, is coming down sideways so the tent is barely a shelter.  A typical scene of chaos, really.

The schedule for today is supposed to go something like this:

8:00am Arrive at Kualoa Ranch (Crew, Terry, Carl)

9:00am EMT, Volunteers arrive

10:00am SHOOT: Test walking with Pullers, Carl, Terry

11:00am Hotu Iti arrives at site

Crane arrives at site

Blessers arrive, SHUTTLE to site

11:30am Unloading of Hotu Iti

SHOOT: Unload and Blessing Ceremony at site

1:00pm LUNCH

2:30pm SHOOT: Test walking with Hotu Iti

3:30pm SHOOT: Re-group for Hero walk

4:00pm SHOOT: Hero walk

6:00pm END DAY 1

Wheels up for hotel… (Possible Sunset B-roll)

The first part of the day is dedicated to getting the folks who are going to be pulling the ropes to move the statue up to speed about about how we believe the statues were moved. We also need them to be able to work as teams. So we will get them doing some tug-of-war exercises that will lead to some practice events. First, we will get them to simply work as independent teams - tugging against each other in typical tug-of-war fashion. Then we will have them work on pulling and coordinating their efforts -- getting the center of the rope to move in different directions.  Once those tasks seem easy, we have a large 10' log that we will stand upright.  The ropes will be tied to the log and we will have the teams attempt to lean the logs in different directions (left, right, forward,back) to simulate the coordination required to tilt the statue.  This should give them some idea of what is required to work as a united whole and as separate groups. Or at least, that is the hope.

The statue - Hotu Iti - is scheduled to arrive @ 11AM.  I havent seen it yet -- While I have footage of the mold being carved back at Janicki in Sedro Wooley, I have yet to see the finished concrete product.  As I understand it, the statue was placed in a crate that was then put in a container. The container was put aboard a cargo ship and sailed to Honolulu where it has been sitting since arriving last week.  Today a truck will bring it to the film location along with a crane to extricate Hoto Iti from the container/box.  It must be a fairly large crane as the statue weighs nearly 12,000 lbs.  That is about the weight of 4 average sedan type cars.  Blargh. Fortunately we have an EMIT on site.

There are some blessings to take place - Rapa Nui and Hawaiian.  Sergio/Mata'u is going to construct an umu to do a traditional ceremony that precedes most Rapanui events.  I saw him digging the hole down by the road stretch we hope to move the statue along.  Physics aside, we need, I suppose, all the good fortune we can get - so bring on the blessings.

We are planning two kinds of "walks" today. First, we will work with the statue while it is still attached to the crane. I'm not sure exactly how we will attach the rope but somehow we will make sure that the statue can move yet not fall over. This will allow us to let evaluate how far we can tilt the statue before it hits it's tipping point.  While I have models to show us what we believe will be the point, these are based on assumptions of homogeneity of the material.  I'd like to actual view the tipping points for the statue so that we can visually assess the angles that are required for moving. Without doing so, I suspect we will be overly conservative and not let the statue tip far enough.  Given the mass of Hoto Iti, it would be easy to be scared of it falling.

If we can get that worked out we will do some "walking" tests with the crane rope attached. Once we get the "hang" of it, we will then remove the crane rope and do what Mata'u calls the "Hero walk."  I guess we will be heroes if we can make that happen -- compressing generations of Rapanui experimentation into a few short hours. Whoohooo!



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