Remembering Leonard Nimoy


Trace the life-story of Leonard Nimoy, featuring stories from his childhood and early career, to his breakout role on “Star Trek,” to his battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The film features interviews with his family and friends.


Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun


Tanaquil Le Clercq, known to all as “Tanny,” was the inspiration and then the wife of one of the greatest geniuses in the history of dance, George Balanchine; she also sparked the creative imagination of Jerome Robbins. In 1954, at the height of her fame, she was paralyzed by polio. The film finds a tone to match Le Clercq’s exquisite dancing and long, lovely physique, well represented in photos, home movies and kinescopes. In addition to being a rich and compelling story of a dancer who can no longer dance and a muse who can no longer inspire, Buirski’s film is also a vivid portrayal of a world and a time gone by. In addition to the breathtaking photos and archival footage, “Afternoon of a Faun” also features interviews with those who knew her, including Jacques D’Amboise and Arthur Mitchell.


Itʻs “Just” Anxiety


This revealing documentary introduces a dozen people from diverse backgrounds who describe their personal struggles with this mental health condition. The film follows individuals with anxiety symptoms ranging from excessive worry and fear to more extreme manifestations such as compulsive behavior and torturous panic attacks.


Jamie Dimon


This new series explores successful leadership through the personal and professional choices of some of the most influential people in business. Financier and philanthropist David Rubenstein travels the country talking to leaders to uncover their stories and their paths to success.


Jamie Dimon
Rubenstein interviews JPMorgan Chase CEO, Jamie Dimon, who talks about building the company only to be fired, how he views a leader’s role, his contributions to society and why he believes America is better off than many people think.


Paul and Grace Atkins


Filmmakers Paul and Grace Atkins have never shied away from adventure. Partners in both life and career, their acclaimed natural history documentaries have told the stories of our planet in breathtaking, never-before-seen ways. They have worked with National Geographic, BBC and Discovery Channel, as well as some of the most well-known directors in the film industry. This special Valentine’s Day episode spotlights a couple that has boldly embarked on a life full of adventure and purpose, supporting each other every step of the way.


This program will be rebroadcast on Wednesday, Aug. 23, at 11:00 pm and Sunday, Aug. 27, at 4:00 pm.


Paul and Grace Atkins Audio


Download the Transcript




PAUL: Many times, I’ve been filming something, and especially if you’ve got a wide angle lens, ‘cause that something, if it’s a shark or if it’s wave, it’s usually very close to the camera, and you’re inside this movie, and suddenly you take your eye away, and you go, Whoa!


GRACE:           Yeah.


PAUL: I’m doing that? You know. Suddenly, reality hits you. There’s a desire to get images that no one’s ever seen, there’s a desire to tell a story.


You’re very goal-oriented.


PAUL: Which is very goal-oriented.


Outcome-oriented; right?


PAUL: I’m not an adrenalin junkie. I wouldn’t be climbing mountains or diving deep, without a camera in my hands. I wouldn’t do it, normally.


GRACE:    I would think also, too, it’s not that you also, too want to tell a story that’s gonna have an effect on the planet. Because, I mean, both of us really have a science background, so we want to tell these stories that we think will do good. We both grew up on Geographic, we grew up on all these wonderful natural history documentaries that really had a mission of trying to better our world and better the planet.


Paul and Grace Atkins blaze their own trail as filmmakers with their natural history documentaries. The duo has delighted a global audience with rare footage of exotic and often dangerous environments, and the forces of nature. Paul and Grace Atkins, next, on Long Story Short.


Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox is Hawai‘i’s first weekly television program produced and broadcast in high definition.


Aloha mai kakou. I’m Leslie Wilcox. For over three decades, filmmakers Paul and Grace Atkins of Honolulu have traversed the globe, documenting breathtaking natural events, little-know rituals of wildlife, and spectacular imagery for National Geographic, the BBC, the Discovery Channel, and PBS. Paul and Grace, affectionately known as Gracie, are not only a team in filmmaking, but in life as well. This married couple discovered they had a common passion for natural history documentaries, and set out together to follow their passion.


Paul Atkins was just five years old when he first got interested in nature while watching fishermen pull up stingrays, crabs, and eels from the muddy waters of his hometown of Mobile, Alabama. He pursued his interest in zoology, which took him to the University of Hawaii at Manoa in the 1970s.


PAUL: I was determined to be a marine biologist, and I was working on my doctorate. I just started to feel that even as much as I loved the ocean, and I loved the people I was working with, I loved scuba diving, and I loved being out in the field, the idea that I was going to eventually end up getting a job and being, you know, on a faculty somewhere was not really my dream of the sort of life that I wanted to lead. And then, I picked up, you know, the department’s movie camera, because we used to use the camera to film fish underwater for the research that we were doing, coral reef fish. We were like, doing research on what happens on the coral reef when it changes from the day to the night shift. ‘Cause there’s a whole switchover underwater that happens with the fish. So, we were using lowlight cameras and a lot of cool technology to study that, and I started taking some of these cameras and just training in on grad student friends of mine and getting them to act, and making little home movies, and then, I got an editing table. And it wasn’t long before I started to realize that this is what I really want to do. And actually, I remember the moment when I decided, because … I cut together a film that I’d shot with the department’s Super 8 camera, and we had done some shark fishing off Waikiki as a part of a research project. This was back in the 70s. And I was intending just to document it. And then, I recreated some scenes, and recreated some dream sequences and turned this thing into a movie. And I took the sound track to Jaws, the movie which had just come out, and I took that music, and I cut it up into this dramatic music, and I made something else out of it. And I showed it to faculty and grad student friends of mine at a party we had. And I showed this, and I got this amazing, you know, enthusiastic response from my grad student buddies, and faculty. They were like, Wow, can we watch that again? [CHUCKLE]


That’s what creates a career. [CHUCKLE]


PAUL: Until that moment, I had no idea that something I’d created was gonna have that effect on an audience, and I was just hooked. I was hooked.


Filmmaker Grace Akins grew up in Oregon, California, Virginia, Austria, and Hawai‘i. Much like her husband Paul, she was fascinated with anything outdoors, the ocean, and animals.


Your father was a fisheries biologist.


GRACE:           Yes, he was.


And your stepfather knew the ocean, and he was an expert diver.


GRACE:           Yes, he was. He was a Navy SEAL. And my real father was a fisheries biologist who actually worked here in Hawaii for a number of years. I’d been mostly a university student. I’d been seven years at San Francisco State University studying, was a pre-med biology major. And then I got very interested in broadcasting, and so, I went through the whole broadcasting undergraduate program as well as the master’s program there. I knew I wanted to do natural history, or I wanted to do science documentaries. And at the time I went to school, there was really no definitive program that taught you how to do natural history films. I think it was Stanford that had one graduate course that I took in science communications, but other than that, it was a field that was wide open.


Before they met, Paul and Grace Atkins both dreamed of creating natural history films. Their chance encounter at Hanauma Bay, Oahu in the 1970s would launch them into their field of dreams.


PAUL: I was actually at Hanauma Bay scuba diving with a woman. I wasn’t dating her. I’d just met her, and we decided to go scuba diving together. And I had come out of the water, and so, we had our scuba gear, and we were starting to trudge up that hill. And then, the woman I was with saw the lifeguard and said, Oh, there’s—what was the lifeguard’s name?


GRACE:           John.


PAUL: John; John. She said, Oh, there’s John, I want to go say hello to John. And I thought, Oh, no; come on, really? And so, I followed her back over, you know, to the lifeguard stand, and then, I saw this beautiful blond in a yellow bikini there at the lifeguard stand. And … that was Gracie. And so, we put our scuba tanks down, and the woman I was with started talking to John the lifeguard, and I struck up a conversation with Gracie.


GRACE:           M-hm.


PAUL: And I was startled, because we had a lot of the same interests. So, we started talking about making films together.


GRACE:           Yeah.


PAUL: You know, from the get-go, we just started talking about how this is kinda what we wanted to do. And the conversation just kept going on, and it went on so long, you know, that the woman I was with wanted to leave, and she was getting sort of irritated. And so, we traded uh, phone numbers. And then, the funny thing was, is after that, after we traded phone numbers, I’d give Gracie a call, and we’d have like a forty-five-minute conversation on the phone. And I would go, Well, this is going really well. And then, at the end, I would ask her out. She would always be busy. She’d say, Well, no, I’m sorry, I can’t, I’m busy. And then [CHUCKLE] …


What’s the story there?


GRACE:           That’s true, actually. [CHUCKLE]


Because you were busy?


GRACE:           I was busy. Yes. I really enjoyed talking to him, too. We had some of the greatest conversations, and then all of a sudden, he stopped calling. And I just thought, Wait a second, Paul hasn’t called. And I went to look for his number to call him to say, Let’s go out. And I couldn’t find his number. And the next day, he called. And I was so thankful he called, because I would never have been able to reach him, ‘cause I didn’t know where he lived. I just knew his name and his phone number, and that he lived in town. So, we went out, and that was it. We went out on a date, and we actually haven’t separated since, except for when you’ve gone on shoots. [CHUCKLE]


And you did exactly what you talked about doing.


GRACE:           Oh, yeah; we did.


You started a wildlife film company.


GRACE:           We did.


And did documentaries.


GRACE:           Yeah.


The relationship of Paul and Grace Atkins blossomed, and they pursued their passion for each other, and their dream of producing natural history documentaries. They began their filmmaking partnership with Paul as the cinematographer and director, and Grace as the producer and sound recordist.


GRACE:           At that time, there just was nothing that really would define how one made these kind of films and went about creating a career in that. So, when we started, we were really kind of like forging our way into a newer … world, a new way of making films, and basically had to do it all on our own.


PAUL: And I think it was the combination of, you know, just having the courage, really, to try it. Because now, you were a team. Now, you were two people.


GRACE:           M-hm.


PAUL: And Gracie brought in a sense that I didn’t really have, which was a business sense, about finances, how to use a credit card. I didn’t even have a credit card, or just know how to use one, you know.


GRACE:           [CHUCKLE]


PAUL: And I brought in this desire, you know, and vision about shooting and making films, and I was sure I could do it, even though I barely knew what I was doing.


GRACE:           Our first shoots were in Palau. And that’s when we were starting to evolve our career. We figured that the only way we were gonna get our career started was to make a film and present it to somebody to see.


Find a client later; right?


GRACE:           Yeah; find a client later. And so, we raised money to be able to go to these places that we wanted to do films.


PAUL: M-hm, m-hm.


GRACE:           And basically started—


PAUL: But a lot of things during this period kind of came together and happened.


GRACE:           Yeah.


PAUL: You know. I was dreaming about doing this, I met Gracie, and we talked about being a team. And about the same time, I was introduced to Arthur Jones, who was a billionaire inventor of Nautilus exercise machines. And he was spending a lot of his money that he was making on Nautilus exercise machines on a television studio in Lake Helen, Florida. He was going all over the world just filming things. And he showed up in Hawaii, and Bruce Carlson at the Waikiki Aquarium introduced me to him. And so, Arthur hired me for a couple of days to be a grip.


GRACE:           M-hm.


PAUL: And I started to learn a little bit more about video cameras, working for him. And so, Arthur … the name of his company was Nautilus, because it was based on the cam of his exercise machines, which was based on the spiral design of a nautilus shell. Arthur decided he wanted to mount an expedition to go to Palau to bring chambered nautilus back to be at his studio in Lake Helen, Florida so he could have them in a big aquarium there. And expense didn’t matter. He would pay whatever. And so, I got to know him, and I talked him into—I said, Well, why don’t you do a documentary about this trip, about the expedition to catch live nautilus. And he said, Fine. And I said, I want to shoot it. And he said, Sure. [CHUCKLE] We barely knew what we were doing, but over the course of a couple of trips down there, we managed to get enough footage to put together, you know, a semblance of a documentary.


Wasn’t that an award-winning documentary?


GRACE:           Yes.


PAUL: Yeah.


GRACE:           Actually.


PAUL: But not until we showed it to Jim Young, who was, you know, the executive director of Hawaii Public Television at that time. And Jim became a big supporter. And he became, you know, a believer before we had a lot of footage, when he saw the first footage. And he basically said, you know, I will donate editing facility and services to you to edit this show, and we’ll make sure we get it on Public Television and broadcast it. So, that was a great deal.


Because you had a billionaire in your pocket.


PAUL: Yeah. Well—


GRACE:           Actually, at that point in time, no.


PAUL: He abandoned us.


GRACE:           He abandoned us.


Oh, did he?


PAUL: He abandoned.


GRACE:           He gave us the footage [INDISTINCT].


PAUL: After the first expedition, he said … You’ll never make anything out of this footage. That’s what he told us. He said, Nobody wants this kind of documentary. He said, But, he said, I’ll give you the rights to this footage. He said, I’ll have the rights, you have the rights to see what you can make out of it. And so, we took that, and then got KHET’s support.


GRACE:           And some more grants.


PAUL: And then, we wrote some more grants and went back to Palau, and embellished it and shot more of the expedition, and actually did a better job. You know, that film was like our film school. We were learning along the way.


Learn by redoing.


GRACE:           Yes.


PAUL: Learn by redoing. Oh, that didn’t work, let’s reshoot that. You know. And then, a good friend, Mike deGruy, who’s also a resident of HawaiiH, you know, he several years ago was killed in a helicopter crash. But he did a lot of films for KHET as well during that period.


GRACE:           M-hm.


PAUL:             And he was our partner, and we were—you know, some people called us the Three Musketeers. We did a lot of work together.


And you were just feeling it out as you went.


PAUL: Oh, we totally were.


GRACE:           Yes.


PAUL: Oh, yeah.


GRACE:           Completely. [CHUCKLE]


PAUL: There was no …


GRACE:           That’s an understatement, to say the least. [CHUCKLE]


PAUL: There was no model—

GRACE:           There was nothing.


PAUL: –having to do this at all.


GRACE:           Yeah. There was no YouTube, there was no internet, there was no online courses. And very few productions that were going on, too. Yeah.


PAUL: And there weren’t that many natural history films being produced. This was the very beginning. You know, cable had not exploded yet.


Through the success of their award-winning nautilus documentary, filmmakers Paul and Grace Atkins of Honolulu continued their journey into documentary filmmaking. They traveled to little-known locations across the world, capturing forces of nature never seen before on film, such as the feeding rituals of great white sharks and killer whales.


PAUL: Killer whales feeding on seal pups, actually. Yeah; and yes, we shot this. Mike deGruy was involved in this, too. We shot it in Patagonia, Argentina for a BBC series, a David Attenborough series called Trials of Life. Which back in the 90s, that was, you know, the Planet Earth. You know, that Planet Earth is still well-known today, but that’s how well known Trials of Life was in the 90s. Anyway, we were there for five weeks in Patagonia, Argentina on a beach, and the killer whales would slide up the beach and grab sea lion pups off the beach, and then wiggle, and back into the water.


What are some of the other adventures you’ve had together?


GRACE:           I think one of our most difficult and challenging films, and yet one of the most satisfying in a long time, because it turned out so well, was the one we did on dolphins for Geographic. When we started that film, we wanted to take a film that looked at the opposite of what the public perception of an animal was. For example, like dolphins. Dolphins are always thought to be sweetness and light, and everybody loves a dolphin. So, we wanted to look at the darker side of dolphins, which meant we were not only just looking at tursiops, but we were looking all the dolphin family. And killer whales are a part of them, and certain kind of whales and things. So, this allowed us to expand our stories that we wanted to tell. And so, we started making this film. So, we went out to a location called—what was that place?


PAUL: Cape Peron.


GRACE:           Cape Peron.


PAUL: We camped out.


GRACE:           Yeah.


PAUL: Camped out for weeks with the flies.


GRACE:           And that was …


Waiting for a scene.


GRACE:           For the scene of the dolphins.


PAUL: M-hm.


And that’s really part of a documentarian’s life, isn’t it?


GRACE:           Yeah.




GRACE:           Waiting; waiting.


PAUL: Yeah.


Just waiting.


GRACE:           So, we went out to this location, and we built a camp there, and the scientist was with us and said, This is the best time of year for you to be able to see dolphins herding fish. And we had never heard of dolphins actually coming and herding fish onto shore, just like the killer whales had done in Patagonia. So, we set up our camp and our tents and everything. And for weeks, we were trying to, you know, see this action happen. And it wasn’t happening, so the scientist said, Well, something must not be right, we’re not at the right time of season. I can’t tell you what it takes to get an expedition all the way out to a remote location like that. The weeks and the months of planning, and then also, the physical actual moving out there and setting up your camps, and getting all your gear ready, and then doing the shooting.


PAUL: ‘Cause there’s not power.


GRACE:           M-hm; yeah.


PAUL: You need to bring all your food, your water, you know, solar showers, generators, all of that out there, charging batteries, all of that.


GRACE:           ‘Cause there’s nothing out there. So okay, so we’re there for two weeks and decide, oh, well, this is not gonna happen this time, so we’re gonna have to come back at another time. We lived out on this location for like, two months. And you become connected with an environment like you never would, because there’s nobody out there; just us. And the dolphins sure enough came in, a family of dolphins. And they would come in, and they would herd the fish. And we were on this huge, long beach, maybe three hundred feet of beach. And those dolphins would come in and herd the fish, and Paul would be out there with his camera. Ann Marie, our assistant, who was working with us, she and I would be up on the hills spotting and telling him where the dolphins were coming, and where they were going. And he would run up and down this beach trying to film them, because as soon as he would get up to film, the dolphins would see him and would go to another section of the beach. [CHUCKLE] And so, there would be Paul with his camera gear, humping it all the way to the other side of the beach. And finally, you know, we got the footage.


PAUL: After two trips.


GRACE:           After two trips.


PAUL: Yeah.


Had anyone ever gotten these photos?


GRACE:           No; no.


This film before?




GRACE:           No.


In 2003, Paul Atkins used the skills he honed shooting documentaries to work on a Hollywood feature film, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, starring Russell Crowe. The film’s director, Peter Weir, wanted authentic footage of stormy seas. So, Paul Atkins boarded a ship for a forty-two-day expedition around the treacherous waters of Cape Horn to capture storm footage.


PAUL: We were on a replica of Captain Cook’s ship, which was built in Australia. It had been sailing around the world in various places, but it’d never sailed around Cape Horn before. It’d never been to these kind of conditions. We were with an Australian captain; his name was Chris Blake. Great guy. But he had never sailed around Cape Horn either. So, we’re sailing around the most dangerous waters of the world, and we’re approaching them, and no one on the ship has done this before. So, it was really scary.


I mean, they were huge waves; right? I mean, what about keeling over?


PAUL: We were in the open ocean, and the swells were about fifty-foot swells. And some of them were breaking. And there’s no land out there, there’s no rocks, but they were breaking on the open ocean. And the winds got up to about seventy-five knots. And the ocean, I’ve never seen anything like it; it looks like just sculptures, it’s foam-swept, it’s just foam everywhere.


Okay; what is there about you—and you too, ‘cause you were ready to go on this trip, that would submit to that risk?


GRACE:           Yeah. Well, you think of it as a risk, you think of the adventure, you think of what you’re getting to film, what you’re gonna be, you know, making.


But then, nature; I mean, there’s some factors you can’t plan for or control against.


GRACE:           Well, that’s true, too. But you try to plan for everything that you can, and over-plan. You know, so far, we’ve been always pretty successful, ‘cause no one’s really ever gotten hurt.


PAUL: Ooh, wow; that is hot. It’s like hot water to my hand. Let’s get suited up.


GRACE:          For our science documentary, it hasn’t been this been this thrill-seeking thing, it’s been more about telling a story that will do something better for the world. And it just so happens that some of the things involve a little bit more risky, you know, endeavors.


And I think you’re curious, too.


GRACE:           Yeah.


PAUL: You’re curious.


GRACE:           Yes.


So, you want to follow that thread.


PAUL: You’re definitely curious. And then, there’s one other aspect to it that I realized as well, is the exhilaration of knowing that you were afraid, and you did it anyway.


GRACE:           Yeah.


PAUL: And you came through the other end, and everything’s okay. There is an exhilaration to that. It might be dangerous exhilaration, but there’s a feeling of, you know, like for example, I used to have a fear of heights. And even today, if I stand on a vertical cliff and look straight down … it’s a mild case of vertigo. And so, to film on cliffs, which I’ve done a lot of, and to film from a helicopter, I had to get over that. I had to really get over it.


Master and Commander won an Academy Award for cinematography in 2004. At the same time, Paul and Grace Atkins began to expand their work beyond documentaries to commercials and narrative films. The pair struck up a relationship with acclaimed film director Terrence Malick, and Paul worked with him as a cinematographer on films such as The Tree of Life and the IMAX film, Voyage of Time.


PAUL: I’m in love with camerawork and visual storytelling, no matter what it involves. And I did at one point in my career, you know, get a little … I don’t know if tired is the word, but I needed to expand beyond just doing wildlife and sitting and waiting, and that kind of thing. But now, I enjoy flipping back and forth. I think it’s good. You take lessons from one discipline, and apply them to the other. It’s great; I love it. You know, I love working with actors, and I work with a lot of directors like Terrence Malick, who give their actors a lot of freedom both in dialog and in movement. So, as a cameraman, it’s not like you have marks on the floor.


Then your background is great for that.


PAUL: My background is like, I know how to do this, ‘cause I’ve filmed animals before.




Paul Atkins says that film director Terrence Malick shared one of the most important lessons in his life, telling Paul not to play it safe, and to give yourself permission to fail. Otherwise, you’ll never rise above mediocrity. As for overall wisdom, Paul credits Gracie as the most influential person in his life.


PAUL: In our personal relationship, you know, Gracie, I always say, taught me how to argue. I’m born and raised in the Deep South.


GRACE:           Very non-confrontational.


PAUL: And very congenial sort of social structure there. People don’t argue, in public at least. They want to put on a good impression.


They refer to the war as the Great Unpleasantness.




PAUL: Right; yeah. Yeah; exactly.


GRACE:           Exactly. That was your mother.


PAUL: Yeah. M-hm; yeah. And I didn’t know how to argue, and also, if somebody got angry with me, I kept it bottled up.


GRACE:           M-hm.


PAUL: And I retained it, and I resented it for a long time. Even the next day, I’d still be like, angry or hurt about it. And Gracie, you know, I don’t know how, just beat that out of me.




PAUL: ‘Cause we would get into an argument, and Gracie would be very direct about the way she was feeling at that moment. And then, it could be over for Gracie, ‘cause she’s finished with it. And then, she’d try to move on to something else, and I’m still like, Wait a minute.


And you haven’t really spoken about it yet.


PAUL: Yeah; exactly.


GRACE:           But maybe that’s the artist in you, where you actually are still thinking about it, while I’m more the action person. I get in there, and I figure out what has to be done, do it, and move on to the next.


PAUL: M-hm; m-hm.


GRACE:           And that’s just the way of a producer, I think. You’re the creative type, and you sit and you think about things. The years that we worked together doing the kind of films that we did and how we did it; everything he was really good at, I was not good at.   And everything I was really good at, he was not good at. So, we were actually really a perfect team.


Do you ever think about how lucky you are?


GRACE:           Yeah.


PAUL: M-hm.


GRACE:           I think about it all the time.


PAUL: Oh, yeah.


GRACE:           Yeah.


PAUL: Definitely. Yeah. You know, I definitely feel that way, and then again, you know, as we all like to talk about a lot, it was meant to be. So, is it luck, or is there something guiding us?


GRACE:           Was this something that was meant to happen? Were we meant to meet, or was it just happenstance? I like to kind of think that we were somehow meant to meet, and that we created this life because it was meant to be together.


As of this conversation in December of 2016, Hawaii-based filmmakers Paul and Grace Atkins were gearing up to work with an environmental foundation called Global Mana to educate people about the effects of global climate change. Paul and Grace feel this is likely to be one of the most important stories of their careers. Mahalo to Paul and Grace Atkins of East Honolulu for sharing their story with us. And mahalo to you, for joining us. For PBS Hawaii and Long Story Short, I’m Leslie Wilcox. Aloha, a hui hou.


For audio and written transcripts of all episodes of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, visit To download free podcasts of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, go to the Apple iTunes Store or visit


PAUL: I hear so many couples say, We never argue. And I just think …


GRACE:           Ah.


How well do you know each other?


PAUL: Sorry, I do not believe that. [CHUCKLE] Or, you should.


Or you suffer in silence.


PAUL: Or you’re suffering in silence. What’s going on there, you know.


GRACE:           No, but I think also, too, however you communicate, if you communicate through love and quietness, or through more emotional, passionate and argumentative ways, each has their own purpose in how a relationship goes.




Retain & Recruit


Hawai‘i is now at “full employment,” meaning our statewide, adjusted unemployment rate has fallen below 3 percent. In this tight job market, local and national businesses, big and small, are competing for the most qualified employees. While the gap widens between Hawai‘i’s high cost of living and the average salary scale, how can Hawai‘i workers take advantage of this situation – and how can local companies get creative with attracting qualified job candidates?


Your questions and comments are welcome via phone, email and via Twitter during the Live Broadcast.


Phone Lines:
462-5000 on Oahu or 800-238-4847 on the Neighbor Islands.


Join our live discussion using #pbsinsights


Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K)


This new series explores successful leadership through the personal and professional choices of some of the most influential people in business. Financier and philanthropist David Rubenstein travels the country talking to leaders to uncover their stories and their paths to success.


Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K)
Rubenstein interviews Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University’s “Coach K,” who discusses lessons learned from his first-generation parents, keys to building a great team, what professional players taught him and the greatest honor of his coaching career.


A Conversation with Bill Moyers


Join the award-winning journalist, political commentator and author as he reflects on his life and storied career, from his days as White House press secretary for President Lyndon B. Johnson, to network news reporter, to host of numerous PBS programs.


Pure Caz: The Music of The Brothers Cazimero

PACIFIC HEARTBEAT: Pure Caz. Robert and Roland Cazimero


Legendary musicians Robert and Roland Cazimero of the The Brothers Cazimero perform an enchanting array of original compositions and island standards. Also featured are reflections from the brothers and their friends on their childhood, their illustrious careers, and their perspectives on Hawaiian music from the past to the present.



Guy Kawasaki


Tech evangelist and social media maven Guy Kawasaki was born and raised in Kalihi and now lives in Silicon Valley. He is the Chief Evangelist for Canva, an online graphic design tool, and was the Chief Evangelist at Apple Inc. in the 1980s. Kawasaki has written 13 books and has more than 1.4 million followers on Twitter.


The interview was taped in September, when Kawasaki was on Oahu for the funeral of his father, former state senator Duke Kawasaki. “He did not believe in taking crap from anybody,” Kawasaki said about his father. “I would say that is something he probably passed on to me.”


A graduate of Iolani, Stanford and UCLA, Kawasaki said all Hawai‘i students should strive to attend college out of state, “if they can afford it and if the situation works out,” he said. “It is an eye-opening experience,” Kawasaki said. “It increases your perspective, it increases your horizons, it increases your expectation for life. And I think that if you only stay in one place, you judge things, you judge yourself in only one context. And that’s not enough.”


This program will be rebroadcast on Wednesday, May 11 at 11:00 pm and Sunday, May 15 at 4:00 pm.


Guy Kawasaki Audio


Download the Transcript




I am fundamentally an introvert.


Even though you make seventy-five speeches a year?


Hard to imagine; yes. So, I am thrust into an extrovert’s role of being out there speaking to thousands of people, and all this kinda stuff. But, you know, where extroverts would love to have dinner with … the other speakers and would love to interact with the crowd, and would love to, you know, do all this kinda stuff, I hate that.


This self-described introvert is a highly successful entrepreneur whose voice on social media is followed by ten million people around the world. Hawai‘i born and raised Guy Kawasaki, who’s now lived longer in Northern California than he did in the islands, next, on Long Story Short.


Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox is Hawai‘i’s first weekly television program produced and broadcast in high definition.


Aloha mai kakou. I’m Leslie Wilcox. Guy Kawasaki says he’s a Kalihi boy at heart, a kid from Kalihi Elementary who segued to prep school Iolani, then headed to a West Coast Ivy League school, and made a name for himself in Silicon Valley, marketing the Macintosh for Apple. He’s a visionary who saw the power of the computer to change lives before many others did. He’s a venture capitalist, author and speaker, business advisor, and social media guru. Kawasaki credits some of his success to an English teacher at Iolani School.


How was that, the entry into Iolani?


I don’t remember it being particularly traumatic. [CHUCKLE] I had a great time at Iolani, and a great time at Kalihi Elementary. There was uh, a teacher at Kalihi Elementary who convinced my parents that, you know, I should go into a private school. Her name was Trudy Akau. And my parents, you know, lower middleclass, made a lot of sacrifices for my sister and I. She went to University High here, and I went to Iolani. And … the rest is history.


And you felt comfortable there. And who were your classmates? Who did you graduate with?


Mufi Hannemann is one, Nathan Aipa is another, Led Castillo, Dean Okimoto of—


Nalo Farms.


–Nalo Farm. Yeah; bunch of overachievers in that class.


Very much so.




Now, in high school, we tend to stereotype people. Did you have a stereotype in high school?


Well, what are my choices?


You could be the jock.




You could be the nerd.


I wasn’t the nerd. I was probably closer to the jock. I played for Eddie Hamada and Charles Kaaihue. I loved football. I mean, there was—there’s only—you know, you were either training for playing for football or playing football. John Kay was the biology teacher. But the one that really left a mark in me … that surfaced decades later was Harold Keables. So, Harold Keables was the English teacher, and … I took English from him twice. And he basically taught me how to write. And I think he would be amazed that I have now written thirteen books, ‘cause that was not foreseeable.


Did he have to nudge you a lot in class?


Yeah. You know, I wouldn’t say that he would list me as his prize pupil, ever. You know.


That must be great for teachers to hear that. You said decades later, this latent learning came out?


Yes; because I graduated from Iolani in 1972, and I didn’t write my first book ‘til 1987. So, that’s quite a while.


Well, what did Mr. Keables tell you about writing? What was the magic?


He had a very, very specific technique, where you wrote compositions. If you made mistakes, he would circle the mistake. So, you would have to write the sentence incorrectly as you did, you’d have to cite the rule of grammar that you broke, and then you’d have to rewrite the sentence correctly.


I bet you loved doing that.


And this is prior to word processing. I think it was prior to even pens.




So, that was a pain. So, you quickly learned about …


Don’t do that.


–splitting infinitives, and you know, what’s the difference between an independent clause and a dependent clause, and why you need a conjunction between two independent clauses, and a comma, and … that was drilled into us.


Did you ever have a chance to tell your teacher that? That …


No; he died before I achieved any kind of writing. [CHUCKLE]


Someone who had a stronger influence on Guy Kawasaki was his father, the late Hawai‘i politician Duke Kawasaki, who died at age ninety-four, just a few days before this conversation took place in 2015. Duke Kawasaki was a dissident Democrat who bucked Hawai‘i’s status quo. Guy and his sister, Jean Okimoto, who attended this taping, both remember their father admonishing them repeatedly not to take any guff from people.


My father was a State Senator for twenty or twenty-two years, beginning in about 1968, I think.


And he was an independent Democrat, and a maverick.


He was Democrat, liberal, maverick. Although, he supported the death penalty in there, so certain things. He fought the unions all the time. He fought George Ariyoshi all the time.


He surprised people too, with his positions.






He was enigmatic, let’s say.


And I’ve heard him described as both assertive and aggressive.


I never saw him that way, but you know, I guess … well, let’s just say he did not believe in taking crap from anybody. And I would say that is something he probably passed on to me. I don’t know if, behaviorally or genetically, but somehow it got to me.


He had a lot of different jobs.




A lot of hyphenations there.




I know he was a fireman, a stevedore, fire dispatch, state senator, band leader.


Yeah. And he was … I think he was number three in the City and County of Honolulu. There was Fasi and Jeremy Harris …


As managing director?


And then, my father. I think my father was the third guy.


And again, Fasi was a very independent Democrat.


Another tough person to figure out. Yes.






Was he hard for you to figure out?


You know, I mean, he was my father; right? I never looked at it that way. I saw how tough politics was. You’re constantly out. You’re constantly, you know, being asked for stuff. I will never go into politics. Really. [CHUCKLE] It’s too hard; right?


When Guy Kawasaki graduated from Iolani School, he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life professionally. But he did know he wanted to attend college, something his father hadn’t done, and he wanted to do so away from Hawai‘i.


I went from Iolani to the mainland.


To Stanford.


To Stanford. But that sounds more impressive today than it was back then. Seriously. ‘Cause there’s no way I would get into Stanford today.


I think it was always hard to get into Stanford.


Boy, I’ll tell you, man. You know, I definitely didn’t have … back in those days, it was sixteen hundred, not twenty-four hundred. I did not have sixteen hundred SATs, and I was not straight A. But also back then, believe it or not, Japanese Americans were oppressed; right? So, we were a minority.


So, you’re saying that’s what helped you get in?


I think so.


And you did well at Stanford?


Well, you know, one life lesson I learned is, you know, it’s not how you get in; it’s what you do once you got in. So … yeah, to this day, I don’t know how I got into Stanford.


And what was that experience like for you?


Oh, it was fantastic. Because … you know, I think everybody from Hawai‘i, every student, if they can afford it and if the situation works out, they should go to school on the mainland too. It is an eye-opening experience. And it increases your perspective, it increases your horizons, it increases your expectations for life. And I think that if you only stay in one place … you judge things, you judge yourself in only one context. And that’s not enough. So, you know, I go to the mainland, I say, Wow, you know, you could start a company. You don’t have to go work for a hotel or for a store in Ala Moana Center. I mean, you could start it, you could be with Apple computer, my god. So, that opened my eyes. And … I never looked back.


When did you have a plan?


Arguably, I still don’t have a plan.


[CHUCKLE] You majored in psychology.


I majored in psychology, because that was an easy major. My father wanted me to go to law school, so like a good Asian, I went to law school. I hated it; quit after two weeks.


Why’d you quit?


I couldn’t stand it. They were, you know, basically telling me that I was crap, and they’re gonna remake my mind. My delicate psyche could not handle it at that point. I’ve gotten over this problem. So, I quit law school. Called up my father, told him I quit law school, I think he’s gonna disown me. He says, You know what? As long as you’re something by twenty-five, we’re happy. Oh; why didn’t you tell me that before I went to law school? So anyway, I quit law school, couldn’t stand it. And actually, with some hindsight, I think, you know … many lawyers take twenty, twenty-five years to discover they’re miserable. I figured that out in two weeks.




That’s how smart I was. So, I come back from quitting law school. I worked for Nelson K. Doi.


Your father’s political ally.


Yeah; at the time, he was lieutenant governor of Hawai‘i. And he was starting the Hawai‘i Commission on Crime, so I worked on that project. And the following year, I went to UCLA to get an MBA.


Had you seen a bit of Silicon Valley at that point? Was that what you were gunning for?


At Stanford, definitely. Because you know, that’s the epicenter of Silicon Valley.


And so, was that on your mind in getting an MBA?


Oh, absolutely. I wanted to start a career, wanted to be an entrepreneur. And back then, believe it or not, you know, an MBA was necessary for many careers. It’s not as necessary today, but it was really necessary back then.


A few years after receiving his Masters in Marketing, Guy Kawasaki landed a job at Apple, where the ornery visionary Steve Jobs presided. In 1983, Kawasaki was part of the team responsible for marketing the Macintosh, first to software developers, and then to consumers. He became an innovator in what’s called Evangelist Marketing, drawing on word of mouth to drive brand loyalty.


Evangelism comes from Greek words meaning, bringing the good news. So, where a salesperson might say, you know, Give me twenty-five hundred bucks, I’ll give you this computer; we were trying to bring the good news or increase creativity and productivity.


What a great job title.




Chief evangelist for Macintosh.


Well, that wasn’t the first job title; it wasn’t that simple. So, I met a guy in college from Phoenix, Arizona; his name is Mike Boich. And we just immediately hit it off, because we shared a passion for cars. And we became very good friends, very good friends to this day. When I started going to school at UCLA, I started working part-time for a jewelry company. [CHUCKLE] So, I was counting diamonds, and they gave me a job after I graduated, so I was in the jewelry business for about five years. And then, Mike Boich calls me up and says, You know, I’m working on this really interesting project called Macintosh, you gotta come see it. So, I go see it, there’s a job, I didn’t get that job. Which in hindsight was okay. He calls me back in a few more months, and now there’s this other job, which is the software evangelist job. You know, I don’t know how I got past the C-job filter, but somehow, I did, and so, I became a software evangelist at Apple, having you know, I a psych degree, dropping out of law school, marketing degree from UCLA. And the rest is history.


So, first, you were getting people to write software.




And then, when you moved up to chief evangelist, you were talking to prospective buyers.


Yes; of not just writing software, but just regular consumers.


And you know, I’m tickled by the evangelist name. But it was not just a branding word; it’s you know, marketing.


No, no; we truly believed—a guy named Mike Murray was the director of marketing at the Macintosh division, and our approach was that Macintosh was not just another computer that you sold in terms of, you know … certain amount of RAM, and certain amount of hard disk storage. Macintosh was a way, it was a religion, it was life-changing, it was you know, universe-denting. So, you don’t just sell that kinda stuff; you evangelize it.


When you worked for Macintosh, you were working all the time.




Right? I’ve heard stories of total burnout. I mean, how many hours a week did you work?


Well, we had a tee-shirt that said, Sixty hours a week, and loving it. And that might have been low. But you know what? We were on a cause; right? We were on a mission from God. And we were gonna do in the IBM PC, we were gonna increase people’s creativity and productivity, we were gonna save people from a George Orwellian totalitarian 1984 nightmare. So, if you’re doing that, you know, sixty hours a week is not so much.


And that ferment of Silicon Valley and all that dynamic stuff led you to all kinds of other ventures.


Yes; let me to entrepreneurship and writing, and all kinds of stuff. The Macintosh division was a remarkable experience. And … you know, I am honored to have been there. Steve Jobs was a remarkable person; just absolutely amazing. So difficult to work for. The New York Times recently had this article about working at Amazon, and you know, how people cry and, you know, not everybody’s supporting you, and sometimes you know, people raise objections to what you’re working on. [CHUCKLE] I look at that, and I just like, laugh. You know, you’re telling me your life is tough. Let me tell you what it was like working for Steve Jobs.


And you had to have a thick skin to work where you did. You developed it, if you didn’t have it.


Well, you needed a thick skin, but you also needed a thick brain. [CHUCKLE] Because, you know, if you’re dumb and thick-skinned, you would not have survived at Apple. You had to have both.


So, that gave you confidence to do a lot of other things.


Well …


Venture capitalist.


Yeah; you know, it gave me confidence to do a lot of other things, but with hindsight, maybe if I had less confidence and I just stayed an Apple employee, it would different; right?




‘Cause I quit Apple twice, and if I had stayed either time, I would not be here right now. [CHUCKLE]


You would be retired in the Bahamas.


Yeah. No, I’d be standup paddleboarding right now or, you know, I’d be at the Halekulani. [CHUCKLE] But I didn’t, so you know. But listen; don’t cry for me. I’m okay. [CHUCKLE]


I mean, do you go back there and regret that a lot?


I don’t lay awake at night about it. But you know, you have to at some point in your life say, Wow, just imagine if I had stayed at Apple. ‘Cause … that move probably cost me … several hundred million dollars. Yeah. I could really pledge a lot to PBS. [CHUCKLE].


Much later, Guy Kawasaki would again become a chief evangelist, this time for an online graphic design company based in Australia named Canva. Coming out of Apple, Kawasaki founded several software companies and a venture capital firm. He also started writing. Kawasaki is the best-selling author of more than a dozen books, including a classic about the use of social media. He’s an acknowledged master of social media, with ten million followers around the world at the time of this conversation. This kind of engagement requires relentless and interesting postings. This helps generate interest in his personal brand and in the Canva Company, and in his books, which generate interest in his major public speaking events.


Social medial is the best thing that ever happened to me, ‘cause it’s fast, free, and ubiquitous. I’m on it all the time. I also have virtual assistants helping me on it all the time. So, I’m an introvert who loves social media, because it allows me to avoid extrovert activity. [CHUCKLE]


And you know, to succeed at it, you could be Tweeting to no one, but you have a huge following. How do you pick your content? How do you make it work?


Well, funny you should mention that, you know, seeing as how we’re at PBS, and you know, PBS NPR. I love all that kinda stuff; right? So, I call this the NPR model. Maybe I should call it the PBS model. But the way I look at it is, if you provide great content … all the time, not promotional, great content, content that is informative, analytical … entertaining, valuable, then you earn the right to then run a promotion. Your promotion is the pledge drive. My promotion is, use Canva … read my book. But I feel that I cannot make those kinda social media posts, read my book, use Canva, until I earn … the right to do that. And the way I earn the right to do that is to provide value. And the way I provide value is, I create or curate content.


So, what makes a great Tweet or social media item on Facebook?


This is very easy.


How do you make it work?


At the highest level, a great social media post has to pass the re-share test. And by this, I mean it is something that’s so valuable, so interesting, so entertaining that people not only like it, they also send it to people who follow them. So, this is the difference between just tipping a waiter or tipping a valet, versus telling people to eat someplace. Right? So, every time I squeeze the trigger—and I’ve trained all the people who help me. Every time you squeeze the trigger, think in your mind; Is this something that’ll be re-shared?


You like lists, too.


I love lists. I think that in the social media world, a bulleted or numbered list is the key to make a point.


And you’re irreverent.


I’d say so; yes. [CHUCKLE] Yeah.


And basically, it’s who you are; right? You don’t put on a personality.


No, you know, really, I have enough problems maintaining who I am, much less trying to fake people out. I can’t do two; one is hard enough. So, I’m very much a Wiziwig kinda guy. I mean, you might not like what you see, but that’s what it is.


Guy Kawasaki, a husband and father of four, is a sought-after keynote speaker around the globe. He gives fifty to seventy-five speeches a year to audiences ranging from Fortune 500 companies to high school graduates.


Next week, I’m speaking in Austin … New Orleans, Cleveland, and Helsinki, in five days. That’s the nature of my travel.


In how many days; five days?


Five days, I’m speaking in those cities. So … that’s not trivial. My speeches are all based on my books. There are really four or five speeches that I give regularly: enchantment, innovation, entrepreneurship, social media, lessons of Steve Jobs. Those are like the five I give. I always use a top ten, because I think a top ten adds a lot of structure. I always use PowerPoint, not because I need PowerPoint as a crutch, but I need PowerPoint so that people can see and hear what I’m talking about.


And it builds.


Yeah; and it makes it makes it more effective. At this point, do I get nervous before a speech? No. I always use the bathroom right before a speech, but I am not particularly nervous. The secret for me and the advice I have for other people; I’ll give you some tips. So, number one, if you want to be a good speaker, you need to have something to say. [CHUCKLE] Okay, so duh.


Don’t forget that.


Duh. And if you don’t have anything to say, you should just shut up and decline. Tip number two is, you should … rehearse. And and for me, in a sense, I’ve given speeches thousands of times, I have had thousands of rehearsals. So now, it’s second nature. When I started, I was very nervous, but now … [CLUCKS TONGUE]. And so, that is because just repetition.


You did a graduation speech where you gave, I think, ten pieces of advice for your audience members. And they were really interesting. And you said essentially, Yeah, you’re gonna become your parents.


That’s right.


And you knew it.


Yeah. And I am becoming my father. I can’t find my car keys, I can’t find my wallet. And … I really love photography, and he really loved photography. The only place I’m not like my father is music; he loved music, and I could care less about music.


He actually named you for a musician.


Guy Lombardo; yeah.


Guy Lombardo.


So, the good news is, I could have been Carmen Lombardo.


Who is her brother.


Right. Yeah.


Why did he name you after Guy Lombardo?


He loved music. You know, he played multiple instruments, and he led a big band.


And you never got into music.


Not at all.


What were some of the other points you said in this graduation speech?


Oh, well, number one was, live off your parents as long as possible, which I may come to regret telling people that. And another is … take up a sport that you can play your whole life. You know, at sixty-one, it’s hard to play football. [CHUCKLE] Right? So, take up tennis or in my case, hockey or standup paddleboarding, or you know, something that you can play the rest of your life.


And the reason you wanted students to live off their parents was so that they could travel and really experience some life.


That’s a mistake I made. You know, I went through Stanford in three and a half years, I came in with a lot of credits, I took a heavy load. Stanford had these campuses in Japan and Italy, and South America, and you know, all that. I never did any of that, ‘cause I wanted to get out of there as fast as possible. It was a big mistake.


And you turn down a lot of speaking—


Yeah; you know, I have four children, and I’m sixty-one years old, so I I made a rule that if I get on an airplane … it’s gonna be for money. [CHUCKLE] It’s not gonna be for strategic reasons. Although, I have to say, I’m here, not for money.


Yay! It’s a nonprofit. Thank you.


Right. But generally speaking, I’m not on a plane because it’s taking me away from my family. And so, you know, it’s a very objective test that you either want me bad enough to pay, or you don’t. And if you don’t, it’s okay.


Although he speaks to thousands and thousands of people in person at a time, sometimes filling arenas, Guy Kawasaki says he doesn’t like crowds.


Because it just sucks energy out of me. And at these events … you may think it’s fun to go to a cocktail reception and, you know, maybe meet the person. And so, that’s your positon on it. But for me, I’m on from the minute I get there ‘til the minute I’m off, ‘cause everybody wants something from me. And … noblesse oblige, you have an obligation to do that, but I’m not looking for more of that. And so, that drives some people crazy that, you know, they can’t understand how I could have this attitude. But it’s the only attitude I can take, to survive.


And yet, you communicate with millions of people.


I do.


And you work hard at it. I’ve seen you. I mean, you’re busy with the thumbs.


Well, but you know what? That is on my own terms. I actually find that energizing. So, maybe I’m a social media extrovert, but I’m not an in-person extrovert. The social media, I can do whenever I want, I have my agenda. You know, it’s not necessarily back and forth. I’m not necessarily thinking. I also, believe it or not—this may be rationalization, but I have something called Meniere’s disease. And so, Meniere’s disease has three symptoms. There’s tinnitus, which is a ringing in this ear, hearing loss in this ear, and attacks of vertigo. So … going to a cocktail party where there’s music, loud noise, and hard floors and walls … is one of the most difficult things for me, ‘cause I literally—this side of my head is just gone. I mean, I just cannot hear. It’s very difficult. So, we’re in this perfect condition here; right? So, you would never tell anything like that. But right now, my ear is ringing, and it is almost painful. So, it’s draining for me.


Is it continuous? Is it twenty-four hours?


Twenty-four by seven, by three sixty-five, for the rest of my life. Now, don’t get me wrong; okay? I’m not trying to get sympathy. Because you know what? If somebody said, Well, you can have Meniere’s or you can have pancreatic cancer, you know, what would you pick; right? So, nobody ever died from Meniere’s. So, I think it is maybe … the worst of the best diseases. There’s no cure for it. My interpretation is that I listen to so many crappy pitches during half an hour coffees [CHUCKLE] that it has physically ruined half my brain.


So, you must have less coffee meetings.


That’s right; that’s right. So, this is a physical reason why I shouldn’t meet.


Mahalo to Guy Kawasaki from Kalihi, to Northern California, with a following around the world, for sharing your remarkable story with us. And thank you, for joining us. For PBS Hawai‘i and Long Story Short, I’m Leslie Wilcox. Aloha, hui hou.


For audio and written transcripts of all episodes of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, visit To download free podcasts of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, go to the Apple iTunes Store or visit


When I was at Stanford, there were these Parent Days, and I used to see my friends’ parents come in their Porches and Lamborghinis, and Maseratis and all that, and Mercedes. And I said, Someday, I’m gonna buy a car like that. And I have bought cars like that. And … you know, this is forty years old or, you know, forty, fifty years old. Then I drive to Stanford, and I look at those kids playing basketball, and their biggest care in the world is … midterms. And I say, I wish I was back at Stanford. And they’re looking at me saying, I wish I was driving a Porsche. [CHUCKLE]



1 2 3