PBN: Hawaii to continue as a blockbuster movie location

Published On: May 02 2013 06:30:00 PM HST

Hawaii's had its share of big screen blockbusters throughout the years.  From "Jurassic Park" to the filming of the new "Hunger Games," it seems there's always some production crew filming in our islands.

Our partners at Pacific Business News say that's a trend that certainly looks like it will continue.

Hawaii is known as a prime location for filming movies, but according to the Hawaii Film Office, "Hawaii-wood" faces some tough competition from around the world.
It's all about cash, in the form of production tax credits.

"More than 40 states offer aggressive incentive programs," said Donne Dawson, State Film Commissioner.

Since 2006, Hawaii's film tax credit sat at 15 percent for the island of Oahu and 20 percent for neighboring islands.  That's less than at least 25 other states. California offers up to 25 percent credit.

"We have continued to see Hawaii struggle in competition with other countries and other states," said Dawson.

A vote of confidence from Hawaii lawmakers may change that.  Our partners at Pacific Business news say our state is boosting Hawaii's film tax credit by 5 percent and extending it into 2019.

"This enhancement of our credit is going to send a very strong message to Hollywood, to the industry that Hawaii is in this," said Dawson.

Dean Des Jarlais co-owns Hawaii Media Incorporated. His production and rental company has 10 full-time employees.

"The producers are very akamai, they know where the best deals are and that's where they take their shows, so by us increasing it, it makes Hawaii that more attractive," said Des Jarlais.

Local experts believe Hawaii's film industry is about to get busy.  PBN reports movies already looking to film in Hawaii include "Jurassic Park 4," "Godzilla," "Pirates of the Caribbean 5," and an upcoming movie featuring Angelina Jolie.

"Our business can be seasonal, you can have highs and lows, but now it looks like the work will be more continuous through the year."

Des Jarlais says he expects productions to pick up over the next two to three years. Hawaii's film industry created 2,500 jobs last year.


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