Waikiki Beach gets a monster makeover from 'Godzilla' shoot

Published On: Jul 10 2013 06:13:00 PM HST

Godzilla is back and that means some of Hawaii's hot-spots are getting a monster makeover. Production heads are calling it an epic rebirth of the classic movie. Hawaii will be the backdrop of about 20 percent of the motion picture, "Godzilla." The huge sets and commotion were a pleasant surprise for many tourists.

"I thought something was destroyed over there recently or something. I didn't know it was a movie set until I came close up to it ... it was awesome because I remember as a kid I used to watch "Godzilla" a lot," said William Ding visiting from Louisiana.

"I've seen the old one, I heard they were coming out with a new one (but) didn't realize it was going to be filmed here out in Hawaii," said Heather Rattray, visiting from San Francisco.

The plot of the new movie is being kept a secret. But, we learned in this scene a federal emergency management triage center is set up because something the night before destroyed a part of Waikiki Beach. The scene shows a hero saving a boy and then tries to reunite him with his family.

It took two full days of setup.

"When you step onto the set, say this set is half-acre in size, it's pretty big. If you've never seen a movie come to life before, this is as big as it gets," said Ernie Malik, the movie's publicity coordinator.

There are 200 crew members and 250 extras in the shoot. Sixteen real Honolulu firemen and 28 National Guardsmen were used as extras. Producers said it's the biggest shoot that's taken place on Waikiki Beach.

"Everyone who sees this movie will see Hawaii. They will see beautiful backdrops, the ocean, Diamond Head. I think ... it invites people to come to this place," said Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

The crew also set up a tiki bar on the beach for two night shoots. The film is expected to have tremendous special effects. The movie is slated to open on May 16th, 2014.


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