State Film Commissions Guide: Hawaii

State Film Commissions Guide: Hawaii

What are some of the greatest financial perks of filming in your state? Hawaii is a very special place, with its own unique history and eclectic
local culture. While filmmakers can enjoy the ease and familiarity of
shooting within the United States, there may be local customs and
sensitivities to heed, such as the environmental or cultural
considerations of a particular shooting locations. The Hawaii Film
Office offers one-stop-shop film permitting to productions large and
small. This relieves the filmmaker of having to hunt down individual
state agencies for permission to shoot. The county film offices also
have their own respective permit application processes for city/county
administered locations. The fees to use state locations for filming are
very reasonable. Most locations are offered at no charge. The State
parks charge a fee of $100 per day. The City and County of Honolulu
does have a sliding scale fee for certain locations.

What tax credits are available for productions in your state? We offer a generous refundable tax credit of 15-20% for film,
television, commercial and digital media productions. This tax credit
is based on a production company’s Hawaii expenditure while producing a
qualified, film, television, commercial or digital media project. The
credit equals 15% of qualified production costs incurred on Oahu and 20 %
on the Neighbor Islands (Big Island, Kauai, Maui, Lanai & Molokai).
Qualifying projects must have qualified expenditures equal to or
exceeding $200,000. Any one project can claim up to $8 million in tax

What are some of the locations in your state that filmmakers should know about? There are many iconic locations here in Hawaii that have been sed
filmmakers from around the world. From the beach at Halona Cove in the
Oscar winning film “From Here to Eternity” to the streets of Waikiki
that shown weekly on the reboot of the CBS television series”Hawaii
Five-0″, filmmakers love to use Hawaii backdrops in their films. We
have universally tropical and natural locations with brilliant lighting,
under secure, familiar and professional production circumstances.
Hawaii is the most geographically isolated land mass on the planet and
is home to 11 of the world’s 13 climatic zones. Filmmakers find the
diverse looks of Africa, Asia, Central and South America and Pacifica.
Beyond our natural beauty and perfect weather Hawaii has an established
film industry with a solid infrastructure.

Are there studios and soundstages that the state hosts that filmmakers should know about? The Hawaii Film Office manages the state-owned Hawaii Film Studio
complex, which houses a 16,500 s.f. soundstage, 12, s.f. shooting stage,
production offices, set construction mill and a 94,000 gallon insert

What can you tell us about talented labor in your state? Do you have robust union representation? Hawaii boasts seasoned film crews and accomplished local acting talent.
We have several local chapters of film labor unions, including
SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, Teamsters, AFM & IBEW. We also have an
association of production coordinators with expertise in assisting
foreign productions coming to the U.S. to shoot. With local labor union
support, Hawaii has a long standing visa waiver program in place to
fast track visas for foreign film productions visiting from certain
countries. For more information on the visa waiver program contact HIFA
( Hawaii International Film Association) @ 808 589-1991

Are there deals that you have with equipment, craft service or other suppliers to make these services more affordable? The Hawaii Film Office is happy to provide information to
production companies that will direct the filmmakers to location
equipment companies with expertise in the film industry.

What are some of the recent productions that produced films in your state? Hawaii has recently played host to the following productions:
“The Last Resort” – ABC television series
“Hawaii Five-0” – CBS television series
“The River”- ABC television series
“Journey 2 – The Mysterious Island”
“Pirates of the Caribbean-On Stranger Tides”
“Just Go With It”
“Tropic Thunder”

What cities have their own film commissions in your state?  In addition to the State of Hawaii Film Office, every island
county has a film office, Kauai, (Oahu) Honolulu, Maui and the Big
Island of Hawaii.

should filmmakers do if they’re interested in shooting a film in your
state? Who should they contact if they have more questions?
Visit our website:

in the incentives offered by other state film commissions? Check out
Indiewire’s full guide to state film commissions HERE.

This Article is related to: Filmmaker Toolkit and tagged ,

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