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State Film Commissions Guide: Hawaii

Indiewire By Indiewire | Indiewire July 15, 2013 at 12:58PM

State Film Commissions Guide: Hawaii
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Hawaii State Film Commission "Tropic Thunder"
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 credits

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 tank.



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.

Hawaii State Film Commission "Lost"



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"
"Battleship"
"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.

What 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: www.hawaiifilmoffice.com


Interested 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: State Film Commissions Guide, Filmmaker Toolkit