Filming on the Hawaiian island of Kaua'i
I have been a location scout and manager in Hawaii for the past 30 years. I have lived on Kaua'i since 1975 and I think it's one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Film support and infrastructure is non-existant, but the island of Oahu's crew and equipment is nearby.
(Greenlee pictured on the left of the picture with Kaua'i Film Commissioner Art Umezu & former State Film Commissioner Donne Dawson).
Kaua'i is a circular island that is roughly 32 miles in diameter. Though small in stature, the island offers grand landscapes, diverse, exotic jungles, accessible waterfalls of all dimensions, navigable rivers and stunning coastlines.
A good deal of my scouting is for locations that do not look like Hawaii.
There are also some of the world's most beautiful beaches, mountain and canyon landscapes, as well as the infamous arid Waimea Canyon.
If I had to pick the most common reason that attracts filming on Kaua'i, I would have to say the rivers, waterfalls and jungles. Still, the diverse locations offer generic looks year-round and Kaua'i doubles for mainland locations during the winter months. A good deal of my scouting is for locations that do not look like Hawaii.
You need to allow ample time to permit; at least a week and sometimes several weeks.
Kaua'i's Mount Waialeale is one of the wettest spots on Earth. It is located in the centre of the island and consistently feeds the streams, rivers and waterfalls. The rain belts are as diverse as the landscapes, so weather is not often an issue. The wet season is November through February. During these months, fronts can blow through that last several days.
The main airport is Lihue Airport and there are direct flights from the mainland, as well as hourly inter-island flights from Oahu. There is a barge that sails from Oahu a few times a week that can bring trucks and equipment. All of the hotels on Kaua'i are film-friendly and compete for the business.
It is standard to have a Hawaiian blessing at the start of shooting.
Permitting with the state and county agencies is challenging in Hawaii, and recent Government cutbacks have not helped the situation. You need to allow ample time to permit; at least a week and sometimes several weeks. In addition, there are Hawaiian cultural sensitivities that need to be acknowledged and respected. The land is sacred, has spirit and one needs to ask permission to work. It is standard to have a Hawaiian blessing at the start of shooting.
Kaua'i is the land of gentry and location fees reflect that. In addition, all goods are shipped to the island and this results in a higher-than-average cost of living. It is reflected in everything from food to gas. There are tax credits that the state of Hawaii offers that assist in deflecting this. Please contact the State Film Office for those details.
Kaua'i is also the land of outdoor activities. There is world-class surf, fishing, kayaking, hiking, atv and zip line companies, horse rides, nature exploration of all kinds, mountain bike trails and river excursions, not to mention helicopter and boat tours of the Napali Coast.
Click here to contact KK.
Global Filming Incentive - Hawaii (see more…)
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