Written by on Feb 19, 2015. Posted in On Location

Hawaii’s Big Island gets TV filming boost but struggles to attract movies

Hawaii’s Big Island got a production boost in 2014 hosting the TV game show Wheel of Fortune, but the county still failed to attract any large-scale features. Recent movie productions like Battleship, Jurassic World and Godzilla have shot in other parts of the state, particularly Oahu.

The Big Island hosted nearly 70 shoots in 2014 but the vast majority were very low budget, reports the Hawaii Tribune-Herald. Wheel of Fortune spent USD 6 million but all the other shoots combined spent less than USD 3 million.

“We’ve had a steady stream of documentaries, reality shows, commercial shoots, and mostly smaller things, but it’s been a steady stream of those smaller things,” said Hawaii County Film Commissioner Ilihia Gionson in comments to the outlet.

“We’ve got a couple films looking at Hawaii for production in the future, but they are still in the early stages.”

Hawaii has had a strong production profile since the mystery drama Lost became an international sensation back in 2004, but larger films and TV shows rarely film on the Big Island. The 2010 sci-fi follow-up Predators was the last high-profile feature to film mainly on the Big Island.

Since Lost ended, the rebooted crime drama Hawaii Five-O has become a success and the state has also hosted Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, but the island of Oahu is usually chosen for filming.

Hawaii offers a filming tax credit programme of up to 25% and productions are in fact specifically incentivised to shoot on the Big Island.

(Photo: Universal Pictures)


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