Hawaii’s variety of tropical settings from lush landscapes to arid volcanic geology, sea cliffs, dense jungle, idyllic beaches, world class resorts and unique blend of architecture attracts everything from advertising work to high-end feature films and long-running TV series. A tax credit of 20-25% on your total Hawaii spend (including all labor both ATL and BTL, resident and non-resident alike) applies to film, television, commercials and digital media projects.
The Pacific Islands are well placed to welcome work from both the East and the West and continue to expand as a production destination and foster its reputation as a film friendly locale. Honolulu, the production hub of the state was one of the first destinations that encouraged incoming productions to return on June 3, 2020 with workable guidelines and a successful film-industry only modified quarantine programme for entry that was replicated across the world.
Honolulu, Hawaii has a long history of facilitating iconic TV series. It was home to the first series shot entirely on location (Hawaii Five-0, 1968 – 1980), and shows like LOST, that showcased its spectacular diversity doubling for a multitude of global locations throughout its 6 year run as diverse as England, Korea, Australia, New York, Iowa and a mysterious island.
In recent years’ big budget feature films including the Jurassic World Trilogy, Sony’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Jumanji: The Next Level; Kong: Skull Island, Godzilla vs Kong and the Taika Waititi/Imaginarium collaboration Next Goal Wins are some of the feature films that have been attracted to the islands.
The only purpose-built government-owned stage in the US is in Honolulu, the Hawaii Film Studio which sits on seven acres at the base of world famous Diamond Head Crater. It has one 16,500 square foot soundstage with 29 ft. clear span interior height, an insert-size water tank, production offices, parking and a mill.
Production taking place on Oahu are supported with a 20% tax credit, while production on the neighboring islands receives a 5% uplift for a 25% credit.
There are five film offices to serve the needs of production, one at the state that administers the Hawaii Production tax credit, and a film office in each of the counties of Honolulu, Kauai, Maui and Hawaii Island that serve as the on-the-ground specialists for their respective jurisdictions.
Hawaii Film Office – filmoffice.hawaii.gov | firstname.lastname@example.org
Honolulu Film Office – www.filmhonolulu.com | email@example.com
Maui Film Office – www.filmmaui.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
Kauai Film Commission – www.filmkauai.com | email@example.com
Hawaii Island Film Office – www.hawaiiislandfilm.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
Hawaii offers two seasons although not much distinguishes them. Summer runs from May to September and the rest of the year falls into ‘Winter.’ The state is characterized by year-round mild temperatures, with Summer highs of about 30C and Winter conditions falling to 24C during the day and about 20C at night.
It rains somewhere in the Hawaiian Islands every day – the city of Hilo is the wettest in the US with up to 200 inches of rainfall every year. Hurricanes are very rare and tropical storms are more common in the Spring months.