Hawaiian Film And Television Industry: Behind The Scenes

Have you ever wondered about the fascinating world behind the Hawaiian film and television industry? From breathtaking landscapes to talented actors, this captivating realm is much more than what meets the eye. In this article, you will get an exclusive glimpse behind the scenes, discovering the hard work, dedication, and creativity that go into creating the captivating stories that transport us to the beautiful Hawaiian islands. Get ready to immerse yourself in the world of lights, cameras, and action, as we unveil the secrets of the Hawaiian film and television industry.

Hawaii Film and Television Industry

Brief overview

The Hawaii film and television industry has seen steady growth over the years, with the beautiful landscapes and unique culture of the islands attracting numerous productions. From blockbuster movies to popular television series, Hawaii has become a sought-after destination for filmmakers and content creators alike. This article will delve into the historical background, current state, key players, and challenges and opportunities of the Hawaiian film and television industry.

Historical background

Hawaii’s rich history in the film industry dates back to the early 20th century when the first movies featuring the islands’ stunning scenery were produced. The advent of sound in films further increased the demand for tropical locations, and Hawaii quickly became a popular choice. In the 1950s, the iconic television series “Hawaii Five-O” put the islands on the world’s radar, sparking ongoing interest in filming in Hawaii. Over the years, the industry has grown, attracting major productions and establishing Hawaii as a recognized filming destination.

Current state

Today, the Hawaii film and television industry is thriving, with a significant number of productions being filmed on the islands each year. Hollywood blockbusters such as “Jurassic Park” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” have showcased Hawaii’s diverse landscapes, while television shows like “Lost” and “Hawaii Five-0” have captured audiences worldwide. The appeal of Hawaii is not limited to traditional film and television productions, as the rise of streaming platforms has opened up new opportunities for content creation in the form of documentaries, reality shows, and digital series.

Film Production in Hawaii

Film studios and production companies

Hawaii boasts several film studios and production companies that cater to the needs of both local and international filmmakers. These facilities offer state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure, providing a conducive environment for film production. Some of the notable studios include Hawaii Film Studio, Kualoa Ranch, and Maui Film Office. Production companies such as EndGame Entertainment and Sunnyside Up Entertainment have also made a mark in the industry by producing films and television shows in Hawaii.

READ ALSO:  Discover the Exciting Waikiki Adventure Tours

Key players in the industry

The Hawaii film and television industry is driven by a talented pool of individuals who play pivotal roles in bringing stories to life. Local directors, actors, and crew members form an essential part of the industry, infusing their expertise and passion into every production. Notable directors like Alexander Payne and Brett Haley have chosen Hawaii as the backdrop for their award-winning films, while actors such as Jason Momoa and Kelly Hu have risen to fame through their performances in Hawaii-based productions.

Film incentives in Hawaii

To attract more productions, Hawaii offers various film incentives that help make filming in the islands more cost-effective. The Hawaii Film Office provides tax credits for eligible productions, allowing filmmakers to offset a portion of their qualified production costs. Additionally, the Production Assistance Program offers financial assistance to local filmmakers, encouraging the growth of the local film industry. These incentives have been instrumental in attracting filmmakers from all over the world, contributing to the economic growth of the state.

Television Production in Hawaii

Popular television series filmed in Hawaii

One of the primary contributors to Hawaii’s place in the television industry is the multitude of series filmed on the islands. From crime dramas to reality TV shows, Hawaii has become a favored location for many successful productions. “Hawaii Five-O,” which originally aired from 1968 to 1980 and was later revamped in 2010, has become an iconic representation of Hawaii in the realm of television. Other notable series include “Lost,” “Magnum P.I.,” and “Caution: Hawaii at Work,” all of which have garnered dedicated fan bases and showcased the beauty of the islands.

Television production companies

A number of television production companies have made their mark in Hawaii, working on both local and international projects. High-profile companies like CBS Productions, ABC Studios, and Universal Television have chosen to base their productions in Hawaii, utilizing the breathtaking landscapes and vibrant culture for their storytelling. Additionally, local production companies, such as Hawaii Film Partners and Makani Kai Films, have been instrumental in fostering local talent and bringing unique Hawaiian stories to the screen.

Challenges and opportunities

While the Hawaii television production industry offers numerous opportunities, it also faces its fair share of challenges. One of the primary challenges is competition with other filming locations. As more destinations offer attractive incentives and accessible filming locations, Hawaii must continuously work to maintain its status as a top choice for producers. Additionally, the need to strike a balance between catering to the demands of international productions and telling authentic Hawaiian stories presents a unique challenge and opportunity for the industry.

Behind the Scenes: Jobs in the Industry

Actors and actresses

A vibrant local talent pool has emerged in Hawaii, with actors and actresses playing crucial roles in both film and television productions. From established talents like Nicole Scherzinger and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to emerging stars, the island’s actors bring diversity and authenticity to the portrayals of Hawaiian characters and stories. The industry also provides opportunities for local actors to gain exposure and launch successful careers on a global scale.

Directors and producers

Hawaii has fostered a growing community of directors and producers who contribute significantly to the film and television industry. These visionaries bring their creativity and expertise to every project, turning scripts into captivating visual narratives. Local directors have received international recognition for their work, earning accolades at film festivals and contributing to the artistic reputation of the islands.

READ ALSO:  Which Market On The Island Of Molokai Is Famous For Its Traditional Hawaiian Arts And Crafts?

Cinematographers and film crews

Behind the scenes, cinematographers and film crews work tirelessly to capture the beauty of Hawaii on camera. They are responsible for the technical aspects of production, ranging from lighting to camera operation. The challenging terrain and diverse shooting locations in Hawaii require skilled crews capable of adapting to the unique demands of each project. These professionals ensure that filmmakers can fully utilize the stunning backdrops that the islands offer.

Behind the Scenes: Locations and Sets

Famous filming locations in Hawaii

Hawaii is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, ensuring that every shot captured on film is visually stunning. Some of the most famous filming locations in Hawaii include the scenic beaches of Waikiki, the lush rainforests of Kauai, and the majestic cliffs of the Napali Coast. These iconic locations have been featured in numerous films and television shows, captivating audiences with their natural beauty and diversity.

Set design and construction

With a wealth of unique stories being told in Hawaii, set design and construction play a crucial role in bringing these narratives to life. From recreating ancient Hawaiian villages to building futuristic sets, the artistry and attention to detail in the design and construction process are vital in creating immersive worlds for the audience. The industry relies on talented set designers, carpenters, and props craftsmen to transform the vision of filmmakers into tangible sets.

Location scouting and management

The process of location scouting and management is integral to the success of film and television production in Hawaii. Dedicated professionals scout the islands for suitable filming locations, considering factors such as accessibility, permits, and environmental impact. Once a location is chosen, precise management ensures the smooth operation of the production, handling logistics, and securing any necessary permits.

Hawaii’s Contribution to the Entertainment World

Hawaiian stories and culture in films and TV shows

Hawaii’s rich history and vibrant culture have inspired countless films and television shows. From stories centered around ancient Hawaiian legends and traditions to modern-day narratives that showcase the diversity of the islands, Hawaiian stories have captivated audiences worldwide. By incorporating cultural elements and indigenous perspectives, these productions contribute to a more inclusive and diverse entertainment landscape.

Hawaii’s influence on the portrayal of the tropics

Hawaii’s portrayal in film and television has had a significant impact on how the tropics are perceived globally. The stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and welcoming spirit of the islands have made Hawaii the quintessential representation of paradise. This influence has shaped the way audiences visualize and understand tropical destinations, and has established Hawaii as the gold standard for portraying island life on screen.

Contribution to the global entertainment industry

The Hawaii film and television industry has made a substantial impact on the global entertainment landscape. Its success has not only created opportunities for local talent but has also stimulated economic growth through job creation and tourism. The industry’s contributions go beyond entertainment, as the stories told in Hawaii serve as a platform for cultural exchange, fostering understanding and appreciation of the islands’ unique heritage.

Economic Impact and Tourism

Direct and indirect economic impact

The Hawaii film and television industry contributes significantly to the state’s economy through direct and indirect means. Direct economic impact includes revenue generated from film production spending, job creation, and infrastructure development. Indirect economic impact encompasses the ripple effect of production-related activities, such as increased spending on accommodations, hospitality, and local businesses. The industry’s positive economic impact extends beyond the duration of filming, leaving a lasting effect on the local economy.

READ ALSO:  Ancient Hawaiian Culture And Traditions

Increase in tourism and attractions

The exposure gained through film and television productions has led to a surge in tourism to Hawaii. Travelers from around the world are drawn to the islands to experience the same breathtaking scenery showcased on the screen. This influx of visitors contributes to the growth of Hawaii’s tourism industry, supporting hotels, restaurants, and various attractions. Filming locations and sets often become popular tourist destinations, offering fans a chance to immerse themselves in the world of their favorite films and shows.

Promotion of Hawaii as a filming destination

The film and television industry acts as a powerful marketing tool for Hawaii, promoting the islands as a premier filming destination. The iconic landscapes and vibrant culture showcased in productions create an allure that attracts both filmmakers and tourists. Through effective marketing strategies, the Hawaii Film Office actively promotes the islands as a sought-after location, encouraging more productions to choose Hawaii as their backdrop.

Challenges and Opportunities

Competition with other filming locations

As the film and television industry becomes increasingly globalized, Hawaii faces competition from other desirable filming locations. Destinations across the globe offer attractive incentives, unique landscapes, and accessible resources, making it crucial for Hawaii to stay competitive. Continuous effort must be made to showcase the distinct advantages that Hawaii offers, such as its diverse natural beauty, cultural authenticity, and experienced local industry professionals.

Taking advantage of unique landscapes and culture

Hawaii’s unique landscapes and rich culture provide a wealth of opportunities for the film and television industry. The islands’ volcanic formations, pristine beaches, and lush rainforests offer filmmakers an incredible canvas to tell visually captivating stories. By leveraging the distinct characteristics of Hawaii, the industry can create memorable and immersive experiences for audiences worldwide.

Workforce development and education

Investing in workforce development and education is key to the sustainable growth of the Hawaii film and television industry. By providing training and educational programs, aspiring filmmakers can gain the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in the industry. Fostering collaboration between industry professionals, local schools, and training institutions can create a pipeline of talent, ensuring a strong and diverse workforce for future productions.

Future Prospects and Development

Expansion of the film and television industry

The future of the Hawaii film and television industry looks promising, with the potential for expansion and growth. The increasing popularity of streaming platforms and the demand for fresh content present new opportunities for creators. Continued investment in infrastructure and technology, coupled with favorable incentives, can position Hawaii as a hub for film and television production for years to come.

Industry collaborations and partnerships

Collaborations and partnerships between local and international industry players are crucial for the development of the Hawaii film and television industry. By fostering relationships with major studios and production companies, Hawaii can attract high-profile projects and establish itself as a trusted filming destination. Consistent collaboration can also facilitate knowledge sharing, leading to innovation and the discovery of new talent and stories.

Predictions and forecasts

While it is challenging to predict the exact trajectory of the Hawaii film and television industry, there are optimistic forecasts for its continued growth. With the digital streaming landscape expanding and the demand for content increasing globally, Hawaii is well-positioned to capitalize on these opportunities. Furthermore, the industry’s ability to adapt to evolving technologies and storytelling formats will be a determining factor in its long-term success.


The Hawaii film and television industry has experienced significant growth and success, driven by its stunning landscapes, rich culture, and talented workforce. From providing employment opportunities to contributing to the local economy, the industry’s impact extends far beyond entertainment. With its unique identity and enticing blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage, Hawaii has firmly established itself as a premier filming destination. As the industry continues to evolve, collaborations, workforce development, and an ongoing commitment to authenticity will be vital in ensuring its continued growth and success. The future prospects for the Hawaii film and television industry are incredibly bright, with endless opportunities for creativity and cultural exchange on the horizon.