News / USA

Hawaii Enjoys Financial Boost from TV Show

'Hawaii Five-0' helps state attract TV and film productions

"Hawaii Five-0" stars Scott Caan and Grace Park film on location on the beach.
"Hawaii Five-0" stars Scott Caan and Grace Park film on location on the beach.

Multimedia

Audio
Heidi Chang

For years, Hawaii has been a popular destination for tourists, but now it’s making a name for itself as a TV and film production hub.

A reboot of the 1960s police drama "Hawaii Five-O," which helped develop the state’s movie industry decades ago, is once again boosting its economy.

When the original "Hawaii Five-O" premiered in 1968, it was the first television series to shoot on location in Hawaii, providing a shot in the arm to the state's TV and film industry, as well as its number one economic engine - tourism.

About 40 years later, in  2010, when CBS began producing a new version of the show, the state began reaping the benefits again.

"Hawaii Five-0" has contributed significantly to Hawaii’s economy, not just in production, but in what they do to help promote the destination. "Hawaii Five-0" is a buzz word everywhere," says Georja Skinner, head of the Hawaii State Film Office, "whether you're on FaceBook or Twitter or you watch broadcast television. For us, it is a huge enormous pump into our tourism economy, as well as our local economy. "

(From right) Alex O'Loughlin, Grace Park, Scott Caan and Daniel Dae Kim of the CBS series "Hawaii Five-0"
(From right) Alex O'Loughlin, Grace Park, Scott Caan and Daniel Dae Kim of the CBS series "Hawaii Five-0"

According to Skinner, production companies spent $400 million filming in Hawaii last year, making it the state's best year ever.

Hawaii has also been getting good publicity from several recent movies which were made here.

"I think the whole "Pirates of the Carribbean," "Soul Surfer," films like "Just Go With It," these are big feature films that have really showcased Hawaii in a great way," Skinner says. "And we’re very excited about "The Descendants," a film based on a book by a Hawaii writer, Kaui Hart Hemmings, and that film will be coming out this year. It is the first time that people will see Hawaii in a different light than they’re used to seeing it."

"The Descendants" director Alexander Payne (left) with star George Clooney during filming in Hawaii.
"The Descendants" director Alexander Payne (left) with star George Clooney during filming in Hawaii.

"The Descendants" stars George Clooney as a man who learns devastating information about his comatose wife as she lies dying.  

"Shooting in Hawaii is one of the reasons I wanted to make this film and not just for the obvious reasons; the sun and surf and all of that," says Alexander Payne, who directed the movie. "My previous visits to Hawaii had taught me that there's a very interesting and complex social fabric there that I wanted to get to know a little bit more, as much as I could, and try to represent it faithfully on screen."

While luring film productions hasn’t been easy, Skinner says tax incentives passed five years ago have helped.  

"Some states will allocate funds that they give to productions to lure them there. We don’t do that here in Hawaii. The most important thing about the credit that is in our state, is that it requires a workforce development component. And the studios, and all the productions, whether they’re from locally based projects or national or international, they all use local labor."

To qualify for a tax credit in Hawaii, productions must provide internships or contribute to the state’s public schools through funding, equipment donations or education programs.  

"We compete more with global destinations, so New Zealand, Australia, Puerto Rico, often other tropical locales," says Skinner, "but we’re much more than just a tropical location."

According to Skinner, the ABC TV drama "Lost," which premiered in 2004 and ran for six seasons, showed the world that Hawaii could double for places like Korea, Iraq, England, Africa and even Russia, covered in snow.

Now, she says, the new "Hawaii Five-0" is also reviving interest in the Hawaiian islands as a vacation spot.

Star Alex O'Loughlin (right) celebrates the second season premiere of "Hawaii Five-0" with fans in Honolulu on Sept. 10.
Star Alex O'Loughlin (right) celebrates the second season premiere of "Hawaii Five-0" with fans in Honolulu on Sept. 10.

About 10,000 people turned out to kick off the premiere of season two at a special screening on Waikiki Beach. Fans traveled from as far away as Europe and Australia to see the "Hawaii Five-0" cast, including Australian actor Alex O’Loughlin, who plays Detective Steve McGarrett, head of the crime-fighting team.  

"I’m from Germany," said one fan along the red carpet, "and I came here for sunset on the beach and to see Alex."

Another fan came from Australia. "I’m from a town in New South Wales. It's my first time overseas. I got a passport for this very occasion. So I’m here to see Alex and the cast and I’m so excited about it."

For "Hawaii Five-0" executive producer Peter Lenkov, filming in Hawaii lends a certain authenticity which can't be recreated on a sound stage.

"You know it’s "Hawaii Five-0," so I think you couldn’t shoot this show anywhere else," he says. "What gives it an edge? I think it’s just the people, the location. It’s just unique."  

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid