TV, film producers hang ten in Hawaii

Hawaii Five-0 Stars | CBS photo

TV, film producers hang ten in Hawaii
Aired on American Public Media’s “Marketplace Radio” on September 20, 2010

By Heidi Chang

BILL RADKE: Hawaii has become a magnet lately for TV and film production. Good timing, too, because the show that made that state a TV icon in the 60s and 70s is back.

Here’s reporter Heidi Chang in Honolulu.

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HEIDI CHANG: Hawaii is riding a pretty good wave right now when it comes to luring TV and film productions to its shores. Just ask Georja Skinner. She’s at the helm of the state’s Creative Industries Division.

GEORJA SKINNER: This has been an incredible year for Hawaii in terms of our production expenditures. It is the biggest year ever for our state and we are at $347 million right now.

Skinner says the state’s tax incentives have played a big role in attracting film business from other parts of the world.

SKINNER: It’s not so much anymore the beauty of your location or the qualified crew. If you don’t have your tax incentive — which is the first thing productions ask about — then you’re not a competitor.

The global success of the TV series “Lost,” which was filmed entirely in Hawaii, helped convince the state to increase its tax incentives. Because of its positive partnership with Hawaii, ABC is back again filming another series called, “Off the Map.” But the show getting the most buzz this fall is the one that put Hawaii on the map. A new version of “Hawaii Five-0” debuts tonight.

To celebrate, CBS held a special premiere on the beach in Waikiki. One of the main actors in the new “Hawaii Five-0” is Daniel Dae Kim, who also starred in “Lost.” During that show’s six-year run, Kim saw a spike in TV and film production in Hawaii.

DANIEL DAE KIM: It showed that creative people can live here and work here. There’s a certain spirit to this island that extends to crews and casts that come here, and I really appreciate the spirit that they bring to work everyday.

The original “Hawaii Five-O” premiered in 1968, and ran for 12 seasons. Now, many like Georja Skinner, hope the new series will bring even more films crews and visitors to the Islands.

SKINNER: “Hawaii Five-0” coming back to the Islands and really putting Hawaii in everyone’s living room every week, is the greatest boom for our state that there could be.

In Honolulu, I’m Heidi Chang for Marketplace.

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