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U.S.A – Hawaii

Hawaii Film & Photography Production Services & Camera Crews

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Hawaii? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.

Filming in Hawaii

For an introduction to shooting in Hawaii see below notes on film locations, permits, when to shoot, unique local stories, costs, tax incentives, crews, talent, equipment, communications, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits for filming, transport, film-friendly accommodation, and safety advice.

Hawaii Film Locations

Hawaii is best known for its stunning beaches, lush tropical settings, and a rich Polynesian heritage.

Hawaii (Big Island) has black sand beaches, white sand beaches, green sand beaches, rainforests, waterfalls, verdant green grass ranches, scenic highways, volcanoes. Locations of particular interest to filmmakers and photographers include Akaka Falls, Rainbow Falls, Waipio Valley, Pu’u O’o Crater, Ahalanui Park, Green Sand Beach, Boiling Pots, Hapuna Beach, Punalu’u Beach, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Kahua Ranch, Kiholo Bay, and Mauna Kea volcano skiing.

Oahu locations of interest include Honolulu, Waikiki Beach, Pearl Harbor War Memorials, Waihee Valley, Byodo-In temple, Kualoa Ranch, Makapuu Beach Park, Waimea Bay, Chinaman’s Hat, Kailua Beach, Lanikai Beach, and Mokuleia Beach. The H-3 Highway is an impressive car commercial location running through tunnels and along viaducts over green valleys. Point Break (1991) surf scenes filmed in Waimea Bay.

Kauai locations of note include Lumahai Beach, Honopu White Sand Beach, Tunnels Beach, Makua Beach, Kipu Kai, Kee Beach, Polihale Beach, Polihale Beach, Poaa Point, Kilauea Lighthouse, Wailua Falls, Kokee State Park, Hanalei Valley Wildlife Refuge, Hanakapiai Valley, Blue Hole, Mt. Kahili, Mahaulepu Sand Dunes, Waimea Canyon, Taro Fields, Olokele Canyon, Tropical Jungle, Makana Ridge, Haena, Wailua River Valley, and Waimea Canyon. Much of Jurassic Park (1993) filmed on the island.

Maui locations include Wailua Falls, Haleakala National Park, Makena Beach & Golf Resort, Koki Beach, Hamoa Beach, and Waianapanapa State Park.

Lanai locations include Maunalei Gulch, Polihua Beach, Garden of the Gods.

Molokai locations include mountains, North Shore, Halawa, and Hale O Lono Harbor. Pu’uka’oku Falls are one of the tallest waterfalls in the world.

Hawaii also has sugarcane, pineapple, macadamia nuts, and coffee plantations available for filming.

Hawaii has hosted a long list of productions including Avatar, Jurassic Park (1993), Pirates of the Caribbean, Hunger Games, Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), Die Another Day, Point Break (1991), Waterworld, Hawaii Five-0, Magnum P.I., and Lost.

Hawaii Film Location Permits

Location permits are required for filming and still photography on public property such as city streets, parks, beaches, highways, and other state facilities. Hawaiians are serious about persevering their environment and culture, so special rules may apply depending on the location. Permitting generally takes about five days to process. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Hawaii has 11 of the world’s 13 climatic zones. The winters are warm and the summers are hot. The tops of the volcanoes often have snow in the winter months. It rains somewhere in Hawaii almost every day of the year, but typically only for very short intervals. The western side of all islands tends to be warmer and drier.

Albatross chicks are hunted by tiger sharks in the north western Hawaiian islands for a couple of weeks as they learn to fly around July / August.

Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in the United States.

Unique Local Stories

Brands are looking for local stories that match their brand narrative. Our local teams are a great lead for sourcing those unique stories and characters.

If you are looking for stories for your next shoot, send us your brief and we will pitch you ideas.

If you have a unique story you would like to pitch to a brand anywhere in the world, pitch us your idea. We have well-established processes to ensure that your ideas are properly seen and protected.

Hawaii Tax Incentives For Filming

Hawaii offers a refundable tax credit. This includes 20% of qualified production costs incurred on Oahu, and 25% on the neighbouring islands (Big Island, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai). The incentive is available for film, television, commercial, and digital media projects. Contact the Hawaii Film Office for more information.

Hawaii Film Crew & Talent

Crew. Hawaii is home to a good depth of internationally experienced crews.

Contact us if you are looking for a Hawaii, Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Lanai, or Molokai based director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew in Hawaii.

Talent. Hawaii’s population is predominately Asian, Caucasian, and Native Hawaiian. Asian Americans are the largest group with most being of a Filipino, Japanese, or Chinese background. Movie character stereotypes include surfers, and an assortment of other laid back characters.

Hawaii Film Equipment

Equipment. Hawaii has some standard grip, lighting and camera gear for hire locally. More specialised gear needs to be brought in.

Communications. Communication is key. Our agility and global experience allows us to customise the right communications systems for every shoot.

Web posted casting, scouting, and videoconferencing.

For clients that are unable to attend set we offer a virtual video village solution. This dedicated and secure high-resolution video streaming platform allows clients from one or multiple timezones to view setups without compromise and to participate in real-time with the team on set. Separate systems can be set up for the discrete conversations that are required to make a job run right. Working remotely with our local teams reduces your content production costs, turnaround times, carbon footprint, and risks associated with unpredictable global events.

Hawaii Studios & Post Production

Studios. Hawaii has a studio just outside of Honolulu which includes a large soundstage, props, production offices, and other facilities.

Hawaii Film-Friendly Accommodation

Please contact us for recommended film friendly hotels in Hawaii, Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Lanai, and Molokai.

Final Notes

Safety. Hawaii is a very safe and reliable place for foreign productions to shoot. See here for up to date travel advice.

Down Time. Beach time. Hawaiian luau.

Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Hawaii, please see below:

Hire Hawaii Production Support & Shooting Crew

If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Hawaii, please contact us.

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Hawaii, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.

We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.