Productions like Amy Schumer movie, ‘Hawaii Five-0’ TV series make state a player in film industry

Films shot and produced in Hawaii will pump millions of dollars into the state’s economy this year, according to the state film commissioner.

Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn are on Oahu shooting an untitled mother-daughter comedy that is scheduled to be in production on the island during most of the summer. Producers of other feature films are also considering going on location to Hawaii this year, State Film Commissioner Donne Dawson told Pacific Business News on Thursday, although she declined to be more specific.

Movies and TV shows like “Hawaii Five-0” – which will start filming its seventh season next month – that are produced in Hawaii bring money, exposure and jobs to the island economy.

In 2015, film production companies spent $244 million while working in the state. On average, the state’s economy receives $250 million annually from films produced in Hawaii. This includes money spent on supplies, labor, and goods and services.

“I cannot understate how important that is to the state economy,” Dawson said, mentioning the high number of visitors who come to Hawaii after seeing the islands in films.

Film projects create hundreds of jobs working as extras and crew members. Hiring locally both reduces costs for production companies and provides jobs for Hawaii residents. A total of 848 people — 728 residents and 120 nonresidents — were hired for the film starring Schumer and Hawn.

For many, films produced in Hawaii provide an entry point to the wider film industry.

“In an effort to conserve spending, [production companies] are going to hire local people 75 to 80 percent,” Dawson said. “That’s not necessarily key positions, but lower positions. Local people can then work their way through the ranks, taking on positions higher up. That’s the goal.”

Hawaii’s film production tax credit instituted in 2006 has proven instrumental in attracting major production companies to Hawaii, she said. The tax credit returns a certain percentage of production costs spent in-state back to production companies: 20 percent of expenses spent in Oahu and 25 percent in the Neighbor Islands.

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