Hawaii Film Blog

Friday, September 08, 2006

Film Studios: If We Build 'Em, Will You Come?

Hawaii Film Studio's "Stage 2"

Pacific Business News featured a cover story today on the current state of Hawaii's film studios and soundstages. If you've been reading this blog, you already know that the Hawaii Film Office manages the largest soundstage in the state, located within the 7.5-acre Hawaii Film Studio lot. Currently, the entire lot is being rented out by ABC's "Lost," the only major network TV series we have here right now.

Back in 2004, when there were 3 network series being filmed simultaneously ("Lost" plus Fox's "North Shore" and NBC's "Hawaii"), there was a bit of a scramble for stage space. Why only the one studio? Running a film studio is an expensive endeavor, and even we have had a good deal of trouble finding tenants over the years (see timeline below). But now that we have a 15-20% production tax credit on the books, we expect a new scramble for stage space.

Enter a handful of private entities looking to build film studios on Oahu. These guys are betting on a continuous flow of productions to lease their upcoming studios. If they build them, will you come?

Hawaii Film Studio: A Timeline

  • Mid-70s: Original portion of studio leased by the University of Hawaii (UH) to CBS to build temporary facility for “Hawaii Five-O”
  • 1989: Studio lease transferred from UH to Dept. of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT), with Universal Studios managing complex after “Magnum P.I.” ends. Studio known as “Diamond Head Studio.”
  • 1990: Universal Studios terminates management agreement because not financially feasible. DBEDT's Hawaii Film Office takes over studio management and renames studio “Oahu Film Facility.”
  • 1992-1994: $10M Capital Improvement Project Phase I results in building of “Stage 2” soundstage (16,500 s.f., 29’ clear span height). Studio renamed "Hawaii Film Studio."
  • 2005-2006: $7.3M Capital Improvement Project Phase II results in building of new production office building and technical building (mill, set dressing).

Longer-term tenants have included: “Hawaii Five-O,” “Magnum P.I.,” “Jake and the Fatman,” “Raven,” “The Byrds of Paradise,” “One West Waikiki,” Square USA (for "Final Fantasy"), “Baywatch Hawaii,” “Blue Crush,” “Hawaii," “North Shore,” and “Lost”

>> As 'Lost' keeps tight control of studio, others scramble [PBN, 9/8/06]
Hawaii Film Studio

>> Film Studio Renovation Blessing
>> Another Article About Film Studio
>> Hawaii Film Studio Renovation (Almost) Pau

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