Hot Hawaii faces crew shortages

Two features, plus 'Baywatch,' keep island crew members busy

HONOLULU — Film and television production on Oahu is so hot this summer that all available union crew on the island are working, forcing Local 655 officials to rely on referrals from its members to fill vacant positions.

Two feature films are being shot on Oahu: “Jurassic Park 3” and “Windtalkers.” In addition, “Baywatch Hawaii” is in the middle of shooting its second season here and in October HBO Pictures is slated to film the pilot for its Vietnam-era series “Lessons Learned.”

“Jurassic Park 3,” starring Sam Neill, and “Windtalkers,” with Nicolas Cage, begin filming this week. The John Woo directed “Windtalkers” will film on the Oahu for seven weeks, about half of what was originally scheduled. “Jurassic 3” will shoot for about three weeks, split between Oahu and Kauai and aerial photography of Molokai’s north shore sea cliffs that will open and end the Universal-Amblin production.

“Windtalkers” has hired about 100 Hawaii crew members, “Jurassic 3″about 60 and “Baywatch Hawaii” has 50 more, said Al Burns, business agent for the union repping Hawaii’s technicians for film, television, stage and theatrical productions.

Centering on a survival school, hourlong drama “Lessons Learned” features an ensemble cast — as many as 40.

The original “Jurassic Park” (1993) filmed three weeks on Kauai until Hurricane Iniki forced the production to relocate to Oahu to film one scene at Kualoa Ranch, where the bulk of “Windtalkers” is now filming.

Hawaii’s production activity this year, including several weeks of filming on the Jerry Bruckheimer-Michael Bay film “Pearl Harbor,” is expected to total more than $100 million, the highest in state history.

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