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Hawaii Beckons Hollywood With Scenery, Infrastructure and a Sizeable Tax Incentive

With more than a century of film production under its belt, mostly owing to its tropical location and American pedigree, Hawaii continues to offer unmatched landscapes and beaches alongside all the advantages of a solid filmmaking infrastructure and experienced U.S. crews. All this comes with a 20% tax credit for filming on Oahu and 25% on other islands – for both above- and below-the-line work.

Alongside its other advantages, Hawaii is the ideal place for shooting anything relating to surfing or the surfing culture. Additionally, the Aloha State’s dramatic mountains, volcanoes and towering sea cliffs have lured filmmakers of sci-fi movies, stories set in the Jurassic era, and makers of otherworldly tales. The Honolulu area boasts major soundstages and production services.

Specifically, the big break is a 20% refundable tax credit for filming on Oahu, the most populous island where the capital city and international tourist mecca of Honolulu is located. The supplemental 5% credit is available for productions filming in counties with a population of less than 700,000. This includes the neighboring islands of Kaua’i, Maui, Molokai, Lana’i, and Hawai’i.

The minimum spend per production has to be $200,000, and the per-production credit cap is $15 million.

Recent projects shot in Hawaii include “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” (2018), “Snatched” (2017), “Kong: Skull Island” (2017), “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” (2017), “Jurassic World”(2015), “Inhumans” (TV series, 2017 to present), “Hawaii Five-0” (TV series, 2010 to present), and “Lost” (TV series, 2004-2010).

Information courtesy of EP Financial Solutions, a production incentive consulting and financial services company.

Incenitves
20% Refundable credit for Oahu filming
5% Additional credit for filming on Kauai, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Hawaii
$200k $200k
Information courtesy of EP Financial Solutions, a production incentive consulting and financial services company.

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