Janae Pacheco, a fourth-grader at Christian Liberty School, stood next to a sign she made to wish actor Harrison Ford a happy birthday yesterday in Keaau, on the Big Island. Ford, now 65, is filming the latest "Indiana Jones" movie near the Big Island school.
‘Indiana Jones’ film to bring isles $15M
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HILO » The latest "Indiana Jones" movie began filming in the Hilo area this week and will pump $15 million into the state economy, said an executive producer of the film yesterday.
The film, produced by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg, will also spend as much as $3 million in shipping equipment and sets from Los Angeles to the Big Island, Kathleen Kennedy said.
By comparison, all filming on the Big Island during the last fiscal year -- projects such as documentaries and commercials -- produced about $4 million in expenditures, said Big Island Film Commissioner John L. Mason.
With actor Harrison Ford now 65, questions abound whether he is fit enough to continue as the adventuring archaeologist. But the producers say he is up to the rigors of the role.
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HILO » Harrison Ford, who turned 65 yesterday, still fits into Indiana Jones' tight trousers.
Many fans are curious to see if, 18 years after "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," Ford could live up to the physical rigors of the globe-trotting archaeologist in the long-awaited fourth installment of the epic series.
Producers of the adventure, being filmed on the Big Island, say there is no need to worry. Ford is as fit as ever.
"I have to say, he looks amazing," said Kathleen Kennedy, the film's co-executive producer, along with George Lucas. "He looks fantastic in the outfit."
Actually, Ford knew the hat would still fit but wondered if he could still squeeze into the pants. He did.
The name of the film, which is the fourth in the Indiana Jones series, has not been revealed. People working on the project call it the Untitled "Genre" Project.
As in previous Indiana Jones episodes, Harrison Ford stars as the title character. With Ford not at the news conference to defend himself, producer Frank Marshall joked that Ford is making his way through the more physically demanding scenes using ice packs and pain killer Celebrex.
The "Genre" project is set in an undisclosed South American country. After scouting about 15 real countries for locations that resembled "old-growth jungle," the Hilo area was picked because it has the jungle but is close to an airport and has decent housing, Marshall said.
Kennedy said she and husband Marshall rented a Hilo home that came complete with a pot-bellied pig with painted toenails.
A significant factor in choosing Hilo was that a state law passed last year provides that 20 percent of all expenditures on a neighbor island are rebated to the production. The figure is 15 percent for expenditures on Oahu. Meanwhile, the production pays about 13 percent in taxes on its gross expenditures.
Out of a crew of 400, about 125 were hired on the Big Island, said location manager Mike Fantasia. Only about five on-camera extras were hired locally, Kennedy said.
Director Steven Spielberg and Lucas arrived Monday, and filming began Wednesday. It is expected to continue to about July 21 to 24, Kennedy said.
Star-Bulletin reporter Rod Thompson and the Associated Press contributed to this report.