Thursday, June 3, 1999

By Ken Sakamoto, Star-Bulletin
"Fantasy Island" star Malcom McDowell observes action
on the set during shooting on a Kaneohe Bay pier.

Isle film, TV
revenues looking
up again in ’99

Production expenditures last
year achieved a record $99.1 million

By Tim Ryan


AFTER tallying a record year for film and TV production spending and tax revenues in Hawaii, state officials are looking for another strong showing in 1999.

Last year, television series and pilots filmed in Hawaii helped carry the state to its highest production expenditures ever with $99.1 million, up 40 percent from $70.7 million in 1997, according to the Hawaii Film Office's recently release figures.

art The previous best year was 1994 when the film "Waterworld" spent $35 million on the Big Island pushing the overall state revenues to about $97 million.

State officials say they expect 1999 to be another good year though perhaps not enough to break the $100 million mark.

"Baywatch Hawaii" is filming 22 episodes mostly on Oahu July through December, and is expected to spend about $18 million.

The TV series "Pacific Blue" just completed filming two episodes here, $1.5 million; and PAX TV will film a talent show here in August and September and is expected to spend several million dollars.

In 1998, three TV series -- "Fantasy Island" (ABC), "Wind on Water," (NBC) and the Japanese show "Hotel" -- spent a total of $28.2 million, up more than 1,000 percent from 2.5 million in 1997.

Both "Fantasy Island," which starred Malcolm McDowell, and "Wind on Water." with Bo Derek, failed to survive a full season.

But the state noted that they did provide the state with some nationwide prime-time exposure.

Meanwhile, feature film production crews -- including "Father Damien," "Nemo," and "Dinosaurs" -- spent about $12.64 million in Hawaii last year, a 44 percent drop from $22.65 million in 1997.

Last year was also a record year for state and local tax revenues from TV and film productions, with coffers geting a total $18.2 million, up 40 percent from $13 million a year earlier and just topping the 1994 record of $17.8 million.

Oahu by far benefited the most from film and TV expenditures in 1998 with about $40 million spent, nearly three times more than the Big Island's $14.4 million.

The "Wind on Water" pilot and short-lived series was filmed on the Big Island. Maui County was third with $7.6 million, followed by Kauai's $3.8 million.

Other TV shows which filmed on Oahu last year included MTV's "The Real World" -- more than $5 million; the pilot "Honolulu CRU," and an episode of "Baywatch."

Revenues from commercial productions, always a consistent money producer for the state, was up about $300,000 from last year to $5.8 million. Company's spending more than $100,000 to produce commercials here included Visa Gold, Marlboro, Caipis Water, Camel, Blue Cross, and Oldsmobile.

Still-photo productions spent $4.4 million; news and documentaries, $1.4 million; sports and exercise events, $1.3 million; and travel and industrial shows, $1.2 million.

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