Adam House, ‘Lost’ Crew Member

On Hawaii for TV and Movie Fans

By: Karla Aronson

It may not always look like paradise, but fans of the hit TV show “Lost” know episodes of the mystery drama series are shot entirely on Oahu.

“We’ve made downtown Honolulu look like London and like Brooklyn with four feet of snow,” said “Lost” crew member Adam House. “Their main interior hatch is filmed in our Diamond Head studio.”

Movie and television buffs can get behind-the-scenes views of many blockbuster features filmed in Hawaii, including “Godzilla,” “Jurassic Park,” “Six Days, Seven Nights,” “50 First Dates,” “South Pacific” and, of course, Elvis Presley’s “Blue Hawaii.”

While there is no “Lost” tour, visitors on Oahu might catch sight of some of the stars hanging out around the island. Clients can also head to downtown Honolulu to visit the settings of many prior episodes. The series films at the YWCA, across the street from the Iolani Palace, and at the intersection of Luana and Merchant streets.

For a guided outing, House recommends Oahu visitors head to Kualoa Ranch, about 40 minutes northeast of Honolulu. Its Movie Set and Ranch Tour stops at the former filming sites and stage sets of such movies and TV shows as “Pearl Harbor,” “50 First Dates,” “Godzilla,” “Fantasy Island” and “Magnum P.I.,” while also taking in the history of the ranch and former sugar mill operations established in the 1860s.

Kauai is home of the well-known Hawaii Movie Tour, a multi-city franchised operation. Visitors travel by mini-bus or 4x4 off-road vehicles and view clips onboard of famous productions before each stop. “Jurassic Park” remains a major draw, House noted, as well as Elvis Presley’s “Blue Hawaii,” shot at the famed Coco Palms in Waialua Bay. Another popular site, he added, is Lulahi Beach, the setting for “South Pacific.”

With more of a “resort feel,” according to House, Maui is a celebrity magnet. Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Lance Armstrong and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger are regular visitors, while Oprah, Clint Eastwood and Willie Nelson make it (one of) their homes.The most high-profile Hollywood event takes place every June during The Maui Film Festival in Wailea.

The festival has honored industry luminaries, such as Joan Allen, Jake Gyllenhaal, Geena Davis, Felicity Huffman, Luke and Owen Wilson and Rob Reiner. The organization sponsors ongoing screenings of critically praised films year-round at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center on Wednesdays, and caps off the year with screenings of the annual Academy Award film nominees in December and January.

Amazing scenery on the Big Island provided the backdrop for one of the costliest films in movie history: Kevin Costner’s “Waterworld,” which was filmed at Kawaihae Harbor in Waipio Valley in 1994 for about $175 million. Filmmakers head to the island for its incredible extremes of nature, House said, ranging from snowcapped mountains to lava fields.

Famed filming locations around the island are also promoted by the Big Island Film Office. The company’s Web site identifies many of the island’s scenic marvels, including its black-and-green sand beaches. The site also highlights the Kilauea volcano crater, which served as the backdrop for Hawaii’s first feature film, “The Hidden Pearls” in 1918, and more recent settings for the “Planet of the Apes” in 2001.

With all the set locations and celebrities to be seen around the islands, your clients might have a brush with fame.


Kualoa Ranch, Oahu
Movie Set and Ranch Tour,
one-hour bus tour $15.
Horseback, ATV and ranch tours also provided. Package tours with Waikiki hotel pick-up and lunch, $94-$139.
Commission rate negotiable for contracted agents.

Hawaii Movie Tour
Kapaa, Kauai
Five-hour mini-bus ride and
six-hour 4x4 excursions.
Prices range $92-$123.
Commission: 20 percent

Maui Film Festival

Big Island Film Office

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