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
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
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
Five-hour mini-bus ride and
six-hour 4x4 excursions.
Prices range $92-$123.
Commission: 20 percent
Maui Film Festival
Big Island Film Office