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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Honolulu's Filmmaking Cred

MovieMaker magazine has just released its annual list of the “10 Best Cities To Live, Work & Make Movies in 2010.” Given that Hawaii killed its state film commission recently in a round of budget cuts (see my last blog on that here), we were curious to see how Honolulu fared.

Well, we didn’t make the list (read about it here).  But Detroit, Michigan, did. So did Shreveport, Louisiana. Albuquerque, New Mexico, came in at No. 1.

Was there anything that kept us out of the running? We contacted MovieMaker to find out. Says editor Jennifer Wood, via e-mail, “With the 15- to 20-percent refundable tax credit and state-owned film studio, there are definitely a lot of benefits to making movies in Hawaii (that’s not even taking into account the one-of-a-kind scenery and great weather).”

However, MovieMaker’s list is geared toward independent filmmakers, not the big studios (recall Disney’s announcement this week that it would film its fourth Pirates of the Caribbean installment on Kauai and Oahu this summer). Consequently, says Wood, “two of the things that are key to these rankings are: Cost of living and opportunity for ‘hands-on’ learning (in other words, the opportunity to learn the craft of moviemaking on bigger film sets). These are probably the two areas where Honolulu suffered most in the total calculations.”

Can’t say I’m surprised by the explanation—those two factors bedevil many a local industry, especially in the creative and culture world. On a more positive note, Wood says that Honolulu has a growing film industry and is definitely a city the magazine is watching.

Posted on Thursday, January 21, 2010 in Permalink

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