Hawaii’s film industry kicks off filming in September; how it’s planning to keep COVID off its sets


HONOLULU (KHON2) — The pandemic forced many things to be put on hold, including Hawaii’s film industry. However, it is slowly making a comeback, with shows set to begin shooting in September across the islands, with more on the way.

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One of the projects that has already started shooting is Temptation Island, which is taking place at the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort. Magnum P.I. will start filming in the third week of September.

The Hawaii State Film Office said a couple more are scheduled to begin at the near the end of the year including a “Doogie Howser” reboot which will air on Disney Plus.

“We’re really stoked about it because it’s going to give Hawaii a really big opportunity to shine,” said Donne Dawson, State Film Commissioner. “And I’m especially excited they’re incorporating the Hawaiian language and the Hawaiian culture in the show.”

These could also bring the islands some much-needed jobs.

However, with COVID still looming, there will be a lot of changes on-screen and off.

“You’re not going to see film production that involves obviously large crowds of people like you may have seen in the past like in Jurassic World or Jumanji,” said Dawson.

Behind the scenes, following national film protocols, testing will be done regularly throughout the shoot and work groups will be separated to minimize exposure.

“The idea is you start with a COVID-free environment and then through regular testing, through absolutely mandatory social distancing, wearing of ppe, cleaning of sets between shooting, you are keeping that environment COVID free,” said Dawson.

Crews flying in will have to take a COVID test at least 72 hours before departing, then again five days after arriving. She said some film projects even request a third COVID test. The tests have to come back negative before they can go to work.

“They’re only allowed to go from hotel to film set film set back to hotel in these safety corridors with no deviations,” said Dawson. “No going to restaurants, bars, shopping outlet…nothing.”

With cast members and film crews coming in, Dawson said it will also help ramp up business for hotels in the next few months.

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