No more 'Pirates?' No problem

By Teri Okita

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -It's a wrap for 'Pirates of the Caribbean' cast members who've been filming on Oahu for weeks. But, the cameras role on for other shows.

Georja Skinner of the Hawaii Film Office said, "This is an incredible year in Hawaii in terms of film production."

While 'Pirates of the Caribbean' ramps down, others like 'Battleship' and 'Hawaii 5-0' are launching into full swing, making this the highest grossing year for movie making in state history. Skinner pointed out that, "It's nudging very close to $347 million in estimated production expenditures."

Add to that all of the revenue generated from shopping, eating, touring, and the Department of Business and Economic Development estimates an impact of about $540 million so far this year. Plus, more than twenty-two hundred new jobs.

It's not just that, that has Hollywood calling. More and more companies are attracted to Hawaii's tax incentives, keeping the islands competitive not only with other states but with other countries. It's also helping local enterprises. The trickle-down has boosted business for Michael Rivero who owns a computer animation and special effects company in Aiea.

Rivero pointed out, "We've been very busy. We've worked on a lot of projects. We worked on 'Lost.' We got to work on the pilot for 'Hawaii 5-0.'"

Rivero says things could be even better for the local film industry, if the state continues to train the next generation. "Hawaii needs to sort of understand its identity. That we're not just a support organization, that we're filmmakers in our own rights, and we need to nurture that along as well," he said.

With a year like this one, Hawaii seems to be holding its own, proving that there really is no business like show business.