Movie production causing headaches for some Heeia Kea boaters - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Movie production causing headaches for some Heeia Kea boaters

Mel Choy Mel Choy
Capt. Tommy D. Capt. Tommy D.

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

WINDWARD OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - First, it was the filming of "Battleship" blocking Oahu roadways. Now, another movie production is causing headaches for some boaters at Heeia Kea pier.

Crews with the movie "Journey to the Center of the Earth" swarmed in last Thursday to begin setting up for three days of filming at Heeia Kea. Under the permit, they must break down and be out of the harbor by November 2nd. Some boaters say it's already been too much of an inconvenience.

The sounds of construction filled the air at Heeia Kea Small Boat Harbor, as crews worked on a set for the film "Journey to the Center of the Earth."

"That's unfair that they could just come in here and do what they want," Capt. Tommy D., boater, said. "We pay rent. These are not free spaces."

Some fishermen and other harbor users say props and vehicles associated with the movie production are taking up valuable parking spots, and causing problems for those looking to launch their boats from the ramp here.

"Boaters have to back up 100 yards backwards," Mel Choy, boater, said. "How many of you know how to drive a trailer backwards for 100 yards? You try that with a big boat."

Some tour operators are also upset. Capt. Chad says tours on his 48-passenger vessel have been running late since film crews arrived last week.

"They can't get to the boat," the commercial tour operator said. "Just to get to the bathroom, they have to go around this whole, what, maze they made for them."

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources, which issued the movie permit, says it held pre-production meetings with harbor users.

"We met with all of our commercial operators along with the movie production company and discussed openly what was being proposed, what was planned and what kind of disruptions to expect," Wes Choi, DLNR's Oahu district boating assistant manager, said.

Choi says the areas where people traditionally fish remain open, and the production company has been instructed to limit disruptions to the vessel and pedestrian traffic flow when filming begins Monday.

"We always try and accommodate the film requests because it does have its benefits to the entire economy," Choi said. "But we try and not do that by sacrificing our users."

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