New TV show gets state approval, shooting starts next week

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

KAHANA VALLEY (HawaiiNewsNow) - The new television show The River wants to turn the Kahana Valley into the Amazon and while work is well underway, the production could also face some opposition in court.

Equipment is coming in by the truck load as crews build the boat which will be a main prop for the new TV series.

The boat is actually being built around a big foam core and won't have a real engine but they will pull it up river to various locations.

The production will not be allowed to close the park to the public and today people continued to kayak around the boat.

Shooting starts out in Kahana Valley around August 30th.  Beginning next week they'll also film at O'Toole's Bar in Downtown, The Blaisdell Arena and Waimea Valley.

The state approved the permit to use the land for a $100 a day fee. Some feel the community should get more from the show's location manager Randy Spangler to the tune of $100,000.

"They don't know how to negotiate with a guy like Spangler. Spangler comes in and offers beads, and mirrors, used blankets, a few plate lunches maybe a bento here and there and they fall for it. This family is not going to be falling for that," said JM Anthony, a Kahana Valley resident who opposes the production.

"I think people go gold digging and to me that's not what it's about," said Ervin Kahala, a Kahana Valley resident who favors the production.

The state says the show will create the equivalent of 361 full time jobs.  The state's Creative Industries Division, Hawaii Film Office says when you add up all the labor, materials, hotel rooms, equipment and everything else that goes into the production the economic impact is $33 million.

"It gives jobs to our local families, it puts food on the table for people," said Kahala.

"The longer term is I think what we're really gunning for," said Anthony. "The state vulnerability is that the state has pandered to the film industry for a very long time."

Anthony may sue to try and get future productions to pay more. In the short term he plans to get dramatic.

"Maybe the day they start filming we're going to picket the front of the park so the trucks have to wait before they can get in," said Anthony.

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