Despite pandemic shutdown, Hawaii’s film industry execs optimistic about future

Published: Dec. 8, 2020 at 5:55 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Film industry veteran Bryan Spicer knows a thing or two about bringing productions to life.

His directing credentials include motion pictures and television shows, such as “Hawaii Five-0″ and “Magnum P.I.”

So when the coronavirus pandemic temporarily shut down productions in the state, he found an outlet for Hawaii’s creative needs and took over Sight & Sound Productions.

“We’re able to produce and create anything media,” said Spicer, who recently directed the season 3 premiere of Magnum P.I.

“I’ve always had a dream of having my own production company where I can mentor and help discover new talent on the islands and we’re doing that now. We’re going to have some classes, online classes and in-person classes.”

Spicer is already working with local filmmakers whose jobs have been impacted by COVID-19 and hopes his business becomes a hub for Hawaii-based productions.

The pandemic’s exact economic toll on the state’s entertainment industry is not known, but the projected damage is brutal.

“We’re looking at just in the film industry alone with offshore and local production being down about more than 50%,” said state Creative Industries Division Chief Georja Skinner.

In addition, the state says COVID-19 restrictions sidelined 89% of the industry’s technical workforce.

Despite the grim numbers, the industry remains positive as the state will always be an ideal film location and it’s projected the state will see an increase in local productions.

“It’s a big future for Hawaii’s creative industry,” Spicer said.

“We just did a big international commercial on the Big Island and they didn’t even need to come to the island. We have a video system that we can go live with people anywhere around the world.”

In addition to “Magnum P.I.,” Skinner says two more major productions are scheduled to shoot in the islands in 2021.

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