'Pirates' to film on Oahu, Kauai
By Eloise Aguiar
Advertiser Staff Writer
Capt. Jack Sparrow and his brood of motley pirates return to cinema action with some of the filming taking place in Hawai'i, bringing an expected $85 million into the state's economy.
"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," the fourth in The Walt Disney Pictures series, has Sparrow (played by Johnny Depp) and Capt. Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) searching for the Fountain of Youth.
Bob Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Co., was in Hawai'i yesterday to share the news with Gov. Linda Lingle.
"The Walt Disney Co. has a great relationship with Hawai'i that we're looking forward to building upon with the filming of the latest adventures of Capt. Jack Sparrow and his crew," Iger said. "I thank Gov. Lingle and her team for their tremendous support of the projects Disney has under way in this great state."
"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" also was partly filmed in Hawai'i.
Hawai'i's tax credit and professional film industry made the difference in swaying The Disney Co., said Georja Skinner, chief officer for the state Creative Industries Division, which took over the duties of the state Film Office when all but one of its staff were laid off last year.
"We have such quality (film industry) people here, such professional work force, I think coupled with our tax incentive makes it a very desirable place to do business," Skinner said. "Hawai'i competes on a global basis for productions and to have Disney choose Hawai'i over other states and countries is a huge win for us."
Creative Industries, which has a staff of seven that focused on art and culture prior to taking on the Film Office duties, is getting the training to handle the Film Office responsibilities including permitting, tax review and providing information covering a gamut of needs from location sites to talent, she said.
"We have to preserve the legacy of the Film Office as a film-friendly location and we are doing that," Skinner said.
Disney has a long relationship with Hawai'i, having filmed here since the late 1960s. More recently it is building a resort in Ko Olina and has filmed here the television series "Lost"and the 2001 film "Pearl Harbor."
Shooting for "Pirates" will begin this summer on O'ahu and Kaua'i, and the film should be released in 2011, said Marsha Wienert, state tourism liaison. The production is expected to generate $85 million in direct and indirect spending, she said.
Not only will hotels and restaurants benefit but people in the film industry will be getting jobs, Wienert said. The impact on the Islands will last beyond just the filming stage, she said.
"The immediate is going to be the economic impact," Wienert said. "Secondly there'll be a publicity impact and then last but not least, (exposure for Hawai'i) when the film is released next year."