‘Godzilla’ casting call kicks off Hawaii film boom

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It could be a star-studded summer for Hawaii. Rumors are swirling about big Hollywood movies gearing up for production in the islands.

One Hollywood production can mean work for hundreds of local companies and they should be ready for an extremely busy summer.

For more than a century, City Mill has been serving local residents, but in the last decade, they’ve been assisting a different type of customer.

“The fellows that did ‘Pearl Harbor,’ ‘Windtalkers,’ ‘Tears of the Sun,’ ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,'” City Mill store manager Vicki Lebowitz said.

When television shows and movies film in Hawaii, local companies, like City Mill, reap the benefits. For a local company, a major motion picture can bring in revenue in the six-figure range.

“When you look at ‘Pearl Harbor,’ they were buying gazillion five-gallon buckets because that’s what was getting dropping into the water and getting blown up,” Lebowitz said.

Many local companies could have a star-studded year and it all kicks off with this guy.

Sources say the remake of “Godzilla” will be filmed on Oahu in the summer and film executives are having an open casting call this weekend for speaking roles and extras.

The casting call for a “major feature film” will be held on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 629 Pohukaina Street. Executives are looking for real military (to be seen in uniform if possible), local men, women and children (boys and girls must be 6 years or older), tourists, families, surfers, elderly Filipino, Pacific Islander, all types. Parking will be available at 555 South Street stalls marked “EYE”.

“They’re significant, big-budget films,” state film commissioner Donne Dawson said.

Dawson says filmmakers have been eyeing Hawaii ever since local lawmakers agreed to increase the film tax credit earlier this year.

“The phone has been ringing off the hook and the emails have been coming in at a steady pace,” Dawson said.

Dawson won’t say which movies could film in Hawaii, but others tell KHON2 “Jurassic Park 4” may also be shot here. Movie makers were in Hawaii scouting locations for the film.

According to Dawson, one production means big bucks.

“We’re probably looking at several million dollars in actual production expenditures and in addition, we’d be looking at 200 to 300 jobs,” Dawson said.

It also means more exposure for the tourism industry and some good memories.

“And I can’t tell you how much fun it is to work with these people,” Lebowitz said.

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