Preparations underway for ‘Wheel of Fortune’ filming

“Wheel of Fortune” will get a lot of Aloha when the show films for four weeks on Hawaii Island in September.

It’s been six years since crews last came to the islands, giving locals a chance to spin the wheel and giving visitors a glimpse of our beautiful state.

The crew spent last week on Hawaii Island shooting the prizes, special segments and pre-production.

“This is the fifth time that you have been to Hawaii. What makes this series of shows different from the previous ones?” KHON2′s Olena Heu asked co-host Vanna White.

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“I think we are always trying to be a little more innovative, and try to bring more things to it, make it livelier and more bright and cheery and all that and so it just gets better every time,” White said.

“If you’ve never seen a filming going on like this, you just don’t realize all that goes into it,” said Hawaii Island visitor Shirley Roberts.

A lot goes into the pre- and post-production for “Wheel of Fortune.”

“We are going to move to several different locations, so we need transportation. We need technical assistance. We need everything you can imagine to move a little army from one location to the next,” said supervising producer Steven Schwartz.

To break it down, 70 people flew in from California. The show also hired nearly a hundred local workers including crew, security, drivers and caterers spread around at different shooting locations on the island.

“It feels really good to be able to come out for a show like this, that has been out for a long time and something that I watched as a kid,” said video assistant Caleb Lucero. “It’s nice to have some local crew on it.”

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Crews have been hired from the neighbor islands and flown in from Honolulu.

“It’s better than unemployment, I’ll tell you that much,” Lucero said.

But is Hawaii the show’s farthest destination?

“Yes, actually it is,” Schwartz said. “I think between here and New York, this is ultimately the furthest destination.”

It’s also the most logistically challenging and the most expensive.

“We basically bring the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ set all the way from Los Angeles, get it over here to the islands, get it set up and in a place that isn’t typically used for television,” Schwartz said.

There’s much more ahead as crews return to finish up auditions and for tapings in the fall.

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