Very few places on Earth offer as stunning a backdrop for films as Hawaii. It’s prime location for shooting independent and major motion pictures. Ever since the 30s, filmmakers have been flocking to Hawaii to get the shots they need. But why Hawaii?
In short, Hawaii is a place filled with diverse and beautiful tropical lands. It offers a wide variety of different moods and scenes. It’s not just beaches: there’s volcanoes, snow-covered mountains and dense jungles. Heaving cities and green countrysides are also rife. There’s an incredible range here, allowing the place to “morph” to the camera’s will. Everyone from Steven Spielberg and George Lucas to Tim Burton have used this range to bring strange and distant lands to vivid life. Of course, the Hawaiian natives can take one look at a scene and know it’s really home! (Image Credit)
There’s a difference between filming in Hawaii and making a film about Hawaii. We know it’s not a film, but a great example of the difference comes in the form of Lost. That mysterious island we all watched those characters attempt to escape for seven years? It was all Hawaii, baby!
Hawaii has provided so much to the history of cinema. Billions of dollars have been grossed from films shot in this amazing state. So, from Hollywood to Hawaii: thank you!
The one with that kiss
That would be From Here to Eternity. Can’t remember what film that is? It’s this one:
That’s right: perhaps the most beloved kissing scene in all of film history was filmed on the beaches of Hawaii. From Here to Eternity hasn’t aged too well, but its place in film history is secure nonetheless. It won eight Academy Awards in 1953, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Frank Sinatra.
This is more like it, right? None of the making out on the beach stuff. We want dinosaurs! Big ones! (Image Credit)
You’ve surely seen Jurassic Park by now. Back in 1994, it became the highest-grossing film of all time. Jurassic Park remains one of the most beloved films of all time. The special effects were (and remain) so convincing that we’re willing to bet it put some folks off their Hawaii vacations! Steven Spielberg shot many of the scenes on the island of Kauaʻi. He knew he needed a diverse, mysterious location to deliver the intense thrills he needed to deliver. He picked the right place! He would return here to shoot the (slightly less-beloved) sequel The Lost World.
Of course, Jurassic Park has since been taken over as the highest-grossing film of all time. With a whopping $2.77 billion gross, Avatar currently holds the top spot. And guess where that film was shot…Yup, Hawaii!
Our favorite comedies
Hawaii hasn’t just given us heart-wrenching or terrifying epics. It’s also been home to many of our favourite comedies of the 2000s! (Image Credit)
The box-office and critical smash Tropic Thunder was shot here. So was Along Came Polly, 50 First Dates and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. We’re guessing people remember the latter less for the gorgeous sights of Hawaii and more for Jason Segel naked body, though.
The often-great Hollywood producer Cameron Crowe shot his 2015 comedy Aloha in Hawaii. Its cast included Oscar-nominees Bradley Cooper, Bill Murray and Emma Stone. But, erm, no-one liked it very much. Let’s sweep that under the rug, eh?