Maui Film Studios, Oct. 4, 2013, in Wailuku. Nathan Eagle/Honolulu Civil Beat

OPINION: The Maui Film Industry Rant

Why is it millions and millions $$ later the Maui film industry is still largely imaginary?

Case in point – today’s Maui News (10/25/15) update on film/tv industry here, a long desired much courted economic component with jobs the Valley Isle really wants, but “Gee whiz”, like our tech industry, (and every other industry except sugar and tourism), it has never really happened.

Buildings? Yes
Promo & Hype? Yes
Tax credits? Yes
Promises? Yes

Actual jobs resulting?
Few and far between, and not what you’d call steady.

Every movie star and film producer on the planet earth is a frequent Maui guest, but work here for our talent, forget it.

And when there is a truck to drive? (Teamsters natch – IATSE job – of course.) Nobody here is a Teamster, so just fly them over to Maui from Oahu.

They work, we don’t.

What is wrong with this picture?

Maui No Ka Oi, that is true. But it’s decades later, either make it happen on Maui or forget it, but don’t keep spinning these glossy scenarios that never happen and cost big bucks to fail.

I look around and all I see is expensive corpses.



About Susan Halas

Susan Halas is a Senior Political Contributor at MAUIWatch. She has followed Hawaii politics since 1976 when she moved to the Valley Isle. She was formerly a staff writer for the Maui News as well as other local print and digital publications.

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