Lost Helped Hawaii's Economy Get Through the Recession

Lost filmed on Oahu for much of its run. Lost filmed on Oahu for much of its run. Flickr user Ryan Ozawa

Jack Shephard’s words at the end of season three of LOST—"We have to go back"—were not just ominous in the show’s context. They were also strangely prescient of Hawaii’s film and television industry. More and more movies and TV shows are returning to the state to film among its incredible beaches, mountains, and jungles. And these productions are huge job creators.

The Hawaiian film and TV industry saw an 84.9 percent increase in the number of jobs it created from 2001-2011, much greater than the 13.8 percent increase for Hawaii’s creative sector as a whole, which also includes marketing, music, radio broadcasting, etc.

Much of its success is due to the hit TV show LOST, which became a monstrous cultural phenomenon soon after its 2004 pilot and sent droves of tourists to the island of Oahu to visit the show’s many set locations. But Hawaii was home to major film and TV productions long before that—Raiders of the Lost Ark and Jurassic Park filmed there in 1980 and 1992, respectively.


A Decade of Growth for Hawaii's Film and TV Industry


The industry’s largest growth happened during the time that LOST was filming there (2004-2010). The show’s mysterious island became an important “character” over the course of the series, and its scenery was featured prominently. Part of what made Hawaii so attractive to LOST and other productions is its versatility. LOST managed to convincingly transform the island of Oahu into South Korea, Australia, England, Russia, and Iraq, among other locales.


Even during the recession, Hawaii’s film and TV industry grew. While Hawaii lost a net 0.7 percent of its jobs from 2007-2011, the film and TV industry grew 7.6 percent over the same period. Not only was it largely recession-proof, but it performed far better than the national average of the same industry. With all that growth, Hawaii’s creative sector generated $3.8 billion in economic activity in 2011, good for 6 percent of state GDP that year.In 2006, the state introduced an enticing 20-25 percent tax credit for production costs, provided that the film or TV show receiving the credit make financial contributions to the Hawaiian education system or workforce. (LOST was filmed entirely with a local film crew.) And in 2010, the Hawaii 5-0 remake came to town, replacing LOST as the popular, long-running TV show that filmed exclusively in the state. That same year, both Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Tropic Thunder filmed in Hawaii.

(Image via Flickr user Ryan Ozawa)

NEWSLETTER

Get daily news from Route Fifty

Top stories on how innovation is driving smarter government across the country.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.