They’re Back! Hear Them Roar!

artBy Art Umezu, Kauai Film Commissioner

The big film buzz on the Garden Island in 2013 was the fourth installment of Jurassic Park, which had news media reporting that production would take place on Oahu and Kauai that year.

By mid-April, the news was squashed because the production was delaying filming until the movie’s new director, Colin Trevorrow, re-worked the script, which he completed a few months later.

Last September, Jurassic Park 4 finally got the green light, and it was announced that the retitled Jurassic World would film on Oahu, Kauai, and in Louisiana in 2014.

So last year’s disappointment is 2014’s big news, especially for Kauai since the original Jurassic Park and the two sequels that followed were all filmed in part here.

The first of the franchise filmed in the summer of 1992, when the last day of filming—September 11—was the day Hurricane Iniki ravaged Kauai with 150-mph-plus winds and huge storm surges. Director Steven Spielberg, who stayed at the Westin Kauai Resort at Kalapaki Beach, actually used footage that his crew shot of the waves pounding adjacent Nawiliwili Harbor’s seawall for the film.

The second film, The Lost World, was shot in 1997, and Jurassic Park 3 in 2001. It’s been 13 years since the third film was shot, and 22 years since the original.

I recently unearthed in my files a Jurassic Park 3 press kit and was surprised to read that filmmaker Alexander Payne, who directed the Hawaii-shot film The Descendants, was one of the two screenwriters for the film! Payne, who was recently nominated for six Oscars for Nebraska, was probably already familiar with Kauai’s landscape and locations when he scouted for The Descendants in January 2010.

1 comment to They’re Back! Hear Them Roar!

  • It was great to be part of the Jurassic World crew which made 2014 quite exciting. Still have to wait until next year to see the final release though. Such is the biz. Thank you Mr. Umezu for helping bring great productions to Kauai. We have some great talent here as well as crew that deserve more and more. Mahalo, Jeff, Gyrosphere Pit Crew

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