Top Hawaii Film Production Laws for Professional Filmmakers

Top Hawaii Film Production Laws for Professional Filmmakers

Filmmakers that travel outside their home state can face several challenges when it comes to familiarizing themselves with the individual laws regarding film production in the states they travel to. If you’re considering a film shoot in Hawaii, you’re likely to face a number of different regulations and laws that aren’t the norm on the mainland. These Hawaii film production laws represent unique regulations that every professional filmmaker must be aware of, especially if there is a plan to shoot in Paradise.

Film Permits & General Laws

Filmmakers coming into Hawaii for a shoot must be prepared to follow local general rules and regulations and they must get a film permit.

The permit is valid for state agency-administered areas only. Individuals filming on private property will be required to obtain a separate location permit from the private property owners involved. 


Hawaii requires filmmakers to also release the state and applicable county or city from any liability should any injury or loss occur while filming.

Filming activities are done at the production company’s own risk. And shall adhere to local regulations regarding noise ordinances, air and water pollution and public health safety.

Hawaii Child Labor Laws

Some of the most important Hawaii film production laws for professional filmmakers to consider are those relative to child labor.

If you’ll be hiring minor talent, it’s important that you take any and all necessary steps. Ensure you’ve not only familiarized yourself with the laws regarding hiring minors. Be prepared to follow the local rules.

Children under 14 may work for a production under the following provisions:

  • Written consent is obtained from a parent or guardian from the production company.
  • A parent, guardian or individual in direct control of the minor accompanies the child while working.
  • Employment does not go beyond four nights per calendar week.
  • The work does not risk the child’s health, safety or well-being.
  • Work is performed during normal hours when the child is not required in school.

Other Responsibilities 

Additional requirements and Hawaii film production laws pertaining to the hiring of minor children must also be followed.

As a filmmaker, you are responsible for understanding and for following any of the laws regarding minor workers if you hire minors to work on your Hawaii film production. 

Hawaii Laws on Performing Animals

Hawaii also sets local rules and regulations in regards to the use of animals as performers on set.

To protect animals and minimize impact to various species, film makes must follow Hawaii film production laws that pertain to the use of animals in performances including:

  • Placing restrictions on importation of animals into Hawaii. Certain animals and species are not legally permitted in the state for filmmaking or otherwise. 
  • A quarantine period is required to ensure that dogs, cats, and other animals meet necessary pre- and post-arrival requirements. This is for the health and safety of the animals, the trainers, and the public.
  • Requiring that animals remain in quarantine. And that they are not permitted to come into contact with others unless. Or until they are transported to the shoot location and back.

The Takeaway

As you can see, Hawaii film production laws are important, and just like other states, they are varied. Understanding and following the local laws is the responsibility of the filmmaker. So you might want to study up before you go!

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