Lights, Camera, Action

[caption id="attachment_1463891" align="aligncenter" width="604"]©istockphoto/iShootPhotosLLC ©istockphoto/iShootPhotosLLC[/caption] From a paradise made dangerous by prehistoric predators, to housing the distressed (and drama-filled) survivors of a downed plane, Hawaii has hosted countless film crews, lending its lush lands as the beautiful backdrops for Hollywood and TV Land’s fictional sets. Did you know these seven cinematic features were filmed amid the Aloha state’s sand and surf? Jurassic Park
Little did you know that while you were witnessing those gigantic, genetically-engineered dinos destroy and conquer an idyllic amusement park onscreen, that gorgeous reptilian Coney-esque Island was actually Hawaii. From Oahu’s Kualoa Ranch (remember the dinosaur stampede scene?) to Kaua’i’s Olokele Valley and majestic Manawaiopuna Falls, director Steven Spielberg made a wise executive decision when he picked this paradise for his prehistoric adventure flick. The Descendants
More recently, in 2011, the smooth good looks of George Clooney graced the Islands with their presence, as the critically-acclaimed drama (also starring Shailene Woodley) literally followed a family facing grief and loss from film locations of Lihue, Kaua’i to Hanalei and even Honolulu – tugging at our heartstrings all along the way. LOST
JJ Abrams’ TV show LOST was a surprise smash hit that kept us all guessing and on the edge of our seats for over six years. Filmed almost entirely on the island of Oahu, the show’s stars are often heard via interview remembering fondly their time living as “transplants” in the Aloha state. Some (including Terry O'Quinn, who played character John Locke) even bought property here – Hawaii having captured their hearts. Watch carefully as you review reel clips, and you will recognize Waimea Bay and the beautiful, sandy stretches of Oahu’s world famous North Shore. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Who can forget the comic film featuring the mugs of Jason Segel and Kristen Bell, and also the unforgettable and eccentric appearance of comedian Russell Brand? The hilarious movie was actually filmed on Oahu. Remember the gorgeous resort that Segel follows his ladylove to? That’s none other than the tropical Turtle Bay Resort, nestled on the North Shore. Yet another island landmark you will also notice, if you look for it, is the lovely La'ie Point. 50 First Dates
Charmingly endearing and chock-full of breathtaking scenery to boot, 50 First Dates is a cute love story between an adorable amnesia-stricken Island girl (played by Drew Barrymore) and the goofy yet winning guy (Adam Sandler) who seeks to woo her. One of my favorite flicks, this rom-com features scenes shot in Oahu’s Waimanalo, Kaaawa Valley, Kualoa Ranch, Kaneohe Bay, and naturally, as Sandler’s character is a marine biologist, Hawaii’s Sea Life Park. Pearl Harbor
Creative genius Michael Bay went directly to the source with this cinematic tour de force, staying authentic to the script and sites for his historical epic, Pearl Harbor. Filmed on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, and even a few select scenes taking place at the actual U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, one can’t help but have a true sense of Hawaiian pride and reverence while watching this movie. The added eye candy of Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett certainly doesn’t hurt either… From Here to Eternity
This steamy cinematic feature starring Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr was quite racy for audiences of 1953. Set in the 1940s, the film follows a captain’s wife and his second in command falling in love and having a steamy, tropical island affair. Unquestionably, the most famous shooting spot is Halona Cove (known by tourists and locals alike as “Eternity Beach”), where the notorious kissing and rolling-in-the-sand scene took place. Other recognizable Hawaiian landmarks include Diamond Head, the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and Waikiki Beach. by Andy Beth Miller

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