Porter on Film Incentive Reduction: “The demand is far beyond our supply”

A recent article in the Oregon “Lifestyle” magazine 1859 takes a good, long look at Oregon’s film industry as we begin to close out the busiest production year in the state’s history.

“We’ve had an overwhelming amount of interest in filming here this year,” says Vince Porter, executive director of the Oregon Governor’s Office of Film and Television, a group of industry insiders who serve as a marketing agency to bring film and television projects to the state.

The flurry of action in Portland represents good news for Oregon’s film industry, Porter explains. In 2009, film and television work brought in $62 million. Porter says his office expects 2011 will bring in $110 million to the state. He attributes the financial boost not only to the three television series being filmed in Portland, but ongoing work for more than 300 animators at the Hillsboro animation studio Laika on a feature film called ParaNorman. (Read the entire article…)

The multi-page article focuses not just on big-budget out-of state productions such as Leverage, Grimm, and Portlandia, but also on the struggles of Oregon producers such as Martin Vavra, the history of film and Television production in Oregon, and interviews with notable actors such as Fred Armisen and Sasha Roiz.

As we read through the article here at OregonFilmandTVDollars.com HQ, however, one thing really grabbed our attention: Porter’s description of Oregon’s film incentive program’s success in spite of its being trimmed during last year’s legislative session.

During this year’s legislative session—a period of significant budget cuts for many state agencies—the Film and Television Office’s annual budget was cut 20 percent to $6 million from $7.5 million. “We’ve turned away at least three feature films, and probably another television series, because we’ve maxed out our incentives,” Porter says. “The demand is far beyond our supply.” (Read the entire article…)

As well as Oregon’s film and TV industry is doing now, just imagine how well it could be doing if the legislature not only restored the $1.5 million cut earlier this year, but raised the incentive’s funding to the $12.5 million level recommended by governor Kitzhaber!  That might be a good topic of conversation to have with your legislators before next year’s session begins in February – we know we’ll be picking up the phone to call ours!

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About Haroldphillips

Harold Phillips has worked professionally in theatre, film and television for over 20 years. In that time, he's built a reputation for his commitment to the characters he plays and his efforts to strengthen the film and theatre industries in the cities he's worked in. Harold has gained prominence in the quickly growing world of digital media, with appearances in the wildly popular web series Lady Wasteland, Animus Cross, and the interactive movie The Outbreak. In addition to appearances in commercials and independent films (including the comedic Crackin' The Code and thrillers Sum Of The Parts and Dark Horizon), Harold has spent many years working on stage in the Pacific Northwest. To learn more about Harold, please visit his web site at http://www.haroldphillips.net or follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/haroldPDX
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