What’s Behind The $20 Million Jump In Oregon Film & TV Spending?

The "Film Friendly Portland" Float In The 2012 Rose Festival Starlight Parade (Photo: OregonConfluence.com)

The “Film Friendly Portland” Float In The 2012 Rose Festival Starlight Parade (Photo: OregonConfluence.com)

It’s hard to believe that NBC’s Grimm has been shooting for more than a month in Portland.  It seems like only yesterday that we were celebrating the start of production on the show’s second season.  With TNT’s Leverage already deep into its production schedule and IFC’s Portlandia gearing up to shoot at the end of July it appears that Portland’s “TV Trinity” is getting into full swing again.

As we looked back at the celebration kicking off Grimm’s second season in Portland, we were surprised to see several news sources reporting that a record $130 million was spent by film and TV productions in Oregon during 2011.  That number represents a substantial jump beyond the $110 million expected last year.  We contacted Oregon’s Governor’s Office of Film and Television to find out what made the difference between the expected level of spending and this much higher figure.

Sources in the film office tell us they were pleasantly surprised to find Grimm had spent more in the state during 2011 than the production had initially projected.  They also saw a surprising rise in Oregon’s overall commercial production.  Commercials shot in the state don’t qualify for the Oregon Film Investment Fund (the state’s film incentive program) but can qualify for the Greenlight Labor program which rebates a small percentage of Oregon film and TV workers’ payroll.  When these Greenlight Labor rebates were reviewed in January and February the GOFTV was happy to see a steep rise in these payroll figures.

While this is great news, there is a down-side to this higher-than-expected spending.  As we’ve previously reported, Oregon’s film incentive programs are capped at $6 million per year.  Because the Oregon Production Investment Fund gives producers a 20% rebate on goods and services purchased while shooting in Oregon this higher-than-expected spending leaves even less money in the fund to attract new productions to the state (and thus can’t be used to create more jobs and business for Oregon vendors.)  This high rate of spending stands as one more reason film and TV supporters should urge candidates for Oregon’s legislature to make raising the cap on Oregon’s film incentive programs a priority.  If $130 million can be brought to the state with a $6 million per year fund, imagine how much could come in with a $10 million per year fund.

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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
This entry was posted in Commercials, Film Incentives, Government, Grimm, Leverage, News, Oregonian Productions, Out-of-State Productions, Portlandia, State Of The Industry. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to What’s Behind The $20 Million Jump In Oregon Film & TV Spending?

  1. Harold,

    What fine work you do here week in and week out. Thanks!


    Jeffrey B

  2. Pingback: With “Leverage” Over, What’s Next For Oregon’s Film & TV Industry? | Oregon Film And TV Dollars

  3. Pingback: Kitzhaber Announces Proposal To Double Oregon’s Film Incentives | Oregon Film And TV Dollars

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