While much of Oregon’s attention has been on the new seasons of Grimm and Leverage (while keeping an eye on Portlandia’s third season, currently in production) an avalanche of DVD and Digital release announcements over the past month is giving audiences a chance to see Oregon from a variety of perspectives… and is bringing additional income to film and TV workers in the state.
While we’re happy to see the first season of Grimm and the fourth season of Leverage released on DVD and Blu-Ray during the past month, we’re particularly excited to see three independent shot-in-Portland features distributed to home audiences.
Coker tells us that the film, which was shot in Portland in 2008, had “a very dedicated cast and crew, a go-get-em associate producer who didn’t know the meaning of the word ‘No,’ an executive producer who knew the meaning of the word ‘No’ but used it to the advantage of the film (and to keep her director in-line with the requirements of making the film) and several local businesses willing to let a crew shoot in their establishments… we employed a crew of five [and a] cast of fifteen and about fourty-five extras.”
“I set out to make a feature film with that bright eyed optimism usually reserved for filmmakers half my age and with half an eye on trying to distribute it in a less traditional way,” Coker continues. “The festival run was short and distant… which is to say we got most of our support and appreciation for the film from European audiences, garnering nominations for “Best First Feature” in Cairo and Ireland in 2009, and showings in England and Swansea, Wales. Around that time I received an email from a small distribution company called MoPix; at the time I had been speaking to a lot of small distribution companies about the possibility of getting Code some movement and had been very disappointed with the scope, cost and revenue splits being offered by these outlets, so I actually blew off the email thinking this was just another one of those situations. It wasn’t until a year and a half later that I realized exactly what MoPix had been trying to do…. I knew that this was exactly what my film had been made for.”
Coker laughs as he says “On Monday August 13th 2012, almost four years to the date of finishing principle photography on the movie, MoPix launched the app of our film on iTunes. And within five hours of that launch we sold our first app in London, England for four quid, once again reinforcing the statement I made in 2009 that we were huge in Europe!”
As we’ve previously reported, the majority of this film adaptation of Portland author Don Miller’s bestselling book was shot in Nashville. The book’s Reed College setting, however, required that part of the film be shot in Portland. Blue Like Jazz employed over 50 Oregonians during its five-day Portland shoot and spent approximately $135,000.00 in the state.
We’ve reported several times on the success of Portland Writer/ Director Todd Freeman’s film Cell Count. Shot in and around Portland in 2011 and utilizing Oregon’s “indigenous” Oregon Production Investment Fund, Cell Count has garnered rave reviews in the press and is slated to play at festivals worldwide.
Wooden Frame Productions and Polluted pictures announced earlier this month that the film, which employed over 50 Oregon residents in cast and crew positions, will be distributed online by “curated digital entertainment service” Film Buff in November, 2012.
While sales of Leverage and Grimm DVD’s will certainly benefit the Oregonians eligible for “residual” payments, sales from these three features (two of which are wholly-Oregonian productions) will go directly into film and TV workers’ pockets – with a much larger percentage of those dollars spreading out into the state. We’ve heard rumors of similar distribution deals in the works from Oregon producers, and we’re looking forward to reporting on “locally grown” features going out to the wider world, and bringing the proceeds back home.