A Portlandia Movie? Not Shot In Portland?

Fred Armsion and Carrie Brownstein, stars of IFC’s Portlandia

A recent article on the online journal Movieweb hails the success of the shot-in-Portland IFC series Portlandia, but brings up a somewhat disturbing prospect – that a movie version of the popular sketch comedy show might not be shot in (or set in) Portland!

Any time a show becomes a bonafide cult hit, the next thing fans start demanding is a movie…

Portlandia returns for all-new Season 3 episodes starting tonight on IFC with the back-to-back double dip of Take Back MTV and Missionaries. To celebrate its return, we caught up with the show’s director (and its third creative voice alongside Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein) Jonathan Krisel. He confirms that Portlandia is also a prime candidate for a big screen venture, but it might not take place in Portland, Oregon. In fact, the Portlandia movie won’t have anything to do with Portlandia at all, if Jonathan has his way. (Read the entire article…)

Of course, at this point the notion of a Portlandia movie is entirely speculative; Season 3 just started airing on IFC this past Friday (we promise: no spoilers!)  We would hope, however, that if a movie based on the series does come about Portland will have a role to play in it!

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With “Leverage” Over, What’s Next For Oregon’s Film & TV Industry?

Some Leverage Fans Are Campaigning To Move The Show To Another Network… (source: TVFilmNews.com)

The holidays weren’t all that happy for fans of the shot-in-Portland series Leverage.  After months of waiting and speculation, cable network TNT announced that it would not renew the series for a sixth season on Friday December 21.  The show’s Season finale on December 25th ended up being the series finale… and Oregon lost one of three television shows that helped grow media production into a $130 million industry in the state.

Many Oregon film and TV workers have voiced concern about the health of the state’s industry in the wake of this news, but Oregon’s Governor’s Office of Film and Television Executive Director Vince Porter isn’t among them.

In a message circulated among film and TV industry members Porter stressed that Electric Entertainment, the producers of Leverage, have other projects in development they plan to bring to the state.

We have not finalized anything nor have they made any firm guarantees but their intent is to keep a presence here in Oregon.  Had Leverage been renewed we had a deal in principal for the 6th season - but it would have eaten up our available incentives into 2014.  With this news we have a small amount of money
in 2013 available and will look to lock that money up in the New Year with a project.

No matter what I do not see this as a setback. We continue to get a flood of calls about filming in Oregon… and I’m sure we will always land work if we have the incentives to offer.

As the saying goes, “when one door closes another opens.”  We’re looking forward to hearing about new projects brought to the state with the additional money Leverage has opened up in the Oregon Production Investment Fund - and we hope that bringing additional projects will help the state’s legislature see the value of increasing the OPIF’s funding so even more projects can be brought into the state.

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Starting 2013 With A Look Back…

Happy New YearWe’re hoping that all our readers had a safe and happy holiday, and are looking forward to another year of success and growth for Oregon’s film and TV industry – one that helps to bring more income and stability to the state’s overall economy.

We thought we’d start 2013 by taking a look back at last year… no, this isn’t one more “Top 10 _______ of 2012″ list – we’ll leave that to more “traditional” media.  As we were gearing up for the new year here at OregonFilmandTVDollars.com central, however, we took at a look our site’s statistics from the past year, and we were surprised by some of the results.  We thought we’d share some notable items with you; you may be surprised as well (or you might not be.)

To begin with, our readership continued to grow in 2012 from around 34,000 visits the previous year to over 230,000 visiting the site in 2012. Of course, the majority of these readers were from Oregon, but several visitors last year were located in the Southwest (specifically New Mexico and Arizona,) the Southeast (especially North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida,) the Midwest (Michigan, Ohio and Illinois in particular,) and the Northeast (New Jersey and Maine making up the largest portion of those visits.) The largest number of foreign visitors in 2012 came from Poland, with the United Kingdom close behind… a number of readers also hailed from Germany, Indonesia, India, France, and The Netherlands.

This won’t come as much of a surprise, but a lot of people were looking for work in Oregon’s film and TV industry last year… even if the information people found was over a year old!  Our most-read articles in 2012 were Grimm’s call for extras, and Portlandia’s location call, but interest was also high for TNT’s hit show Leverage and the Oregon-produced hit web series The Haunting of Sunshine Girl.  It was also good to see Oregon film and TV workers” keeping their eyes open” when it came to “casting agent” scams as well! The top 10 most-read articles in the past year:

  1. NBC’s “Grimm” In Need of “Many Extras Until The Middle Of December,” And David Giuntoli Talks About Portland’s Role In The Show (July 29, 2011)
  2. “Portlandia” Seeks Portland Locations For Season 3 (July 2, 2012)
  3. The Buzz Around Grimm – And Its Oregon Staff & Location – Keeps Growing (October 13, 2011)
  4. “Leverage” Season 4 DVD Release Date Announced (May 3, 2012)
  5. Leverage Gears Up To Begin Shooting Season 5 In Portland (February 21, 2012)
  6. Portlandia Season 2 Prepares For Production – and Seeks Portlandian Locations, Artists, and Extras (June 28, 2011)
  7. Oregon-Produced Internet Hit “Haunting of Sunshine Girl” Launches Spin-off Series (October 11, 2011)
  8. Is Grimm Headed For A Second Season? (February 1, 2012)
  9. Leverage Season 5 Premiere Date Announced (March 15, 2012)
  10. KATU and Portland Casting Agent Expose “Talent Scout” Scam (January 18, 2011)

The search termsleading people to OregonFilmandTVDollars.com last year were a mixed bag; certainly people were looking for information on securing a job on Grimm, but interest in the shot-in-Portland show Leverage was a major factor… and people were still looking for information on the 2011 production of Gone featuring Amanda Seyfried (it’s worth noting that one of our stories on that production is still in the top-ten search results on Google.)  The top 10 search terms that led readers to the site in the past year:

  1. grimm extras
  2. leverage
  3. leverage season 4 dvd release date
  4. amanda seyfried portland
  5. grimm extras casting
  6. how to be an extra on grimm
  7. grimm second season
  8. leverage season 4 release date
  9. be an extra on grimm
  10. grimm filming locations

At the close of our first article in 2012 we said “We’re looking forward to the day that we see many more Oregon-Produced productions in those ‘Most-Read Articles’…”  We’re gratified to see that hope borne out in the past year.  What will 2013 hold for Oregon’s film and TV industry?  We’re looking forward to finding out with you all…

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UPDATED: The State of Oregon’s Film & TV Industry 2012

Oregon Film & TV Logo SOI 2012UPDATE: We received a third article from Claire Brooksbank after this article was posted. Ms. Brooksbank’s thoughts are included below Ms. Mas and Mr. Nelson’s.

Each year Oregon’s governor addresses the state’s film and television industry at the Oregon Film Annual Meeting, and we’ve used that address as a ”jumping-off-point” for our yearly State of The  Industry series.

This year governor John Kitzhaber’s address has been postponed to January 15 (be sure to mark your calendars) but we still asked you, our readers, to give us your own “State of the Industry Address” – to reflect on what’s gone well in the past year, where the industry is headed in the coming year, and the challenges Oregon’s industry faces as it moves forward.

Responses to our call for “State of the Industry” articles were a little slim this year, but both Marychris Mas and Anthony Nelsons’s submissions are though-provoking:

Portland-based costume designer Marychris Mas

Portland-based costume designer Marychris Mas

I have worked in the film industry in this town since VanSant’s pre Drugstore Cowboy days and the heyday of the Movie of the Week. I am not getting much of the benefits of this work now as I see more and more production companies who are from out of state bringing in and encouraging out of state crew to relocate here so they can pad bottom line with housing and per diems that provide them access to more incentive money. There is no local film “industry” here..these producers will be gone if incentive money is gone. We lack stages still, and though peripheral industries are out there, there outlook is tenuous still…and hiring actors or day player for just that, a day, is not providing a JOB! Also, with no sales tax, out of staters are not leaving our state any revenue to fill our coffers.

Marychris Mas is a costumer/ wardrober based in Portland.

Portland-based actor Anthony Nelson

Portland-based actor Anthony Nelson

Oregon’s film industry is not at the point where it should be right now. We’ve lost out on several major productions that would have brought a great deal of work to the state, while generating an incredible amount of revenue, due to the lack of funds available for new productions in the area. David E. Kelley’s newest show Monday Mornings is going to be set in Portland, while filmed in Los Angeles, and this is just unacceptable considering that we had a really good chance to make this show our very own. The time has come to start thinking bigger – we need to start looking at the possibility of matching the tax credits given by Vancouver, BC – not only will we attract a huge number of productions, but the income to the state will more than off-set the contribution that the state makes to those productions. In the end, everybody wins: the state sees increased income, there are more jobs available to the people of Oregon, and the production companies get to stay in the United States.

Anthony Nelson is an on-screen and voice actor based in Portland.

Newberg-based Makeup Artist Claire Brooksbank

Newberg-based Makeup Artist Claire Brooksbank

I have never personally benefited from the Oregon Film and TV money, but I have seen a large number of people who have. Leverage, Grimm, and Portlandia have all put friends of mine to work over the years – actors, grips, camera ops, PAs. The one department that DOESN’T seem to benefit as much is the makeup and FX makeup department. I see a lot of these shows bring their own makeup crews from LA, which puts local Oregon makeup artists (like me) at a disadvantage. I can only rattle off a couple of makeup artists I know that have gotten work on the big shows. I would like to see more of an incentive for film makers and TV producers to not only film here, but fully crew here as well.

Claire Brooksbank is a makeup artist based in Newberg.

We still want to hear YOUR thoughts on the state of Oregon’s film and TV industry as 2012 comes to a close… where has the industry succeeded?  What could it do better?  Leave your thoughts in the comment box below.

We hope that all our readers have a very safe and happy new year, and we look forward to moving into a prosperous 2013 with you!

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Oregon-Produced “Recovery” Premieres In Portland December 15

Oregon filmmaker Mike Prosser’s film Recovery, a “labor of love” five years in the making, will have its world premiere at Portland’s Hollywood Theater Saturday, December 15 at 2:00 PM.

Samuel Keilor is a talented musician, has a loving wife, a beautiful daughter… and a secret.

The Keilor family gathers for Sam’s funeral after his sudden suicide. The family is being haunted… is it their own guilt or is Sam reaching them  from beyond?

Recovery is a supernatural drama  that forces  the audience to look inward.

RECOVERY Premiere Trailer from Mike Prosser on Vimeo.

“I have always been drawn to horror and sci-fi films that comment on the absurdity
of modern society, address social issues, and reinforce the values of the human
heart,” Prosser says.  “Recovery is my attempt to bridge the real world  issue of loss and layer it with psychological and supernatural overtones.”

In Prosser’s words, Recovery has “weathered a failed relationship, the passing of loved ones, a mid-life crisis, moving home to the parents, falling in love, getting married and buying a house.”  Prosser has worked on the film since it was shot in Portland during the fall of 2006.  He estimates that he spent $21,000.00 in Oregon to produce the film, utilizing over sixty Oregon film workers and businesses in the process.

“First and foremost,” he tells us, “I wanted the films viewers to discuss their reactions to the questions that the film raises regarding their own lives.  And gaguing the
responses from test screenings, it achieves it’s intended goal.”

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We Want To Hear YOUR Take On The State Of Oregon’s Film & TV Industry 2012!

Oregon Governor Jon Kitzhaber With The Cast of the Shot-in-Portland Series Grimm

Oregon Governor Jon Kitzhaber With The Cast of the Shot-in-Portland Series Grimm

We have to thank Portland filmmaker Martin Vavra for reminding us that it’s that time of year again!

Each year Oregon’s governor addresses the state’s film and television industry at the Oregon Film Annual Meeting, and we’ve used that address as a “jumping-off-point” for our yearly State of The  Industry series. 

This year governor John Kitzhaber’s address has been postponed to January 15 (be sure to mark your calendars) but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to hear from you, our readers!  What’s your take on the state of Oregon’s film and TV industry as the year comes to a close?

As in years past, we’re asking how YOU’D describe the state of Oregon’s film and TV industry at the end of 2012. What’s worked well in the past year? Who’s made a difference in the growth of the industry?  What direction do you see Oregon’s industry headed in – Is it progressing in a direction you’re happy with, or do you see challenges in the coming year the industry must address?

Take a look at what some of our readers said about the State Of The Industry at the end of 2010 and at the end of 2011, then send us your thoughts.  It doesn’t matter if you work in the industry, if you’re regular reader of OregonFilmandTVDollars.com, or if you’re live in Oregon… we want to hear from you!

Take a moment to give us your thoughts on the Share Your Story Page (before December 22, please!) We’ll collect your “State of The Industry addresses and post them through the end of the year.

We’re looking forward to sharing what you have to say about the growth of Oregon’s film & TV industry with the rest of our readers!

Posted in Animation, Commercials, Education, Film Incentives, Government, New Media, Opinion, Oregonian Productions, Out-of-State Productions, State Of The Industry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oregon-Produced “The Falls” Released on DVD

After a very successful film festival run, Oregon writer/ director Jon Garcia’s feature film The Falls has been released on DVD and video-on-demand services by Breaking Glass Pictures.

In The Falls, RJ Smith (Nick Ferrucci) travels to a small town in Oregon, where he meets Elder Merrill (Benjamin Farmer) and the two serve their mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Living together and sharing the challenge of leaving home, the two men help each other discover their strengths. They share a passion for their faith and learn to express their feelings, risking the only community they have for a forbidden intimacy.

The Falls trailer, directed by Jon Garcia from Kacey Jo Manny on Vimeo.

The Falls is set fictional town of Clackamas Falls, OR the production took place in Portland during the summer of 2010.  Garcia estimates that he spent approximately $8,000.00 in the state to make the film with a 100% Oregon cast and crew.

The film is currently available at Target and Barnes and Noble, as well as online retailers such as Amazon.com.  Garcia’s next film, Tandem Hearts, is expected to be released in early 2013.  He is currently finishing post-production on his third feature The Hours Til Daylight.

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OMPA Celebrates 30 Years Of Building Oregon’s Media Production Industry On December 2

Thirty years ago a group of Oregon producers and creative leaders came together to set professional standards for media production work done in the state, and began working to bring more film, television, and media-related jobs to Oregon.  On December 2, 1982 these Oregon film and media pioneers formed the Oregon Media Production Association.

This Sunday, December 2, Oregon’s non-profit trade association for the state’s film and TV industry will celebrate thirty years of working to “promote the development, growth and enhancement of Oregon’s film, television and multimedia industry.”  The anniversary celebration will take place at @Large Films (807 NE Couch Street in Portland) and will consist of a “dinner celebration” at 5:00, followed by a the organization’s annual holiday party at 7:00.

Attendees are asked to RSVP at OMPA.org for the Dinner or Holiday party.

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Oregon-Produced Buoy Begins Limited Theatrical Run In Portland November 28

Buoywritten and directed by Steve Doughton and executive-produced by  Todd Haynes, will begin a limited theatrical run at Portland’s Hollywood Theater on Wednesday, November 28.  Tickets are currently on sale for all screenings.

In Buoy, a woman receives a telephone call from her long-lost brother — reconnecting with the central, though neglected, emotional anchor in her life. In the span of an 80- minute conversation, the two siblings test the strength of a deep, if challenged, love.

The film’s producers tell us that Buoy was shot in Portland for under $50,000.00.  The production, which utilized a 15-person crew, spent its entire budget in Oregon.  “We spent a bit to travel and house the talent,” they note, “including some crew members like the editor who are from Oregon but not residing here currently.  Some of our budget also went to camera rental and equipment rental.”

After its limited theatrical run Buoy will be available on DVD through Amazon.com.

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Weekend Film Incentive News Wrap-Up

It’s the weekend, which means it’s time for our regular look at some of the news about film incentive programs around the country. Now, you know the focus of this site is Oregon’s film and TV industry, and its effect on the state’s economy. It’s important to keep an eye on trends nationwide, though. The film and TV industry is an interdependent organism; what happens around the country affects Oregon’s industry, and what happens in Oregon affects the rest of the country as well.

While each state’s incentive program is different, it’s important to see the “big picture” by keeping an eye on the choices other states have made – to learn from their successes and their mistakes.

So With That…

Film and TV workers in Arizona are preparing yet another attempt to resurrect the Grand Canyon State’s film incentive program.  You may recall that Arizona’s legislature allowed the program to expire back in 2010.

Meanwhile, in neighboring New Mexico, members of the state Senate are blasting the governor’s office because a study on the financial impact of the Land of Enchantment’s film incentive program hasn’t been completed.

Study of film incentives still not done

 The new head of Michigan’s Film Office says that “efforts to promote films and digital projects in the state will be unceasing.”  While the state has struggled to maintain its film and TV industry since the Wolverine State’s film incentive program was “capped” in 2011, the addition of over $50 million to the fund is expected to breathe new life into the state in the coming year.

All eyes are on Virginia with the box office and critical success of Steven Spielberg’s film Lincoln.  Data released on the eve of Lincoln’s opening notes that the fiscal impact of the Old Dominion’s film and  television industry rose by 14.5% in 2011, with the Daniel Day Lewis film bringing in “tens of millions of dollars” during the months it filmed in the state.

As film producers in South Carolina work to build a stronger industry in the Palmetto state, the state’s Film Office is downplaying news that the state is paying more out in incentives than is brought in directly to the state.  Officials with the South Carolina Film Commission say the point of the tax incentive program is not to make money, but to help the economy grow as a result of the incentives.

And finally, outside US Borders… producers are struggling to gauge the seriousness of Australia’s commitment to increasing its location incentive.

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