UPDATE: 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
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
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
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!