Saturday, August 12, 2006


Film Productions Hyped in Central Oregon

Bend, Oregon, is a town of hustlers: realtors, land-sharks, go-getters, high achievers, all the cultural heros of our Neo Guilded Age. We’re not the only town in the grip of these people: Aspen, Carmel, Anacortes, Bozeman, Sandpoint—dozens and dozens of towns in the American west have been seized by entrepeneurs and their ilk. Sometimes they improve things; but once they’ve done that, they keep going. Being a go-getter is like being a heroin addict: more more more is always the modus operandi.

So, some hotshots decided that Bend should become the center of some sort of film industry. I don’t quite know if they dream of an Orlando-in-the-desert or what, but they’ve made their pitch. Too bad they overlooked the very simply fact that the free-lance film industry, and a lot of mainstream productions as well, simply leave the country for Canada where costs are much lower. But these guys will figure out how to profit from their sales pitch.

Central Oregon urged to recruit show business productions
8/5/2006, 2:20 p.m. PT
The Associated Press
BEND, Ore. (AP) — Central Oregon should think of itself as a place where television executives and movie moguls want to produce shows, Oregon video promoters say.

Former Hollywood television producer Steve Oster and Eugene production studio owner Scott Chambers briefed a group of political leaders, economic development agents and publishers in Bend last week.

They said Oregon is increasingly viewed as a destination for the creative class, people who might leave Southern California or New York, and Oregon has both financial incentives in place and production facilities in prospect.

All three of those factors — people, incentives and facilities — have to come together before a viable film industry will take root here, Oster said.

"It's a chicken and egg thing," Oster said.

Oster is head of the Oregon Film and Video Office, a state agency that tries to attract and coordinate film work in the state.

The state needs to attract more work before trained film people will relocate here in great numbers - there currently are three feature films being shot in various locations around the state, but the frequency of projects is still "feast or famine," Oster noted.

"We are shooting for sustainability," he said.

Before film producers will shoot here in steady numbers, though, they need people. The state can currently crew about two to 2 1/2 feature films at a time, with a few hundred people required for each, Oster said. That's not enough to keep the work coming steadily, particularly if a long-running television series with lots of shoots is thrown into the mix.

Oregon's Production Investment Fund can offer individual filmmakers up to $250,000 per film in the form of a 10 percent reimbursement for in-state costs, Oster said, and its Greenlight Oregon labor rebate offers a 6.2 percent kickback on labor costs.


Information from: The Bulletin,

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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