Hey! Where’s the March newsletter
I know you’re thinking “did I get a March newsletter?” The answer is “not yet.” Until the budget cuts of last month the newsletter was on a monthly schedule, but with the staff reduced to four day weeks while the world still operates at five (or is that seven?) time has become a premium commodity. The priority needs to be recruiting and supporting production in Oregon first and then the newsletter. As a result, until the time that the budget can support full time hours the “publication” of the newsletter may become spread over a wider time span. top of page
Hey! Where’s the March newsletter
Gus Van Sant’s latest project, “Elephant” was among 20 films named today as “In Competition” at the 56th Festival de Cannes to be held in May. “Elephant,” a 22 day project, shot almost exclusively at the unoccupied Whitaker Middle School in Northeast Portland. The Pie Films production is the story of how a normal day at school suddenly turns tragic when two students bring guns to school. It is an ensemble piece with 15 lead roles cast locally. The students were all “real” high school kids from the local area. Vana O’Brien of Portland plays a supporting role while Timothy Bottoms (“The Last Picture Show,” “Johnny Got His Gun,” “The Paper Chase”) and Matt Malloy(“Finding Forrester,” “Changing Lanes,” “Far From Heaven”)were other supporting actors. top of page
“Industry Day” wrap-up
On Tuesday, March 18 Oregon’s indigenous film industry brought a strong voice to the state Capitol building. Capitol Building From 10am – 4pm displays were available to the public and legislators in the Galleria. E. Larry Day demonstrated his makeup artistry with a “bruising” display. By the end of the day, several people were sporting cuts and black eyes – visible signs of the “beating” our industry has taken from runaway production. Another attention-getter was the wonderful performance by actors assembled through Ryan Artists, and Jeffrey Hassler. While actors read through scenes, Dantes Reyes filmed the action. Pacific Grip & Lighting brought their 10-ton grip truck and 1200 amp generator , parking it prominently in front of the Capitol steps to announce the industry’s presence. Seth Garen at Respond2 and Rick Phillips of KTVA Productions each put together two wonderful clips about production in the state. Displays also presented information about the trade associations within the state and industry members attended from Medford, Madras,Pendleton, Astoria, Eugene, Portland, Bend and Roseburg. Throughout the day people were available to answer questions and to talk about their own work within the industry.
In addition to the displays, many made appointments to visit their legislators and key committee members. Right up to the end of the day a last sweep of the Capitol building found Martha Hines, Kathleen Lopez, Michael Fine, Kip Kaufman and Jane Manchee squeezing in opportunities to see legislators. The education process was extremely effective and the feedback from staff and legislators has been very positive. One comment was that no group has ever made such an impactful presentation at the Capitol before. This was also a great opportunity for industry members to experience the accessibility of the Capitol. Visiting legislators is a very open process and it’s important that we continue with our communications regarding The Oregon Production Investment Fund incentive program, and funding of the Film Office.
The day was finished off with a legislative reception at the Elsinore Theatre. Many industry folks stayed on in Salem for the evening to greet and network with legislators. Premiere Catering did a great job catering and donated the majority of the cost. Wineries from throughout the state as well as Caldera Brewery of Ashland made beverage donations while RJ McHatton of COFVA donated the non-alcoholic drinks. Premier Press donated much of the printing required for the event and Pacific Seafood of Clackamas made a donation of seafood for the reception. Prominent actor David Ogden-Stiers drove in from the coast to show his support for the Oregon industry and spoke of the importance of bringing more work opportunities to Oregonians. Additional supportive speakers were Senator Rick Metsger, Todd Davidson, Executive Director of the State Tourism Commission, and Howard Lavine from the Governor’s office. Mary MacDonald-Lewis graciously offered to MC and did a wonderful job-as always-despite many last-minute curve-balls thrown her way.
A very hearty “thank you” to the members of the Industry Day Coordinating Committee; Debbie Williamson-Smith – MOPAN
Charlie Carlson – IATSE 488
Dona Jennison – OMPA
Greg McMickle – The Prop House
Dantes Reyes – Brand Name Productions
Tracey Rowatt – Brand Name Productions
Rick Phillips – KTVA Productions for MCA-I
Veronica Rinard – Oregon Film & Video Office
Susan Tong – Oregon Film & Video Office
RJ McHattan – COFVA
Mark Dumond – Cobi Digital
Kyle Sheely – Mark Spencer Hotel
Juliana Lukasik – @Large Films. A hearty “thank you” also to all of those who contributed time, energy, and resources to make the event a success.
You have received several Legislative Updates by now and we will continue to keep you informed of how the bill is progressing. As one update indicated, a barrage of emails or phone calls probably would not be the best tactic but anyone who lives in the district of a member of the Ways and Means Committee, and especially the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade and Economic Development, should contact their legislator to support funding of the Office at the level in the Governor’s budget. If you need additional information about the bill do not hesitate to contact our office, or your trade association.
Frank DiMarco (http://www.dimarcoimages.com/) has graciously provided us with images for an Industry Day photo album.top of page
Hot Pepper delivers on ad campaign
Brad Smith and Hot Pepper delivered some persuasive print elements for the IndustryOregon Film Means Business poster Day events and the campaign to pass Senate Bill 79. The four posters serve to underscore the fact that movie production means business, that is, revenue for the crew, for the vendors, for all manner of support services and finally for state government. If you missed them at Industry Day check them out here.top of page
“The Hunted” premieres
March finally saw release of Paramount Picture’s “The Hunted.” While “The Hunted” received mixed reviews it is undisputably the most financially
rewarding movie ever shot here. With the Oregon locations looking great “The Hunted” creates excellent advertising for our state. top of page
The “Plautz Experience” at Ashland Film Festival
The tag line for the Ashland Independent Film Festival, “it’s more than a festival, it’s an experience” could not have been more true.
AshlandArriving on the morning of April 3rd at the Medford airport to be greeted by an enthusiastic volunteer that drove us into town began
my journey with my co-producer David Decker and my husband John.
We were whisked off to a filmmakers breakfast featuring yummy local faire and had the opportunity to meet with other filmmakers. There was such
a sense of community. We registered and received goody bags filled with gifts from local merchants, making us feel rival to the academy award
attendees who receive goody bags. We were personally awed by our great treatment and found this consistent from everyone we talked to. All the
filmmakers were gushing at how well they were treated and also the stellar line-up of films.
With 67 to see, we were busy! Not to mention our own 2 screenings and having the opportunity to chat with the audience afterwards. This was a
wonderful aspect of the festival, that so many filmmakers were on hand for the audience to be able to ask questions of and learn from. Another
element enjoyed by all were the Filmmakers forums. This was a place where the audience could ask a host of filmmakers all kinds of questions and
also the filmmakers could learn from one another, about experiences and techniques.
Some of the stand out films from this critic were, “O.T. Our Town” a look at a high school class in Compton, CA that put on the play “Our Town”.
It was cleverly cut with scenes from the Hal Holbrook TV version from 1977. It was touching and moving the way these childrens lives were portrayed.
Today’s Compton, California, is a far cry from the Grover’s Corner, New Hampshire, of 65 years ago. This 76 minute documentary showed the challenges
faced by the teachers and students as they put on Thornton Wilder’s seemingly irrelevant “Our Town” in a high school that has had student riots.
Another favorite was a feature film from a New York filmmaker called “Living and Dining”. This film shared the journey of employees in a tourist
town restaurant who struggle with low expectations and resentment of the rich when the place is about to go bust.
Some surprises too were to be had at the festival with a bevy of humorous shorts. “Dancing with Ernesto” and also “Downsizing” were some of our
favorites. Student films from Florida were also especially inspiring, “The Penny Game” and “Ants” were two favorites.
The Ashland Independent Film Festival is a treasure, as are all the people who helped to make it happen. Dana.top of page
“Heaven” in Ashland
An update on other independent projects shot in Oregon finds that “Raspberry Heaven,” shot in Ashland last fall, is nearing completion. Director,
David Oas, says they are in the final stages of editing and music selection and hope to debut the feature later this year in Southern Oregon.
“Raspberry Heaven” is a psychological drama, that tells the story of a troubled sister and mysterious brother working at the Oregon Shakespeare
Festival. Oas, who is making his directorial debut, says the entire film shot within a five-mile radius of Ashland and he felt it was an “outstanding
“Umatilla” gets distributed
MercuryMedia International picked up distribution rights for ?Umatilla? the controversial 90?
documentary from White Knuckles Productions.
Leading factual program distributors MercuryMedia International are pleased to launch Umatilla at MipTV 2003 following the successful
distribution of Channel 4/Insight News? 21st Century War series, which won plaudits from many broadcasters.
As you have no doubt read in this newsletter and others, “Umatilla” is the scary true story of the town of Umatilla living next to the largest
stockpile of mustard and nerve gas bombs, rockets and chemical weapons. Director RJ McHatton says this explosive documentary shows how the
dangers of storing chemical weapons have been forgotten by the US administration. “I made this movie because I think people need to know the
dangers of leaking chemical weapons. The movie is like a mystery, because the more you dig, the more dirt you find,” stated RJ.
Tim Sparke, Director of MercuryMedia, said “We are really proud to have this important documentary in our catalogue. We beat off competition
from the leading independent distributors to win the rights and Broadcasters including BBC Television, Canal Plus and Pan Arabian MBC have
already expressed interest in the programme.”
Commenting on his decision to work with Mercury, RJ said, “Umatilla has already been accepted for leading US Film festivals. MercuryMedia convinced
me that there was an audience outside of the US. I chose Mercury and Tim Sparke because I feel Tim understands the film and I trust him.?
Rodriguez completes shooting “Coming Up Easy”
Rebecca Rodriquez (Hair on Fire Films) wrapped principal photography on her independent film, “Coming Up Easy”. Coming Up Easy The film is about a
young women’s struggle to regain control of her own life while trying to stop the chain of domestic violence in the lives of women close to her.
Director, Rodriquez says she was pleased with the 18 day filming process. “Every day I told myself, this is going to be a hard day but every day it
turned out really well. The crew was terrific and the actors were prepared and on point. The whole process ran really smooth.” “Coming up Easy” was
shot on the new 24P DV camera and will be posted in the next few months at Fusion Post HD in Portland.
“Twilight” draws near
Jason Tamini from Silver Current Productions reports that they have completed editing “Twilight Conspiracy” and now are working on the score and
sound design. For the most part the film is “in the can,” but there are a few loose ends to tie up. Jason thought they were about two-three
weeks from a final cut. top of page
If you wake up some day and realize that you’ve lost or mistakenly erased that favorite OFVO Newsletter you’ve been keeping, fear not. All previous
editions of the Newsletter are available to you, 24/7 (or 99.999% of the time according to our web host). Just follow this link: Newsletter Archive. top of page
Aries: March 21-April 19
This could possibly be your year in the way of production jobs. Be extra cautious however, around the summer solstice. We see some possible
complications involving a project you’re working on. We see angry villagers, torches, shaking fists, and someone perched on a precarious ledge.
We’re just not sure if it’s you on the ledge, or a permitting official. Big Time Aries: Chaka Khan, Lucy Lawless, Al Gore, Hugh Hefner
Taurus: April 20-May20
ou are an earthy kind of production person. You feel you haven’t really cleared a location until you’ve laid face down in the dirt and allowed
the site to “communicate” with you. Listen to that voice when it tells you not to wear Birkenstocks on a shoot in Norway in dead winter. Big Time
Taureans: Tony Blair, Carmen Electra, James Brown, Cher top of page
Association Meeting Schedules
OMPA (Oregon Media Production Association)
2nd Thursday of the month @ 6:00 pm. MOPAN(Mid-Oregon Production Arts Network)
2nd Wednesday of the month. COFVA(Central Oregon Film & Video Association) SOFVA (Southern Oregon Film & Video Association)
1st Thursday of the month. MCA-I (Media Communications Association – International)
3rd Thursday of the month.
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Short takes . . .
Online resource of the month:
Sponsored by the Oregon Tourism Commission, this site give you quick access
to general information about various regions of the state. At the site you can
find referrals to Chambers of Commerce, Tourism Councils, Economic Develop
agencies, etc. in each of region to answer specific questions. You will also find
photo libraries, event calendars and “must see” locations. http://www.seasurf.net/~kirkham/page4.html top of page