Spotlight On Location Professional – Beth Melnick, Northlight Locations

(Shot in; Forest Park, Mount Hood National Forest.)

This month we are highlighting location professional, Beth Melnick, Northlight Locations. Beth describes herself as “a hyphenate”, a Location Scout and Location Manager – “scouting and managing call upon two very different sets of muscles and perhaps the one thing that ties them is curiosity about, and compassion for, other people and various environments. As a manager, it is my objective to put a bubble around the creative team so that reality never bites, while protecting the locations so that we may return in the future.

Trained in Los Angeles in the commercial world, Beth has worked for innovative directors and art directors who were demanding both creatively, and logistically. “There is always a challenge to make the next project better than the last and always the intention that no matter how short the time, or large the creative vision, we will accomplish it. I have scouted all over the US, Canada and Mexico. The thing about Oregon and the Northwest that is visually so intoxicating, is the light, and the variety of natural wonders in such close proximity to a vital progressive city with strong local crews and good resources.”

“I came to Oregon initially to scout my first feature film, Alan Parker’s, period piece about the Japanese internment,“Come See the Paradise.” I fell in love with the state, and my husband, Location Manager, Don Baldwin! I still work in Los Angeles part of the year but have been fortunate to be able to scout and manage an increasing number of commercials and features such as “Wild” and “Twilight” where I live. There is a reason companies keep coming back to Oregon to work. In Oregon we’re often called upon to make what appears to be inaccessible accessible to a large crew with heavy equipment. Alex Honnold and Emily Harrington are world class climbers who regularly reach places no one but photographer, Jimmy Chin and the likes go. For Northface we found a spot that the crew could walk right out to but the director and editors were able to give the feeling of a remote inaccessible lead. We had to do something very similar for the opening scene of “Wild” but with an even larger crew.”

“Oregon is geographically diverse. It has extraordinary forest locations , roads ,open wheat-land, dramatic coastline, a bit of high desert, evolving urban landscapes. I am never bored working here. Locations which I return to always afford something new with changing light and the perspective each director brings. Lately I have really been enjoying playing and working in Central Oregon between Smith Rock to the north and Crater Lake to the south. The area is full of gems, like Black Butte Ranch. A smaller team can stay there and just walk right out their door to exquisite locations. The area has attracted some of Oregon’s most seasoned professionals and it is becoming easier to crew with wonderful talent. Nearer to Portland, Silver Falls State Park is still a favorite location as it has such beauty and variety in all seasons. The whole state is good though. Every day here is a busman’s holiday for me.”

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An “IKar” For Oregon!

New to Oregon is the #OregonMade “IKar” – a custom built Mini that has been built from the ground up, with careful attention to suspension, tires and brakes.  The IKar can currently accomodate 2 crew people and will eventually be able to accomodate 3.

IKar came to life when owner/operator, Mark “Sparky” Haleston, wanted something that “could go 130 miles per hour to track the Gumball Rally in europe – we needed a rig with a stabalized camera on the back.”  Haleston said, “it’s capabilities fits a niche that required high performance that handles well on curves.”  IKar is small and nimble, and easily gets up to 130 mph if needed.  It carries a robotic head and has internal 120V inverters, HD resolution monitors, HD/SDI cabling, external 1 1/2 1 1 1/4 speed rail. Wi-Fi capabilty with the newly installed flip down tablets that run DJI Gopro provides playback of recorded files with VLC media apps. and can deploy quickly to use for WiFi, compass, calculator, and loaded with programs. With this build, safety has been the top concern – many cars, vans, and pick-up trucks don’t have the fabricated systems to properly protect crew members – but the custom built IKar is robust (with tires and brakes being a top priority) and assembled from the ground up with frames that have been highly modified with steel. “The aluminum tubing is specific in strength for all the rigging parts in place to wrap the crew members as protection.  Constant maintenance and attention to details is applied.”

Haleston, carries a Class A training with all endorsements and Bondurant high performance school training including skid recovery, accident avoidance, and race track seat time.

Some of the many projects that the “IKar” has worked on “on track” are:

  • Toyota Camry 2018 launch video, 4 precisions drives chased the Mini
  • Lucky Dog Racing League
  • Portland International – Kent
  • Oregon Park raceway

For more information contact:  Mark Haleston. 

“IKar” on FaceBook

For more camera cars check out Elite Camera Cars.

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RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARCHIVE: Mara of the Wilderness (Frank McDonald, 1966)

Oregon doubles for Alaska in this week’s RotLA edition and it brings some (early) Batman-esque Romp! Danger! and Romance! to the fore in the process. Yes, Adam West is this week’s featured artist in a Deschutes National Forest set feature which predates Mr. West’s glorious days as the first caped crusader to appear on our screens and sends him into the woods to find unexpected love with a Nature Child and danger from rogue hunters in the form of Petticoat Junction’s Lori Sanders and Theo Marcuse, respectively. Pull on your stretchy pants and fur lined, off-the-shoulder one-piece and settle in for a Tempest in the Wilderness tale:

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#OregonMade “Lean On Pete” In Theaters March 30th, 2018

ACCLAIMED FILMMAKER ANDREW HAIGH RETURNS WITH AMERICANA ODYSSEY IN FIRST TRAILER AND POSTER FOR LEAN ON PETE, STARRING CHARLIE PLUMMER, STEVE BUSCEMI AND CHLOЁ SEVIGNY.

The film premiered to exceptional reviews at The Venice Film Festival in competition and also played Telluride and Toronto earlier this year.

– IN THEATERS MARCH 30 –

From acclaimed filmmaker Andrew Haigh (Weekend; 45 Years), and based on the beloved novel by Willy Vlautin, comes Lean on Pete—a deeply moving story about love, loneliness, family, and friendship, told through the unique prism of one boy’s connection to a very special racehorse.

Fifteen-year-old Charley Thompson (Charlie Plummer) arrives in Portland, Oregon with his single father Ray (Travis Fimmel), both of them eager for a fresh start after a series of hard knocks. While Ray descends into personal turmoil, Charley finds acceptance and camaraderie at a local racetrack where he lands a job caring for an aging Quarter Horse named Lean On Pete. The horse’s gruff owner Del Montgomery (Steve Buscemi) and his seasoned jockey Bonnie (Chloë Sevigny) help Charley fill the void of his father’s absence—until he discovers that Pete is bound for slaughter, prompting him to take extreme measures to spare his new friend’s life. Charley and Pete head out into the great unknown, embarking on an odyssey across the new American frontier in search of a loving aunt Charley hasn’t seen in years. They experience adventure and heartbreak in equal measure, but never lose their irrepressible hope and resiliency as they pursue their dream of finding a place they can call home.

Featuring an incredible breakout turn by Charlie Plummer (The Dinner; King Jack; Ridley Scott’s forthcoming All The Money in the World) and memorable supporting work by indie stalwarts Buscemi, Sevigny and Steve Zahn, Lean on Pete is a compassionate and heartrending look at the desire for love, family, and acceptance that drives all of us.

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HBO’s #OregonMade “Here And Now” Unveiled New Trailer

#OregonMade in Portland, the new Alan Ball/HBO series, “Here and Now” shared the new teaser trailer yeterday. The series about a, “multi-racial family made up of husband, wife, three adopted children from Somalia, Vietnam and Colombia and one biological child, find their bonds tested when one of the children begins seeing things which the rest cannot,” stars, Holly Hunter, Sosie Bacon, Jerrika Hinton, Raymond Lee, Tim Robbins, Daniel Zovatto, and was directed and written by Alan Ball. We look forward to seeing it this winter.

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Interested In Having YOUR Script Come To Life?

Portland State University’s non-profit organization “PSU.TV” is looking for script submissions for their Third Annual Film Project.

The Annual Film Project is PSU.TV’s regular feature film production. The project involves over two dozen students, community members, and working professionals. The First Annual Film Project, Retro Hero, is in post-production, and will soon be submitted to film festivals. The Second Annual Film Project is currently in Post-Production.

Now, let’s get on to the script selection of the third! We are looking for a web-series. About THREE episodes, TWENTY pages each. However, this is flexible! Treatments, outlines, and features adaptable to a web series format are welcome as well. Email questions and scripts to [email protected] if you are interested in a neat opportunity to work with emerging independent filmmakers.

Check out our website and Youtube page for more.

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RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARCHIVE: Gravity Falls (2012-2013, 2014-2016)

This week we shift gears in the RotLA world and it takes us down a path that isn’t necessarily #OregonMade, as we would always prefer, but #OregonSET. There’s many a great project that is set here in Oregon but has not brought itself to actually produce its content in this great state – Springfield-set The Simpsons comes to mind but the much-anticipated I, Tonya also rounds out that particular out-of-state-produced-but-set-in-Oregon pack. Raider/Contributor Phil Oppenheim makes the compelling argument that even those projects that do not exist as so-called brick-and-mortar operations here in Oregon, have a lasting impact on our state (and read to the very end for some great connected places to visit here in Oregon). And we’re not gonna argue with that, be that as it may.

For December, we’re pivoting away from the dark urban crime scenes of last month’s noir tribute and towards the warmer, gentler landscape of the holiday season.  And as a palate cleanser for some great upcoming family fare – movies like The Apple Dumpling Gang and Tonka, for a couple of teasers – we’re going to sample a Disney cartoon series that has become a cult classic (among discriminating animation fans) and a key part of Oregon’s rising pop culture cache during the 2010s.  Read More »

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Inaugural Outdoor-Adventure Film Grant Opens Tomorrow!

 We are excited to announce, with our partners, our inaugural Outdoor-Adventure Film Grant!
Oregon Film, Travel Oregon, Danner Boots, and the Portland Film Office at Prosper Portland have partnered to bring funding for a new competitive grant, the Outdoor-Adventure Film Grant (OAFG). The OAFG will enable the selected applicant to create a short film that specifically showcases the spirit, passion, and excitement of the outdoor-adventure, or action sports film genres in the state of Oregon. $18,500 in funding as well as equipment, services, and support will be provided. Filmmakers from diverse Oregon communities are specifically encouraged to apply (special consideration will be given to filmmakers of color, LGBTQ, women filmmakers, and candidates from socio-economically diverse backgrounds.)  There is a lack of diverse voices telling outdoor-adventure stories. The OAFG is aiming to help open up this unfolding and evolving conversation of the future of inclusion in storytelling, both in front of and behind the camera while utilizing Oregon’s outdoor spaces as a backdrop. This grant will make it possible for an emerging filmmaker with an interest in specializing his/her career in the outdoor-adventure or action sports film genres to champion inclusivity and representation in their finished film.  The successful film will equally illustrate the inspiration of adventure, the triumph of the human spirit, and the distinct possibility that outdoor pursuits can mobilize and empower people to get outside and make their own stories in the great Oregon outdoors!

The OAFG of $18,500 is also supported by in-kind equipment and services donations from Koerner Camera, Digital One, and Mission Control.  Further production support will be provided in conjunction with Open Signal, and composer Jake Hull. Additional support will be provided by the Northwest Film Center, MetroEast, and by Oregon State Parks.  We hope this 2018 grant will be the first of many in years to come.
Applictions can be found here and will be accepted from 9 am Friday December 1st, 2017 until 5pm January 31st, 2018, PST.


Oregon Film’s mission is to promote, support and advance the film, video, interactive,
animation, and creative content industries within the state by fostering creative
connections between production, business and public sectors and strengthening this
industry’s profile and reputation locally, nationally and internationally.
The #OregonMade Creative Foundation is a partnership between the Charitable
Partnership Fund (a 501[c][3]) to create a non-profit foundation focused on providing
opportunity an grants for low or micro-budget #OregonMade creative content projects
initiated in Oregon by Oregonians, or made in Oregon with Oregonians, as part of the
Oregon Made Creative Foundation.
Travel Oregon: The Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon, works to enhance
visitors’ experiences by providing information, resources and trip planning tools that
inspire travel and consistently convey the exceptional quality of Oregon. The commission
aims to improve Oregonians’ quality of life by strengthening the economic impacts of the
state’s $11.3 billion tourism industry that employs more than 109,000 Oregonians. Visit
TravelOregon.com to learn more.
Danner Boots: Danner designs and manufactures a complete line of innovative,
functional and performance footwear for experts in the work, outdoor and lifestyle
markets. Founded in 1932 in Chippewa Falls, Wisc. and relocating to Portland, Ore. in
1936, Danner maintains a commitment to craftsmanship and heritage. Using only the
highest quality materials and components such as GORE-TEX® and Vibram®, Danner
builds premium-quality hiking, hunting, occupational, uniform and rugged, casual
footwear for men and women. For more information, please visit www.danner.com.
Portland Film Office: The Portland Film Office serves as Portland’s “go-to” resource for
the film, video and multimedia industry. It facilitates filming in Portland for productions
of all sizes, captures economic impact for the city, promotes Portland as a film location,
and supports the industry’s success locally and internationally

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Sundance To Premiere Both Debra Granik’s & Gus Van Sant’s New Films

Sundance Film Festival announced its lineup today and we are pleased to see that Debra Granik‘s (“Winter’s Bone”) new feature, “Untitled Debra Granik Project” was just accepted in the festival’s World Premiere section.  Granik wrote (with Anne Rosellini) and directed this #OregonMade film. “A father and daughter live a perfect but mysterious existence in Forest Park, a beautiful nature reserve near Portland, Oregon, rarely making contact with the world. A small mistake tips them off to authorities sending them on an increasingly erratic journey in search of a place to call their own. Cast: Ben Foster, Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Jeff Korber, Dale Dickey.”

Also, from Oregonian Director Gus Van Sant, his “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot” will also World Premiere at the festival.  This feature, although set in Portland, was filmed in LA. (Gus Van Sant (screenplay), John Callahan (biography), Producers: Charles-Marie Anthonioz, Mourad Belkeddar, Steve Golin, Nicolas Lhermitte.) “John Callahan has a talent for off-color jokes…and a drinking problem. When a bender ends in a car accident, Callahan wakes permanently confined to a wheelchair. In his journey back from rock bottom, Callahan finds beauty and comedy in the absurdity of human experience. Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, Jack Black,” and #OregonMade “Green Room” actor, Mark Webber.

Sundance takes place Jan. 18-28 in Park City, Utah.

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OMPA’s Holiday Media Mixer at Oregon Film’s Offices December 6th

Oregon Film is hosting OMPA’s December Media Mixer Wednesday 6th, December.  RSVP as soon as you can – come and help OMPA cut their cake to celebrate 35 years!

December 6th, 5.30-8pm

Oregon Film’s offices, 123 NE 3rd Ave, Portland (use main entrance on 3rd street, and park in the parking lot behind the building on 1st)

See you there!

 

 

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