RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARCHIVE: Cold Weather (Aaron Katz, 2010)

After a shortened week last week RotLA returns today with the final installment of its Noirvember sub-series. This time, it’s a moody and realistic dive into Portland’s not-too-distant but oh-so-different past featuring understated performances, quietly iconic locations and an it-sneaks-up-on-you tension – passing by not only RotLA’s humble narrator’s own Hollywood neighborhood but also The (great) Laurelhurst Theatre in the process finally culminating under the Morrison Bridge outside (where else?) City Liquidators.

One of the great things to celebrate about Oregon’s film history is its direct connection to Indie Directorial Voices and how they have influenced the mood, style and substance of many of the nation’s great cinematic trends; James Blue, James Ivory, Gus Van Zant, a transplanted Alex Cox and many of those highlighted by our Raider/Contributor in past posts – not to mention the pioneering animators and illustrators who literally changed the face of both commercial and experimental animation on all levels. This week is no exception as Phil Oppenheim bundles us up and dives in to Aaron Katz’s Cold Weather.

Philip Marlowe had his rumpled raincoat and fedora; Sam Spade had his Maltese Falcon; Mike Hammer had his fists and his 45; Batman has his batarangs and Batmobile.  In writer-director-editor Aaron Katz’s Cold Weather, wanna-be detective Doug has his sister’s Subaru station wagon.  It’s a film noir, but not like any other you’ve seen before.  Read More »

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Rare Looks Behind-The-Scenes of “Paint Your Wagon” In 1968

Thank you to the Oregon Historical Society‘s KOIN Collection, and specifically to the Archivist for Photography and Moving Images, Matthew Cowan, and based on research done by Kickass Oregon History, we have some very rare and interesting footage to share about a film which found itself in the wilderness outside of Baker City in 1968.

Last week we were lucky enough to screen the film to a packed house at The Hollywood Theatre in Portland and we were excited to see so many people who had a direct connection to the actual shooting of the film. In particular, one gentleman who played a baby in the film, and one of the helicopter pilots who shuttled the cast and crew onto the Eagle Cap Wilderness set from Baker City some 30+ miles away.

We now have some great shots from that intrepid helicopter pilot, Ron Wilkins, of his daughter, Etta Wilkins-Foster, and the cast on the locations of the production of “Paint Your Wagon” in 1968 that are shared for the first time below. These photos will be part of a newly updated exhibition on the production of the movie outside of Baker City coming to the Baker Heritage Museum next year. (On a related note, the screening of PYW last week raised nearly $1400 for BHM, funds that will help ensure it remains a thriving historical force in Eastern Oregon.)

You can also check out Kickass Oregon History’s podcast about PYW which features footage from this KOIN report.

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Oregon Filmmakers Launch Kickstarter For Scotland Based Film


Wonderwritten is an Independent Film slated for production spring of 2018 in Scotland. Join Oregon based creators in telling a uniquely compelling story of the human experience set in the stunning Scottish Highlands.

In a rare and emotional screenplay, the story of Alan Ainsley, a Scotland based writer, follows a series of five days in a week of his life. Driven by Alan’s internal narrative of letter-like writings and inspiring compelling curiosities about his patterns of behavior, Wonderwritten reveals an unexpected expression of humanity. Alan, having been recently left by the woman he loves and uniquely navigating the new course of his life, keeps his audience engaged with his unfolding nature.

Our writers embark on a mindful exploration of heartbreak through the eyes of wonderstruck writer, Alan Ainsley. The story explores the  Read More »

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RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARCHIVE: Portland Exposé (Harold Schuster, 1957)

This week, continuing in the Noirvember theme, our world takes on a distinctly darker tone and embraces illegal pinball machines the corrupted Portland that found its way into hearing rooms in D.C. before the likes of  J. Edgar Hoover and Bobby Kennedy (under the aegis of the McClellan Committee). This is decades before The Polybius Conspiracy took hold of the local gaming world and with much more visceral and evil intents. Raider/Contributor Phil Oppenheim takes us behind the dark and dirty veil of Portland Exposé.

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“Paint Your Wagon” and Its Place in Oregon’s Cinematic History

On Thursday, Nov. 16, Oregon Film, Kickass Oregon History, the Baker Heritage Museum and the Hollywood Theatre screen PAINT YOUR WAGON (1969), one of the most spectacular movies in Oregon’s long, rich, and varied film history.  

As the story goes – Gov. McCall appointed Warren Merrill, Oregon Film’s first director, in 1968 specifically to ensure that the permitting and transportation process for the Paramount feature shooting in Baker County went as smoothly as possible. This means as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the production of the film, we also celebrate 50 years of the Oregon Film Office.

To help better contextualize this, Oregon Confluence sat down, by email, with Anne Richardson of Oregon Cartoon Institute/Oregon Movies, A to Z, to talk a bit about the place PAINT YOUR WAGON has in film history.

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“Chasing Grace”: A New Docu-Series About Women In Tech, Filming In Portland

U of O grad, and reTHINKit Founder, Jennifer Cloer, is shooting part one of her docu-series, “Chasing Grace” in Portland this week, and took some time out from filming to talk to the Portland Business Journal  .

The Chasing Grace Project, is a six-part documentary series “that brings together a community that is creating change for women in tech – – right now” and is an initiative to give a voice to women in tech and to keep the conversation going as a way to create change.

Check them out. #OregonMade

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Kickass Oregon History Takes on “Paint Your Wagon” Turning 50

Earlier this year KAOH‘s Doug Kenck-Crispen came to us and said “we need to do something on ‘Paint Your Wagon’,” and we said “heck ya, Pardner!” Then, in August and October we made separate trips out over rough roads into the wilds of the Eagle Cap Wilderness to find what remains of the shooting location for the 1968 production which built not one but two No Name cities. KAOH went even deeper, camping on site, digging into the location remnants, the people, the history, the stories and the amazing scenery about 30 miles outside of Baker City and the result is this podcast and the upcoming screening of “Paint Your Wagon” at the Hollywood Theatre on November 16 with all proceeds going to the Baker Heritage Museum who have a great PYW exhibit all of their own in Baker City.

Legend has it that Oregon Film was formed by Gov. McCall (with the help of Warren Merrill) around the needs and aspirations of PYW, and so we’ll be celebrating our own 50th anniversary next year as well. We thank our partners at KAOH, The Hollywood Theatre and the Baker Heritage Museum for helping us kick off our 50th and we hope you not only get some fascinating insights from KAOH but also join us at The Hollywood on the 16th where you’ll have a chance to win a Weekend in Baker City courtesy of our partners there: Blue Door Inn, Sweet Wife Baking, Lone Pine Cafe, Bella and the We Like ’em Short Film Festival. If you’ve been to Baker City, you’ll know why we’re excited about this prize, but, if you haven’t, this may be just the excuse to go there.

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RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARCHIVE: The Darkest Corner of Paradise (Henry Weintraub, 2010)

This week our intrepid Raider moves us into Noirvember and coins another term for calendar-based genre. This time we embrace true micro-budget filmmaking and the creative genius of necessity coming out of Eugene. Oregon’s cinematic history is long but its Eugene chapter is deep and varied – Five Easy Pieces, Animal House and, with the Kesey Connection, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Sometimes a Great Notion happening not too far afield.

This time Raider/Contributor Phil Oppenheim takes us into the more opaque nooks and crannies with….

It’s dark outside.  With the end of Daylight Saving Time and the coming of fall, Oregon’s nights are finally getting longer and colder; we’re turning up our collars and bracing ourselves against the wind, steeling ourselves against streets that seem to be getting darker, colder, and lonelier by the hour.  It’s a perfect time to celebrate film noir, those films that turn towards the dark streets and darker motives of people flung against each other in cities and small towns.  We’ll be celebrating Noirvember all month long here at Raiders of the Lost Archive; today we’re daring to peek into The Darkest Corner of Paradise, a microbudgeted neo-noir created by Eugene’s Henry Weintraub.  Read More »

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Spotlight On Location Scout – Brian McElroy

“A Haunting At Silver Falls 2” at Linfield College (photo: Brian McElroy)

Brian McElroy has been working in location management for over two decades and has had an interesting career path that ultimately led him to Oregon.  We caught up with him after he had finished working on “Woodstock or Bust” – an indy film written and directed by Leslie Bloom, a Lake Oswego native.

Brian started in location management in LA where he worked on shows like “Beverly Hills 90210” and “Melrose Place”.  Twenty years ago, he left the film and TV business completely and found steady work as an engineer in New York but after his first trip to Oregon on vacation, he made a family decision to make a permanent move and now calls West Linn home.  Things have come full circle as now Brian is back scouting for movies that he says have,  “really helped me learn my way around this state, same way I once learned Los Angeles when I was fresh out of college and new to that town in the early 1990s.”  Brian says he enjoys location managing the most when he is, “educating the public about film activity. Here in Oregon, I find there is a lot of excitement and anticipation, and I enjoy teaching and translating what the filming days will be like. People want to ask questions and understand what impact a production may create. If the job is done right, I’ve already gone over these things in a production meeting and explained the same to a film permit office, and maybe to police, traffic or fire departments, etc., so that nothing is coming out of left field. Location managing is 99% prepping–preparing. The key is to be very honest but to stay positive. I never sugarcoat what can be a very intrusive process.” Some of Brian’s favorite and most welcoming locations from recent work have been Silver Falls State Park and Conference Center, Maupin, Estacada, Warm Springs, and West Linn’s city parks.”

When Brian is not scouting he assists the NBA at some Trailblazers games, and is a West Linn track and youth baseball coach. He lives with his wife in West Linn with their four children. Welcome, Brian!

For more information, contact Brian directly,or at 845-240-2366.

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Film Workshop Seeking Teachers

The Menucha Retreat and Conference Center is a non-profit organization which hosts adult retreats, workshops, and conferences. It is located approximately 20 miles outside Portland, Oregon in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. This particular workshop will be an intense one-week course in TV/film production.  We are looking for professionals who have TV/film credits in their particular field of expertise.  We currently have an instructor for directing TV/film, and a writing instructor, and are looking for an acting instructor, a DP to teach TV/film camerawork, and an editing instructor. We would like working professionals, or retired professionals who must be willing to commit to the week of July 1-6, 2018. Instructors will receive a stipend, room and board, and a travel allowance.  The course will be limited to 35-40 students.

More specific information about Menucha Center can be found here.

You can respond at:   [email protected]

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