City Of Oregon City Joins The Oregon Film Trail

James Graham and Matthew Weintraub (City of Oregon City) unveil the newest Oregon Film Trail sign.

A brand new Oregon Film Trail sign has been installed and was unveiled today in Oregon City, honoring the town’s starring role as a location in the popular teen drama, “Twilight.” It sits along the McLoughlin Promenade, overlooking the former Blue Heron Paper Mill where scenes from the iconic vampire movie were shot. The Mill has also been featured in “The Hunted” and “Grimm.” The Works Progress Administration-era Promenade has itself been featured in scenes from “The Librarians” and “Trinkets.”

The current pandemic situation didn’t allow for a large public dedication but instead, local government representatives a few local film advocates attended a photo opportunity with the sign at the dedication. Oregon Film was there to help celebrate and welcome the 27th sign to the Oregon Film Trail.

The sign was placed along the Promenade’s walking path, with an extraordinary view of the Mill, Downtown Oregon City, and the Willamette River. The Downtown has itself been used in the filming of movies that include “Bandits” and “Homer and Eddie.”

Dating back to 1909, Oregon has a rich and interesting film history with well over 500 feature films & television shows that have utilized thousands of locations around the state for a wide variety of production backdrops. Today, Oregon continues to be a destination for creative media producers from around the world. From Emmy winning television productions, to Oscar-nominated feature films; world-class animated films to award-winning interactive games – Oregon is a brand unto itself.

Oregon Film, in partnership with the Oregon Made Creative Foundation, created the Oregon Film Trail featuring signage located at strategic points around the state. The creation of the Trail aims to strengthen the correlation between the film/TV industry, economic development, and tourism as well as celebrating unique Oregon locations that are iconic in their own right. The sign was paid for in part by a grant from Travel Oregon.

 

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The New Normal – How Our Production Community Is Adapting To Covid 19 – Lauren Henry, Talented Animals

In our series of blog posts – the “New Normal” – we are looking at what creative options have been put in place to offset the disruption that Covid-19 has caused for production businesses here in Oregon.  This month we caught up with Lauren Henry and Talented Animals one of the Pacific Northwest’s busiest Animal Wranglers with decades of professionally trained, diverse species and hundreds of film, television and commercial credits.

Oregon Film (OF): Assuming the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted your business, like so many others, what aspect would you say has been the most surprising?

Talented Animals (TA): Not sure it is surprising, but for us the biggest issue has been that you cannot really shut down or reduce overhead with animals. Most of our expenses are ongoing: feed, care, training, veterinary, etc. So we are not perfectly able to just “hunker down.” On the other hand, I think most people in the film industry are fairly accustomed to cycles of feast and famine, so mostly we felt pretty ready for a period of less work.

OF: What are the main modifications you have had to make to accommodate this new normal? (What ideas have worked/been successful, which ones not so much…)

TA: We have had to spend some time acclimating animals to masks, and getting them used to listening to commands without seeing facial expressions. Perhaps the biggest challenge/hurdle is socializing young animals during a pandemic. Getting them used to crowds and noisy environments and lots of strangers is a bit more challenging. (I suspect this will be a real problem for laypeople and pet owners in the next few years who acquired puppies and did little to socialize them and who spent all day every day at home and at some point are going to return to work and I imagine a lot of dogs will have separation issues and less sociability…)

It is also a surprisingly big challenge to handle Covid testing. We normally have a pretty high degree of flexibility and right up until the day of a job we may switch people around, but having to get them tested beforehand has made it harder to shift and pivot as needed. And, because of our animal needs, we live considerably out of town, so a quick run-in to get tested can be a pretty big pain in the butt.

On most jobs, we have an American Humane rep, which has been done virtually during the pandemic, but this means that we have to spend a significant amount of time on the phone showing them video of everything which is a significant distraction and time requirement.

OF: Are there any surprising areas of growth in your business since the pandemic started?

TA: We have improved our online ordering and delivery skills.

OF: Have you had to implement new training for your staff?

TA:  Not beyond the basic mask, handwashing, distancing, etc.

OF: If there has been any impact on staff morale, how have you successfully been able to mitigate this?

TA: I think pretty much everyone has a higher level of stress than usual, not sure we have any great solutions, but we certainly have spent lots of time discussing it. Particularly when working with animals, you cannot be curt or impatient or have angry energy, so we have tried to help one another talk through frustrations, and perhaps increased or improved our habits of taking a few minutes before training sessions to really meditate and let go of emotional baggage.

OF: What are you most proud of doing well during this challenging time?

TA: Surviving 😊  Not hoarding toilet paper. Not letting our own selfish desires or fears get in the way of our being decent human beings… 😊

To contact Lauren and Talented Animals:

503-787-3144

[email protected]

Facebook

OMPA
SAG-AFTRA
TEAMSTER

Lauren Henry (photo: Talented Animals)

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THREE Oregon Film Festivals Make MovieMaker “50 Fests Worth the Entry Fee” List.

BendFilm, Ashland International Film Festival, and Portland Film Festival all earned their place on MovieMaker’s “50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” – read all about it here.

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KGW8 Reports On Resilience Of The Production Industry During The Pandemic

Katherine Cook, KGW8, reports on how the film, television, and animation industry has shown resilience despite this tough pandemic.  Read the full story here.

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Contagious Disease Liability Coverage Is Finally Here!

The Covid-19 pandemic has laid bare the serious threat that contagious diseases can pose to an entire economy. The entertainment and hospitality sectors and supporting industries were some of the hardest hit.

Major projects have been put on hold due to the lack of insurance and the fear of multiple avenues for lawsuits. However, help is on the way. A new Contagious Disease Liability coverage is available and should stabilize the uncertainty that has scared off producers and investors alike.

The new specialty coverage has a high price tag which may put it out of reach for many of the businesses who need it, with minimum premiums starting around $17,500-$20,000. But with the potential for defense costs and claims payments far exceeding that, many companies may decide the price to pay is worth the upfront cost, as it puts a firm budget figure in the film finance package instead of having an unknown contingency cost hanging in the margins.

Pandemic preparedness is essential to minimize operation and supply chain difficulties and builds reserves for expected losses during a pandemic. New OSHA 30 guidelines for contagious disease in the workplace put additional burdens on employers. Before you start your next major event or production, call an experienced hospitality or
entertainment insurance agent who can guide you through your best options.

About the Author:
Justine Avera (CRM, CIC, AIS) is an insurance agent and risk manager with over 27 years in the industry. To find out more and to get a no-obligation insurance quote go to www.abipdx.com, or contact the author directly with your questions at tel: 503-467-4934 or email: [email protected]

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A Groundswell Of independent Filmmaking Is Gathering Steam In Eugene.

Eugene has long been an attraction for filmmaking of the Hollywood variety (“Animal House”, “Without Limits”, “Drive, He Said”, “The High Co$T of Living”, “Without Limits”, “Five Easy Pieces”, “Stand By Me” and “Personal Best” to name a few) and more recently there has been a groundswell of independent filmmaking gathering steam in Eugene.

Support is building for many emerging, independent filmmakers, many of whom are members of a Facebook group that describes itself as, “a group of filmmakers who reside near Eugene, Oregon. We produce films and provide them for viewing at local movie theaters and on social media sites. Join us if you want to help make movies and/or you want to keep an eye on our films!”  One local filmmaker and Eugenian, Rick Gates, has created,  “Scene in Eugene” – a YouTube channel that streams an ever-growing collection of short films, all made locally. Another member of the Lane County Filmmakers group, David Mort, created a YouTube interview series he calls, “Garage Talk,” – where he brings together local filmmakers and fellow creatives in his own garage where they sit and chat about their short films and the process of production as they get “under the hood of the film, and look at all the stuff that happens behind the camera.

Read more from the Eugene Weekly about this growing film community of Lane County filmmakers.

#OregonMade

 

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EOFF Filmmaker Residency Announces Inaugural Cohort

Eastern Oregon Film Festival is excited to share the selected attendees for the first annual Eastern Oregon Filmmaker Residency Program happening April 30-May 26, 2021 in La Grande. This year’s cohort will be hosted at The Lodge at Hot Lake Springs for the duration of their stay, and will engage with many groups, businesses, and organizations from around the area as they focus on writing screenplays that are informed by their time in our region.

The nearly month-long stay will offer a quiet retreat for our residents, as a means to develop, tune and explore logistics relating to their screenplay and its potential to be produced in Eastern Oregon. “One of the festival’s primary goals has been and will continue to be, building industry interest in our area while nurturing local projects and professionals.” says Festival Director Christopher Jennings. “Over the past 11 years, Eastern Oregon Film Festival has brought more than 100 filmmakers to La Grande for our annual flagship event each October and every one of them has expressed a desire to visit again.”

The inaugural group of EOFF residents is composed of 4 festival alumni, as well as 2 attendees who are new to the Eastern Oregon scene. Listed below, this year’s cohort brings a variety of professional experience, award winning talent, and unique perspectives that will energize creation and collaboration in the enrichment of these artist’s projects.

Local restaurants and individuals have pledged to “feed a filmmaker” as a fun way for the festival, a 501c3 non-profit, to collect donations and provide per diems to the visitors. Jennings says, “These dollars will roll right back into our community and give these influential guests an easy way to discover local businesses, spend money, and promote economic engagement in our downtown.” To donate to this fund and help achieve the financial goal for this project visit https://www.eofilmfest.com/feed-a-filmmaker/

Through planned adventures and engagement opportunities, EOFF’s goal is to build a connection between the artists and our community, laying the groundwork for a potential production in the future. Explorations of some of The Grande Ronde Valley’s outstanding locations, both scenic and historic are planned. A public-facing event will be held in the final week of the residency program at HQ, located at 112 Depot Street (EOFF Headquarters).

Information on attending the public events and more information about this exciting new program can be found on the EOFF website at www.eofilmfest.com/filmmaker-residency or by emailing [email protected].

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Earth Day – April 22 – Let’s Restore Our Earth! Read How You Can Get Involved.

The sun is out, the weather is starting to perk up, and during these Covid days, it seems as though many of us are spending more time outside than usual. Let’s keep the momentum going!  Earth Day (April 22) is a good way to keep momentum and a call to restore our earth!

There are many things we can do as individuals, and as part of our Oregon production community. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

When was the last time you overhauled your Green Best Practices for your business?  (See Oregon Film’s Guide To Greening production.)

Have you registered your green business as a production resource yet? It is free and takes only 5 minutes.

Will you join us and Solve Oregon Thursday, April 29th for a huge volunteer cleanup day in Portland? This is an opportunity to get our city ready to go back to work! Films, theaters, music venues etc…we ALL need a clean city for our productions and our patrons.

The Green Spark Group has put together a survey to gage interest from production companies as to their interest in a sustainability workshop/action plan development so they have a roadmap for consistently integrating sustainable practices on their projects and a tie to their company goals. Would you take five minutes to take a survey?

The IATSE Green Committee is offering The Spark – a sustainable production primer – for free on a limited basis.

Want to find more ways to RESTORE OUR EARTH this Earth Day? Go here.

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Sign Up Now To Help SOLVE The Clean Up Of Portland – April 29th.

Founded in 1969, SOLVE Oregon brings Oregonians together to improve our environment and build a legacy of stewardship.  SOLVE restores and preserves Oregon’s environment by mobilizing the power of volunteers and partners with the generosity of donors. Across the state, they bring diverse communities together to improve the health and safety of our neighborhoods and natural areas including our coast, rivers, parks, and forests.

As many of you know the last year has taken a toll on our beautiful City of Portland.  Well, its time for a Spring Cleaning!

Leaders from our Film and Entertainment Industry are joining Solve Oregon on Thursday April 29th for a HUGE volunteer cleanup day.

This is an opportunity to get our city ready to go back to work! Films, theaters, music venues etc…we ALL need a clean city for our productions and our patrons.

This is also a chance to show how special our film & entertainment community is and the pride we have in our city and state.

Who’s invited?

All crews, productions, actors, theater staff, musicians, agents…literally ANYONE involved in film, commercials, theater, and entertainment!

ACT NOW!! Registration for the 2 locations is set aside just for us until April 6th.  Remaining spots after April 6th will open to the public.

Providence Park – https://www.solveoregon.org/opportunity/a0C1I00000QFQVC

Tom McCall Waterfront Park –https://www.solveoregon.org/opportunity/a0C1I00000QFQVs

Solve Oregon also encourages folks to check out our Oregon Spring Cleanup in celebration of Earth Day if they can’t make it to the downtown cleanup. We have a ton of events to attend from April 10-25th.

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Oregon Production Careers Were Well Represented At The 17th NW Youth Careers Expo

The virtual Oregon Film booth at the NW Youth Careers Expo.

The 17th annual  NW Youth Careers Expo took place last week and was virtual for the first time ever. Over two days thousands of high school students, educators, and professionals came together in two virtual Exhibit Halls, to talk about future careers.  Attendee students logged more than 11,000 unique booth visits per day, many made their way to the Oregon Film booth where they found Koerner Camera, the Art of Make Up School, Willamette Writers, and Shadow Machine standing by to help answers students’ career questions. Koerner Camera ran two interactive camera demonstrations with Q and A, the Art of Makeup School offered a 1960’s beauty makeup and SPFX make-up tutorial as well as a Q and A session, Willamette Writers were there on both days “in” the booth answering questions, and Shadow Machine ran an interactive Zoom presentation and answered questions about animation careers.  Oregon Film sponsors a booth at the Expo every year because it is a unique opportunity for students from all over Oregon to directly interact with production professionals they would otherwise most likely not get the chance to.

According to the Portland Alliance, who put on the event every year, 95% of students in the exit survey described the Expo as “excellent or good”, and 83% said they felt “more prepared” to make informed decisions about their career plans. They noted some of the student comments about the event:

  • “Everyone I talked to was very helpful and supportive.”
  • “I learned about new things that I had no idea about and I will surely use in the future when applying for a job, writing a resume etc.”
  • “It was cool to learn about other fields that I wouldn’t have otherwise really looked into.”

Students can still access the virtual Careers Expo platform for more career exploration through Friday, April 17, and can explore booths, watch auditorium career talks and fill their digital backpacks with career resources.Thank you again to Koerner Camera, the Art of Make Up School, Willamette Writers, and Shadow Machine for bringing a wide variety of career choices for students to take a look at.

Celena Rubin from the Art of Make Up School, demonstrating SPFX makeup via Zoom.

 

 

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