Oregon Film: Who We Are and What We Do (Update 2019)

Film CommissionThis has become something of a tradition, at least in our minds. As we come to the end of another fiscal year, we want to take a moment and reflect on some of the things we have been able to accomplish during the past year and hopefully come up with some improvements for the next.

As part of Oregon Film’s effort to reach projects and talent that are not being directly impacted by our incentive programs, we helped create a separate non-profit called the, #OregonMade Creative Foundation (OMCF). Utilizing unique partnerships with places like Travel Oregon, Prosper Portland, Danner Boots, Playa Summer Lake, Northwest Film Center, NW Documentary and the Portland Film Office, the OMCF has financed and promoted several specially designed programs awarding grants such as; two Outdoor Diversity Film Grants, four post production grants, screenwriter and filmmaker fellowships and a grant to create a short series celebrating the magic of Oregon Winter Season. In addition, the Creative Foundation partnered with local producers, IATSE and the Oregon Media Production Association to do a series of Opportunity Employment job placement programs on network television series and feature films.

This has resulted in several, intentionally placed, paid job opportunities for community members from diverse backgrounds on features and series shooting here. Also, through a unique partnership with local production company Lower Boom and Comcast the OMCF supported the selection of a group of 6 writers from diverse backgrounds to create a writer’s room focused on developing a locally produced pilot and series.

Together with Travel Oregon and Laika, we put together a statewide tour to celebrate 10 years of the seminal animated #OregonMade feature film “Coraline.” It played in 8 different Oregon cities and raised $10,000 for charities working to restore the state’s parks and trails after the devastating wildfires of the last two years. This preceded the release of Laika’s most recent feature film, “Missing Link.”

All told, the OMCF has awarded more than $100,000 over the past year to creators and projects and artists living in working in Oregon.

We also worked with The Hollywood Theater to continue our series of #OregonMade films – selling out screenings of #OregonMade classics like, “Kansas City Bomber” and “The Goonies.” We added partners at Cinema21, Clinton Street Theater and the Northwest Film Center to allow new #OregonMade films to premiere in local cinemas – like Jon Garcia’s “Sex Weather” and Jesse Borrego in “Phoenix, Oregon.” These special screening programs will continue throughout the rest of this year with a special two-part screening of a series of documentaries about Portland’s most iconic trees, “Canopy Stories,” and the fourth year of our partnership with The Hollywood, Travel Oregon and Oregon State Parks to bring outdoor screenings to places like Rooster Rock, Milo McIvar and Champoeg State Parks.

As we expected, the landscape of projects coming to Oregon has changed since we were so lucky to have long standing series like, “Grimm,” “Portlandia,” “The Librarians” and “Leverage.”  Read More »

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categories #OregonMade, #OregonMade 50th Anniversary, Economic Impact, Featured Locations, Film and Media Industry, Grants, History, Oregon Animation History, Oregon Film, Oregon Film 50th, Oregon Made Creative Foundation, Oregon Video Games, Post Production, Television, TV Series, Video Game Development | comments Comments (0)

The Real Cost of a Sub-$800 Oregon-Made 30-Minute Independent Dark Comedy


As I typed the first lines of our script, I knew there would be challenges beyond the technical but didn’t care. After leaving a six-year marriage & suffering from an annihilated heart as well as all the near-death experiences — imagined & real — that accompany rediscovering oneself at 35, there wasn’t much else to lose. I committed to sharing the cinematic dream at all costs. In terms of money, it cost somewhere around $800.

The most expensive line item for the film was an electric hot dog cart ($380 including bottles for ketchup & mustard). I remember a bright-mooned March night wherein I opened a pair of internet pages: one was my bank account & the other a website retailing electro-mechanical culinary devices.

… And what about rent?

Yeah — what about it?

The “vintage” hot dog cart showed up a week later &, on a lovely sunny day in late April, was filmed in Scene 6 (“The Memorial Service”) at a beautiful church off Chemeketa Street.

Worth. Every. Dollar.

I’ve been homeless since May 11th when I had to leave my apartment near downtown Salem, not due to skipping rent, but because of a severe mold issue that made it uninhabitable. I wasn’t prepared for the steep costs of moving into a new place &, with my regular work season at a close, cash income was rapidly dwindling. With a cast & crew of 25 (as well as several contributing local sponsors), killing the movie in favor of a regular job & normal living conditions was not an option.

“Sshhh, young man. This is all completely normal,” croons the reassuring, ancient voice of Dr. S. D. Planchkin, a reknowned historian of filmmaking who I just made up for the express purpose of justifying it all. “It’s like cards at the casino… Without being independently wealthy, you’re bound to lose your shirt & any sense of self-worth. To truly live, one must accept the possibility of death at any moment, by any random consequence. Including your own crappy movie.”

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categories #OregonMade, Uncategorized | comments Comments (1)

Neil Kopp at ISA’s Third Thursdays PDX June 20!

Screenwriters & Filmmakers —
Producer NEIL KOPP will rock the house at ISA’s THIRD THURSDAYS PDX – June 20!

This is a rare opportunity to see meet guest speaker NEIL KOPP, Portland-born producer who’s credits include Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves and Certain Women, and Jeremy Salunier’s Green Room and Hold the Dark (Netflix).

WHEN: Thursday, Jun 20th – 7pm
WHERE: NW Film Center Office & South Park *
934 SW Salmon, Portland OR, 97205
* We begin at NW Film then migrate across the street to South Park.

Register for this FREE event at:

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categories Events, Film and Media Industry, Independent, Independent Films, Movies, Oregon Film, Portland, TV Series, Web Series, Writers | comments Comments (0)

OneRepublic’s Music Video – Would You Rescue Me – Is #OregonMade In Silverton.


OneRepublic’s latest music video, Would you Rescue Me? shot on location in the beautiful City of Silverton, and Silver Falls State park, with all the action taking place in the woods and in around the immediate downtown area.

Oregonian, Dawn Wagner, Line Producer, noted that around 35 Oregonian crew members were hired for the music video and they shot over two long days.  The young dancing talent were also local, and most of them had never been on screen before.  The main dancer, Cody Bingham, was cast out of LA.  Dawn noted that Silverton was, “so great to film in.  The community was very easy going considering our asks and our footprint within the city and State Park. I would love to film there again.”

Kenji Sugahara, A-Cam Aerials, captured the beautiful drone shots and aspiring creative director, James Ridley, consulting with Girlscout Locations,  found and secured the shooting locations.  James echoed Dawn in high praise for the City of Silverton and Silver Falls State park, and said that, “this was the best local response I have had to date. The people of Silverton really rolled out the red carpet for this shoot. From the police and city departments, to the bar owner’s, caterers and coffee purveyors not to mention home owners and neighborhood communities.  Silver Falls State Park deserves a huge mention as well – it’s obvious why this is the most frequented park in Oregon – stunning and film savvy to boot! Massive thanks you to each and every one of you.”

Here is some more info from Shootonline.com


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categories #OregonMade, Locations, Music, News | comments Comments (0)

The Next Stop On The Historic Oregon Film Trail – Brownsville!

The signs are up in Brownsville and the Historic Oregon Film Trail continues! Three signs honoring Brownsville’s starring role as a location in “Stand By Me” were offically unveiled May 22nd.

The Historic Oregon Film Trail, designed to showcase iconic and interesting film locations in the state, will be unveiling three more signs in Brownsville, May 22, 2019 at 2:00 PM. The signs mark three different filming locations related to the now, classic feature film, “Stand By Me,” and will feature facts and anecdotes about the film. Join us for coffee, tea, blueberry scones and blueberry muffins at the site of the famous blueberry pie-eating contest.

Dating back to 1909, Oregon has a rich and interesting film history with over 450 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.

 Read More »

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categories #OregonMade, Events, Featured Locations, Historic Oregon Film Trail | comments Comments (0)

HouseSpecial signs Director John Robson

May 20, 2019 PORTLAND, ORE – Animation studio HouseSpecial has signed Director John Robson to its in-House director roster. Robson brings a digitally-rich portfolio that includes the Vimeo Staff Pick CG short Quality Time and memorable content for brands including Xbox One X, Nike, IBM, Apple, Gnarls Barkley and Campbell’s Soup. A Southern California native, Robson refined his accomplished narrative sensibilities in Los Angeles at studios such as Blind, ManvsMachine, Brand New School and Motion Theory.

Robson is also the founder of Late Lunch Inc, a studio specializing in live action and post production, including 3D animation, conceptual design, compositing and virtual reality.

A former UC Santa Barbara Film major, Robson is looking forward to discovering Oregon’s  lush natural scenery while working in a globally-known maker culture that embraces tactile creation and digital experimentation.

About HouseSpecial

HouseSpecial, formerly LAIKA/house, can make anything move. We are animation experts. Our Portland studio’s creative team is well known for our ability to integrate design and develop characters that push brand narratives beyond the expected for clients including M&M’S®, Sony, Jose Cuervo®, Target, Häagen-Dazs®, Planters® and Petco. HouseSpecial artists are guided by their infectious passion for storytelling and an obsession to bring wonder to every collaboration.

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categories Advertising, Animation/VFX, Talent, Uncategorized | comments Comments (0)

The Portland Circuit Presents The World Premiere of “Canopy Stories”

“Canopy Stories” – 12 films, 12 stories, 12 iconic/majestic/enraptured Portland Trees.

Produced at NW Documentary and presented as part of The Portland Circuit, a unique partnership between the Northwest Film Center, Oregon Film, Cinema21, Clinton Street Theater and The Hollywood Theatre.

Every tree has a story. They tell the stories of families, of neighborhoods, of transformations long forgotten.  Tree stories are community stories.

Canopy Stories is NW Documentary’s first anthology film project featuring 12 stories made by 11 Portland filmmakers. Each film focuses on a specific tree to tell a story. The stories range from activists camping in trees to strangers caring for the ghosts of pioneers, from globe trekking botanists in search of rare specimens to everyday citizens transforming their neighborhood into an urban oasis.

The stories of our urban forest are the stories of our city.  A single tree can offer a perspective outside our own. These living, breathing beings stand a silent vigil as decades and even centuries pass. Once you know the stories of the trees you will never see the city in the same way.

Canopy Stories Trailer

This documentary will be presented in two parts over four nights, all screenings start at 7pm.

Each screening will be followed with a themed discussion and Q&A with local environmental and community groups.

PART I – 85 mins

Hollywood Theatre, July 8th


& Cinema21, July 10th


PART II – 98 mins

Clinton Street Theater, July 9th


& Northwest Film Center at the Whitsell Auditorium July 11th


PART I July 8 (Hollywood Theatre) & July 10 (Cinema21)

Canopy Stories, Part I, 85 min.:

  • Rosa’s Tree by David-Paul B. Hedberg
  • A Lone Pioneer by Chelsea Smith
  • One Magnificent Maple by Todd Baize
  • Palm Portland by Kia Anne Geraths
  • Tree Death by Sam Gaty
  • Giants by Luz Carasa
  • Heroes and Villains by David-Paul B. Hedberg


PART II July 9 (Clinton Street Theater) & July 11 (Northwest Film Center at The Whitsell Auditorium) 

Canopy Stories Part II, 98 min.:

  • Rosa’s Tree by David-Paul B. Hedberg
  • The Seven-Thousand Trees of Dharma Rain by Christopher Baier
  • No More Dope Parties by Cambria Matlow
  • The Lost Redwood by Jesse Andrew Clark
  • The Activist Tree by Zoe Gieringer
  • 82nd & Verdant by James Krzmarzick
  • Heroes and Villains by David-Paul B. Hedberg

Each screening will be followed with a themed discussion and Q&A with local environmental and community groups. These speakers include (subject to change):

  • July 8, Renée Myers Executive Director, Forest Park Conservancy
  • July 9, Eli Spevak, Orange Splot LLC, a tree friendly developer
  • July 10, Ben Carr, Bret Schultz Architects
  • July 11, Duncan Hwang Development and Communications Director for APANO (Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon)
  • July 11, Tina Osterink, City of Gresham Natural Resources Planner

Full synopsis of each film is available on the Canopy Stories’ website.

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Live Production Workshops w/ Scholarships for Women in Film

Curious Comedy Theater has four upcoming video production intensive workshops for live video production! These are single workshops with four separate opportunities for it to fit into your schedule.

This intensive is taught by Luke Zwanziger and will give you an overview of the production gear in the live video studio at Curious Comedy Theater. In this 4 hour intensive you get a crash course on the basics of how to operate a Tricaster 8000 AE, PTZ Cameras, basic live audio control, Live Video Direct, Technical Direct, and Camera Operate for a live show as well as how to create a livestream for Facebook or YouTube.

Sound like a lot? It is! You will get rudimentary knowledge of the tools we have at our disposal.  You will get  hands on experience. You will get to dive right into live production. You will get at least one shift in the control room and one shift on the floor. After you have completed the Video Production Intensive, you will be eligible to continue your training as a volunteer on a number of select Curious Comedy shows.

We have received a grant to help cover costs for female identifying participants and wish to take the workshop use code: CURIOUSWIF for 100% off cost. This is the last round of workshops that we currently have this grant available for, so please sign up early if you want to take advantage of this.

Classes are capped at six participants so you get dedicated attention and guaranteed experience.

About the instructor: Luke Zwanziger is an an award winning director. He has live directed over 500+ productions. He is a writer and performer who has performed across the USA and internationally.

May 7 – 6:30-9:30 pm
May 26 – 5:00-8:00 pm
June 11 – 6:30-9:30 pm
June 23 – 5:00-8:00 pm
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categories Education, Portland, Women, Workshop | comments Comments (0)

Portland Art Museum and Northwest Film Center Announce New Northwest Film Center Director and Curator

The Portland Art Museum and Northwest Film Center are pleased to announce that Amy Dotson will be the next director of the Northwest Film Center. Dotson comes to the Film Center from the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the oldest and largest organization in the United States championing the future of storytelling on all platforms, where she served as the Deputy Director & Head of Programming for over 13 years.

Dotson was selected from a national slate of candidates with members of the Portland film and arts communities participating in the interview process.

In her new role, which she begins in September 2019, Dotson will be responsible for the overall vision of the Film Center, including strategic planning, fundraising, and program direction. She will also collaborate with the Museum’s curatorial departments as Curator of Film and New Media, applying her extensive film and new media experience, as well as leveraging her strategic, industry and international relationships in support of the Film Center’s future as a world-class center for film and new media storytelling. Dotson joins Education Director Ellen Thomas, Development Manager Rachel Record, and Programmer Morgen Ruff at the leadership level to create a sustainable and cutting-edge future for the Northwest Film Center.

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categories Education, Independent Films, News, Women | comments Comments (0)

Winners of the #OregonMade Doc Camp Fellowship Awards Announced

#OregonMade Creative Foundation and NW Documentary/Oregon Doc Camp would like to congratulate the Oregon Doc Camp Fellowship Winners for 2019, Jordan Thierry and Sommer Martin.

Oregon  Doc Camp  Fellows will receive room and board at Oregon Doc Camp in Silver Falls Conference Center from May 30-June 2nd, as well as a half hour documentary consulting session with our esteemed presenter, Iyabo Boyd.

Congratulations and enjoy Doc Camp 2019!

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categories #OregonMade, Awards, Documentary, Oregon Film, Oregon Made Creative Foundation | comments Comments (0)