By Vince Porter, Executive Director, Oregon Governor’s Office of Film and Television
Photos courtesy Scott Green/NBC
We’ve made no secret about the record year for Oregon’s film and television industry in 2011. As the year gets closer to the end, all indications point to 2011 nearly doubling the previous spending record ($62 million in 2009), with more than $110 million in spending on film, television and commercial television production.
With Leverage wrapping in August and Portlandia wrapping in September, we are left with one last big fish in our state—NBC’s Grimm. Grimm was merely a hopeful pilot earlier in the year, but with the help of a strong local cast and crew, the pilot exceeded expectations and received a 13-episode series order in May.
Production on the series began in August and it’s been all systems go ever since. Having any television series in our state is fantastic, but having a larger-budget network show like Grimm in town is a unique experience. The show is set in Portland so the producers are looking to really take advantage of the unique looks the city has to offer. NBC is featuring a behind-the-scenes show blog on the Grimm Web site (www.nbc.com/grimm/), and production designer Michael Wylie spoke recently of the show’s design:
“Describing the ‘look’ of Grimm is difficult. You’ll see in October that the premiere is rather dark and subdued. It also has a slight storybook quality to it. Since we are shooting in Portland, I plan on letting the look and feel of the city itself really dictate some of the look of the show. What they have done here is mix the old with the new. As you walk down the streets you will see an old-timey brick building that has been restored and right next to it is a state-of-the-art glass and steel structure that is very modern. So we will do the same.”
In addition to the benefits of having hundreds of local employees working on the show, it’s been a great partnership so far with NBC/Universal thanks to their forward-thinking “green” policies. Every project that NBC produces is given the task of improving their carbon footprint and when we heard of their commitment to this cause, we jumped at the opportunity to provide them with as many local green resources as possible. Jane Ridley in my office has been spearheading our effort, since she was the person who originally created our Green Resource Guide. We hope with the success of Grimm we will be able to offer more green resources to every production in the future.
The series premieres on NBC on Friday, October 21, at 9pm and we at Oregon Film are keeping our fingers crossed. With Leverage already renewed for a fifth season, and Portlandia due to premiere its second season in January, we hope a successful Grimm will help us continue our recent success in the world of series television.