Boost Your Budget – Hire Local

By Dena Beatty, Executive Director, SAG, Pacific Northwest

Many producers enjoy moving out of the major markets into other parts of the country to find unique filming locations. One problem they often face is the dreaded travel budget. Transporting talent to locations from New York or Los Angeles can become very expensive, but if producers choose their location well, there’s no need to overspend. The trick—find a location where you can hire local!

One location that can ease your travel budget woes is the Pacific Northwest. The states of Washington and Oregon are a Mecca for the arts, and this has resulted in an abundance of professional actors who call the Northwest home. Washington and Oregon also have a diversity of work, which translates to exceptionally versatile performers. The Northwest plays host to numerous local and national commercials, educational videos, studio and independent films, video games, and television series. The abundance of diverse employment opportunities has developed a well-balanced talent pool that includes on-camera and voice-over actors, singers, dancers, stunt coordinators and performers, and background performers.

Going back to the Golden Age of Hollywood, the Northwest has been a top location choice for filmmakers and advertisers. This stability has allowed the Northwest to not only create and grow a stable workforce of talented performers, but also a network of support organizations and personnel to ensure each project has the resources and help locating the right talent for the job.

Both the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) keep offices in the Northwest, and both organizations have a strong network of franchised agents. There are a number of casting directors who live and work in the Northwest who are familiar with both the local agents and the local talent. It is the goal of SAG to ensure that every project has access to their exceptional professional talent roster. Filmmakers and advertisers interested in hiring local talent can contact our office for assistance in locating casting directors, agents and talent.

The advertising and film industry in the Pacific Northwest realizes that it is the goal of each producer to complete a successful project on time and on budget. This is why when you shop for locations you should make sure you put Washington and Oregon on your list. There are many beautiful locations in the U.S. and around the world, but when you shop for value, it’s hard to beat Oregon and Washington for the total money saving package!

For more information about the Screen Actors Guild, please visit We also encourage you to spend time in the production center where you will find valuable information about hiring and working with SAG talent.

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