By Susan Haley Associate Editor
Oregon’s crew and vendors are scrambling to fill production needs as two successful TV shows return, and a number of smaller film productions start shooting this fall. The state is happy to welcome back Grimm (season four) and Portlandia (season five), both with production offices located in Portland. Greenroom (Portland), Brother in Laws (Klamath Falls) and Cabin Fever: Reboot (Molalla) are three feature films also in various stages of production.
Thanks to Oregon’s legislature and support for the film incentive program, increased filming in the state has allowed businesses to grow as they deal with the demand for gear and equipment. Suppliers are able to add to their inventory and services to meet needs, and that makes for a more sustainable growth.
Portland’s Gearhead Production Rentals moved into a new facility last year that includes 15,000 square feet. The company employs four people full time, several part-time employees and has eight trucks that stay busy. Gearhead’s Don Rohrbacker says, “We’ve seen steady increase in long-term projects, television series in particular. Both rentals and sales to feature work and local commercial production remains important. This has caused us to move into the larger facility, expand our offerings across the board. In addition to the trucks and supplies you may be familiar with, we now offer a two-ton production supply cube, overflow parking and an insert stage soon to be completed here at 4720 SE 26th.”
Larger shows also give local crew and cast opportunities to grow in their own experience and add to their resume. Many then go on to bring their talents to smaller shows. Christina Kortum, of Ravenous Studios, is one such crewmember. In 2006, Kortum had an opportunity to work on a small film. The increased demand for her work allowed her to form her own company in 2009. Since then she has worked on Grimm, The Librarians, Portlandia, Wild and numerous local films, and is currently the key SFX makeup artist for Cabin Fever: Reboot, shooting in Molalla, Oregon.
Says Kortum, “I feel incredibly fortunate living in Oregon in that I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in larger productions that come to town, as well as more intimate indie projects such as Cabin Fever, where I get to be a part of the design process.”
In addition to welcoming returning shows and new films, Oregon also saw The Librarians wrap its first season. This exciting new TV series is from Electric Entertainment, which also produced the highly popular shot-in-Oregon TV series Leverage, as well as the TV movie Librarian trilogy. Electric has proven itself as much a fan of Oregon as Oregon has of executive producer Dean Devlin and the company. They have consistently made a point of utilizing as much of the Oregon crew, cast and services as are available.
“We had an amazing time shooting the first season of The Librarians in Oregon. It was so great being back in the Pacific Northwest, working with the crew that we love on a project that is so special to us. I think I speak on behalf of Dean Devlin and all the producers of the show when I say that we certainly hope that we’ll be back next year. Our fingers are firmly crossed for season two and beyond,” said producer Rachel Olschan.
The Librarians premieres on December 7 on TNT.
Oregon appreciates the return business and is also proud of its talented crew, vendors and actors!