Trish and Harold's Weblog

News, information, and random thoughts from the busy lives of Trish Egan and Harold Phillips.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Film Action (in Oregon!)

Hey folks! Told you I was going to try to post more (and hopefully in more managable, bite-sized pieces than the last gargantua-sized hunka-blog).

So, some great news for the Portland Filmmaking community:

>> First, local filmmaker Nicholas J. Hagen won the MySpace Storytellers Challenge with his series pilot for The Paranomalists. He's got a development deal coming with FOX television. Portland-area filmmakers For The Win!!

>> Second, www.portlandfilmorg is back online, and is shaping up to be a great resource for locals working in our film industry. Stop on by and become a member; you never know where that next job might come from (and hey, it beats Craigslist).

>> Third, Portland is again on the list of the to 10 cities in the US for Independent filmmakers. In fact, we jumped up a spot from number 9 to number 8! Check it out:

For Immediate Release
January 23, 2008
Contact: Susan Haley, Oregon Film &Video Office - (503) 229-5832
Michael Fine, City of Portland – (503) 823- 4039

Once again, Portland has been included as one of the top ten cities for independent filmmakers in the 2008 listing of MovieMaker Magazine. This is the sixth year in a row Portland has made the list, beginning in 2003 when the city was first submitted as a contender. Last year Portland placed at number 9 and has bounced back up to number 8 for 2008. Each year the magazine lists what it considers to be the top ten cities based on benefits offered to filmmakers and on feedback from writers, directors, crew people and film office representatives.

Portland Mayor Tom Potter expressed his appreciation for the honor. "It's great to be recognized once again for all that we offer filmmakers. Aside from the incredible visual cornucopia and the financial advantages, our question truly is 'how can we help you get what you want simply and quickly?' The cooperation between city bureaus, businesses and neighborhoods is very friendly and proactive – nearly all value the wonderful benefits the film industry provides to the Portland area."

Highlighted in the article is a quote from York Shackleton, writer/director of Street, starring Viveca Fox and Theresa Russell. "I chose Portland for its unbelievable cinematic beauty; combined with a dark, gloomy grit – both of which were called for in my film Street. It's like a real-life Gotham City. Portland is very multidimensional, with forests, cobblestone streets, old brick buildings and contemporary architecture. All these distinctly different areas are what make it an independent filmmaker's playground. It feels like one big studio backlot."

Cities were ranked according to local talent pool, production facilities, educational opportunities, networking events, film festivals and other screening venues. The importance of a city's financial incentives was a big part of the equation as well as consideration for the environment. In addition to Portland's great landscape also noted were the lack of sales tax, the 20% rebate incentive and the 16.2% labor rebate. Added Shackleton, "Portland provided a very film-friendly environment for me. Permits are cheap, tax incentives are reachable and everyone is willing to help." Along with Street, recent films shot in and around Portland include, Untraceable, Management, Follow, Selfless, Into The Wild, Music Within, and Paranoid Park.

The Winter 2008 issue of MovieMaker will arrive at bookstores soon. For a pdf copy of the article please contact Susan Haley at the Oregon Film & Video Office ( or Michael Fine at the Mayor's Office of Film & Video (

>> Fourth, Untraceable opens this weekend. The latest big-budget movie to shoot in Portland is reported to look just great, and a ton of local actors and crew worked on it. If you're looking for something to do, drop on by your local multi-plex.

For those of you who don't get the joke in the title, click here. :)

It's gonna be a busy day for me today... a hair trim, a film audition (more on that if I get the role... it's a twisted little short), then we begin tech for Dark of Winter this evening. That's gonna be two tons of fun. Hope you're all doing well...