Celluloid forest

| Print |  Email
Articles - September 2012
Monday, August 27, 2012

Small creatives making it

 

0912 CelluloidForest 06Remember the Portlandia episode involving the bike messenger with grotesquely long earlobes about to be ripped asunder in the final scene? Those ears were the handiwork of Christina Kortum, a Portland special-effects makeup artist specializing in custom prosthetics. Among other items, Kortum has delivered a head for Leverage, wooden stakes and edible coins for Grimm, and a bone for the 2011 shot-in-Portland movie Gone. “She was supposed to use it to stab the bad guy,” says Kortum.

A veteran of the haunted-house industry, Kortum credits the Oregon Production Investment Fund for boosting her career in film and television. Since 2005 the state has given cash rebates, capped at $6 million per year, to media production companies, which in turn create jobs and send business to local vendors. Kortum’s income, for example, has doubled each year because of the business generated by Portland’s Hollywood renaissance. “I went from doing a gig here and there to pretty much doing constant gigs that can support my family.”

A Leverage snapshot reveals the film fund’s larger quid pro quo. In the past four years, Leverage Productions has received $17 million from the incentive program. In return, the company has created about 2,800 production jobs, hired 7,000 extras and injected $100 million directly into the local economy. The long list of beneficiaries include 52nd Ave. Hardware, a Southeast Portland lumber and hardware shop that was ready to downsize after the economy crashed in 2008. After becoming the primary hardware vendor for Leverage and Grimm, the owners hired two additional employees — a 33% staff increase, says manager Dave Besaw. “For a small family busi-ness like us, the film industry is significant.”

Oregon’s film incentive has its critics, who argue the program unfairly benefits the wealthy. And despite the ripple effects, even the most ardent boosters concede incentives alone aren’t enough to sustain a local film economy. Portland has gone from being a low-budget town to a place where “big things happen,” says Kortum.

But what Hollywood gives, she acknowledges, it can taketh away. “The film industry — it’s like the locust. They come in, set up and everyone is rolling in money. Then they leave and it’s like:
What else?”

Christina Kortum, special-effects artist

0912 CelluloidForest 07

// Photo by Sierra Breshears
Kortum has delivered a head for Leverage, wooden stakes and edible coins for Grimm, and a bone for the 2011 shot-in-Portland movie Gone. A veteran of the haunted-house industry, Kortum credits the Oregon Production Investment Fund for boosting her career in film and television.

 



 

Comments   

 
Guest
0 #1 Go Scotty!Guest 2012-08-29 19:41:07
Loving the digits episodes so far.. ANSWER GORGOLAX! http://www.youtube.com/user/FUNDAWatch
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

An uncertain future

Guest Blog
Thursday, May 21, 2015
norristhumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

Uncertainty is a part of doing business, whether in through the lens of investment opportunities and risks or the business of running an enterprise.


Read more...

100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

As momentum grows at the state level to introduce far-reaching environmental regulations, such as carbon pricing and the Clean Fuels Program, Oregon employers continue to go the extra mile to create green workplaces for their employees.


Read more...

Queen of Resilience

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Astrid Scholz scales up sustainability.


Read more...

Intrepid reporter checks out ZoomCare rebrand

The Latest
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
dentistthumbPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Like all good journalists, OB editorial staff typically eschew freebies. But health care costs being what they are, digital news editor Jacob Palmer couldn't resist ZoomCare's offer of a three-in-one (cleaning, exam, whitening) dental office visit, guaranteed to take no more than 57 minutes. 


Read more...

Downtime with John Helmick

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Live, Work, Play: CEO of Gorilla Capital.


Read more...

Stemming the tide of money in politics

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
 jeff-lang-2012-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

Jeff Lang and his wife Rae used to dole out campaign checks like candy.  “We were like alcoholics,” Lang says. ”We couldn’t just give a little.”


Read more...

Eco Zoned

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY HANNAH WALLACE

Travelers have always come to Oregon for its natural beauty. But will the increasing popularity of agritourism, European-style hiking getaways and forest resorts relax Oregon's notoriously strict land-use laws?


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS