Sponsored by Oregon Business

Film industry moves into Southern Oregon

| Print |  Email
Articles - March 2011
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
The 2009 movie Calvin Marshall was one of several productions shot in Ashland. // Photo courtesy SOFAT/Rocky Garrotto
From left, the cast and crew of the movie Calvin Marshall:  Alex Frost, writer/director Gary Lundgren, and Steve Zahn. // Photo courtesy SOFAT/Tad Wagner
The film industry in Oregon has been growing steadily over the years, with film and television productions pouring into Portland and the Coast. Now Southern Oregon is getting in on the action.

“The biggest reason people are drawn to this area is location,” says Gary Kout, founder and director of Southern Oregon Film and Television (SOFaT). “We possess a tremendous amount of diversity that is accessible and production-friendly.”

SOFaT has been one of the big driving forces in building the Southern Oregon film industry, according to Vince Porter of the Governor’s Office of Film & Television, which works with local talent while promoting the region to out-of-state production companies. Some past productions in the area include the 2007 film My Name Is Bruce starring B-movie icon and Ashland resident Bruce Campbell, the 2009 film Calvin Marshall, and the 2010 horror film Rogue River.

“Through those efforts people are learning more about us, keeping us more in mind,” says Kout. “We’ve even heard there are some Portland-based filmmakers looking into Southern Oregon.”

Kout estimates that film and television production in 2009 brought $6 million into the local economy. Commercial productions, including projects by Biography and the History Channel, brought in around half a million dollars in production. The History Channel in 2009 shot re-enactment scenes for a documentary on outlaw Jesse James in the town of Jacksonville. The project was the first production after a moratorium on commercial filming was lifted by the town’s mayor. In spring 2010, Biography produced a documentary on actors featured in the film Silence of the Lambs, including Anthony Heald, a current member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

“One project I produced with Disney cost around $125,000. We spent all of about $40,000 outside the state, so that’s $80,000 right there,” says Kout.

SOFaT also works on streamlining the process of hiring qualified crews and finding talented casts. The organization works with local universities and high schools to encourage students to intern with productions. Some former interns have gone on to work for Southern Oregon-based companies such as production company Elsewhere Films.

“The interns come out with high technical skills, but still need to learn the process,” says Kout. “We try and provide people with more opportunities to get time on set and improve their skills. We are doing more than just putting out the call, we are creating fertile ground.”


More Articles

Baby. Boom!

September 2015
Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A new co-working model disrupts office sharing, child care and work-life balance as we know it.


Big Trouble in China?

Guest Blog
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
0818-wellmanthumbBY JASON NORRIS | CFA

Earlier this month, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced they were going to devalue their currency, the Renminbi. While the amount of the targeted change was to be roughly 2 percent, investors read a lot more into the move. The Renminbi had been gradually appreciating against the U.S. dollar (see chart) as to attempt to alleviate concerns of being labeled a currency manipulator.


Straight shooter

Linda Baker
Thursday, October 08, 2015
100815-bradleyBY LINDA BAKER

In an era dominated by self-promotion and marketing speak, John Bradley, CEO of R&H Construction, is a breath of fresh air.


Inside the Box

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Screening for “culture fit” has become an essential part of the hiring process. But do like-minded employees actually build strong companies — or merely breed consensus culture?


New green wood building product takes off in Oregon

Thursday, September 10, 2015
091115-cltjohnson-thumbBY KIM MOORE

Oregon is set to become a hub of a new type of wooden building design as a southern Oregon timber company becomes the first certified manufacturer of a high-tech wood product, known as cross-laminated timber, or CLT.


Salad Days

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

How Portland's Garden Bar plans to become the Starbucks of salad.


Reader Input: In or Out

October 2015
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The refugee crisis has put immigration and border issues on the front burner, in Europe and at home. In Oregon, attitudes toward illegal immigration haven’t changed dramatically since 2006.

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02