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Team considers Memorial Coliseum as movie facility

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High Five
Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A local team wants to turn Portland's city-owned Veterans Memorial Coliseum into a multimedia production facility.

Sports marketer Rob Cornilles, multimedia producer Tim Lawrence and Hollywood vet Kirk Iverson hope to capitalize on Portland's many underemployed creatives and the building's location.

Iverson was an assistant to producers on Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and worked on several other Hollywood productions before taking a senior position at Wieden+Kennedy. He says Portland boasts a wealth of production talent—such as Lawrence, whose Digital Works Productions is currently making a feature film for Warner brothers about Sudanese runner Lopez Lomong—and far lower costs than Los Angeles.

The partners have been quietly shopping their idea locally, both to elected officials and business leaders. Ty Kovatch, chief of staff to City Commissioner Randy Leonard, says the pitch is “intriguing.” Kovatch says his boss likes the idea but sees two sticking points: making the financial plan viable and ensuring the minor-league Portland Winterhawks have a home for hockey, if not in the Coliseum then in the Rose Garden.

Read more at Willamette Week.

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