Movies and More 'Leverage' to be Filmed in Oregon
(Portland, Oregon) – Tourism in Oregon is getting a slight from an unexpected source, as two new developments in the film industry take hold in the state. Director Gus Van Sant has announced his latest film will be made in Oregon, and the TNT series “Leverage” renews its filming commitment in Portland.
The Governor’s Office of Film & Television was happy to announce this month that Gus Van Sant (Milk, Paranoid Park, Last Days) plans to direct his next feature film “Restless” in Oregon this fall.
“Gus has established himself as a true Oregon artist and I’m pleased that through the Oregon Production Investment Fund we could help him bring his next story home,” said Governor Ted Kulongoski. “Gus has always been a great supporter of the local art scene and that support is demonstrated by his decision to film his next picture in Oregon.”
Film Office Board Chair Gordon Sondland also expressed his pleasure at the development.
“Gus is putting his movie where his mouth is,” Sondland said. “As a member of the board of the Governor’s Office of Film and Television, Gus has strongly lobbied producers to consider Oregon for their next project. I am thrilled that he is now filming in a place that he knows will result in an outstanding finished product.”
Van Sant is one of Oregon’s best known filmmakers. He has two Best Director Oscar nominations, for “Good Will Hunting” in 1998 and for “Milk” in 2009. Van Sant’s films have been award winners at festivals world-wide beginning with “Mala Noche” in 1987 at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
He continued this legacy as he went on to win Best Screenplay in 1989 and 1990 for “Drugstore Cowboy” (shared with Dan Yost), the International Critics Award at the Toronto Film Festival in 1991 for “My Own Private Idaho,” and in 1998 he was nominated for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures for “Good Will Hunting” by the Director’s Guild of America.
This past decade he brought us both artistic and commercial successes with “Finding Forrester” in 2001, “Gerry” in 2002, “Elephant” in 2003, “Last Days” in 2005, “Paranoid Park” in 2007, and “Milk” in 2009.
“Restless” is produced by Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Gus Van Sant. Screenplay by Jason Lew based on his stage play "Of Winter and Water Birds." Portland based producer David Cress is the Executive Producer. Principal photography is expected to begin early in November and will take place in Portland and surrounding areas.
The much-lauded series “Leverage,” produced by Electric Entertainment will return to Oregon in early 2010 to begin shooting its third season, said the Governor’s Office of Film & Television.
“What we have come to love about Portland is that the city has everything to offer that a big city can offer, but Portland still has the heart and soul of a small town," said Executive Producer Dean Devlin. "It’s this environment and spirit that makes Portland a great place to produce a series like ‘Leverage.’ We’re thrilled to be returning to Portland for our third season. The local crew base as well as the local talent has been incredible. The citizens of the state, local business owners, law enforcement and all other public safety organizations have been extremely supportive of the production.
Devlin said the Governor's Office of Film & Television and the Mayor of Portland and his staff have become invaluable partners in the production of the show.
“We can't wait to start working with everyone again at the beginning of next year," Devlin said.
Susan Haley, a spokesman for the Governor's Office of Film & Television, said one key element to recruiting productions to the state is the Oregon Production Investment Fund (OPIF). The Oregon Legislature in its 2009 session increased OPIF to $7.5 million per year which has resulted in a continued increase of interest in Oregon as a filming destination.
In addition to its diverse locations, Oregon has been able to remain competitive for high level productions through its rebate programs.
“Without the Governor and legislature’s support, most of the production occurring in Oregon these past four years would not have happened,” Sondland said. “The entire film office board - including Gus Van Sant, Ed Asner, Cynthia Whitcomb, and Steve Oster - has viewed this program as a key element in developing the local film and TV industry so it can deliver a true economic return for Oregon. We believe the future will bring nothing but continued growth.”
Recent films recruited through the OPIF rebate program have included CBS Film’s “Crowley,” and Summit Entertainment’s “Twilight.”