Once again, the Oregon film and television industry is seeking support from the state legislature to increase the incentive program. Even with continued success after the previous increase two years ago, the state continues to turn away potential productions due to the lack of available incentives.
Supporters of the bills claim that out-of-state productions bring good-paying jobs, and revenue to Oregon, which trickles down to vendors, hotels, restaurants and other local businesses.
“What’s new this year is that we’ve brought video games into the fold,” says Lana Veenker, Portland-based casting director and president of Cast Iron Studios. “In addition to film and television, we’re incorporating other kinds of media, because it’s been shown that these tax credits are working and are helping to bring jobs to Oregon.”
As proof, Veenker says, “My company just had its busiest year in my 15 years in business in Oregon, and that was directly due to the last increase” in the incentives cap.
She estimates that if the cap is raised from $10 million to $14 million or $20 million, several more projects could shoot on location in Oregon.
“It might be enough to support another TV series or a movie like ‘Wild.’ That’s very doable for our market. People are eager to work.”