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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A grim future for Portland’s film industry?

by admin

Don’t let the Portland Business Tribune‘s headline scare you!*

While we might not see another Grimm for a while, there are lots of productions coming down the pike in Oregon, from cable series (including The Librarians Season 4), to projects for newer digital platforms (think Hulu, YouTube Red, Amazon and the like), to independent features and commercials.

That’s not even counting the magic happening over at LAIKA and other animation companies, our thriving video game production scene, nor the forays into virtual reality and augmented reality, all taking place right here in Oregon.

In all, we’d say that in terms of the entertainment industry, the future is bright for Portland and the whole state!

*We just had to be a little coy at the Portland Business Alliance breakfast, as many of the projects hadn’t been announced yet. Stay tuned!

A grim future for Portland’s film industry?

‘The Librarians’ will soon be the only series being filmed in Portland.

A mystery worthy of Grimm hung over a discussion of the Oregon film and video industry last Wednesday morning.

To be solved, what is the next major TV series to be shot in Portland after the popular supernatural thriller on NBC wraps up its sixth and final season this year?

Lobbyist Janice Shokrian, executive director of the Oregon Media Production Association, said she has some clues but is sworn to secrecy. Although Shokrian said some new shows are in the works, the next Portland-based one might not be a conventional seasonal network show like Grimm or Portlandia, the cult comedy nearing the end of its run on IFC.

“Traditional series are not something that many companies want to invest in anymore,” said Shokrian, explaining that one-time and short-run series on such subscription-based media platforms as Hulu and YouTube Red are becoming more and more popular.

The question of what follows Grimm and Portlandia in Portland is not merely one about entertainment options. As the Portland Business Alliance learned at its monthly breakfast forum, such productions pump millions of dollars into the state, regional and local economies every year. Film and TV production companies have spent over $350 million on wages, supplies and services in Oregon over the past year and a half, said Shokrian, whose organization was formed in 1982 to advocate for more such productions in the state.

Link to full article.

Friday, September 26, 2014

PBJ: Tax credits and the advantage of being in Oregon

by admin

Erik Siemers of the Portland Business Journal, who recently interviewed Lana on Oregon’s film tax incentive program, now speaks to Travis Knight of LAIKA to get his take.

Over the last few months, I’ve interviewed several people connected to Portland’s film industry who said — appropriately, as if from a script — that the state must expand or lift its cap on production tax credits in order for the industry here to grow.

The Oregon Production Investment Fund offers film productions a 20 percent tax credit on all goods and services purchased in the state and 10 percent tax credit on labor costs. But it’s capped at $10 million in credits per year. Between recurring series’ like “Portlandia,” “Grimm” and “The Librarians,” the fund is tapped pretty quickly.

“Grimm” casting director Lana Veenker and “Librarians” producer Dean Devlin have each told me this year why it’s a no-brainer to expand the program. Veenker said the state has lost productions written specifically for Portland because of the cap. Devlin told me he’d “be the first guy to break ground and build a studio if that limit ever got raised.”

When I had the chance to sit down with Travis Knight, CEO of Hillsboro-based stop-motion animation studio Laika Inc., I wanted to ask the same thing.

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 8.56.05 AM

Link to full article.