I rarely bother with this side of the biz. What side is that, you ask? I am referring to film production outside of Los Angeles. I live in Portland now. However I'm a California fella, except for that stint in Chicago and later on London. I'm here to tell ya that Portland is an amazing town.
I can say this having been in a lot of cities and towns around this planet. In comparison to other US cities it really can't be beat. I can hear the howls of protest right now. It isn't New York or LA or Chicago. It doesn't have the slightly exotic appeal of a Miami or New Orleans of yesteryear.
But then this is a false dichotomy. Those cities generally only have that certain something if you have that certain no-limit Visa or MasterCard. For someone stuck in South Chicago, the Bronx, Liberty City or South Central that "certain something" is as far away from them as they are from Portland.
Portland is generally adored by film crews out coming out of LA. Even though Oregon's legislature still hasn't made filming here as financially friendly as Vancouver, B.C., or even Louisiana, the state in general and Portland in particular sees a fair amount on major motion picture and even television shows shot here each year. Why, just last month it was announced that TNT's Leverage, starring Timothy Hutton, Beth Riesgraf, and Christian Kane will be filming in the Portland environs in April, I believe. Harrison Ford is getting ready to shoot a film here during the summer.
So it was with some bemusement that I read in yesterday's Oregonian, the major rag up here, that the cast and crew of Twilight (specifically director Catherine Hardwicke as well as the film's two principal stars, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart) complained bitterly on the newly released DVD about the “inhuman” conditions they had to endure while shooting up here. Read "inhuman" for winter.
Stewart, you might get a pass here. You're a true LA-ite. And Hardwicke, both in places lived and even film locations, you seem forever (with the exception of Portland) to be a desert dweller. But Pattinson... come on, fella! You're a Brit! A Londoner, for God's sake! It snowed there this winter! Not to mention you've worked in some reasonably inhospitable locations while on the set of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire — hell, you were up in the Highlands of Scotland, son! Buck up!