Stop Texas From Stealing Hollywood!

Liz & Getty – TOO BIG!

Posted on July 22, 2017 by Royal Rosamond Press

Denis Quaid is a washed-up actor who is working for Fox, Murdoch, and DeSantis, to make America the Anti-Woke Capitol of the World – after failing to do so on The Day of The Insurrectionist. MSNBC suggested DeSantis is stealing his game plan from Viktor Orban, who is a lot like Putin. Folks at Fox seem to support Killer Kiri;ll who sounds like Killer Quaid, the cowboy moniker I hand him because he’s the dude that wants to kill Hollywood. Enter my Muse, Rena Easton who insprited my Bond book that takes place in Eugene.

I am composing another message to Governor Kotek about making Oregon The Woke Movie Capitol of the World with the making of…..The Wendlings! This will be the North’s Gone With The Wind, but with a happy ending. The World is SAVED! Neo-Confederate Evangelicals down in the Red States are making America over in their hateful, insurrectionist image. They want all Americans to be a


This is why they won’t raise the debt celling. They got a hundred Viktors waiting in the wing! Whose side is Phil Knight on? He and his wife should team with Amazon to make

The Wendlings is based on the true story of Frank Buck, a oil and timber tycoon who had a office in downtown Eugene Oregon. He would put Oregonians to work making him a millionaire, but when the timber was gone, he went elsewhere to make BIG BUCKS. Wendling became a ghost town.

Dennis Quaid dresses like a fake cowboy on Fox Lies For Dollars Network. I will letting him know about Rick Perry kissing Confederate butt in Texas where the movie Giant takes place. It was filmed in Marfa Texas. My kin. Elizabeth Taylor, is called the First Influencer. In spirit, she lives in Oregon. I will author a play or movie called ‘Return To Marfa’ where the stars of Giant return to Marfa and make it the Art Capital of the World – because they can! The Giant Influencers can do anything!

Modern Art Revival For Americans


I’ve been trying to give Eugene and Springfield my kin, Liz Taylor, so they can be like the city of MARFA, but, they don’t get it. I’m sure the Governor will. I want to be the head of The Governor’s Office of Movies and Television. The move The General was made in Cottage Grove, Keaton plays Johnnie Grey, a Johnnie Reb. Hey. Wait a minute. I this a pro-Confederate flick. Consider our first Governor, Joseph Lane, and me and Liz’s kin, John Fremont. Did Kelly-Booth provide that train?

John Presco

Marfa Texas

Scott Halleran/Getty Images


In need of warmer winters to allow for year round film production, Méliès moved the Star Film Company to San AntonioTexas, and leased twenty acres including a two-story house and large barn that became the “Star Film Ranch” movie studio.[1] He acted in two of his movies playing a priest in The Immortal Alamo (1911) and The Kiss of Mary Jane (1911).

In April, 1911, Gaston moved the company to Santa Paula, California, following the trend of other movie studios to relocate in California.

Giant was filmed in the West Texas town of Marfa in the Summer of 1955, roughly six hours outside of Austin. Fans would flock to the small town during production to see its stars in between takes. According to Texas Monthly, Elizabeth Taylor was incredibly generous with her time to fans and would regularly sign autographs and pose for photos even after filming for hours in the hot Texas heat.   

Mara Kapsis, a color and trim designer from Chevrolet who helped design the 2018 Chevy Equinox, says the light, colors, and overall creative spirit of Marfa had a profound impact on her vision.

“It is a completely unique place,” Kapsis says. “When we first drove upon it, it was kind of this burst out of nowhere. There were all these contradictions or juxtapositions of the beautiful new architecture and this unique, old architecture and the texture of the landscape. And of course this amazing artwork in the heart of it all. I think there’s kind of no place like it that I’ve ever been.”

The thriving art scene has come to define the west Texas town. The Chinati Foundation, created by artist Donald Judd, was opened to the public in 1986. The foundation sits on 340 acres of land on the site of the former Fort D.A. Russell and features two of Judd’s most famous works. The foundation also showcases pieces from 11 other artists like Dan Flavin, Carl Andre, and Roni Horn.

French President Emmanuel Macron, right, welcomes Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the Elysee palace in Paris, Sunday, May 14, 2023. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a surprise visit to Paris for talks Sunday night with French President Emmanuel Macron, extending a multi-stop European tour that has elicited fresh pledges of military support as his country gears up for a counteroffensive against Russian occupation forces. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

French President Emmanuel Macron, right, welcomes Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the Elysee palace in Paris, Sunday, May 14, 2023. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a surprise visit to Paris for talks Sunday night with French President Emmanuel Macron, extending a multi-stop European tour that has elicited fresh pledges of military support as his country gears up for a counteroffensive against Russian occupation forces. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak welcomed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to his country house in Buckinghamshire on Monday to discuss more support for Kyiv as it fends off Russia’s invasion. Photo by Simon Dawson/No. 10 Downing Street/EPA-EFE© Simon Dawson/No. 10 Downing Street/EPA-EFE

LONDON, May 15 (UPI) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in London on Monday on a surprise visit for talks with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to lobby for more support ahead of an anticipated Spring offensive against the Russian occupation.

Zelensky announced the visit on his Twitter account just minutes before his aircraft touched down, as he praised Britain for being among Ukraine’s most steadfast backers when it came to assisting Ukraine militarily.

Residents of California have been leaving the state in droves over the last few years due to radical policies and high prices governing the state. Many former residents have been settling in more politically red states, such as Florida and Texas, which have seen immense population growth.

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In June of last year, Hungary’s far-right government passed a law cracking down on LGBTQ rights, including a provision prohibiting instruction on LGBTQ topics in sex education classes.


California is the home of Hollywood, the center of the film industry. Actor Dennis Quaid explained to “Jesse Watters Primetime” why there is a push from actors to move the film industry out of California to Texas.

“We want to make Texas the film capital of the world. That’s what Texas used to really have – a great film incentive program and a great film crew base. About nine or 10 years ago, I made some great movies there and [I] love working there,” he told host Jesse Watters.

Quaid shared how there is “more business friendly” legislation brewing in the Texas State House to increase film funding from $40 million to possibly $300 million. Quaid further explained how bringing the industry back to Texas would bring a lot of film people back to the state.

dennis quaid

Dennis Quaid visits “The IMDb Show” on April 17, 2019, in Studio City, California. (Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)

“It would bring back a lot of people who moved to other states like Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana, surrounding Texas, actually, and Georgia,” he said.

“I can’t remember the last time I made a film in California, to tell you the truth. You know, they still do their game shows there and talk shows and stuff that. Everybody films in Georgia or Oklahoma or whatever – because it doesn’t matter where it’s supposed to take place cause – it’s cheaper,” Quaid said about filming outside of California.

After the pandemic, when the industry had moved to filming in Georgia and Oklahoma due to California’s COVID lockdowns, Gov. Gavin Newsom called on the film industry to return to the state. The governor had critiqued the Republican-controlled states and their stance on abortion in an ad targeting the film industry last year. “Choose freedom. Choose creativity. Choose California,” the ad read.


“You know, they’re getting 30%, up to 40% of their money back, you know, through tax credits there. And we want Texas to compete with that,” Quaid said.

Quaid emphasized the opportunity in Texas because there are a “lot of people” there, and having money to pay for crew members like carpenters, painters, hotel workers and others will “rev up the economy there.”

The actor also made the point that Texas’ lack of state income tax makes it attractive to the industry. If the migration of the film world happens, it will not be the first industry Texas has stolen from California.

“Texas did a really good job at taking a big share of the tech industry away from Silicon Valley. You go down to Austin and you can see that really clearly. And the same thing can be done with movies and television shows. It’s a great place to shoot,” he said.


“Think of the California gold rush, you know? It’s like a few people did strike it rich, but the people who really made money were the shopkeepers and people selling shovels and spades and stuff like that who were doing other things besides mining for gold. And that’s kind of what happened here.”

The economic potential of filmmaking was becoming evident throughout the state. In 1916, the Portland Chamber of Commerce tried to woo Hollywood filmmakers to Oregon by touting the state’s scenery, weather, and even its light. This economic impact was demonstrated in 1926, when Buster Keaton produced and starred in The General, which cost $750,000 to produce. Filmed in Cottage Grove using extras from the Oregon National Guard, The General is the story of a train engineer whose sweetheart and train (The General) are captured by Union forces. The hero stops the train by burning down a railroad bridge.

Roy Rosamond and Gaston Melies

Posted on December 8, 2014 by Royal Rosamond Press

RR Rosamond Letter 2

I found this letter two days ago on the Rosamond photo file I got several years ago. I could not make out the signature, and googled Sulphur Mountain and Santa Paula. This is a letter from the famous director, Gaston Melies, the brother of the even more famous director,  Georges Méliès.

I was in shock. I considered the thousands of hours of research I have done without receiving a dime, and now, at the bottom of the shaft of the mine I have dug for myself, I find a gem.  I now owned the engine that drove my grandfather, that kept him going forward, he never giving up. Did he tell everyone around him Gaston will make a movie from his story ‘The Finding of the Last Chance Mine’, one day? If not, there were plenty more stories where that came from – a veritable mother load!

Why wasn’t I told about this letter? Why didn’t my grandmother tell me she was Bohemian Grove Wood Nymph? The sad truth now hit home. Being a writer, a gambler, a poet, a drifter, a artist, and a free spirit, are not good things to be, especially when they are associated with ‘Being a Failure’. Royal Rosamond failed to strike it big, and take his Rosy family to Hollywood where they would be rolling in doe. Instead, Mary Magdalene Magdalene was forced to make hats in order to feed her four beautiful daughters – and her husband who took the pen name, Royal. This is why Mary told him not to come home when he failed to sign that book deal with Homer Croy who wrote ‘They Had to See Paris’ starring the most famous cowboy of the time, Will Rogers. Roy Reuben Rosamond, was all washed up. He was a has-been wannabe. This prospector never saw his beautiful wife, and his four daughters, again, but for my mother, Rosemary Rosamond, who went to Oklahoma City to see the abject failure, one last time. Roy had a newspaper stand and tutored young folk in the art of poetry.

If you are a creative person, you know for every star, there are a thousand souls who did not make to the Big Tent. In biographies of famous people you notice there is a creative group that surrounds them. If you are authoring a biography, you string connections together and hang them on a tree.

Francis Ford starred in Gaston’s movie ‘The Ghost of Sulphur Mountian’. Francis is the brother of the really famous director, John Ford, who is known for his Westerns. Roy Rosamond claimed he was a real Cowboy, so did Joaquin Miller who amused the Pre-Raphaelites and European Royalty with his Western garb.  This image was tailor-made for Miller by Ina Coolbrith the darling of the Bohemian Club. Then there is the Salon Jessie Fremont had in San Francisco that Mark Twain and Bret Harte attended. The Western Star is born. Now add to this the artwork of Thomas Hart Benton, and Christine Rosamond Benton, then you behold the core cultural movement in America, that left the East Coast, high and dry.

Last, but no least, is Jack London’s Last Chance Salon in Oakland, and Steinbecks ‘Grapes of Wrath’ that John Ford directed. Sprinkle in the Radical Republicans, who did battle with the folks that starred in ‘Birth of a Nation’ and what you get is gritty Westernized Socialism and a Commie Witchhunt.

I can now see my mother knew about this deal to secure her father’s story, and make sure Gaston owns the copyright. Rosemary flirted with the idea she would be a movie star, and once dated a B Actor named George. She used to show us his picture and ask;

“How would you kids have liked to have been George’s children and be born in Hollywood? He asked me to marry him. Instead, I married that SOB father of yours.”

Drats! Our story is tailor made for W.C. Fields who stepped on my aunts toes at a tennis match. This got the attention of Errol Flynn, who sent his friend over to give Lillian an invite, with phone number!

You see, it took over ten years to gather together my family history, because the women in the family had grown bitter – wrathful! Here is a video of the other man Rosemary should have married. His father owned a vast tract of Lima Bean fields in Camarillo, just east of the little town of Santa Paula where Gaston moved his movie company ‘Star Film Ranch’ in 1911. He was following a trend. Some say tis was the film capitol of California. The Rosamond household was not but twelve miles away at ‘Ventura by the Sea’. Did Gaston make a search of the local talent for his next movie?

Royal’s story appeared in West Coast Magazine. A similar story about a mine, along with ‘The Squaw Girl’, appeared in Out West magazine in 1911. There is mention of a “dramatic copyright’ which indicates Royal was writing with the movies in mind. This puts my grandfather at the epicenter of the first California Movie industry. Was he aware of the movie ‘The Squaw Man’ that Christine Rosamond’s first biographer mistakenly attributed to Roy? How much money did Tom Snyder receive for getting it wrong? That book did not sell, and was a abject failure. My daughter, her mother and aunt, and my surviving sister, backed this losing effort.

Jon Presco

Copyright 2014

Rosamonds 1912 Frank Wedding 3

The Rosamond Family of Texas

Posted on October 5, 2011 by Royal Rosamond Press

A branch of the Rosamond family came to Texas in covered wagons and settled in Weldon. They were the Real McCoys who will go down in history because of Sweeny’s aliance with Rick Perry, a fake cowboy and patriot. The Hodges family alsocame to Texas.

Jon Presco

William A. Rosamond and his wife Canzada (Coleman) Rosamond and their six sons and other members of the Rosamond Family came from Kosciusko, Mississippi, where his parents owned a plantation on Big Black River. They came here in covered wagons in 1866 and experienced all the hardships on the way – wild animals and other threats to their lives.

They first settled for a short time in White Rock Creek where they were near water. Next they moved to Houston County. W.A. Rosamond, my grandpa, owned a gin and also a grist mill. And, was a farmer here in Weldon, Texas near the ole Huntsville and Crockett road. On this road was a stage stop, a short distance from their place. They had to hunt for their meat and other food. (Weldon?) was not a very clear settlement.

Rick Perry Insulted My Southern Kin

Posted on July 26, 2018 by Royal Rosamond Press

My kindred, Anthony Hodges, fought the takeover of the Sons of Confederate Veterans by Sweeney who Rick Perry blessed. My great grandmother was kidnapped by Cherokee chief and born him a son. Some of my genetic material is kin to the first landowners.  I got a whole bunch of cousins who might be on the Rolls, and due Southern Land.

John Presco

According to the Washington Times (via Nexis), in March 2000 Perry fired off a letter to Denne Sweeney, Texas commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans: “Although this is an emotional issue,” he wrote, “I want you to know that I oppose efforts to remove Confederate monuments, plaques, and memorials from public property. I also believe that communities should decide whether statues or other memorials are appropriate for their community.”

(Sweeney, for his part, later ascended to the position of commander in chief of the national Sons of Confederate Veterans, where, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported, he presided over “a purge of some 300 members, accused of disloyalty for criticizing racism in the SCV.”)

The Shoe-In

Posted on January 29, 2023 by Royal Rosamond Press

The question I put forth, is, did Phil Knight know a movie was going to be made about him and a shoe – before he contributed money to the campaigns of Christine Drazan and Betsy Johnson?

I’ve been posting on Governor Tina Kotek’s Facebook, my idea for making Oregon – another Film Capital. Were any scenes in Air – filmed in Oregon? What about this guy Tinker Hatfield – is he going to be in the movie? Is anyone in Oregon – going to get a dime from Air?

In the pic below Ben and Matt are weighing the cheese and counting the coin. They are chortling because Michael Jordon is a cult figure – and Air Jordon’s are Legendary Capitalist Icons. What can go wrong? This is a surgical operation. Two white guys move in to my territory, and extract the cash -exploiting a black man. Jordon and his Shoe, will be idolized on the silver screen, until all the Movie Gold and Hollywood Stardust – falls in the pocket of two movie stars. Will Phil and Jordon get a cut?

The movie ‘The Accoujntant’ inspired me to author ‘The Royal Janitor. Ben plays Christian Wolf.

What can go wrong? It’s…..A SHOE-IN!

I was telling Downtown Deb about Nancy and I being at the first Human Be-In and Gathering of The Tribes.

John Presco

DeSantis Uses My Families Party To Gain Untraditional Power

Posted on April 20, 2023 by Royal Rosamond Press

Trust & Verify: Florida is one of the top 5 states for banned books

Ron DeSantis claims he owns many State and Religious rights to make all the States over in his image. because HE IS RESTORING TRADITIONS. His rule and edicts are Anti-Fremont and destroy everything the Republican Party – stood for! After Trump destroyed my families party, here comes THE CARPETBAGGER! Ron has planned a trip to Israel to claim the Messiahship that Donald enjoyed. I anticipate Ron will unveil his Christianized plan for America. How will the Jews of Israel respond to his TRADITIONAL BOOK BANNING?

GET OUT! Form own party!

John Presco.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to “make America Florida.”

As the Republican gears up for a likely presidential run, we created this guide to current legislative proposals in the Sunshine State that offer a lens into his vision for the country.

How DeSantis became Florida’s most powerful governor in a generation

The bills cover topics such as permitting gun owners to carry a concealed weapon without a license and eliminating funding for diversity and equity initiatives in state universities.

The speed with which the state legislature has already passed several DeSantis-backed proposals shows how he has consolidated power in Florida’s Capitol.

Buck Sister Ships

Posted on July 22, 2017 by Royal Rosamond Press

Early Filmmaking in Oregon

Motion pictures debuted in Oregon in 1894 when a kinetoscope arrived in Portland. The innovative technology allowed boxing matches, vaudeville acts, and other popular entertainment to be shown in penny arcades and peepshows and, after 1906, on the nickelodeon. 

Soon early films were being projected in theaters, first at Cordray’s Opera House in Portland. By 1897, local documentary films were being made, including Fishing on the Willamette (1897), The Portland Fire Department (1901), Decoration Day Parade (1902), Panoramic View of the Columbia (1904), and Opening Ceremonies of the Lewis & Clark Exposition Grounds (1905). In the 1920s, theater owners and print media developed Oregon newsreel content—including Screenland News, the Webfoot Weekly, and Oregonian Screen Review—which lasted throughout that decade.

One of the first feature films made in the state was The Fisherman’s Bride, a 1908 silent film produced by Col. William N. Selig’s Polyscope Company. Shot in Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia River, the film shows two men vying for a young woman’s hand. She chooses, but the unsuccessful suitor has his rival shanghaied. The Coast Guard rescues the groom-to-be and delivers him to the wedding. That same year Selig converted an old mansion in Los Angeles to a production studio—a movie factory—and kicked off the West Coast expansion of the film industry. 

From 1908 to 1929, almost fifty full-length silent films were shot in Oregon. The combination of period buildings and diverse outdoor locations seems to have been attractive to early filmmakers, who quickly found their way around the state. Grace’s Visit to the Rogue Valley, for example, was exhibited in 1915 to promote southern Oregon at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. The film, which starred former Broadway actress Grace Fiero, included footage of Crater Lake, Payne’s Gulch, MedfordAshland, and the Siskiyou PassWhere Cowboy Is King, a documentary by the American Lifeograph Company in Portland, depicted the 1914 Pendleton Round-Up. The film included a simulated stagecoach robbery, an attack by Indians, and a much-criticized scene of horses injured in a long-distance race. Making films could be controversial.

Watching films—especially those dealing frankly with sex—could also be controversial. Responding to public concerns about the offerings at its dozens of movie theaters, the City of Portland established an advisory Censor Board in 1911 and a Board of Motion Picture Censors with enforcement power in 1914. Censors objected to such movies as Harry Shaw’s Dash for Liberty (1913), Sapho (1914), Traffic in Souls (1913), and The Valley of the Missing (1915), but approved the controversial The Birth of a Nation (1915) and Kreutzer Sonata (1915). 

Movies were growing in popularity among the middle class, and censors aimed to protect the public from what some believed were immoral and unwholesome images and ideas. The economics of the industry—which was producing a million dollars of revenue in Portland, according to a 1915 Oregonian report—empowered theater owners to challenge and sometimes even ignore censors. Still, the Board of Motion Picture Censors continued to do its work until it was declared unconstitutional in 1961.

The economic potential of filmmaking was becoming evident throughout the state. In 1916, the Portland Chamber of Commerce tried to woo Hollywood filmmakers to Oregon by touting the state’s scenery, weather, and even its light. This economic impact was demonstrated in 1926, when Buster Keaton produced and starred in The General, which cost $750,000 to produce. Filmed in Cottage Grove using extras from the Oregon National Guard, The General is the story of a train engineer whose sweetheart and train (The General) are captured by Union forces. The hero stops the train by burning down a railroad bridge.

In the late 1920s, sound films—known as talkies—gave filmmakers new ways of storytelling and ushered in the Hollywood studio system that dominated filmmaking until midcentury. While more films were shot in Oregon in the 1920s than in the period from 1930 to 1960, the later decades saw such classics as Lost Horizon (1937), filmed in part on Mount HoodAbe Lincoln in Illinois (1940), filmed on the McKenzie River and in EugeneCanyon Passage (1945), set in Jacksonville; and Ring of Fire (1961), filmed in Vernonia. Some films could not be shot on a Hollywood sound stage.

Oregon in the Movies

Oregon also has been a setting for films. In September 1957, a grim-faced Mayor Terry Schrunk appeared on national television to warn Portlanders to evacuate before the arrival of Soviet bombers. The first-term mayor was playing himself in the CBS documentary A Day Called X, in which Portland stars as an average American city about to be destroyed by nuclear weapons. With the reassuring narration of actor Glenn Ford, the thirty-minute film shows Portlanders calmly leaving the city—too calmly, according to some critics.

Portland Exposé, a controversial noir film, appeared the same year—a modestly budgeted man-against-the-mob story ripped from the headlines of the Senate rackets investigations. It is the story of an honest tavern owner pressured into adding pinball machines to his bar. Before long, his nice little tavern has become a casino filled with prostitutes and gangsters. Some Portlanders were offended by the portrayal of police and union corruption, and several theaters canceled showings of the film, prompting producer Lindsley Parsons to ask for a U.S. Senate investigation.

Those two films mark a turning point of sorts in Oregon’s cinematic history with their different portrayals of the Rose City: overwhelmingly average or hopelessly corrupt. Most of the other films set in Oregon during the 1950s were Westerns, including Bend of the River (1952), The Indian Fighter (1956), and Oregon Passage (1957), in which Portland is portrayed as a corrupt frontier town. Other Westerns were filmed in Oregon but not set in the state, including The Great Sioux UprisingPillars of the Sky, and Tonka.

In 1960, the state seemed poised to lose out on a Western it very much coveted: The Story of Chief Joseph was going to be filmed in the State of Washington. Governor Mark O. Hatfield protested that it would be “almost sacrilegious” to film the story anywhere but Oregon and suggested that producers consult with actor Walter Brennan, who had a large working ranch in Joseph. The MGM film was never made, although a 1975 television movie about Chief Joseph, I Will Fight No More Forever, was eventually shot—in Mexico. 

The 1960s counterculture was reflected in such films as Getting Straight (1970); Sometimes a Great Notion (from the novel by Ken Kesey), directed by and starring Paul Newman (1971); and One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, starring Jack Nicholson (1975). Nicholson also directed Drive, He Said (1971), which was filmed at the University of Oregon. 

Counterculture in Eugene took a different turn in 1978 with National Lampoon’s Animal House, set at fictional Faber College. Despite some trepidation by campus fraternities, administrators, and the Eugene Chamber of Commerce, the university hosted the low-budget, lowbrow classic. The University of Oregon itself was featured in two films about runner Steve PrefontaineWithout Limits (1998) and Prefontaine (1997). And a fictional Springfield appeared in the 2007 animated film The Simpsons Movie, co-written by cartoonist and Oregon native Matt Groening.

Growing Economic Impact

By the turn of the twenty-first century, the film industry in Oregon encompassed movie and television production, independent films and documentaries, commercials, animation, production facilities, talent agencies, and film festivals to create a multi-million-dollar sector of the state’s economy. Part of the growth of the industry is a result of the work of the Governor’s Office of Film and Television, established in 1968 to encourage filmmakers and give them reasons to shoot in Oregon.

From 1980 to 2009, Oregon hosted over 250 feature films and television shoots, among them The Shining (1980), Personal Best (1982), The Goonies (1985), Free Willy (1993), Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995), The Postman (1997), Calvin Marshall(2009), Twilight (2008), and The River Why (2010). One notable disappointment was the attempt in 1993 to film The River Wild on the Rogue River with actress Meryl Streep in 1993. The environmental impact issues of shooting the movie on the river became so controversial that the filmmakers relocated many scenes to Montana.

Part of Oregon’s popularity with filmmakers lies in its locations, but another element has been the offer of a robust set of financial incentives, including partial rebates on Oregon-based goods and services and an additional cash payment of as much as 16.2 percent of wages paid. From 1987 to 2011, industry spending in Oregon tied to incentives was $852 million, an average of $34 million a year, and those numbers are growing. In 2009, incentives-related spending by film companies in Oregon was $61 million; in 2011, that spending more than doubled to $130 million. Employment associated with filmmaking in the state has been on the upswing as well, increasing by 30 percent from 2003 to 2008—from 3,069 to 4,225 workers. In addition, film and television production provides opportunities for production and post-production services companies located throughout the state, many of which also work in local television advertising. 

Film Culture in Oregon

Serendipity has played a role in Oregon’s reputation for filmmaking in the person of Gus Van Sant, who attended high school in Portland. His low-budget Mala Noche (1985) caught the attention of Hollywood studios, which supported his later films Drugstore Cowboy (1989) and My Own Private Idaho (1991). All of the films were set in West Burnside and Old Town Portland. His later films Elephant (2003), Paranoid Park (2007), and Restless (2011) are set just outside Portland. Van Sant has managed to straddle independent filmmaking, with its distinct bleak, urban spirit, with traditional Hollywood projects such as Good Will Hunting and Finding Forrester.

The actors and filmmakers who have settled in Oregon include Kim Novak, Ginger Rogers, Bruce Campbell, Patrick Duffy, Denis Arndt, Tod Davies, Alex Cox, Jack Elam, and Sam Elliott. John Wayne was part owner of a historic ranch in Selma, near the Grants Pass location of Rooster Cogburn, and William Hurt owns a ranch in central Oregon.

Beyond the marquee names are the marquees themselves, from the Gem Theatre in Athena, to the Bagdad and Oriental Theatres in Portland, the Holly Theatre in Medford, the Egyptian Theatre in Coos Bay, and the Liberty Theatre in La Grande. Some were built specifically as “movie palaces” in exotic revival architectural styles, while others were converted from vaudeville and stage venues to movie theaters.

As movies became respectable entertainment in the 1920s, movie palaces thrived, opening shows with live entertainment and Wurlitzer organs, drawing customers in with movie shorts and newsreels, and even hosting song contests. During the 1930s, many theaters closed or cut back, but they flourished again in the 1940s when watching World War II newsreels became a weekly habit for many. In the 1950s, television was introduced in Oregon, and the rise of the car culture fueled the popularity of drive-in theaters. During the last quarter of the twentieth century, many theaters fell on hard times, closing or selling to national chains as movies competed with other forms of mass entertainment. Some historic theaters, like Astoria’s Liberty, have been renovated as community arts venues. 

The Liberty Theatre is also home to the Astoria International Film Festival, launched in 2007. In 2010, Astoria celebrated its role in film history by establishing an Oregon Film Museum. The museum, which had 12,000 visitors in its first year, is in the old Clatsop County jail, a historic building used in three different movies—The Goonies (1985), Short Circuit (1986), and Come See the Paradise (1990).

The Astoria festival is just one of many Oregon film festivals. The oldest is the Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival, established in 1973 and run by the Northwest Film Center at the Portland Art Museum. The center, which was started in 1971 and was incorporated into the Portland Art Museum in 1978, offers classes, runs the Best of the Northwest Film competition, and sponsors festivals, including the Portland International Film Festival (the state’s largest, with 40,000 attendees), the Reel Music Film Festival, the Portland Jewish Film Festival, and the Young People’s Film Festival. From 1969 to 1981, the Northwest Film Center benefited from the energy and groundwork provided by the Center for the Moving Image at Portland State University. Other film festivals in the state include the Ashland Independent Film Festival (from 2001), the Bend Independent Film Festival (from 2006), the Salem Film Festival (from 2006), the Eugene International Film Festival (from 2007), and the Eastern Oregon Film Festival (from 2010). 

Indies, Docs, and Animation

Independent films—those made outside the Hollywood studio system—are also part of Oregon’s film culture. Such films are often interested in specific issues, and some deal with topics related to the state’s history. Peter Richardson’s Clear Cut: The Story of Philomath and How to Die in Oregon, for example, are distinctly Oregon, as is Heather Lyn MacDonald’s Ballot Measure 9 (1995), which looks at a failed anti-gay ballot initiative. Other Oregon-made films have taken on national issues, such as Hot Coffee, by Susan Saladoff, a documentary on spilled coffee and tort reform. 

In 2011, a record seven Oregon films were screened at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, including four documentaries: Hot Coffee; How to Die in OregonWe Were Here, by David Weissman; and If a Tree Falls, by Marshall Curry. There is also an unreleased documentary film, Sunshine Daydream, which was shot at the Grateful Dead’s Veneta, Oregon, concert in 1972 to benefit the Springfield Creamery. The emcee: Ken Kesey. 

Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) has created many documentary films, most notably The Oregon Experience, which has featured the stories of Governor Tom McCall, Opal Whiteley, Abigail Scott Duniway, The Rajneeshpuram, and The Modoc War, among others. Southern Oregon Public Television (SOPTV), established in 1977 to serve southern Oregon and northern California, has produced documentaries on Crater Lake, the Roseburg Blast, and the Applegate Trail

Film-making has become means of documenting Oregon’s Native American culture, as well, and work produced by Oregon tribes includes the 1982 video The Earth is Our Home, which explores ancient Paiute traditions; the 2007 video Dark Waters—The Reservation Years; and the 2009 video Standing Strong, produced by the Indian nations of western Oregon as part of the state’s sesquicentennial.

Oregon has a number of successful animators. Some, like Oscar-winning Joan Gratz, have their own studios, while others, such as Joanna Priestly, Rose Bond, and Miles Inada, are associated with art and film schools. Still others work for studios, producing everything from talking M&M’s to music videos to feature films. The early success of Will Vinton Studios in Portland was no doubt a catalyst and inspiration to film animation artists. Vinton, the creator of Claymation techniques and the winner of Emmy and Academy Awards, has produced and directed about fifty productions. At its peak in the 1990s, Will Vinton Studios had over $28 million in annual revenues and employed over four hundred people. 

Nike’s Phil Knight, who invested in Will Vinton Studios in 1998, assumed a greater interest in the company as its finances declined. The company, renamed Laika, Inc., is now run by his son Travis Knight, a professional animator. Dedicated to both traditional stop-motion and computer-generated imagery, Laika created Coraline (2009), the first stop-motion film shot in 3-D, and ParaNorman (2012), the first stop-motion film to use a 3-D color printer to create character faces. Will Vinton has started a new company called Freewill Entertainment.

From The Fisherman’s Bride to ParaNorman, the Oregon film and video industry has been shouting “action” for over a hundred years. That century of filmmaking has portrayed many images of the state—its rivers, desert, mountains, architecture, people, and problems. Film has told the state’s stories, from Astoria to Ashland, from Portland to Pendleton, and from Cottage Grove to Bend.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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