Recent Beaver State productions
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Recent Beaver State productions
Director: Henry Selick
Budget: $60 million
The first stop-motion animated feature to be shot entirely in 3D, "Coraline" took in more than $120 million worldwide and earned an Oscar nomination for best animated feature. It was filmed frame-by-frame during the course of 18 months, following two years of preproduction, on 52 miniature stages spread throughout LAIKA Entertainment's 140,000-square-foot warehouse, 12 miles south of Portland in Hillsboro. The 130-plus sets included three Victorian mansions, an apple orchard and a scale re-creation of the town of Ashland, replete with tiny street banners advertising the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. LAIKA has several potential follow-ups in preproduction, including "Paranorman" and "Here Be Monsters," but they won't involve Selick, who left the company in October.
"Extraordinary Measures" (2010)
Director: Tom Vaughan
Budget: $31 million
Oregon put out the welcome mat for co-producer/star Harrison Ford's somber medical drama, which was allowed to shoot at such historically non-film-friendly locations as Nike's main campus in Beaverton and Oregon Health & Science University in Portland in spring 2009. "Nobody has ever shot on the Nike campus before," says the film's key grip, Bruce Lawson. "They certainly didn't need the location fee, which they donated to the Doernbecher Children's Hospital at OSHU." For interiors, the production retreated to a complex of converted warehouses in Clackamas (also used by "Leverage"), where it built the sets for two hospitals, a lab and the two-story home of John Crowley (Brendan Fraser).
Director: Gus Van Sant
Budget: $15 million
Oregon's favorite indie-director-in-residence got a multigenerational Hollywood boost for his latest project. The cast of the youth-angst love story includes Henry Hopper, son of the late Dennis Hopper, and Schuyler Fisk, daughter of actress Sissy Spacek and production designer Jack Fisk, and the film was co-produced by actress Bryce Dallas Howard with her dad Ron Howard. Having filmed "Restless" all over Portland, Van Sant estimates it was the "10th or so" movie he's filmed in Oregon and says there were many bonuses to shooting in his hometown again. "It doesn't take your crew an hour to get to the next location like it does in L.A.," he says. "More like 15 minutes."
"Meek's Cutoff" (2011)
Director: Kelly Reichardt
Budget: Not available
In her 2008 film "Wendy and Lucy," Reichardt explored how the life of a young woman (Michelle Williams) gets derailed when her car breaks down in Portland on the way to a summer job in Alaska. In this follow-up, she shows what happens to a wagon train of three families of pioneers (portrayed by Williams, Paul Dano, Will Patton and Zoe Kazan, among others) when they're led down the wrong path by guide Stephen Meek (Bruce Greenwood) on the Oregon Trail in 1845. Shot on location in the wilds of southeastern Oregon in Harney County -- the least populous county in the lower 48 -- during the course of six weeks in September and October, the fact-based drama is in the final stages of postproduction.
"Something Wicked" (TBD)
Director: Darin Scott
Budget: $3 million
Shot over 35 days at Chambers Studios in the college town of Eugene and at various Oregon locations in spring 2009, this low-budget psychological thriller was the last film made by Brittany Murphy before her sudden death in December. "She plays a psychiatrist, and she did a really terrific job," says executive producer Scott Chambers -- though critics will have to wait a bit longer to see if they agree, as the film is still undergoing final CGI embellishments. Chambers says highlights include a scene shot at a 100-year-old, steam-powered lumber mill in the town of Monroe. So does anyone get cut in half in true horror-film style? Chambers is staying mum.