Local Movie Industry Can Help Bring Happy Ending to Recession

Article excerpt

Byline: GUEST VIEWPOINT By Ann Penny

Hey, we've been making a movie!

Maybe you read about it in this very newspaper. Or saw it on the evening news. There has been some publicity, but I have a subplot to add.

Story synopsis: Scott Chambers and Dan Giustina, familiar local family names, form Merchant Films and decide to shoot a feature titled "Something Wicked." Fans of Brittany Murphy are ecstatic that she is sweetly willing to sign autographs, and startled bystanders are elated to suddenly find themselves cast as movie extras.

And after six weeks of hard work, we all go home.

Now, here's the good part. For many of us, home is Eugene, Springfield, Cottage Grove or Veneta. Yes, we have some crew from Los Angeles and other places, but several are your friends and neighbors.

Did you know that Oregon has a movie industry? And that it had a much larger one before Sept. 11, 2001, and before the Canadian dollar spirited the productions away from us?

Did you know that billions of dollars are dropped here, and that thousands of jobs are created? Did you know that this effects you every day?

How can that be? you may ask. If you pump gas, style hair, wait tables or sell shoes for a living, you might think there is very little connection.

But I've left money for all those products and services in other communities, principally Portland, because that is where the industry has taken me. Along with all the enormously expensive needs of a movie company - construction supplies, office supplies, car rentals, food and drink, plants, wardrobe, housing, on and on - people such as me still live our lives and buy goods and services.

Sadly, just not at home.

OK, how many haircuts can I get, really? Well, I am not alone, of course, in having a little more disposable income from working on movie sets. …