Everything but the sun
Lincoln High grad helped coordinate 'Hunted' filming Ñ except for the weather
Scenes for the knife-fight flick 'The Hunted' were filmed on location in Forest Park, Silver Falls, Ross Island, Mt. Hood Meadows and downtown Portland. But the film has more than local scenery in the background.
Portlander Kathy Krause, 35, was an assistant director for 'The Hunted.'
The flame-haired Krause grew up in Portland and attended Lincoln High School and the University of Oregon. She has worked nonstop in the state's film industry for 11 years, hooking her first Oregon industry job as a production assistant on 'Teenage Ninja Turtles III' in the early '90s. This was followed by production stints on TV movies in other states.
Later, Krause landed production gigs for locally shot segments of the mid-'90s TV series 'Under Suspicion' and the 1998 film 'Zero Effect.'
During production, the assistant directors' department is the nucleus of the whole operation. On the set of 'The Hunted,' Krause was the go-to person for all of the major departments. She worked alongside the film's producer and director, William Friedkin; she communicated with the hair, makeup and wardrobe departments; and she made sure that the actors knew which scenes were up next.
'It was like, 'Whose plane is flying in? Who's flying out? Is this equipment rented? When's it due back?' ' Krause says.
Daily production reports and call sheets for the crew, and constantly changing schedules, also were her responsibility. She made a round of approximately 30 phone calls to the crew at various hotels every night with their on-set call times for the next morning.
Bring on the clouds
There were bumpy moments in production, of course.
'Overcast weather was a big reason why Billy (Friedkin) chose to film here,' Krause says. 'He wanted a dark, cloudy look for the film.' Portland's gloomy atmosphere is usually dependable during the shooting months of May and June, but it didn't always cooperate.
'The sun was shining like crazy during the crucial weekend shoots on the Hawthorne Bridge,' she says. 'And we'd be there all day waiting for the weather to turn cloudy. And because it's an action film, we needed big, vast shots Ñ nothing tight and up close.
'It was a lot of work just to get that MAX train revved and ready to go,' Krause says, referring to a chase scene in which a MAX train rolls down the middle of the bridge. 'And we had Rose Festival coming right around the corner, too. A huge number of extras were involved in that particular scene who kept having to come back.'
Most challenging for Krause was the daylong shooting of a downtown car-chase scene, in which actor Tommy Lee Jones' L.T. Bonham pursues Benicio Del Toro's Aaron Hallam.
'We had gunfire and explosions and all of downtown Portland very curious about what was going on,' Krause says. 'And we had to keep everyone from getting hurt. A man with a briefcase just walked out of a building doorway into a scene at one point.'
Friedkin's realistic directorial style impressed Krause.
'Billy really liked walking around Portland,' she says. 'He'd see Goths and street kids and come back and tell the extras scouts to go find them. Those kids weren't put through wardrobe or makeup; it was just them. And TV anchor Jeff Gianola, obviously, isn't an actor. All of the cops in the film are real Portland cops.
'Billy's old school that way. He doesn't use sets or set-up shots if he doesn't have to,' she says, citing a scene filmed on Broadway in which Del Toro emerges from a manhole while cars speed past.
Spread the word
When 'The Hunted' ended, Krause joined a small crew for director Gus Van Sant's film 'Elephant.'
'It's like night and day in terms of going from a huge project to a much smaller one,' she says. 'But both Billy and Gus are amazing to work for in their own ways.'
Big shoots can take a toll on communities, but Krause said the experience was a good one:
'Everybody in Portland Ñ the people, the hotels, the restaurants, the citizens, the Oregon film office Ñ were a huge help in getting 'The Hunted' shot. We do sort of move in like an army and really shake things up.'
The movie pumped $30 million into the local economy, according to the state, and chances are slim that Oregon will see a film with a budget like this for a long time.
Insiders speculate that director Friedkin had plenty of leeway with the film's budget because of his marriage to Paramount Studio chief Sherry Lansing.
And though critics' comments about the 'The Hunted' are mixed, Krause expects positive reviews of Portland:
'Big movies like this spread the word in Hollywood that the city can sustain them. When word gets out down there about what a good time these guys had in Portland, it will only help the film industry here.'