'Mean Creek' director taps Rory Culkin and scenic Northwest rivers

The Oregon film industry just got another boost, and now the state is peppered with celebrities, at least for the summer.

The next film scheduled to shoot in Oregon is 'Mean Creek,' a feature film that stars 12-year-old actor Rory Culkin ('It Runs in the Family,' 'Igby Goes Down,' 'You Can Count on Me.')

According to production coordinator Joan Johnson, the movie is about a group of kids who hatch a scheme to get even with a bully. The action takes place on a summer's day and involves a river-rafting trip.

'They decide to take the bully out on the river and teach him a lesson,' Johnson says. 'An accident happens. It's about how the kids handle that crisis.'

Actor Josh Peck ('Max Keeble's Big Move,' 'Snow Day') plays the bully. The cast includes young actors Ryan Kelley, Scott Mechlowicz, Trevor Morgan and Carly Schroeder.

Many of the film's scenes will be shot on the Clackamas River in Estacada and on the Lewis River in Washington. Writer and director Jacob Aaron Estes picked Oregon primarily for its scenery, which lends itself to the film's plot, Johnson says.

Estes won the Nicholl Fellowship in screenwriting for the 'Mean Creek' script. The film is financed and produced by Whitewater Films.

Between 20 and 25 local crew members will be hired, as well as extras, says Liza McQuade of the Oregon Film and Video Office.

'Mean Creek' has a smaller budget than 'Thumbsucker,' an independent feature film currently shooting in Beaverton. That film received a $100,000 incentive from the state's Strategic Reserve Fund. Such bonuses help lure productions to Oregon and keep the state competitive with less expensive filming locations such as Canada. A film typically must spend at least $1 million in Oregon in order to qualify. 'Mean Creek,' which won't spend that much, does not qualify.

According to Johnson, a crew of about 40 has arrived from Los Angeles. Shooting begins midmonth and is expected to last four weeks.

Contact Michaela Bancud at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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