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Sherwood gets a little Grimm

Friday's episode of NBC's fairy tale/police show hybrid will feature familiar homes
by: Submitted photo “Grimm” stars Russell Hornsby (left), Brad Henke and David Giuntoli film on location in Sherwood in August.

Local fans of the NBC show 'Grimm' might want to pay close attention to Friday's episode. The popular Portland-based fantasy drama spent two days filming in Sherwood and series executives say that the city will feature prominently in the episode.

'Grimm,' a police procedural set in a world where Grimms' Fairy Tale characters are real, stars David Giuntoli as a Portland police detective who can see fairy tale monsters living among us.

The series films extensively throughout Portland, and several Portland-area locales have popped up in episodes, including Troutdale, Multnomah Falls and downtown Portland.

But on Friday, it will be Sherwood that gets the spotlight in an episode titled, 'Three Bad Wolves.'

NBC officials are tight lipped on specifics about the plot, but said that the episode revolves around a suspicious fire that reveals a rivalry with connections to Monroe, a reformed 'Big Bad Wolf,' who helps Giuntoli's character solve his supernatural cases.

TV crews filmed in Sherwood for two days in August, including shutting down parts of Southwest Main Street as well as Southwest Baker Road and Major Oak Drive off Sunset Boulevard.

'I was just overwhelmed with how much work it took,' said Barb Ashcroft, 51, whose house was used as one of a few locations 'Grimm' crews used around town, 'This whole street was closed.'

Crews spent the better part of a week transforming Ashcroft's small house on Main Street into a movie set, bringing in plants, shrubs and fake trees to complete the façade.

Ashcroft said she has watched every episode of the series waiting for her house to appear.

'I heard somebody gets killed in my house, but I don't know,' she said. 'I'll have to watch.'

Ashcroft said that the production could not have been better to her, even providing a security guard to stand by outside her house before filming took place.

'They were really nice and respectful,' she said.

Crews filmed for about four hours at Ashcroft's house, bringing large semi-trucks and equipment onto the small residential neighborhood at about midnight.

'We had some friends and family over and we sat across the street and watched the whole thing,' Ashcroft said. 'One of the guys on the crew that was there said we would be surprised and lucky to even recognize it.'

Beautiful woods, ready for the crew

After filming a few small scenes at Ashcroft's house, 'Grimm' crews moved down the road, filming more at a house on nearby Baker Road as well as a big chase scene in woods near town.

'The house plays a prominent role in the episode,' said NBC location manager Shawn Gavin who worked on the shoot. 'It's one of the key locations in the script.'

As location manager, it's Gavin's job to find where every scene in the episode will be filmed.

'We are looking all over the Portland area and everything surrounding it,' he said. 'We get a script handed to us and we have about a week to find all the places in the script that matches what is in the director's eye.'

The Sherwood locations were perfect, Gavin said, because it was situated near a large wooded area.

'We had to find a house that had some pretty beautiful woods to film in,' Gavin said. 'And the woods had to have trails to make it film friendly, so we could bring equipment and everything into it. There are beautiful woods all over Oregon, but most are not built for a crew of 100 plus people with trucks and equipment to come through.'

'Grimm' is the third TV series currently based in Portland, joining TNT's 'Leverage' and IFC's 'Portlandia,' but it is so far the only production to bring their cameras to Sherwood.

'I was impressed with how organized the entire 'Grimm' operation was,' said Nicole DeCosta, whose mother lives on the street that the episode was filmed. 'They had neatly marked signs for the remote location off Sunset where the staff and crew got ready before takes.'

DeCosta, a Community Newspapers employee, was staying at her mother's house during the filming and said much of the filming took place at night.

'I've seen a few episodes of 'Grimm' and am excited to see how cool they made our neighborhood look,' she said.

Back on Main Street, Ashcroft said she will be watching Friday's episode with bated breath.

'I'm not a big scary movie watcher at all,' she said. 'I watched the first episode and thought 'oh no, I don't know that I can watch it,' but I really like it. It draws me right in.'

Although this is the first time that 'Grimm's' film crews have come to Sherwood, Gavin doesn't expect it to be the last.

'Sherwood has got some good things going for it,' he said. 'There's the river going through it, and farmland and forest. It has a good varied look.'

And there's a chance that crews might come to Tigard and Tualatin in the future as well, Gavin said.

'I'd say there's a really good chance,' Gavin said. 'I was out along the Tualatin River earlier looking for a place to shoot some river stuff. It didn't work out for this particular piece - it wasn't the look that we needed - but we are not just shooting in the core of Portland. We are looking anywhere within 30 miles of Portland to find the best-looking locations for filming so that the show looks great on TV.'

'Grimm' airs on NBC Thursday, Dec. 8, at 10 p.m. and the episode featuring Sherwood will be shown Friday, Dec. 9, at 9 p.m.