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Lights, camera, action in Lake Oswego

New Jennifer Aniston movie is being shot in the local area
by: Vern Uyetake, Lake Oswego resident and actor Taylor Jahn, 24, holds up a pay stub voucher from his day of filming on Jennifer Aniston’s movie “Management,” which recently filmed in the city, as well as at several locations in West Linn. Jahn spent three hours on a Spider Ride at Oaks Amusement Park for a scene and got paid $100. Aniston is one of his favorite actresses.

Glossy pictures of Jennifer Aniston ripped from magazines look worn and tattered.

Lake Oswego resident Taylor Jahn, 24, isn't all that embarrassed to show his sweet spot for the film and TV actress - she's much of his inspiration for beginning a career in acting. So the pictures, testaments to Jahn's admiration of Aniston that have gone with him from high school and to his college dorm room, will accompany him to Los Angeles as he takes a shot at starting a film career of his own.

But first he got a taste of working with his idol close to home.

'She seems like a person you could be friends with,' Jahn said.

Over the past few weeks many film enthusiasts in Oregon have had a chance to come face-to-face with their favorite 'Friend,' as she is filming her upcoming movie 'Management' in the Northwest, including filming sites in Lake Oswego and West Linn.

Also starring Steve Zahn, the film is about Aniston - a traveling art saleswoman - who tries to shake off a flaky motel manager, Zahn, who falls for her and won't leave her alone, according to The Internet Movie Database.

Stephen Belber - who was nominated for an Emmy in 2002 for writing 'The Laramie Project' - wrote the film. This is Jahn's first feature film.

Renaming Oregon

Oregon is depicted as three different cities in the film - Portland is Baltimore, Md., a house in West Linn and downtown Oregon City is Aberdeen, Wash., and Madras will represent a small town and motel in Arizona.

Jahn was by Aniston's side, well sort of, for a day of filming Oct. 11 at Oaks Amusement Park in Portland. While Aniston's character chatted with Zahn - smoking fake cigarettes - Jahn whizzed by on an amusement park ride in the background - for three hours.

'Yeah, I felt sort of sick after a while, but it was worth it,' Jahn said.

Amid a sea of extras, Jahn volunteered himself for the long stint on the Spider Ride.

'I wanted to make the most of the day. Every time I went around the corner, the camera was right there,' he said of the scene with three other main extras.

He later got to talk with Aniston briefly when he had an appearance walking through the park.

'She seems to really enjoy what she's doing,' Jahn said.

Even though he got paid about a $100, Jahn said the experience was valuable because it, 'took out the glitz and glamour (of filming),' he said. 'These are just normal people doing their job, who happen to make movies.'

'Management' is touching the lives of many local professionals, with different specialized talents.

When filming Oct. 23 on Peets Mountain in West Linn, 'Management's' morning catering truck got stuck in the snow driving over the Cascades and couldn't make it to the set in time, said Darci Robertson who works at the Footpath Café in the Willamette area.

So, she - and her business partner Krysta Kelley with Catering by Caprice that operates out of the cafe - quickly whipped up 125 breakfast burritos along with quiche and delivered it to the set.

'Usually we (cater for) more independent films,' Robertson said, 'and the big difference is the number of people. With the smaller budget films there's usually between 20 and 50 people and a motor home. This film set had 15 U-Haul trucks - amazing.'

Robertson caught a glimpse of Aniston walking to the set from her trailer, which is more than 11-year-old Maddie Connall of West Linn can say.

She - along with her parents Kyle and Iva-Marie - live near the Oregon Golf Club in West Linn. Each day when Maddie's school bus passed by a large home on Schaeffer Road, she said, the kids would peer out the window at the film trucks - knowing that Aniston was filming there.

'She's my favorite,' Maddie said. 'She's a great actress - loved her in 'Friends' and 'Bruce Almighty.''

The crew set up base camp across the street, the Connalls said, often running items over to the house.

'We drove by the other night and they must have been filming outside. They had all the lights on out there,' Kyle Connall said.

Dog walkers and kids playing caught a glimpse of Aniston and actor Woody Harrelson as they filmed a wedding scene for the movie in George Rogers Park in Lake Oswego last week.

'(The) wedding scene was on the rocks, on a sandy beach on the Willamette River; the other scene was kind of in a wooded area near the restroom,' said a representative from the Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department who wished to remain anonymous.

Parks and Recreation and the city maintenance department closed the upper and lowing parking lots to accommodate a changing tent for extras, as well as 36 cars, camera, makeup and wardrobe trucks, according to the Lake Oswego 'LODown' weekly newsletter.

'These individuals were wonderful to do business with,' the representative said. 'They left the park immaculate.'

Films help Oregon's economy

Not only will it be exciting for locals to see familiar landscapes in a major motion picture, but movies filmed in Oregon greatly support local businesses, according to Sara Burton, location scout and manager of Girl Scout Locations in Portland and Los Angeles.

The state film office, with the help of Burton, first directed filmmakers on 'Management' to local sites in Oregon. Burton's unavailability for the entire project led the company to hire a seasoned Los Angeles location manager who hired local assistants to aid with the project, she said.

Each year, the state of Oregon offers economic incentives to filmmakers to attract them to our resources and talent.

'By spending our 2005, $2 million incentive budget, we generated $37 million back through goods, services and local living wage salaries,' Burton said. 'This is big money that other states (and Canada) are aggressively positioning for. That kind of return on investment is few and far between.'

If a major motion picture is filmed in Oregon, it gets discounted rates, but local employees get paid the same amount - the difference is compensated by the state.

Another incentive? Oregon has no sales tax.

In the past 10 years, 63 feature films have been shot in Oregon, according to the Oregon Film and Video Office Web site. These films cast aspiring actors such as Jahn, as well as other non-professionals, such as Lew Dauchy of Tualatin, whose time spent at the city's CI Bar and Grill landed him time on the 'Management' set.

When the crew filmed at the bar, Dauchy and 50 others got to do what they usually do there, have fun.

'(Aniston) stood three feet from me. I got to walk by (in the shot) twice,' Dauchy said. 'It's interesting how they tore the place apart (to make the scene), and put it back together.'

Dauchy said he's looking forward to the film's release to see if he and his friends made it in a shot.