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City helps promote film industry

Sandy joins county to encourage making films and videos locally


The city of Sandy has taken its first steps toward joining a team that is likely to help build the economy, increase tourism, grow local business and add positive notoriety for the city and its environs.

At Monday night’s meeting, the Sandy City Council gave a unanimous thumbs-up to a proposal brought to the council by Economic Development Director David Snider and Clackamas County Rural Economic Development Manager Jamie Johnk.

The proposal involves a unified and simple process to permit companies to produce films or videos in Clackamas County.

Johnk said the film and video business is big for the county, and it can only get bigger. Prior to this year, she said, film and media production in the county produced earnings of $212 million and employed nearly 4,800 people in a wide variety of jobs.

Among a long list of films or video productions created in Oregon are “Leverage,” “Grimm,” “Gone,” “Extraordinary Measures,” “Twilight,” “The Presence,” “Everyman’s War” and “Not Dead Yet.”

To encourage the growth of this industry, Johnk asked people in the industry how the cities or county could make it easier for them to do their work.

“They said, ‘When we go into film, and we’re going to shoot in four or five different communities, we have to go through four or five (different) processes (to get permitted). If a community has a process, where do we get the information and how do we decipher the permitting process?’ This had been a real challenge for them,” Johnk said.

The plan is to make the county a clearinghouse for companies looking for a place to film; to use one universal and simple application form that is handled online; and then distribute the application to the communities involved.

Johnk mentioned a Reel Scout database, maintained by the governor’s office, which includes sites around Sandy and other areas of Clackamas County. Film companies can peruse that database and choose sites that suit their needs. But that database, she said, needs to be updated regularly.

The council unanimously approved the resolution to join the county in its plans to encourage film producers to do their work nearby.