After 30 great years with OPB, “Oregon Experience” producer Eric Cain is retiring.
Eric helped launch "Oregon Experience" in 2006, and he produced some of the most memorable episodes of that series including "Vortex I," "Wayne Morse," "Oregon at War," "Ken Kesey," "Tom McCall," "The Oregon Shakespeare Festival," "Jazz Town" and most recently, "Broken Treaties." He co-produced "The Wild West Way" and "Rajneeshpuram" with Nadine Jelsing. During his career, Eric has won six regional Emmys for his television productions.
His work is notable for the care he took with his subjects, his development of interesting characters and the time he spent researching and crafting every aspect of each production. Working with composers and musicians, he also produced all-original music for eight of his projects. Many of Eric’s documentaries stand as one-of-a-kind treatments on the subject, and they are widely used in schools, museums and community groups across the state.
“I think we’ve made a real contribution to the historical understanding of our state” Eric said of his experiences producing for "Oregon Experience."
"Being able to work on this series is really a gift. The opportunity to make this kind of television program, with the support we have to do it and the viewership we get, once it’s done — the enthusiasm of the people of Oregon and the Northwest for what we produce — it’s all a gift for those of us who make the shows."
He made the award-winning programs "Agricultural Workers," "Country Doctors, Rural Medicine" and "Rethinking the Forests" for OPB's "Oregon Story" documentary series.
An anthropology major at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Eric began his broadcast career as an OPB radio volunteer. After retirement, he plans to spend more time with his family, improve his drawing skills, work on his guitar chops and maybe even join some sort of "old-guys' cover band." (His wife Ann reminds us that Eric will also be cleaning the attic.)
Some final words of wisdom from Eric on the value of getting older?
“We work with a lot of older people on this show — the people that were there when the historical events happened, who were there when Oregon history was made. We get to meet and talk to a lot of them. Older people can be fantastic, you know. They have a lot to say. They’re well-experienced in the school of life and have a lot of stories to tell and advice to give, if you're willing to listen. Plus, they are just really interestingly-crafted human beings. Old people deserve to be heard and engaged and learned from. And we can glean a lot from them about how to live our own lives, too."
Eric has been an integral part of OPB’s local TV production for three decades. Please join us in wishing him well in whatever comes next.