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Central Oregon Filmmakers Unhappy With 'Management'

Jennifer Aniston has wrapped up her filming  work in Madras, after three weeks spent shooting the movie 'Management'.

The film left many residents star-struck and abuzz over the small city's time on the big screen. But as central Oregon correspondent Ethan Lindsey reports, not everyone is happy.

The Hollywood film made paparazzi out of passersby in Madras this month.

Former 'Friends' star Jennifer Aniston and the movie's production crew filmed for days at Sonny's Motel on Highway 97.

Many in the area say they've gotten to check out the actress, either during the film shoot, or when she's shopped or dined at local shops.

The Madras Chamber of Commerce says, more importantly, the film will bring $2 million to the state. The Oregon Film & Video Office says the state's growing movie industry generates almost a billion dollars annually.

Steve Oster is the executive director of the state film office. He says Aniston's project, 'Management', is shot  entirely  in Oregon.

Steve Oster: “Just looking at it on an economic level, it's been a very positive thing for the state.”

But that's not enough, say many Oregonians.

Craig Richards is an actor, who moved to Bend a few years ago. He auditioned for a role in 'Management', but wasn't cast. He says his disappointment with the film isn't just sour grapes — practically no one working on the film is local.

Craig Richards: “We consider 'Management' a great opportunity to put Central Oregon on the map, but a missed opportunity to show filmmakers what this area can contribute to their products.”

Richards isn't the only relative newcomer. Population estimates say about 55,000 people have moved to central Oregon since 2000, a large percentage from southern California.

Richards says there's now a growing group of film professionals east of the Cascades.

Craig Richards: “I know I'm from Southern California where I worked in film and television. And maybe its just what my ear is tuned to, but most of the people I encounter are from southern California and Los Angeles."

Take Stan Roach for another example. He's a business consultant and an aspiring actor in Bend.

Stan Roach: “The 'Management' crew is not a central Oregon crew, the actors are not from central Oregon. There was an extras call here that was somewhat limited. So it's a good example of here we are in central Oregon with all this wonderful talent and resources and yet 'Management' just up the road is using people from out of town.”

That's why Richards and Roach helped form the 'Film Oregon Alliance'.  They're hoping to raise $10,000 to fund the nonprofit lobbying group.

FILM OREGON COMMERCIAL: “We need your help to bring films here.”

Until recently central Oregon was an afterthought for Hollywood, says Roach.

Stan Roach: “A lot of people in southern California think of Oregon as this wet, rainy place. And what they don't realize is that on the eastside of the Cascades there's plenty of sunshine, and an amazing amount of scenery and settings and locations.”

Oregon is trying to use that to grab a larger piece of the Hollywood pie. Like Canada, New Mexico, and many other  places, the state now gives a big tax rebate to movie productions.

State film office director Steve Oster says this year is shaping up to be about 25-percent better than last in terms of movie money.

And Oster says central Oregon's geography gives the state just another pitch to bring movies like 'Management' here.

Steve Oster: “For this one, it was all about finding the looks. And that's the great thing about Oregon's topography. We can go from coast to mountains to desert to plains, all within a few hours. And that's actually a big plus for us here in terms of growing the industry.”

Central Oregon actors say they wish Oster and the state's film board had pushed for more locals to be cast in 'Management'.

But they say now that they've organized, the state's film industry is paying attention and Stan Roach for one hopes it'll do better next time.

Stan Roach: “If the folks producing 'Management' had known about us, I'm sure that some of the folks out here would be employed right now in that production.”

One thing movie production people hate is unexpected weather.

So, when it started raining and snowing in Madras this week, the film crew decided to wrap things up.

The movie will continue shooting in Portland in December.

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