Will Portland’s TV Scene Keep Growing?

There’s a New Detective in Town

Broadcast TV has us watching so many crime dramas, that most people feel qualified to investigate their neighbors or dust the fridge for prints.  “Who ate the last slice of cake? We all have motive, but you’re the only one without an alibi, Steve!”.

Whether you enjoy being an amateur detective or not, Portland was happy about the success and longevity of NBC’s “Grimm”.  Over half a decade of steady production work came to an end in 2017 when the show called it quits. Later this month on ABC, we’ll find out if their new detective procedural, “Stumptown”, will be strong enough to run for more than just one season.

Based on the series of graphic novels with the same name, “Stumptown” stars Cobie Smulders, who plays a former army veteran turned PI with a gambling debt and a brother to take care of.  Only time will tell if the show can differentiate itself from an already saturated market. “Grimm” was able to stand out with it’s fantasy twist, averaging about 6.4 million U.S. viewers during its first season. It even got a couple of Emmy nominations for outstanding stunt coordination.  We’ll find out soon enough if Portland’s new detective can go the distance.

A Post-Portlandia Portland

A year after “Grimm” wrapped, “Portlandia” threw in the towel and aired it's final season.  However, the production team at Lorne Micheals’ Broadway Video knew they found something special with their seasoned crew in Portland. So, within the year, the studio moved forward on producing Hulu’s TV Comedy “Shrill”, set right here in Portland, OR.

Staring SNL’s Aidy Bryant, the show takes a laugh out loud look at a struggling journalist with bad boyfriends, sick parents and a perfectionist boss.  Meanwhile, the world around her deems her not good enough because of her weight. With a plethora of positive reviews, the show has been approved for a second season, which is set to air in 2020. 

Although TNT’s “The Librarians” also cancelled in 2018, Netflix has helped keep Portland’s production industry busy with the teen TV drama “Trinkets”.  The show follows a group of friends that form a deep bond after finding out that they all have a shoplifting habit. Based on the novel of the same name, it’s also been approved for a second season with plenty of material to draw from.

It could be safe to say that the TV production scene in Portland will continue to grow.  Perhaps at the same rate as the traffic and new construction. Travel Oregon now has a list of their favorite “Filmed in Oregon” locations, check it out right here: https://traveloregon.com/things-to-do/culture-history/filmed-in-oregon/

That’s a Wrap!

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Cine Rent West Celebrates 1 Year in New Facility

Over the last year, we transformed a once quiet warehouse on the corner of 31st and Nicolai, into a premier soundstage facility in NW Portland. Coincidentally, we also just finished watching the demolition of our old studio.  Although that building is now gone, we’ll always have the many decades of Portland production history that were created there, all of which have been documented on our “Wall of Shame” (Complete with 90’s mullets and baggy jeans). We’d be lying if we said it was an easy transition, but we’re beyond grateful for the support we’ve received from our entire community in making it all happen!

Mesmerized by the wrecking ball, the nostalgia got us thinking about how much fun we had on Upshur Street. The building was originally an autobody garage until it was purchased by a local music conservatory group in the 1970’s. Then, about a decade later, local animator Will Vinton purchased the building and converted it into a studio where he could produce his signature Claymation. (Vinton won numerous Clio Awards, several Emmys, and an Oscar for his work).

In 1994, filmmaker Gregg Snazelle and original owner of Cine Rent West, bought the building and closed his San Francisco facilities. He and his son Craig built-out the soundstage and established a staple studio location for regional producers. Gregg was formerly in the navy, so naturally, he painted the building battleship grey. In 2001, current-owner, Chris Crever, purchased the studio and continued to develop Snazelle’s vision with improvements to the building, and upgrades to the available equipment.

If we’ve learned one thing in the last 18 years, it’s that the latest technology is great, but it can never replace skilled creatives or adequate planning. It’s all of our jobs to help educate clients on this. As we dove into the construction of the new facility at 2330 NW 31st, we designed with space with input from our production community. This helped us create a comfortable and efficient environment for projects large, small, and everything in between. Please feel free to reach out and schedule a tour of the new facility today! — Give us a call: 503-228-2048

Studio B

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We’re excited to announce the addition of Studio B, a new insert stage at Cine Rent West! It's perfect for small photo shoots or tabletop product shots.

Here is what's included:
-(1) Double-sided flat that measures 8’ X 12’
*Side1: chroma key green screen, Side2: reclaimed barnwood
-(6) C Stands
-(4) Full Apple Boxes
-Free use of seamless inventory in a plethora of colors/sizes.
-Lounge Area and Desk

RENTAL RATES:
Studio B:
-$200/day (8hrs.)
-$35/hour (4hr. minimum)

Studio B House Lights:
-$100/day (8hrs.)
-$75/half day (4hrs.)

Studio B House Light Specs:
[(2) LED Bi-Color Flex Lights (3000k - 5600k) w/(2) Soft boxes]
*Outside lights are ok to use, but they must be LED.

How do I book Studio B?
For now, just give us a call at 503.228.2048 – Eventually, we’ll have an automated booking system available on our website at: http://www.cinerentwest.com/studiob

SOUNDING OFF

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Providing a quiet and comfortable environment are essential components of a properly functioning soundstage. However, noise pollution will always be unavoidable in a bustling city. The last thing anyone wants is unusable audio, which is exactly why we’ve implemented several soundproofing techniques into the design of our new facility.


As much as we’d like to slash the tires of every loud truck that honks and revs their engine outside, we thought it would be more rational to research the science of sound. It turns out, sound travels in two ways; airborne noise, (such as a human voice) and vibrational noise (think of a footstep on a floorboard). In addition, soundproofing is a lot like waterproofing, one hole can sink the entire boat.


During the initial construction of our studio, we made sure to fill the soundstage walls with Rockwool, which absorbs more vibrational sound than most insulation materials. Then, for additional absorption, we covered the ceiling and walls with sound blankets, repurposed from the old Upshur location.
This was a great start, but the work was far from over. To improve the external seal, we recently installed a fully insulated barn door on the exterior of our rolling load-in door. In comparing past recordings of ambient noise, we’ve already noticed a substantial difference.

Cine Gear 2019

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HOLLYWOOD, CA -- Over the weekend, we blasted down South on an early morning flight to attend the Cine Gear Expo at Paramount Studios. With over 300 exhibitors showing off their latest and greatest innovations, there was A LOT of gear to play with.
 
As a premier soundstage facility, we provide our clients with state-of-the-art lighting and grip equipment. To do that well, we keep our eyes peeled for current trends on new technology. Over the last couple of years, there’s been a huge demand for lighting with RGBW capabilities. To no surprise, there was an abundance of new LED products at the expo that could do could do just that.
 
We see a lot of high-speed camera work, so we were amazed by the lack of hot lighting. In talking with some of the exhibitors, we discovered that ARRI was celebrating their 10th anniversary of the M18, while Mole Richardson is still selling plenty of tungsten fixtures.  That being said, the only tungsten bulb we saw in LA was in a food court heat lamp, warming some chili dogs. More and more cameras are coming out with high-speed capabilities, so we’ll be expecting a warm and comparable LED alternative in coming years. -- Here are some of the new lights we’re excited about:
 
 
-LiteMat Spectrum - LiteGear 
https://spectrum.litegear.com/
RGBW capabilities, wide-range Kelvin temperature adjustment, +/- Green correction, full spectrum de-saturation of color, REC-709 color-space compliance, and large-format pixel control.
 
-Brute Force 6 - AC Lighting
https://chroma-q.com/products/brute_force_6
Significantly reduced energy consumption - draws just 15 amps @ 240V, no downtime due to lamp failures, produces tunable whites and pastel saturated colours (2,800K - 6,500K / 2,000K - 10,000K extended CCT), pixel mapping to generate 'effects' - e.g. fire & lightning, and full creative control from a lighting desk or media server
 
-24” 20K LED - Mole Richardson
https://www.mole.com/copy-of-14-vari-tener-led
High output, single source LED, (2) 15 Amp house circuits, single-channel DMX, LumenRadio, RDM, 2.8” LCD touch-screen and twist & push selector, Bluetooth connectivity via Mole-Richardson iOS App, firmware upgradeable and user presets
 
-The Hammer - Quasar Science
(
OUR FAVORITE) Link Available this Summer
800 watt output, 2000K-6000K crossfade white light with RGB color mixing, 4 cells of control, manual interface with OLED screen, universal AC power 100v-240v, DC option 20v-26v, RDM enabled, DMX over CAT5, wireless by LumenRadio.
 
At the end of the day, we felt right at home as we bumped into some of the usual suspects from Portland.  They weren’t hard to find, we just had to check the nearest beer garden!



“Uneekly” Built and Keen on Comfort

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We recently had the pleasure of hosting Keen’s Uneekbot at Cine Rent West.  Known as the world’s smallest shoe factory, this robotic cobbler can crank out a pair of shoes in less than 9 minutes.  Using only glue-less cord and rubber, the automated arm movements were mesmerizing to watch as it weaved through shoe after shoe.


Moving the half-a-million-dollar robot into the studio wasn’t scary at all. The forklift operator gracefully placed it on our loading dock, and we rolled it right on to the stage.  After a day of pre-light, the whole crew had a lot fun capturing a series of forced perspective shots.


Bridging the gap between sandal and shoe, the whole Uneek collection at Keen was designed for casual adventure.  It’s also helped Keen rethink their supply chain process to reduce their environmental impact.  These are concepts that come easy to your average Portander, which helps explain their popularity. 

If you’re as intrigued as we are, go buy yourself a pair! Here is a link to Keen’s online store: https://www.keenfootwear.com/uneek-collection/

OMPA Masterclass at Cine Rent West

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The future of film is exciting, which is why we recently hosted the OMPA’s Masterclass on “Demystifying New Technology” with @filmbot, Jim Geduldick.

It turns out, robots aren’t just changing the manufacturing industries across the planet, they’re also pushing the limits of what can be filmed.  Through continuous, repetitive and accurate movements, robotic arms and drones are changing the game. They can also shoulder a lot more weight than your average DP, while spending zero time at the craft services table.

This clip titled, “Box” is already a few years old, but it’s a great example of the types of things we learned about.  Check out what these bots can do with a bit of projection mapping. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lX6JcybgDFo

Most of us are probably aware of what robots and drones can do, but Jim did a great job of explaining how they do it. The good news is that robots haven’t completely stole all the jobs, they’re actually creating new ones. Innovative software is being developed by people every day that is making the world of visual effects more accessible and easier to use.

Make sure to signup and follow the OMPA for more information on their Masterclass workshop series: https://ompa.org/

Deep Sky Helps ODOT Keep the Streets Safe

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Have you seen ODOT’s new PSA?  It was recently shot right here at Cine Rent West by Deep Sky, one of Portland’s premier animation studios.  Video link below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tp-oVOY9Lu4

Alright, we know what you’re thinking… That highway trooper’s action figure rap verse makes you want to obey every traffic law ever made, right?  We feel the same and haven’t been this moved by a well-executed jingle in a very long-time. But let’s not let that distract us from the amazing production prowess of Deep Sky Studios.  

The persuasiveness of the animated items are driving ODOT’s message, which has never been more important. Just as the highway trooper action figure stated, there is now a max $1000 fine for distracted driving, and for good reason. Between 2013-2017, there have been 12,006 crashes in Oregon caused by distracted driving, resulting in 95 fatalities and 18,429 injuries.  If that’s not serious enough for you, three offences in 10 years will land you 6 months in jail!

This obviously isn’t Deep Sky’s first animated rodeo.  They’ve been creating top-notch content for big brands since 2006.  Learn more about their work right here: http://deepskystudios.com/

Did You Forget About Your Old Friend Tungsten?

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These days, you can’t talk about lighting on set without LED this or LED that. Don’t get us wrong, we know it’s the future.  That’s why we’ve been collecting a healthy supply of ARRI Skypanels in our equipment room.

Nevertheless, we’ve found that sometimes the classic warm orange hue of a tungsten bulb cannot be replaced. So, if you’re not feeling blue, we have a unique inventory of Mole Richardson lighting available for your next production.

Many might argue that tungsten fixtures are too hot and draw too much juice, but that’s why we have a strong AC system with 1800 amps of power on stage.  These raw and robust features are what create the color-balanced light quality that everyone loves in a tungsten bulb, so don’t be afraid of them. They’re also built to last for years and years, giving you dependable results on set.

Here is a quick list of what we currently have on hand:

(1) 10′ x 30′ Chimera F2 Light bank

(1) Big Eye Tenner

(2) Studio 10k

(2) 6K Barger Baglight with large and med Chimera

(8) 5k Studio Senior

(2) 5K Baby Senior

(13) 2k Studio Junior

(4) 2K Baby

(9) 1k Baby

(4) 600w Tweenie

(4) 200w Midget

(4) 650w Teenie

(5) 2k Mighty Mole

(8) 1k Mickey-Mole

(3) 575w Source 4 Elipsoidal light

(6) 750w Source 4 Par light

(3) 750w Source 4 25-75 Zoom

(8) 6k Spacelights

(2) 9 Light Mole-Par Maxi-Brute

(5) 9 Light Mole-Fay

(1) 5 Light Mole-Fay

(1) 6 Light Mole-Fay

(2) 2 Light Mole-Fay

(1) Dedo Light kit (4 heads)

Give us a call today and schedule a tour of our studio: 503-228-2048

Is the NAB Show Dead?

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For nearly 30 years, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has hosted the world’s largest annual trade show for media, entertainment and technology in Las Vegas. Their self-described tagline, “Where Content Comes to Life”, has recently been tested with a declining turnout.

In 2018, the association released numbers showing a 10% decrease in attendance and we’ve heard from people on the ground that 2019’s numbers might be even lower. If it’s not dead yet, it seems to be dying…

While overall attendance has slowly dwindled, there have been increases in both the number of exhibitors and the cost of exhibiting at the event. Currently, exhibit space starts at $31/sq.ft. for the least desirable locations.  With over 1 million square feet of exhibit space at the venue, think of all the Benjamins they’re raking in from the exhibitors. It might begin to feel like a bit of a racket if you’re paying top dollar to expose your brand to a dwindling base.

Could it be that changes in our advertising landscape are contributing to this trend? We’ve seen stakeholders in traditional broadcast advertising compete for diminishing sales while streaming services only continue to grow. So, maybe the internet has something to do with it? As companies get more savvy with new product releases through social media, perhaps the production industry doesn’t need the NAB show as much as it used to?

The truth is, we don’t know for sure, but maybe you think you do.  Please let us know, we’d love to hear your opinion.

A Quick Tour of the New Facility

Sometimes it feels good to toot your own horn, which is why we’d like to give you a quick tour of our new facility. We had a lot of help from our community and we sure are proud of how it all came together. Clearly, we’re seeking peer approval, so please excuse us while we boast about it.

To start, here is a quick shot of the Soundstage. It’s like a big beautiful blank canvas, just sitting here, awaiting your creative energy.

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Through the hallway lies one of our favorite parts of the studio, the Kitchen and Lunchroom.  With rustic reclaimed wood, it resembles a great hall fit to host a royal feast. So much so, we’ve already had numerous wedding venue requests.

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Circling back through the adjacent hall, we have the Production Office.  In the small amount of time we’ve been open, many a producer have complimented the speed of our fiber internet and the amazing natural light that inhabits this room.

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Back through the Soundstage and under the stairs lies the entrance to the Green Room.  Featuring all of the comforts a talent could want, this space was specially designed to cultivate the makeup artist/actor relationship.

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Lastly, (*toot*toot*), and just up the stairs, we have the Client Lounge and Conference room.  Like a monarch watching over their kingdom, this area provides a strategic and private view of the entire production.  When looking up from below, it’s clear who’s in charge.

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There is so much more to this place that cannot be experienced within the limited perspective of this page, so we implore you to give us a call and schedule a visit in person.  Thank you for following this brag of a tour, it felt pretty good!

Old Guild’s Lale — Lewis and Clark Exposition (Photo: Robert A. Reid, Portland)

Old Guild’s Lale — Lewis and Clark Exposition (Photo: Robert A. Reid, Portland)

Nestled on the corner of 31st and Nicolai, our new and improved sound-stage sits right on the borderline of the Guild’s Lake Industrial Sanctuary.  What’s an industrial sanctuary you say? Well, it’s just Portland’s way of saying, “sorry, you can’t build apartments here”. 

Large productions have been much easier to accommodate with the abundance of free on-street parking.  Finding an open space at our old location was like trying to play darts with spaghetti. Not only was it a challenge, but it was often messy.

We’ve had a blast getting to know the new neighborhood and it’s not just because of all the breweries and tasting rooms.  It’s also been the beautiful scenery. Forest Park, one of the largest urban forests, is just a stone’s throw away.

Since the establishment of the sanctuary in 2001, Oregon’s manufacturing sector has grown immensely, and the entire area now plays a crucial role in our economy.  In fact, before the city rezoned Guild's Lake, manufacturing only accounted for about $9 billion of Oregon's economy, but that grew to $74 billion by 2013 with the implementation of the sanctuary.

We're happy to report that we're loving this new location and we look forward to hosting your next production. Learn more about Portland's NW Industrial district right here:  http://nwindustrial.org/