Banks – An independent feature film named “Lorelei” — also the name of the Portland-based production company — is being shot in Banks.
Production on Main Street began October 7 and the filmmakers applied with the city of Banks for a parade permit to close down Main Street on November 6 – a road they’ve used now on several different days, routing traffic around the filming locations as needed. The Banks Post is seeking additional information regarding any further permits the production company has filed with the city.
The next shooting day is Friday, November 9 from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the areas of Banks Road, Depot Street and Main Street, according to a notice posted by the city of Banks.
But the movie shoot already is causing headaches for Banks school bus drivers and students.
An employee with Mid Columbia Bus Company, who is not authorized to speak to the media, told the Banks Post the Lorelei crew blocked school buses from being able to easily move in and out of its parking yard, which held up kids getting home.
“(The production crew) had to move a bunch of (equipment) just so we could get to the schools, and it made some buses 20 minutes late just to get to there to start their route,” the employee said. “Drivers had to squeeze their buses on driveways that aren’t used, which made it more accident prone to get back in at night.They had a lot of equipment that blocked up pretty much the entire side of the street by the (Banks) Hardware Store and Bighorn (Logging). That left us with just that little driveway between the hardware store and Shafer’s Diesel (Service). Also, our southside employee parking lot, (the film crew) took all of those spots so no one could park there and couldn’t get to the buses (without finding somewhere else to park) in order to get to the kids on time.”
According to a September 25, 2018 parade permit application on file with the city, the film sequence involves “motorcycles driving down Main Street (in their lane) (while) a car (is) stopped in the lane holding up traffic in front of Bighorn Logging. A conversation (ensues at the) parked car on Main Street.”
Despite the aforementioned use of the plural “motorcycles,” the application goes on to say the number of vehicles includes one motorcycle, one “picture vehicle,” and three “support vehicles.” There also will be an ice cream truck driving down Main Street. Traffic is expected to be interrupted for six to 10 minutes at a time.
The shooting also will include intermittent traffic control, according to the film’s permit. The route the filmmakers desire to run will be between Main Street and Cedar Canyon Road to Main Street and NW Sunset Avenue, the permit says.
Portland-based casting company Simon Max Hill’s website says the plot of the movie “follows ex-biker Wayland as he returns to his High School (sic) hometown after 15 years in prison.”
The protagonist, Wayland, is rekindling his relationship with Dolores, his high-school love who became a mother of three children from three different fathers during his 15 years in prison, and throughout the film he tries to “navigate the weight of his past with his inadvertent role in a newfound family.”
Lara Cuddy, who as been producing films for Portland-based Lorelei Productions for 10 years, said the crew will total 38 members, all but five of whom are from Portland. The movie was written and is being directed by Sabrina Doyle — a dual role not that common in the film industry yet this is her sixth time credited as both writer and director — and the budget for the film is less than $5 million, although Cuddy declined to provide an exact amount.
Starring in the film as Wayland is Pablo Schreiber, brother of actor Liev Schreiber — who currently stars in the TV drama series “Ray Donovan” — who appears in “Orange is the New Black,” several episodes of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” and the former Showtime hit series “Weeds,” among many other credits.
Jena Malone co-stars as Schreiber’s love interest Dolores. Malone stars in the TV series “Too Young to Die,” and also appeared in the films “Batman V Superman” and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.”
Simon Max Hill has cast 26 speaking roles in the film and only the two lead actors are from “out of town,” Cuddy said.
“What drew us to Banks was the story was set in a small Oregon timber town, so basically Banks fits that description not just visually but because there is an actual lumber mill in town,” Cuddy said. “It’s also in close proximity to Portland and we were looking for a rural location inside of 30 miles outside Portland so it’s not too far for the crew to travel back and forth home every day. When the crew has to drive more than 30 miles a day then we are required to ‘put them up.’
“Also, Banks feels small and visually appears like it’s out in the middle of nowhere, even with its close proximity to the highway,” she continued. “We just loved the hills and the beautiful, rainy cloud breaks and sunshine, especially in the fall, and there is a lot of beautiful colors and great sunsets that really adds a good feel to the story.”
Tim Williams, executive director of the Oregon Governor’s Office of Film & Television, said during the 2017-18 fiscal year, which runs from July – June annually, $180 million of direct in-state spending came as a result of films being made in Oregon.
Additionally, the film industry created 4,000 jobs during that period through “various programs,” he said.
“This was over 31 different projects (including the hit TV series’ “Grimm” and “Portlandia”) of various sizes — feature films, TV series, animated features and series, commercial production and interactive game shooting in many different parts of the state,” Williams said. “For example, there were shoots in Portland, Bend, Klamath Falls, Manzanita, La Pine, Maupin, Florence, Astoria and Pacific City.”
For a full Oregon film history please visit this page on the OregonFilm.org website.