On Friday, when David Cress came to the Capitol, the producer of the new Portland-based television show, Portlandia, was there to talk about why Oregon’s tax credit for film and TV production should be increased.
So, naturally, The Bulletin’s crack political reporting team steered him to more important questions. Is he ready to start a similar show based on Bend? If so, what exactly would Bendlandia make fun of?
And might he be interested in casting some reporters looking to make some extra cash?
Guided to the Capitol Press Room by longtime Bend political operative Stacey Dycus, Cress was gracious enough to entertain our off-topic inquiries (except that last one, which was merely implied).
Portlandia features a series of gags portraying Portland as a place “where young people go to retire.” It’s a place where, just like in the ’90s, slackers still form garage bands and where the “buy local” movement — and other ideas thought of as politically correct — are taken to the extreme.
So if Cress, who lives in the town his show satirizes, were to start a show called Bendlandia, what would it lampoon? The plethora of off-leash dogs? The platoons of Patagonia puffy vests?
Bendlandia “would probably be a tad healthier than Portlandia,” Cress said. “One thing I notice whenever I’m in Bend is how ridiculously healthy your population is. I try to exercise regularly (but) whenever I’m in Bend every single person is in such amazing physical shape. You drive your car and there’s hundreds of people all bicycling and running, and all the kayaks and paddles. You must be ashamed there if you aren’t constantly doing something.”
Will the characters of Portlandia make a road trip to Bend?
“That’s a good point, I should probably bring that up,” said Cress.
The tax credit bill that Cress was there to discuss would more than double the funding for the program from its current $7.5 million annual cost. So if the film tax credit increase goes through, will Bendlandia happen?
“Probably Bendlandia, and maybe CoosBaylandia,” said Cress – astutely mentioning the hometown of House Democrats’ Co-speaker, Arnie Roblan.
Cress and Tom McFadden of the Oregon Media Production Association said Bend has already benefited from the film tax credit, known as the Oregon Production Investment Fund. The fund was used to subsidize “The Wait,” starring Chloe Sevigny, which filmed in Central Oregon last year.
McFadden said the program is projected to return more funds to Oregon than it spends. Though the tax credit bill was heard Friday in the House Transportation and Economic Development Committee, its ultimate fate will rest with the new Joint Committee on Tax Credits, which will decide whether that return is the best investment Oregon can get.
McFadden also directed us to some helpful links: one that features videos promoting the increased tax credit, and one that lists all films shot in Oregon.