It was a cold dreary day in Shady Cove Oregon, as I walked towards the restaurant, it was early morning and I was hungry. This was my first time in Oregon and I admit I was falling in love with this beautiful town. The air was crisp and clean; the sound of the rushing river below me was soothing to my ears. I was working on a low budget film called “Yesterdays Dreams”; I was supplying the talent motor home for this job, my 2003 Neptune, the first motor home I ever owned. This job was different from the jobs I worked on in the past, photo shoots and commercials that would last one to several days. I was schedule to work on this job for five to six weeks, with another job set to shoot just before Christmas.
Growing up in Los Angeles, which is known for traffic and air pollution, small towns are almost nonexistent; Shady Cove was this tiny town surrounded by trees and the Rogue River, an oasis from my perspective. If I could, I would move to Shady Cove in a heartbeat. As such, this thought would be placed in the back of my mind, until the day I retire or move onto a different chapter in my life.
When I arrived at the Shady Cove Inn, it was midnight; the town was peaceful except for the sounds of an occasional owl hooting or a passing car. The sky was clear and I could see an array of stars above me, the air was crisp and I could not wait to get some much needed sleep.
The next morning I met the Producer, the Director and the rest of the crew, my instincts told me this was going to be a great shoot, as it turned out “Yesterdays Dreams” was my favorite shoot of all time. The Producers picked a crew that consisted of locals and individuals and venders from Los Angeles. I relied on the locals to verify directions and the best routes to our locations; they also became some of my best friends on the film. Oregonians are very nice people, they are extremely helpful and Oregon wants filming in the State, the Film Commission allows non-local companies to do business, especially if they have a service that is not available in the State
The myth about Oregon is that it is always rainy, that is not true for all of Oregon and only at certain times of the year. In Medford, Oregon most of the storms blow past the valley and the eastern potions of the state, the weather is similar to the California Mojave Desert.
Shady Cove became our base camp for the majority of the production; we shot most of the scenes in Shady Cove, as well as Ashland. The town also proved to be a bastion of talent; many of the extras came from the Shady Cove talent pool. In the process I met many nice people in SC, when I came back two years latter, I was surprise that some of the towns people still remembered me and our shoot.
In short, if you want to find a unique place to shoot with a small town atmosphere, Shady Cove is the place to plan your film.