Editor's Note

Slimming Down, Hollywood Style

By Paige Williams May 19, 2009 Published in the February 2009 issue of Portland Monthly

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Does this Recession make my butt look big? Puh. This recession doesn’t make anything look big, except maybe the prospect of debt.

As Americans scale back, stripping away all but the essentials, you may notice a certain stylish slenderness to the magazine you’re holding. The woebegone economy has temporarily kicked the entire publishing industry’s collective page count in the keister. Ad sales are down everywhere. Magazines like Vogue used to be heavy enough to weight a body and sink it in the Willamette, but these days even the major national mags look about as anemic as some of their models.

Life being cyclical, this too shall pass. And hey, you guys used to complain about the thickness of Portland Monthly , so perhaps look at it this way: we heard and obeyed. (Another plus: we used 8,277 fewer pounds of paper this month than planned.)

It’s been fun, in what may appear to be a masochistic sort of way, to curate your reading experience a bit more acutely and to learn, most recently, about sectors that barely flinch when the economy misbehaves. Booze wins. Weddings win. And, lucky for P-town, so do movies.

In Courting the Silver Screen, Anna Hirsh explores Oregon’s plans to increasingly woo Hollywood, and reports that sixty million to eighty million Americans continued going to the movies regularly during the Great Depression. Not a bad idea, then, for the city and state to sharpen their plot to score more of the filmmaking industry’s dollars. Even Phil Knight is making movies: this month, the Nike mogul, his son Travis, and their company, Laika, unveil their long-awaited animated film Coraline (Hollywood Knights), made over three tedious years in a Hillsboro warehouse. The film premieres right here on February 5, at the 32nd Portland International Film Festival. (Dakota Fanning and Teri Hatcher, who gave voice to some of the characters, are scheduled to attend.)

Portland is becoming such a movie town, we could have gone on and on about the city’s film schools and festivals. As it is, our Hollywood package will keep you busy enough reading about our breakfast with Gus Van Sant, true behind-the-scenes stories from Portlanders who work in the movies, and our favorite of the city’s legendary neighborhood theaters. 

So if you’ve ever wondered who gets those cool-sounding movie gigs and how, read up. A billionaire like Knight probably doesn’t live next door to you, but it’s possible that a really cool casting agent does.

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