Pacific Northwest salvages 'Navy Diver'

Washington and Oregon will reap revenues from the filming of Fox 2000’s “Navy Diver,” skedded to begin shooting this month. Portland will double as 1950s Harlem, with Longview, Wash., just across the Columbia River, serving as an industrial backdrop.

A full-scale naval station will be constructed with eight facades and two piers on 12 state-owned acres near Rainier, Ore., to simulate the Bayonne, N.J., Naval diving school, the setting for the story of the Navy’s first African-American deep-sea salvage retrieval diver, Carl Brashear.

Pic stars Cuba Gooding Jr. and Robert De Niro, and represents the soph outing for “Soul Food” director George Tillman and producer Bob Teitel. Bill Badalato also receives producing credit, and Bill Cosby will exec produce. Charlize Theron has also joined the cast.

According to Veronica Rinard, acting director and project manager for the Oregon Film and Video Office, the region expects approximately $8 million in production revenue from “Diver” alone.”We’re two hours from Los Angeles, have an excellent crew base, a good talent pool, and the added incentive of no sales tax,” Rinard said. Attesting to the variety of locations that Oregon offers, the state has doubled for 22 states and a foreign country in shooting episodes of Touchstone TV’s drama series “Nowhere Man.”

TV production will start in the area on “Switched at Birth,” while “Holly Ridge” with Marlie Matlin just wrapped.

Suzie Kellet, Washington State Film Office director, also boasts a good crew base, but says production has fallen off lately. “Practical Magic” and “Ten Things I Hate About You” lensed in the state, and “Snow Falling on Cedars,” which generated $1.5 million and employed 200 locals, contributed to the state’s $23 million in film revenue last year. New Line’s feature pic “Leonard Cohen Afterworld” is currently shooting in the area.

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South Florida’s entertainment industry can now boast its own complete South Beach TV studio. Post Edge, now named Manhattan Transfer Miami to fortify its relationship with Manhattan Transfer in New York, became newly operational on Aug. 1, 1999.

The facility, built in 1995, had operated under contract to MTV Latin America, producing MTV-Latino and American MTV programming.

“We’ve been in great need of such a facility, and to have one available on Lincoln Road, in the heart of the production, television, music and new media industries, is wonderful,” said Dennis Leyva, Entertainment Liaison for Miami Beach.

Located a few blocks from Manhattan Transfer Miami’s 18,000-square foot post, visual effects and broadcast design facility, the 5,000-square foot stage has a ceiling height of 43 feet and a lighting grid suspended at 25 feet. Able to accommodate up to six cameras and a live audience, the studio boasts large separate audio, video and studio control rooms in addition to production offices, wardrobe, makeup and dressing rooms.

The facility has generated interest from several sources, including a sports production aimed at the Latin market in America.

Manhattan Transfer Miami’s new identity comes after a 12-year stint at Post Edge. MT-New York and its Miami counterpart are both owned by Video Services Corp., a New Jersey-based corporation (VS-NYSE).

Both Manhattan Transfer New York president Dan Rosen and Manhattan Transfer Miami exec VP Bob Corti said the beauty of the relationship lies in the ability to provide an unmatched level of talent and technology to create a more flexible and engaging arena for a wider group of clients and projects.

Through parent company Video Services Corp., in which Rosen is VP of post production, the two Manhattan Transfers offer expanded capabilities including satellite, fiber optic and Internet network distribution, digital and analog video system design and professional video equipment rental.

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