Posts filed under ‘Portland Creative Conference’

Oregon a perfect fit for Grimm

Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt are in Portland producing the first season of NBC’s Grimm.

They are also keynote presenters at this year’s Portland Creative Conference on Saturday September 17th.

Jim co-wrote Rush Hour starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker for New Line in 1998, Snow Dogs starring Cuba Gooding and James Coburn in 2002, and Taxi staring Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fallon in 2004. He has also worked in television, producing and writing with David Greenwalt for Angel (WB) and writing and producing on The Handler (CBS). In 2004 his last Disney release was National Treasure which Jim wrote and starred Nicolas Cage, directed by Jon Turteltaub and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.  National Treasure 2, which is based on his characters, was released in 2007. Jim has also Executive Produced and written for the CBS TOUCHSTONE/DISNEY series Ghost Whisperer, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, during its first two seasons. In 2011 Jim has written TV Pilots for Fox Cable (Buck) and NBC (Grimm).  In March of 2011 Jim produced the pilot for Grimm in Portland, Oregon with his partners David Greenwalt, Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner.  He is presently working on Grimm, the series for NBC, filming in Portland.

David’s credits include three Disney TV movies – Help Wanted Kids, Exile and Double Switch — (all of which he directed), PROFIT, which he co-created with John McNamara, Buffy The Vampire Slayer (exec producer, writer and director) Angel (co-created with Joss Whedon)  Miracles for ABC, Jake 2.0, and many other projects. His current venture is Grimm, coming to NBC this October on Friday nights. He and his long time partner Jim Kouf wrote and produced the pilot and are running the show with Hazy Mills producers Todd Milliner and Sean Hayes.

Despite their hectic schedules, they recently had a few minutes to talk about what they love about working in Oregon

Oregon is like another character in the show. We love the mossy trees, the quaint archtecture, the chic downtown; like our show, it’s half storybook, half modern. There are so many looks and scenes available to us within our shooting zone. And we love the rain; we shoot no matter what the weather is. The rain adds a moodiness that is consistent with the feel of the show.

Everyone here is so conscious of the environment- you see people everywhere on bikes and with their reusable grocery bags. It’s great that people care so much about taking care of the local ecology.

There’s a wonderful talent pool available here with cast and crew, and everyone is so friendly. Even people who aren’t working on the show are welcoming and happy to have us here. Everyone is enthusastic about the project, and, of course, excited to be working in this economy. And we’re happy to be spending lots of money here in Oregon.

Grimm premieres October 21 at 9pm on NBC, and you can catch Jim and David at the Portland Creative Conference on Saturday September 17th.


August 30, 2011 at 6:33 pm Leave a comment

Portland Architect Robert Thompson is a Featured Speaker at the Portland Creative Conference

Robert Thompson– Founder, Principal & Design Director, TVA Architects–is a featured speaker at this year’s Portland Creative Conference.

Robert’s buildings are featured around the world (including headquarters for Proctor & Gamble and Sony Ericsson) and his most well-known Portland-area buildings include the Nike campus (he has designed over 30 buildings for Nike), the Fox Tower, the John Ross condos and the Umqua Bank Store in the Pearl. One of his most recent projects is the Matthew Knight Arena on the U of O campus. TVA Architects has won more than 55 awards for excellence in design including 42 local, regional and national awards from the American Institute of Architects. In anticipation of his upcoming appearance at the Portland Creative Conference, I recently interviewed Robert at his office in downtown Portland.

Robert is a native Oregonian, so we spoke for a while about his choice to live and work here:

Oregon is beautiful, and offers the ocean, mountains, an urban center large enough to attract rich culture, and is wonderful from the standpoint of raising a family. Portland is scaled in a unique way, and people just fall in love with it.

Portland is one of the world’s leading cities from the perspective of industrial design. We have world-class footwear, apparel, advertising, architecture firms all working here. There’s a wealth of creative professionals for design at all levels. It’s attractive to young people who want to be part of it. Portland supports and nurtures the creative economy, supporting young, innovative, entrepreneurial people, although of course they could always do more to support clean, green businesses. But look at the food carts: a lot of cities would have gotten rid of them. Portland nurtured them, embraced them, and now uses them as a marketing tool.

We also discussed his early creative history and decision to pursue architecture:

From an early age, I had a proclivity for drawing, painting, and building things. My parents supported and inspired me, enrolling me in just about every kind of fine art class that ultimately led to the decision to be an architect. I’m really fortunate in that respect; it allowed me to live an inspired life, doing what I want to do. I have an enormous passion for the creative process, and the busier I am, the more work there is to do, the happier and more fulfilled I am. It’s harder to be not busy.

Robert is inspired by all kinds of design:

Cars, boars, sailboats, the sculptural aspects of finely designed objects, of things that are thought through to the finest detail, the minimal number of moves. Things that are elegant, things that are graceful.

At the conference, he’ll talk about his creative process in the architectural world:

It’s all about design, from the macro to the micro level. The evolution starts on day one, at your first meeting with the client, and doesn’t end until the last contractor pulls off the job a couple years later. Architecture is a fine art, it’s all about creative problem solving. We’re designing the whole spaces, buildings, furniture, light fixtures, down to the napkins on the table. It’s holistic, creating entire environments from thin air, all the way down to the silverware in the restaurants we design. It’s not phased, it’s an ongoing engagement for years on any one project.

Architecture is a lengthy process. If you’re sculpting or painting, it’s just you. But architecture happens within constraints: the client, the jurisdiction, the code, schedule, budgets. But really, those things aren’t constraints. They define and frame the solution.

Good projects depend on good clients, clients who are emotionally engaged in creating good work. Engage clients in the design team as a participant, and then they can share in the authorship of the work. You are building a relationship, you aren’t just hired to complete a job. TVA has some of the greatest clients in the world: Apple, Nike, Eriksson, Nike, and we’re engaged with the highest level of leadership, people who want to create environments that reflect the brand strategy and support their internal creative process on a daily basis. Clients bring their own ideas to the table; the ways they’ve thought of to solve their problem, and then we pose creative solutions that they haven’t thought of before, solutions that solve their problem in an enlightened way. Architecture, all design really, is about solving the problem in ways they haven’t thought of, showing them many ways to solve the problem.

It was a fascinating interview, and I look forward to hearing what he has to say at the conference in September.

August 17, 2011 at 7:20 pm 1 comment

Portland Creative Conference Features Regional Creative Industries Leaders

The Portland Creative Conference returns on Saturday September 17th featuring a mix of keynote presenters from various creative industries professions.  Oregon Creative Industries is helping to produce the event and you can save 20% off the early bird price by registering now with Discount Code “OCI, resulting in just a $64 registration fee.

Many of the presenters have a link to the region, demonstrating our creative industries strength. Headliners include Avatar’s Special Effects Genius, Producers of NBC’s Grimm, Coca-Cola’s Global Creative Director and Nike’s go-to architect.  Read about all of the presenters here.

What is the Portland Creative Conference?

  • It is an interdisciplinary exploration of the creative process across creative industries professions.  The conference features keynote presentations from leading creative thinkers who reveal their work and let us in on their secrets, influences and inspirations.
  • It is an opportunity for attendees to network together as they get inside the head of visionaries who are generating original and effective ideas for fun & profit and to be inspired in entirely new ways, viewing their own world with a fresh perspective as a result.

To see a complete list of speakers and register to attend at a 20% discount, click here.

July 29, 2011 at 7:44 am Leave a comment