ASHLAND, Ore. — The Hollywood film “Wild” begins shooting today in Ashland. The movie stars Reese Witherspoon and has already turned the plaza into a springtime movie set.
Filming is taking place in the plaza, though most people can’t get very close due to road closures. The publicist for the film couldn’t confirm whether any of the scenes with Reese Witherspoon are filming today.
This is the only day of shooting in Ashland, and in Southern Oregon for that matter, but crews will be filming in the state through the end of fall. A big part of the reason for that is state tax credits.
This week, the Department Of Revenue is actually selling tax credits to the public via online auction. Between now and Friday, they’ll be raising 4 million dollars, adding to 6 million already raised in a similar auction this summer. That money goes to films that spend a certain amount on local crews, talent, and locations.
According to Vince Porter of the state’s film and television office, “Wild” could bring in anywhere from 1.1 to 1.3 million dollars in those credits. Obviously the short-term benefit for Ashland is fleeting as the movie only actually films for a day.
Anne Ashbey of the Ashland Independent Film Festival mentioned there are a few long-term benefits. For one, people will be seeing the Ashland area on the big screen after the movie is released. This also gives the town, many of the local production companies, and venues experience in hosting Hollywood films, and that’s something many filmmakers look for when picking a spot.
Filming today is expected to go on until it’s done, which means there’s no actual timeline. Representatives for the movie couldn’t reveal where they’re headed next, but it will be in Oregon.
The filming may also cause a traffic headache around the Ashland Plaza. Throughout the day expect street closures, traffic re-routing and delays.
Through 4 p.m. tonight, you will not be able to drive on the streets immediately surrounding the plaza, Water Street from North Main Street to Central; Oak Street from East Main to Lithia Way; and Main Street from Bush Street to Pioneer Street.
Through 6 p.m. tonight, you will also not be able to park on First or Second Street and Lithia Way. You will not be able to park or drive on Grant Street either. The movie is set in the mid-1990s, and the production crew is trying to make sure no newer cars are spotted in the footage. The city of Ashland says you can expect delays and to be re-routed in the area.