Leverage, the action-packed TV show from TNT, relocated the production from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon for their second season, as more and more television and film productions are doing.
It premiered on the cable station TNT in 2008 and the entire first season was written as one, long story, just in case a renewal didn't happen.
Fortunately, that was not the case as the solid fan-base went nuts over the show. Lucky for me, as well, since I've already worked in numerous episodes. Living in Portland has it's perks!
The fifth season was the first to actually be set in Portland.
Leverage starred Timothy Hutton and centered around a group made up of hackers and thieves turned good guys, whose objective was to right the wrongs done to regular citizens by government and big business.
It definitely resonated with the "truth, justice, and the American way" part of me and the disdain I have for entities with money who throw their weight around and hurt ordinary people.
Bullies suck, whether they are in the school yard or dressed in a three-piece suit.
From a cheer leading competition judge to the co-pilot of the airplane that DB Cooper hijacked in the early 1970s, I was privileged to work with this terrific Portland television cast.
Below is a short clip of my co-pilot scene.
I'll let you in on a little secret about the DB Cooper Job episode.
They called us in fairly early that day and got myself, the pilot (an actor they flew in from LA), and Beth Riesgraf (Parker) all situated in the airplane. As you can see in the photo above, the plane was only the front half that sat on a flatbed trailer on a warehouse "sound stage." The magic of Hollywood! ;)
The scene are shot from the front, straight-on into the cabin area.
Anyway, they shot the scene and it went well and quickly. The director then wrapped (let go home) the pilot and I sat around waiting for any extra shots they might need to do with me.
I was in another scene, talking on the cabin phone after all hell breaks loose on the plane.
Finally, at the end of a long day (I think it was 9 pm), they wanted to shoot the first scene we did from the rear, showing Parker running from the cabin and out into the aisle.
Guess what? They wrapped the pilot eariler that morning!
So, they had me take his place, with no co-pilot. I was sure that it would be on a blooper reel! But, through the magic of editing, they barely even showed the cabin in that last shot as Parker opened the door.
No big deal, but it was amusing to me. ;)
I would often put in some very long days (15 hours on one episode), but it was great fun.
BTW, that's my son with me in the photo on your right. It was our first episode working together on Leverage. It's so awesome working with my kid!
And it was icing on the cake to see Portland as the backdrop in each episode. You can watch and exclaim, "hey, I know that place! I've been there!" You have to admit, they have style and taste when it comes to filming here! ;)
Viewership for the TNT hit continued to grow as more and more people discovered how good it was. More episodes meant more work for me. Weeeee! ;)
Unfortunately, the Leverage TV show was was canceled on December 21, 2012.
Although they had that cult following, the rating were no longer considered good enough to keep the show around.
If you've never seen it, I encourage you to check it out. I don't have television, opting for Netflix and YouTube instead, but have watched over at my son's house.
Anyway, a great location for what was a great show!
Now, I am active in another Portland, Oregon TV production called, "Grimm." Heard of it? Keep an eye out for me and, if you're real nice, I'll give you an autograph! haha.