Meet one of the producers behind one of the most iconic, if not infamous, Oregon-made shows: David Cress. He’s proof that even the best don’t get to stop trying. Now that he’s “made it” he dedicates himself to bringing up the next generation of crews and creatives. We’re grateful he took the time to share some of his best moments and advice with us.
- Name: David Cress
- Role: Line Producer
- Known for: Portlandia, Shrill, Documentary Now! (IMDB)
What’s a day in your role/job like?
Emails, texts, budgets, schedules, and STRESS!
How has your role in the production process changed over your career?
Genres have changed. Technology is a driving force in that. When I started in the 90’s, TV spots and music videos ruled. There were some made for TV movies and the occasional feature. The internet and streaming have morphed much of the content to digital, web-based, and streaming TV series and movies.
What is one piece of advice you wish you had gotten earlier in your career?
“Do good work…The money will follow.” It’s been true for me. I’ve tried to get the best work I could find and make myself valuable to those creative people. I’ll let you know if that works out…
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
Desperation, failure, being destitute and having to live rough in the street. My career in Oregon was mostly accompanied by scarcity of work. Only recently has there been a regularly steady flow of work. Being desperate is a good motivator.
What’s one of your proudest career moments?
The folks who have good, solid and successful careers that have come after me. We all stand on the shoulders of the people who came before and built this business up. I have benefited from lots of folks’ hard work and I want to pay it forward.
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done on the job?
Flying Chimpanzees to Portland from Los Angeles. They only fly business class, by the way.
Speaking of flying to Portland, check out this Portlandia spoof The Simpsons did:
What do you love about working in Oregon?
My crew and cast mates. God bless you all. So talented! You guys make me look good a lot of the time. Plus there’s still more good places to see live music here than most.
Any other thoughts you’d like to share with the community?
Pay attention. Jobs and projects don’t just fall from the sky. We have to give folks reasons to shoot here. Get involved. Respect the communities we shoot in. We need them more than they need us. Mostly, stay safe and look out for each other.
OMPA elevates local creatives for conversation on unique challenges