Daring, dramatic TV show stunt played out on Sellwood Bridge

Now the photos can be shown! See the photos that the show’s producers asked we embargo until the episode has run. If you enjoy picking out Portland landmarks in the TBS show Leverage, you’ll enjoy seeing the photos in this story …

Stunt players standing on the railing of the Sellwood Bridge are looking down at a boxcar, sizing up the action they’re about to take that was be edited into a thrilling scene in the season-ending episode of Leverage, that was broadcast in December.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Part of the fun of watching the motion pictures and TV shows filmed in Portland is trying to identify the various locations where outdoor scenes were shot.

For this reason, lots of folks have been tuning into TNT Network’s Leverage – a clever ensemble drama, now in its third season, about a band of quirky, slightly-shady characters who come to the aid of people in trouble by scamming the bad guys.

Wrapping up filming for the third season, the show’s production company, Electric Entertainment, shot scenes on the Sellwood Bridge on August 5.

These stunt people have plenty of time to size up the actions they’ll take, as they await the director’s call for “Action!”

Stunt people, doubling for the show’s stars while perched high atop the south railing, were looking down at the top of an Oregon Pacific Railroad Company boxcar below. Folks from the production company asked us not to give away the exact details about the stunt – it’s a climactic moment in their season’s final show, that just ran on the TBS cable TV network.

A remotely controlled camera perched high atop a crane rolled, the director called “action”, and the exciting stunt was successfully recorded.

After the shoot, the production company’s representative, Rachel Olschan, told East Portland News, “We definitely had a lot of fun at the bridge today, especially our stunt doubles! It was a pretty cool thing that they pulled off; very exciting. Just wait until you see the final episode of this series, airing in December.”

It takes an amazingly large crew – both under and over the Sellwood Bridge, and on Dick Samuels’ Oregon Pacific Railroad Company train cars – to shoot this complex scene.

About producing a TV show here in the Portland  area, Olschan commented, “One of the best things about shooting in Portland is how supportive the local community is. I think most people are interested and intrigued by what we’re doing, and we’re so lucky to have all the local interest.”

Look for more filming in Portland in 2011, Olschan smiled. “We’ve just been ‘picked up’ for a fourth season!”

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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