Hollywood drops by Camas

'Leverage' is filmed at The Fairgate Inn

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The Fairgate Inn, on Prune Hill, was recently used as the setting for the taping of the Turner Network Television drama "Leverage." The show features Timothy Hutton as a former insurance investigator. The episode is expected to air in July. Before arriving in Camas in mid-March, the cast and crew filmed an episode on Mount Hood.

A Camas man who was born in Hollywood and has co-owned three restaurants recently got to play a chef on TV.

Jack Foyte and his wife Chris, owners of The Fairgate Inn, welcomed the cast and crew of “Leverage,” a Turner Network Television series. Filming was done from March 15 to 18.

“Security was on site from the moment they began working on the inn,” Chris said. “When they began loading their equipment on site, they told us that there was a million and a half dollars worth of camera equipment alone.”

There were also security measures in place to screen all incoming vehicles.

The series includes Timothy Hutton, winner of an Academy Award and a Golden Globe, for his role in the film “Ordinary People.”

“The cast and crew each had their own individual trailers that were brought on site,” Chris said. “They each took one of the suites. They did not sleep there, but hung out there during the day when they were not in a particular scene. They left for the evening once the shoot was done. The days are so long for them. Twelve hours is routine, and sometimes they don’t have days off.”

At least 50 percent of the filming was done in the conservatory at the Fairgate. The conservatory, which was part of a 2,500-square foot expansion, is designed to provide additional space for weddings and other special events as well as business meetings.

“In 2008, when the economy was taking the huge nose dive that we are not fully recovered from yet, we made the decision to invest in our business and add the conservatory,” Chris said. “We really went out on a limb, but believed that in order to provide the best service to our community and our clients, we needed to expand. From year end 2008 to year end 2010, our business is up 81.4 percent.”

One of the “Leverage” segments involved a Christmas tea setting. Food prepared by Fairgate chef Michael Truman for an upscale appetizer/cocktail party included fresh fruits, imported cheeses and speciality meats.

“There were fancy bamboo skewers with prawns, heirloom yellow cherry tomatoes, peppadews and fresh mozzarella stuck into a whole pineapple that had about a third of it cut off to be able to sit flat,” Chris said. “There were jumbo stuffed mushrooms, toasted golden crostini with creamy artichoke spread, topped with diced tri-colored peppers, feta cheese and fresh basil. He also wrapped asparagus spears with prosciutto.”

During the three and a half days of preparation work that was done prior to shooting, 25 to 50 crew members ate at the Fairgate.

Once filming started, meals were eaten nearby at Harvest Community Church.

“I went over and met with the church, and they allowed the main lunch truck to park in their lot and serve from there,” Chris said. “They allowed chairs and tables to be set up in the foyer where people could go in, sit down and eat. They also allowed the crew and extra cast to park in their lot.

“We have always had a wonderful working relationship with the church,” she added. “So they were very willing to participate in this.”

About six months ago, Chris was approached to have an advertisement for a vacuum cleaner shot at the Fairgate. However, their shooting schedule would have conflicted with the already-booked events at the inn.

Chris asked about other productions going on in the area and asked them to put her in touch with the people involved with them.

“I contacted a liaison person, had a good conversation and suggested he look at our website and keep me in mind,” she said in mid-March. “He contacted me a little over three weeks ago, came out and took a number of photos. He sent them to California to the writer and producer.

“There were a series of people associated with the film that flew in and met with me, but I think we had a signed contract in a little over a week to 10 days after our initial meeting,” Chris added. “Absolutely everyone that we dealt with and all of the people that were on site were wonderful to work with. I would think that when they got to the production portion, there could easily have been 125 people on site.”

That included electricians, cameramen, grips, producers, caterers, make-up and extras.

“They totally work as a team, and in all of it, everyone got along really well,” Chris said.

The episode is expected to air in July.

Rachel Olschan, co-producer of “Leverage,” said the entire cast was at the Fairgate.

“We’ve been shooting the series in Portland for about two-and-a half years now, since season two,” she said. “This is our fourth season that we’ve just started. We shoot all over Oregon.

“Our stages are in Clackamas, but we shoot all over the state, including up on Mount Hood in the season opener.”

Season 4 will premiere on June 26, at 9 p.m., on TNT.

The Foytes, who have been married 40 years, opened The Fairgate Inn, in May 2000. It is located at 2213 N.W. 23rd Ave., Camas.