OregonLive.com (US), July 22, 2003

Back to school in Tualatin: It's just an act

TUALATIN -- School is about to go back into session in Tualatin, but it will be Hollywood actors and not full-time students occupying the classrooms and lecture halls.

The cast and crew of the movie "Thumbsucker" are scheduled to spend six days shooting at a Tualatin school sometime in the next two weeks, said Holly Layton, the Tigard-Tualatin School District's facilities coordinator.

Filmmakers considered at one point making the movie at a Beaverton School District location, but reconsidered, said Maureen Wheeler, a district spokeswoman.

The movie's script, based on a Walter Kirn novel about a teenager who can't break his addiction to sucking his thumb, calls for a mixture of suburban and rural settings. The production crew is expected to spend most of the film's $3 million budget in Oregon. Most of the filming is expected to be in Washington County and around Mount Hood.

Tigard-Tualatin School District officials would not say which school will be used and what days the shooting will take place.

Other than Tualatin High School, however, few school buildings in the city feature the type of studio-theater combination that the production company is looking for.

The movie company's agreement to rent various facilities by the hour represents the first time the district has used its buildings as backdrops for a movie, Layton said.

Shooting is expected to last about 12 hours each day.

The film's producers are still looking for extras, Layton said.

Anyone interested in blending into the movie's background can get more information by calling 503-644-4321 and asking for Kathy or Dawn.

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