MANZANITA – There was a little more police action than usual in Manzanita this week.
But don’t worry, there is no crime wave coming through town. Just a TV pilot about Oregon state troopers.
Camera crews from ABC Studios were filming the pilot episode for a new show called “Staties.”
Written by Matt Partney and Corey Evett, known for shows like “CSI Miami” and “Teen Wolf,” “Staties” centers on Eliza Cortez, played by Annie Ilonzeh, a hard-charging New York police detective who is banished to an “eccentric town of quirky character in coastal Oregon” after a high-profile mistake.
She is paired with a new partner, Oregon trooper Sam King, played by actor Andy Karl, who exhibits peculiar investigative techniques like “talking to trees for clues and his obsession with flying kites,” according to a press release.
For most of Tuesday and Wednesday, sections of Ocean and Laneda avenues were closed, filled with camera crews and equipment. For North Coast locals, some landmarks like the Pine Grove Community House, which was converted into “Sand Pine Bank” for filming, and Neahkahnie Mountain will be noticeable if the show is chosen for a full season run, visitor center coordinator Dan Haag said.
There may be some familiar faces, too, as many of the extras are Manzanita locals.
“There was a car chase filmed down Ocean Avenue. I think some will recognize Neahkahnie Mountain in the background as they fly by,” Haag said.
While there have been some complaints about how filming has impeded business and traffic, Haag said the community for the most part has had a positive experience being a backdrop for a TV show.
“My main concern was with Laneda Avenue being closed, as it is the heart of our business district. We don’t know what kind of effect this filming has had on business — I hope not adverse at all,” Haag said. “But so far everyone on the crew has been very polite and helpful and accommodating.”
From the sidewalk, residents Cheryl Walker and Emilee Andrade peered through the scaffolding as the crew filmed a bank robbery scene in the faux “Sand Pine Bank.”
Walker said having a TV crew in sleepy Manzanita has been an exciting experience.
“Sure, there’s been some negative comments about ‘Hollywood coming to town,’” she said. “But I think it’s been a positive experience. It’s fascinating to watch, and pretty unusual for a town like ours. When you watch a TV show at home, you have no idea how much goes into it.”
Andrade, an aspiring actress herself, said the experience of being so close to a TV shoot is “too unique to miss out on.”
“If this show airs, it will be fun to be like, ‘I was standing right there when this happened!’” she said.