On Set

Bruce Fleskes ’87 hugs actress Jennifer Aniston on set.

A change in major in the 1980s led Pacific alumnus Bruce Fleskes on a journey among the stars.

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On set It takes Bruce Fleskes ’87 a moment to remember all the celebrities he has met during his career. 

Dennis Hopper, Burt Reynolds, Will Ferrel, Charlize Theron and his personal favorite, Jennifer Aniston, “a real sweetheart,” make the list.

Fleskes, known on set as “Sarge,” has been in the movie and commercial business as a gaffer or rigging gaffer since graduating from Pacific.

Though he originally was pursuing a business degree, Fleskes was steered toward a television class by his now sister-in-law (wife of his twin brother, Brian, also a 1987 alumnus). He earned a degree in telecommunications with a minor in photography and spent time doing small jobs with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Then, in 1988, Fleskes had the chance to work on a larger movie set. He and a friend from high school set up scaffolding on the set of Breaking In, a Bruce Reynolds comedy. That job led to an offer to go to South Carolina to help on the set of Cattahoochee, starring Dennis Hopper. In more than 25 years in the industry, Fleskes has worked on dozens of projects. Among his recent credits are work as a gaffer on the movie Twilight and a rigging gaffer on the Portland-based television show, Grimm. He has worked closely with his brother, Brian, on three television movies, and his best friend, Scott Walters ’87, has been his business partner for the last five years. 

“Sarge” Fleskes still lives in the Portland area with his wife, Paula PT ’91, and his two daughters, ages 18 and 15, but his job also takes him all over the country, including a recent 10-year anniversary (and working) trip to Puerto Rico.

And, after more than 25 years, Fleskes said the career he found through Pacific is still “what I love doing.”