The Casting Scoop

Get the inside scoop on upcoming castings, workshops and premieres, plus audition tips, Oregon film news and more.

Sarajevo Film Festival puts a spotlight on casting—and on local casting director

Oregon Casting Director Lana Veenker invited to one of Europe’s largest film festivals as part of a weeklong program drawing international focus to the casting profession

(Portland, OR) On August 15, 2018, when the International Casting Director Award is handed over to the winner at this year’s Sarajevo Film Festival in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Oregon casting director Lana Veenker will be on hand.

Not only is Veenker—alongside longtime Portland colleague Eryn Goodman and Los Angeles casting director Heidi Levitt —nominated for Best Casting of a Feature Film (for Bad Samaritan by Dean Devlin), she is part of a team invited by the Festival to produce a special program centered on the casting profession, entitled “Casting at the Heart of Filmmaking.” The program is sponsored by Sarajevo Film Festival, Spotlight, and the International Casting Directors Network (ICDN).

Veenker, who got her start in casting in London and spent a decade abroad before founding her company in Portland in 1999, is one of the only American casting directors to have been inducted into the association. The ICDN currently has more than 80 members hailing from 23 countries, and provides a network for casting directors from around the world to collaborate and exchange ideas. Its members meet each year at Berlin International Film Festival.

Founded in 2005 under the auspices of European Film Promotion’s Shooting Stars program, the ICDN became its own independent association this February at the Berlinale, and Veenker—a member since 2008—was elected to its first official Board of Directors. “It’s funny how things come full circle,” said the Portland native. “Jeremy Zimmermann—the London casting director who gave me my big break—was also elected to the Board, so now we’re working together again after 20 years.”

In less than a week, Veenker will join prominent casting directors from countries such as Italy, Poland, Germany, Turkey and the UK to present a series of events at Sarajevo Film Festival highlighting the art and craft of casting. Included are a master class with Debbie McWilliams (the legendary casting director of the James Bond franchise); a panel featuring Italian casting director Francesco Vedovati (Nastro d’Argento winner for Best Casting for Wondrous Boccaccio, as well as this year’s Cannes breakout hit, Dogman), an international acting workshop for a group of 15 performers selected from the regions of ex-Yugoslavia, and of course, the Award Ceremony, presided over by Festival President Miro Purivatra.

“I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to pull together,” says Veenker, “but what I’m most excited about is that we’re bringing Meals for Monologues to Sarajevo.” Meals for Monologues (first conceived by Chicago casting director Claire Simon, and now practiced by casting companies across the U.S.) is an open casting call/food drive, where actors have the chance to audition in exchange for cans of food for the needy.

Cast Iron Studios, Veenker’s company, has hosted a Meals for Monologues in Portland every year for the past seven years, so when the ICDN Board was debating what it could do for the refugees as part of its Sarajevo program, she jumped in to organize it.

“Meals for Monologues is such a great event, because it’s a win for everyone: The actors get to meet casting directors; we get to discover new talent, and the food bank gets its shelves stocked. In Sarajevo, we’ll have nine or ten internationally-known casting directors auditioning actors from all over former Yugoslavia—a vibrant region with lots of talented, professional performers who rarely get a chance to be seen outside their home countries.” In exchange for their three minutes of fame, actors will make symbolic donations of food, blankets and hygiene supplies. All proceeds will benefit Sarajevo-based non-profit, Pomozi.ba, which provides support and advocacy for the growing number of refugees in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The Wonderland Murders airs tonight!

Hidden amongst the rolling mountains and deep forests of the Pacific Northwest sits a breeding ground for one of the deadliest terrains in the world. Known as a serial killer’s playground, this land once dubbed “Wonderland” due to its grandeur and summer beauty, washes away into nine dreary months of rain that bring gray skies and a falling mist that drives the demons among us to kill. These are THE WONDERLAND MURDERS.

We are thrilled to announce that our latest project, The Wonderland Murders, is premiering tonight, June 5th, 2018, on Investigation Discovery (ID).

The series was shot last fall in Portland, and highlights many fantastic Northwest talent. Please tune in at 10/9c!

The Wonderland Murders

Everyone calls it Wonderland, but nature's paradise hides dark secrets. Join us for the premiere of The Wonderland Murders June 5 at 10/9c.

Posted by Investigation Discovery on Tuesday, May 22, 2018



In tonight’s pilot episode, “Pacific Terror,” Detective Molly Daul works two homicides back to back, and she realizes she’s dealing with a sexual predator who targets trusting young women. Arrested before he can kill again in Seattle, his chilling confession remains with Molly to this day.

Check out our great local cast on the series’ IMDB page!

 

 

Cast Iron Studios co-sponsors Oregon Film History Mural

We are super proud to be one of the community sponsors of a new exhibit at Portland International Airport, which was unveiled on Tuesday, May 29th, 2018, and will remain in place for at least the next two years!

The new Oregon Film History Mural and Poster Exhibit showcases #OregonMade productions such as Paint Your Wagon, Stand By Me, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and more recent projects, such as Twilight, Grimm, and Wild.


The mural is located in the Portland International Airport’s south pedestrian tunnel which connects the parking garage to the terminal. It provides travelers with over 160 uninterrupted feet of mural art and posters, representing a small collection of Oregon’s rich film history, and casts a light on Oregon’s unique locations, talented industry members, and film-friendly environment.



The mural and exhibit have been created in support and collaboration with Portland International Airport and the PDX Art Program.



It was made possible through partnership with Travel Oregon, Travel Portland, and additional community members Pacific Grip & Lighting, PDXpendables, Koerner Camera Systems, BLT Productions and Hollywood Theatre.
Darren Cools illustrated and designed the mural in collaboration with Oregon Film, via the Oregon Made Creative Foundation.



We’re excited to be a part of this great project. Check it out at PDX next time you travel, and be sure to post photos to your social media accounts using the hashtag #OregonMade!



 

Bad Samaritan in theaters this weekend!

We are thrilled to announce Bad Samaritan hits the theaters this weekend! We loved working on this film. Be sure to check out these amazing Pacific Northwest actors!

Lorraine Bahr, Jacob Resnikoff, David Meyers, Tony Doupe, Sofia Hasmik, Delpaneaux Wills, Bob Pescovitz, Hannah Barefoot, Danny Bruno, Dana Millican, Jerry Bell Jr, David Withers, David Hogan, Emily Kimball, Brenda Braxton, Alex Donnolo, Jared Q Miller, Sam Bangs, Austin Fullard-Leo.

 

Watch the trailer here:

 

“Dean Devlin is a masterful director and does a fantastic job of slowly and mercilessly building tension scene-by-scene. The entire cast gives strong performances including Kerry Condon as Erendreich’s prisoner Katie (who delivers what is probably my favorite line of the film). David Tennant is unrelentingly intense and razor sharp as Cale Ehrendreich.” – Casey Walsh, GWW

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