Portland’s own Lana Veenker is celebrating 20 years as a casting director! In that time, she’s made a name for herself both here and abroad — having just returned from the Rome Film Festival where she rubbed elbows with Italian film royalty. Lana joined us to look back at the last 20 years of film and TV productions in Oregon. For more information about Lana Veenker, check her out on IMDb.
Many thanks to the team at AM Northwest for helping us celebrate this milestone! We’re so grateful for our community.
Plans to celebrate a milestone anniversary for Cast Iron Studios were postponed after the company’s founder, Casting Director Lana Veenker, was invited to serve on the jury of the Rome Film Festival’s Alice Nella Città program on October 26th, 2019.
“Spending my 20th anniversary in casting as a jurist at the Rome Film Festival was an offer I couldn’t refuse,” said Veenker. The other jurists included Talent Agent Frédérique Moidon (France), Cinematographer Alfonso Maiorana (Canada), and Producer Uliana Kovaleva (Russia).
Veenker, who spent about a decade overseas before founding Cast Iron Studios in 1999, has always incorporated her love for travel and languages with her vocation in the entertainment industry. She studied theatre in Paris and Cambridge, and performed on stages in four countries and three languages prior to landing a job in a London casting office in the late 90s. She has lectured in more than 20 countries, and in 2008, was one of the sole Americans to have been inducted into the International Casting Directors Network (headquartered in Berlin), where she currently serves on its first official board of directors.
On October 26th (the date of Cast Iron Studios’ first casting session 20 years prior), Veenker was on stage again, this time in Rome to present the DO Cine Rising Talent Award for Best Young Performer (International Panorama), which was awarded to Belgium’s Anna Franziska Jäger for her performance in Cleo. Other award presenters included Carlo Verdone, one of Italy’s most renowned actors, and Screenwriter Nicola Guaglianone.
“It was a whirlwind weekend, with an incredibly warm welcome from everyone at the Rome Film Festival, especially Talent Agent Daniele Orazi and Producer Carla Mori,” said Veenker. “Once they learned about my 20th anniversary, they rolled out the red carpet to make it an unforgettable experience.”
While Cast Iron Studios’ anniversary celebration back home has been postponed to a yet-unknown date, the weekend’s events in Rome represented a full circle for Veenker.
“I began my career with the dream of working internationally, and have somehow realized that goal, even while remaining based in Portland. It felt like an affirmation of more than two decades of hard work.”
Click below to listen to one of Lana’s interviews in Rome:
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URGENT: Cast Iron Studios is seeking Portland-area males, ages 14-22 and of multiple ethnicities, who play together on a basketball team. The players will be seen playing basketball in the background in an upcoming shoot for an athletic wear company. The deadline to submit is Monday, August 12, 2019.
This is for a paid gig (SAG Background Scale) shooting on Wednesday, August 15th or Thursday, August 16th in the Portland area. If cast, you would need to be able to completely clear your schedule for one of those two days.
We’re looking for good basketball players whoplay together on a real team, but are not in college athletics.
If under 18, talent must sign waiver that they understand by participating, they may jeopardize their NCAA eligibility. VERY important.
Please note: You and your teammates must be local Portland-area hires.
SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS FOR INTERESTED TEAMS:
Phone number (parent’s/guardian’s, if under 18)
Name of team and city
Age range of players (14-17 or 18+)
Coach’s contact information, if possible
Photo of team together, if possible
Include subject heading: Basketball Team
Email to talent[at]castironstudios.com (replace [at] with @ in the email address)
Deadline for submissions is Monday, August 12th by 6:00 PM.
THE VERDICT IS IN: The Wonderland Murders Season 2 is live!
Word is out that Season 2 of the hit true-crime series, “The Wonderland Murders”, has just premiered on Investigation Discovery.
Set in the backdrop of the vast and oftentimes dense and dark PNW, the series tells the real-life stories of local Pacific Northwesterners who encountered tragedy, and the subsequent pursuit for truth, answers and closure.
Production kicked off last winter, and took over the region leaving no clues uncovered. With a host of characters from all corners of the state, our local actors brought these stories to life, portraying real people and giving a voice to the voiceless.
Be sure to catch it Wednesdays at 6:00p PDT on ID. (Check local listings.)
Kicking off the summer season with new connections and old friends
Cast Iron Studios hosted an intimate happy hour this week, celebrating a few new members of the Oregon Media and Production Association. This select group was joined by the Cast Iron team, along with a handful of studio friends, to connect, discuss the latest up-and-coming production buzz, and enjoy some delicious bites and bevs!
Thanks to everyone who joined in on the fun and conversation. Cheers to a new season with plenty of exciting, fresh projects barrelling down, or shall we say ‘shooting’ down the local production pipeline!
Z&Z will have a one-week theatrical run in Los Angeles, opening May 17th. Join some of the cast and crew for opening night, or any time that week. The film will run four times a day at the Laemmle Noho Theater, times TBA.
WATCH THE FILM ON VOD, PPV or DVD
Can’t make it to LA? Z&Z comes out on DVD and VOD/PPV in mid-May. Like the project’s Facebook page for updates.
Leading up to the event, improv and comedic actors paired up and threw down their best British accents in one of the loudest and most eventful casting sessions on this side of the Atlantic. Ultimately cast for the cheeky roles were actors Josh Edward and Damon Kupper, who held court on April 19th in Director Park as passersby were encouraged to gather round and egg on the royal duo as they “made way for the Queen”!
The boisterously hilarious and engaging Town Crier interacted with the crowd in attempts to crack up and make guffaw the ever so straight and stoic Queen’s Royal Guard. The best wisecracks and wittiest of jokes reigned–and the further the Royal Guard’s guard was let down, the chance for someone to win a trip to London went WAY UP! Congrats all around on a successful live event.
…And the flight hasn’t officially taken off yet! There’s still time to jump onboard and enter the contest!