The Casting Scoop

TIFF 2014: “Wild” Premiere & CSA Rising Stars

It was a whirlwind trip to Toronto for Lana earlier this month!

First stop was the Rising Stars mixer hosted by the Casting Society of America on the rooftop of the TIFF Light Box Building. The Rising Stars initiative is similar to Shooting Stars, which Lana attends each year at the Berlinale as a member of the International Casting Directors Network.

Rising Stars takes four up-and-coming Canadian actors each year, selected by a Festival jury. These four are then immersed in a series of public events and private industry meetings at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Casting directors, agents, high-profile actors, producers, studio executives, distributors, press and festival programmers turned out for a lovely brunch and a press Q&A moderated by actress Sandra Oh.

Lana Veenker and Actress Orianna Herrman at TIFF

Lana Veenker and Actress Orianna Herrman at the Rising Stars Mixer

Sandra Oh introducing the TIFF Rising Stars

Sandra Oh introducing the TIFF Rising Stars

Next up was the “Wild” reception, but not without a bit of help from hair and make-up first!

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Lana enjoyed reconnecting with Author Cheryl Strayed, Director Jean-Marc Vallée and other members of the “Wild” creative team at the reception on the Garden Terrace at the Shangri-La Hotel.

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Lana Veenker with Director Jean-Marc Vallée

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With Producer Bruna Papandrea

Lana Veenker and Cinematographer Yves Bélanger

With Cinematographer Yves Bélanger

Actress Laura Dern and Casting Director Lana Veenker

With Actress Laura Dern

Lana Veenker and Author Cheryl Strayed

With Author Cheryl Strayed

Actress Orianna Herrman and Screenwriter Nick Hornby

Actress Orianna Herrman and Screenwriter Nick Hornby

Finally, it was time for the highly-anticipated premiere of “Wild” at the sold-out, 2630-seat Roy Thompson Hall!

Actors Jeffree Newman, Orianna Herrman, and Braden Paes with Lana Veenker

Actors Jeffree Newman, Orianna Herrman, and Braden Paes with Casting Director Lana Veenker at the “Wild” premiere

Roy Thompson Hall

Roy Thompson Hall at TIFF

The seats are beginning to fill up!

The seats are beginning to fill up!

Can you tell we are excited?

Can you tell we are excited?

Jean-Marc Vallée thanks his cast and crew.

Director Jean-Marc Vallée thanks his cast and crew

The team behind "Wild"

The amazing team behind “Wild”

The film turned out as fantastic and full of heart as hoped! True to the spirit of the book, while also standing on its own.

Cast Iron Studios was responsible for casting around 30 of the supporting roles in “Wild,” and our actors did great! But don’t take our word for it:

“An extraordinary supporting cast” – The Hollywood Reporter

“Great performances across the board, even from actors with one or two lines” – Variety

“The supporting cast is stuffed with fine actors” – We Got This Covered

Bravo to everyone involved!

“Wild” is scheduled for release in theatres in December 2014.

Oregon Film & Video Update on KATU’s AM Northwest

Lana dropped by the KATU studios this morning to give Dave Anderson and Helen Raptis an update on all the film and television activity in Oregon in recent months.

From the new TNT series “The Librarians” to the early Oscar buzz on “Wild” (the new film based on Cheryl Strayed’s bestselling memoir), business is booming!

Hear all about it:–Video-Update-273790971.html

Don’t Miss These 10 Actor Workshops and Panels at Portland Film Fest!

Our friends over at the Portland Film Festival are offering a line up of workshops tailored just for actors, along with a panel discussing women in film. Details are below.

Here’s a link to tickets for all the events with information about pricing. Both SAG-AFTRA events are free.

Psst: Don’t miss Casting Director Lana Veenker on Wednesday, August 27th and Casting Director Eryn Goodman on Thursday, August 28th!


Women in Film Networking Event & Panel
Wednesday, August 27 • 5:30pm – 7:00pm
Mission Theater 1624 NW Glisan St, Portland, OR 97209

Come out and listen to a panel of professionals in the film industry. Networking before and after. This is the monthly meetup for the WOMEN IN FILM non-profit in Portland, Oregon. Anyone interested in film should attend and learn from the over 50 years of experience from panelists. Space is limited. RSVP today.

Moderator: Alexandra Blatt and Amy Conway
Speakers: Abbe Meryl Feder, Tara Johnson-Medinger, Alicia J. Rose, Lana Veenker


Actors Workshop: Living & Working in LA
Wednesday, August 27 • 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Pro Photo Supply Event Center – 1801 NW Northrup Street, Portland, OR 97209

You’ve trained, you’ve studied, and you’ve been on set and in local theater productions. Thinking about taking the next step in your career and moving to Hollywood? Prepare yourself to succeed. Come take part in our Q&A and listen to experienced actors talk about the reality of living and working in LA.

Moderator: Alexandra Blatt
Speakers: Abbe Meryl Feder and Blake Robbins


Actors Workshop: Working with Casting Directors
Thursday, August 28 • 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Pro Photo Supply Event Center – 1801 NW Northrup Street, Portland, OR 97209

Getting in front of casting directors can be one of the biggest challenges in the industry. Eryn Goodman of Cast Iron Studios leads this discussion on how to get in the door, and the best way to impress them once you do.

Speaker: Eryn Goodman


Actors Workshop: How to Get & Work with an Agent
Thursday, August 28 • 5:30pm – 7:00pm
Pro Photo Supply Event Center – 1801 NW Northrup Street, Portland, OR 97209

Everybody knows that to be a professional actor you have to have the best possible agent on your team. Listen to two of Portland’s top agents talk about how to win a spot on their roster, and the best ways to keep that relationship running smoothly once you’re there.

Moderator: Alexandra Blatt
Speakers: Cholee Thompson and Dennis Troutman


Actors Workshop: Directors on Actors
Friday, August 29 • 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Private Rooftop 1015 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

In this workshop, directors will discuss all areas of working with actors and why they love them. We’ll cover what they look for in casting, the best ways to communicate on set, and what makes a great actor different from the rest.

Moderator: Alexandra Blatt
Speaker: Emilie Sabath and Jason Satterlund


Actors Workshop: Improv for Actors
Friday, August 29 • 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Private Rooftop 1015 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Throughout film, television and the internet many of the most hilarious, poignant and gripping performances have at their core the immediate authenticity of improvisation. Currently auditioning actors have become very familiar with requests for “strong improv skills.” This workshop pushes beyond quick wit and wild characters and hones the skills of Strong Choices, Responsive Listening and Authentic Dialogue. Create relationships in an instant, and fuel them with taut honesty that grabs attention and captivates audiences for film/TV and stage alike.

Speaker: Nicholas Kessler


Actors Workshop: Auditioning
Saturday, August 30 • 1:30pm – 3:00pm
5th Avenue Cinema 510 SW Hall Street Portland OR 97201

Time and time again actors fall into the same auditioning traps. Learn how to properly prepare for and exexcute your best possible audition, what casting directors are looking for, and what skills you need to take your career to the next level.

Moderator: Alexandra Blatt
Speakers: Todd Robinson and Ted Rooney


“We’re Here to Make a Movie”: SAG-AFTRA Indie Theatrical & New Media Agreements
Saturday, August 30 • 3:00pm – 4:30pm
5th Avenue Cinema, 510 SW Hall Street, Portland, OR 97201

Have you ever wanted to hire SAG-AFTRA performers for a project, but were frightened away by the prospect of filling out “All that union paperwork”? Are you new to filmmaking and curious about the various low-budget agreements offered? The SAG-AFTRA Indie Theatrical and New Media Agreements have been created specifically to accommodate the needs of student & emerging filmmakers. In this workshop you’ll get the “inside scoop” on how you can hire union talent for your next production!

Topics Will Include:

  • Importance of adding talent into any proposed project’s budget
  • Informed discussion of basic Union contracts & their benefits
  • Raising the bar of legitimacy by hiring TOP industry professionals

This workshop is a “must attend” for producers, directors, actors and film school students interested in educating themselves on the ease of using SAG-AFTRA contracts to hire the most highly skilled professionals available for future film and New Media projects.

Speaker: Chris Comte


SAG/AFTRA Actors Networking Event
Saturday, August 30 • 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Wallace Park 1600 NW 25th Ave, Portland, OR 97210

Network with other acting professionals. Limited Capacity seats available.


Actors Workshop: Marketing for Actors
Sunday, August 31 • 12:00pm – 1:30pm
5th Avenue Cinema 510 SW Hall Street Portland OR 97201

What do you need as an actor in today’s competitive market? These are the several marketing tools that will put you in the running for roles. Learn how to make sure yours are up to par, and make sure you’re employing everything you can to get noticed and be cast.

Moderator: Alexandra Blatt
Speakers: Levy Moroshan, Rich Morris, Cholee Thompson


Films, music, and more!

For more information about the festival, click over to

If you’d like to receive an early morning email from the festival with a rundown of hot films, sign up for their mailing list.

There are over 154 hours of film waiting for you. Whether you’re into documentaries, animation, drama, or comedy, they’ve got you covered.

Have a great time at the festival!

Portland Film Festival presents Actors Workshop with Eryn Goodman

Getting in front of casting directors can be one of the biggest challenges in the industry. Casting Director Eryn Goodman will be leading a discussion THIS THURSDAY on how to get in the door, and the best way to impress them once you do.

Eryn is about to celebrate her ninth year with Cast Iron Studios and is on the front lines of all of our casting projects. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear straight from the horse’s mouth what you need to do to land the audition and book the gig, courtesy of the Portland Film Festival!

Buy tickets

Screen shot 2014-08-11 at 10.50.56 AM

Actors Workshop
Working with Casting Directors

Featuring Casting Director Eryn Goodman

Portland Film Festival
Thursday, August 28, 2014
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Pro Photo Supply Event Center
1801 NW Northrup St
Portland, OR 97209

Buy tickets

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