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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Finally, some real Breaking Dawn news!

by admin

We finally have some real news to report on Breaking Dawn!! But first, a public service announcement:

HOW TO STAY INFORMED ON THE TWILIGHT SAGA

We continue to be inundated with messages, emails and tweets, asking who is directing Breaking Dawn, who is casting it, where it is shooting and when auditions are taking place.

As we’ve said before, we’re unable to answer all these questions individually, or we’d simply have no time to, you know, earn a living! We do have a casting company to run, after all. 🙂

For the time being, we have nothing to do with Breaking Dawn and there’s no guarantee that we ever will. It all depends on when and where it shoots and who is hired to cast and direct. None of this is in our hands, unfortunately, and we cannot reply to everyone who asks one by one.

Here’s the best way to keep informed about anything we do learn regarding the Twilight Saga. Anything we find out will be reported in these five places first:

1. Twihard Mailing List: Join by sending a blank email to twihard [@] aweber [.] com (remove the spaces and brackets).

2. Twitter: Follow us at http://twitter.com/lanaveenker

3. The Casting Scoop: Check this blog regularly or subscribe to the RSS feed (see right sidebar)

4. Facebook: Find us at http://facebook.com/lanaveenkercasting

5. MySpace: We’re at http://myspace.com/lanaveenkercasting

SO YOU WANNA BE AN ACTOR?

Finally, if you’re trying to break into the acting business, sign up for our Tools 4 Actors newsletter, also in the right sidebar of this blog, or simply send a blank email to tools4actors [@] aweber [.] com (minus the spaces and brackets). The newsletter is full of tips and tools from Casting Director Lana Veenker, and it’s helpful for both beginners and seasoned actors.

NOW, on to the news:


Thanks go to our friends over at the Twilight Lexicon for alerting us to this article on Entertainment Weekly:

Exclusive: Summit looking at Academy Award-nominated directors for ‘Breaking Dawn’
by Nicole Sperling
March 16, 2010

Yes, it’s still early days, but Summit is trying to up its pedigree for its big-screen adaptation of the final installment of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. Sources tell EW that the studio has reached out to at least three top-notch directors, including Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation), Gus Van Sant (Milk), and Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) to gauge their interest in what is likely to be two movies. (Van Sant’s reps confirmed that he’s been approached, but Coppola and Condon’s people didn’t return phone calls by press time. Summit declined to comment.)

No decisions are likely to be made until the studio delivers screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg’s detailed outline to the directors. That should happen sometime next week. Until then we can just wonder how these three very diverse directors will approach Bella’s controversial birthing scene.

Link to article.

Be sure to also check out the Lexicon’s interesting comments about this news:

The Hunt for Breaking Dawn Directors Begins

In our opinion, which is based on past experience and conjecture not insider info, Summit will tell us details about Breaking Dawn after the Eclipse major marketing wave is over. That’s not to say that Melissa Rosenberg isn’t working on script options, meaning making it one movie or two movies, that they aren’t figuring if they will use Portland or Vancouver, or when they’ll be shooting. It just means that like most companies, they like to focus their marketing and newscycle on one major product at a time. Pun intended, they don’t want the Eclipse movie to be eclipsed by Breaking Dawn news.

Link to article.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Two Van Sant films turn up on Hollywood Reporter Top-10 Lists

by admin

The Hollywood Reporter film critics’ top-10 lists are in and two of Portland’s own Gus Van Sant‘s films make the cut:

Milk,” the biopic starring Sean Penn, and “Paranoid Park,” which we cast!

Congrats to all involved.

Film critics’ top 10 lists all over the map
‘Slumdog Millionaire,’ ‘Milk’ among THR favorites
By Kirk Honeycutt
Dec 28, 2008

When it comes to crafting our annual Top 10 Films lists, The Hollywood Reporter’s movie critics have a time-honored tradition of casting a large and wide net, and 2008 is no exception. The picks here display an ample range of films, so much so that no single film appears on all six lists. Every list contains at least one film not found on any other list. And each critic has a different best film.

The “winning” film, appearing on five of six lists, is “Slumdog Millionaire,” Danny Boyle’s Mumbai medley of magic realism and breathtaking romanticism, which is shaping up as one of the most lionized films of 2008.

Three other films occur on four lists. These are Christopher Nolan’s marvelous crime melodrama “The Dark Knight,” Gus Van Sant’s political biopic “Milk” and James Marsh’s documentary “Man on Wire.”

After that, it’s wonderfully wild, ranging from that head-scratcher (for some of us at least) “Synecdoche, New York” to the oldsters-as-songsters doc “Young@Heart.” Gus Van Sant’s other 2008 release, “Paranoid Park,” turns up on one list. Such little-seen films as Fatih Akin’s German-Turkish drama “The Edge of Heaven” and Werner Herzog’s documented travels to Antarctica, “Encounters at the End of the World,” make appearances.

Link to full article.

Monday, December 15, 2008

"Milk" wins three New York Film Critics Circle Awards

by admin

Gus Van Sant’s biographical film, “Milk,” about the politician Harvey Milk was named best picture, Sean Penn won best actor and Josh Brolin won best supporting actor, as reported in the New York Times.

Congrats, Gus! Well deserved.


Link to article.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Gus Van Sant’s "Milk"

by admin

Go see this film!


Milk” starring Sean Penn, directed by Gus Van Sant

Truly wonderful. Kudos to Gus and all the cast and crew.

PS: Funny that a lot of the cast has been up in Portland over the past year or so: Sean Penn and Emile Hirsch working on “Into the Wild,” Joseph Cross starring in “Untraceable,” and Josh Brolin (visiting his wife Diane Lane) during “Untraceable.” Not to mention Gus.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Oregonian Celebrates Creativity

by admin

The Ultimate Northwest magazine included in this Sunday’s paper featured a story on Oregon creatives. Lana’s excited to have her interview alongside David Walker’s:

The People Issue: Celebrating Creativity
Meet 25 of Portland’s most creative thinkers
Ultimate Northwest
Special Section to the Oregonian
October 26, 2008


FILMING FRENZY

LANA VEENKER
CASTING DIRECTOR

Seeing stars: After third-generation Oregonian Lana Veenker spent about a decade working and studying in Europe, she returned to Portland in 1999. She’d gained experience working for a casting agency in London and thought, after a brief pit stop in her hometown, she’d move to a bigger city. But then one thing led to another, and a temporary stay grew permanent. Mere months after landing back in Portland, Veenker, 41, was getting casting jobs. She started her own company with, as she recalls, “a laptop and a cell phone.” Now, her agency has helped cast such movies as “Paranoid Park,” The Road,” “Feast of Love” and “Management.”

All in a day’s work: As a casting director, Veenker and her staff work on a range of projects. For independently made features by Portland-based directors like James Westby, Veenker helped cast primary roles in his festival favorite, “The Auteur.” For Hollywood flicks, Veenker generally casts “day players” — people who come in for supporting roles and have a couple of speaking lines. But the company has been asked to look for lead actors: Gabe Nevins, star of “Paranoid Park,” responded to an open casting call.

Portland as film town: “I was at the Berlin film festival in February,” Veenker says. “People said, ‘You’re a casting director in Portland? Does anything shoot there?’ So I said, ‘Well, I’ve worked with Gus Van Sant and Jennifer Aniston and Viggo Mortensen’…. By the end of the festival, those people were saying Portland’s the next Toronto.”

Link to full article.


 

 

 

 

 

Monday, March 17, 2008

15 Minutes on the IMDb Homepage

by admin

We already thought it was pretty cool to be quoted in an article this month for Wired magazine on using MySpace as a casting tool:

Filmmakers Find Fresh Talent on MySpace
By Hugh Hart
03.14.08 | 12:00 AM

He’s worked with Matt Damon, Sean Penn, Nicole Kidman and Keanu Reeves, but director Gus Van Sant had no interest in casting movie stars for his skateboard drama Paranoid Park. He wanted real kids. So in July 2006, Van Sant created a MySpace page for Paranoid Park and posted a casting call for “skaters, honor roll [students], cheerleaders, punks, drama kids, musicians, artists, student council [members], athletes, award winners, class skippers, photographers, band members, leaders, followers, shy kids, class clowns.”

“We were just trying to figure out the best way to get the word out to nonprofessional people to cast in the film,” Van Sant says. “Now that MySpace is so prevalent, I think this is how all casting agencies should go about casting high schoolers.”

Most of the actors in Paranoid Park are real-life skaters with no previous acting experience.

It worked. A whopping 2,971 Portland-area teenagers turned up for cattle-call auditions. Among them: the film’s star, Gabe Nevins.

Van Sant is one of an increasing number of movie makers to use the internet as a casting tool. Fans of tweener diva Miley Cyrus can find out how to try out for her new movie on the Hannah Montana casting information blog. About 2,000 Real World fans submitted clips to MTV’s online casting site to try out for the 20th season of the reality-based soap opera. Fox Searchlight looked through online audition videos before selecting Bronx rapper Jamal Woolard to star in its Notorious B.I.G biopic. And British filmmaker Vito Rocco recruited several actors for his feature adventure Faintheart based on audition tapes submitted to the movie’s website.

“I actually never thought about being an actor, but just thought it would be fun to go mess around downtown,” says Nevins, now 16. “I was an average skateboarding teen before the movie and very innocent about the film industry, let alone acting. This made me relate to my character a lot because my character was an average skater like myself.”

Has the movie influenced his ideas about a future career? “I don’t have an agent yet but don’t know if I want one,” Nevins says. “I’m still an average kid in high school.”

Net-casting fresh faces for Paranoid Park made sense because Van Sant, Oscar-nominated for Good Will Hunting puts a premium on authenticity. The film’s casting director Lana Veenker explains, “Gus wanted to find a real skateboarder who hadn’t been ‘spoiled,’ because a lot of times the only thing kids learn in high school or junior high drama departments is how to mug and it looks fake.”

Trained actors with agents and head shots remain the rule rather than the exception in Hollywood, but when it comes to finding quirky unknowns, Casting Society of America board member Laura Adler says internet searches are fast becoming a go-to tool among her colleagues. She cites Christopher Mintz-Plasse, for example, who landed the role of “McLovin” in Superbad after casting agents spotted his clips on YouTube. “It’s a great tool for finding new faces,” she says. “Casting people use MySpace or FaceBook or Craigslist when they’re looking for an unknown young talent who’s odd or unique. You run the risk of getting bombarded by tons of people who aren’t right for the role but we get that anyway, on a daily basis.”

Among the projects offering to sift deluded wheat from the talented chaff are Farewell Mr. President on FunnyorDie.com, which showcases user-submitted audition video clips by wannabe actresses who think they can impersonate Marilyn Monroe.

Besides the come one/come all benefits of crowdsourced cattle calls, socially networked casting agents can now mollify the sting of rejection for actors who don’t make the cut. Veenker, who just finished net-casting the new teen vampire movie Twilight on her casting agency’s MySpace page, says, “The nice thing about social networking sites is that people who auditioned check back on the MySpace page constantly for updates. When we started casting Twilight our Friends list doubled overnight. So now, we just posted a little thing: ‘Thank you all for submitting, but the roles have been cast.’ This way, at least, everyone knows ‘Well, I tried.'”

The article somehow found its way into a direct link from the IMDb homepage as well, under its Hit List.

It may be gone by the time you go to check it out, but we thought that was rad!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Paranoid Park Takes Home Special Prize from Cannes

by admin

“Jury President Stephen Frears awarded a 60th Anniversary Prize to Gus Van Sant for Paranoid Park.”

“Gus Van Sant accepted this Anniversary Award and expressed his appreciation: ‘Thanks, Stephen, and thanks to the Jury and thanks to the family Karmitz for backing this film. It had very humble beginnings and for the short film as well. Thanks to my producers. Of course thanks to Gilles Jacob and Thierry Frémaux for this Festival; it’s been a really good one this year. Thanks to Chris Doyle and Rain Li for the cinematography and Blake Nelson for writing the original book that it’s from and all the others who helped make it. Thank you.'”

Congrats to Gus, Blake, cast and crew!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Festival de Cannes

by admin

Bonjour from the Riviera! I’m in Cannes along with about 30 others from production for the screening of the Gus Van Sant film “Paranoid Park,” which we cast last year and which is competing for the top prize: the Palme d’Or.

I’ll be sending updates to Oregonian film critic Shawn Levy’s Mad About Movies blog, if you’d like to keep abreast of the developments.

A plus tard!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

La Croisette nous attend….

by admin

I’ll let others do the talking:

E! Online
Cannes Courts Quentin, Coens, Brangelina
by Josh Grossberg
Thu, 19 Apr 2007

The world’s biggest film fest will launch next month with a lineup that includes films from Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, the Coen brothers and Gus Van Sant facing off for the illustrious Palme d’Or. […]

Van Sant, a 2003 Palme d’Or winner for his Columbine-channeling Elephant, is back with Paranoid Park, a new teen drama about a skateboarder who accidentally kills a security guard.
Read the rest of the article


Variety
Cannes lines up American feast
‘Nights’ opens festival, ‘Death Proof’ restored
by Alison James
Apr. 19, 2007

PARIS — The Stars and Stripes will be flying high over the Croisette when the Cannes Film Festival’s 60th anniversary edition unspools May 16-27.

High-profile U.S. helmers and stars – even some dead ones – are so prevalent, it would almost be easier to list those that won’t be there.

In a lineup of 21 competition titles, unveiled with the rest of the Official Selection in Paris on Thursday, there are no fewer than five American films: Joel and Ethan Coen’s “No Country for Old Men”; David Fincher’s “Zodiac”; James Gray’s “We Own the Night”; Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof,” in a version of his “Grindhouse” contribution with an extra 10-15 minutes of footage; and Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park.”

The Coen brothers, Tarantino and Van Sant are all previous Palme d’Or winners, while Fincher will be making his Cannes debut.
Read the rest of the article



The Hollywood Reporter

‘Blueberry Nights’ Opens Festival de Cannes
Tarantino, Soderbergh among US entries
By Rebecca Leffler
April 20, 2007

PARIS — The Festival de Cannes will be ringing in its 60th anniversary with what promises to be a star-studded, U.S.-heavy official lineup as organizers announced the schedule Thursday. […] Returning to Cannes are previous Palme d’Or winners the Coen brothers with “No Country for Old Men” and Gus Van Sant with “Paranoid Park.”

[…]

A complete list of today’s lineup announcement follows.

Opening night:
“My Blueberry Nights,” Wong Kar Wai, Hong Kong

In Competition:
“An Old Mistress” (Une Vieille Maitresse), Catherine Breillat, France
“The Love Songs” (Les Chansons d’amour), Christophe Honore, France
“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” Julian Schnabel, France
“Auf Der Anderen Seite Des Lebens,” Fatih Akin, Turkey
“Breath,” Kim Ki-duk, South Korea
“No Country for Old Men,” Joel and Ethan Coen, U.S.
“Zodiac,” David Fincher, U.S.
“We Own the Night,” James Gray, U.S.
“Mogari No Mori,” Naomi Kawase, Japan
“Promise Me This,” Emir Kusturica, Serbia
“Secret Sunshine,” Lee Chang-Dong, South Korea
“4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,” Cristian Mungiu, Romania
“Tehilim,” Raphael Nadjari, France
“Silent Light,” Carlos Reygadas, Mexico
“Persepolis,” Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, France
“Import/Export,” Ulrich Seid, Austria
“Alexandra,” Alexander Sokourov, Russia
“Death Proof,” Quentin Tarantino, U.S.
“The Man From London,” Bela Tarr, Hungary
Paranoid Park,” Gus Van Sant, U.S.
“The Banishment,” Andrey Zvyagintsev, Russia

Out of Competition:
“Sicko,” Michael Moore, U.S.
“Ocean’s Thirteen,” Steven Soderbergh, U.S.
“A Mighty Heart,” Michael Winterbottom, U.K.

Closing night:
“The Age of Darkness,” Denys Arcand, Canada

Un Certain Regard:
“Calle Santa Fe,” Carmen Castillo, Chile
“Munyurangabo,” Lee Isaac Chung, U.S.
“Night Train,” Yinan Diao, China
“El Bano Del Papa,” Enrique Fernandez and Cesar Charlone, Uruguay
“Bikur Hatizmoret,” Eran Kolirin, Israel
“Mister Lonely,” Harmony Korine, U.S.
“Magnus,” Kadri Kousaar, Estonia
“Mang Shan,” Yang Li, China
“Mio Fratello e Figlio Unico,” Daniele Luchetti, Italy
“California Dreamin’ ” (Nesfarsit), Crisitan Nemescu, Romania
“La Soledad,” Jaime Rosales, Spain
“Am Ende Kommen Touristen,” Robert Thalheim, Germany
“Kuaile Gongchang,” Ekachai Uekrongtham, Singapore
“Le Reve De La Nuit D’Avant,” Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, France
“Et Toi, T’Es Sur Qui?” Lola Doillon, France
“L’Avocat De La Terreur,” Barbet Schroeder, France
“Les Pieuvres,” Celine Sciamma, France

Short films:
“Resistance Aux Tremblements,” Olivier Hems, France
“Run,” Mark Albiston, New Zealand
“The Oate’s Valor,” Tim Thaddeus Cahill, U.S.
“The Last 15,” Antonio Campos, U.S.
“Grandma,” Anthony Chen, Singapore
“Ark,” Grzegorz Jonkajtys, Poland
“Ver Llover,” Elisa Miller, Mexico
“The Name of the Sparrow,” Kyros Papavassiliou, Cyprus
“Looking Glass,” Erik Rosenlund, Sweden
“My Sister,” Marco Van Geffen, Netherlands
“My Dear Rosetta,” Hae-hoon Yang, South Korea

Midnight Screenings, Out of Competition:
“Go Go Tales,” Abel Ferrara, U.S.
“U2 3D,” Catherine Owens and Mark Pellington, U.S.
“Boarding Gate,” Olivier Assayas, France

Special Screenings, Out of Competition:
“11th Hour,” Leila Conners Petersen and Nadia Conners, U.S.
“The War,” Lynn Novick and Ken Burns, U.S.
“He Fengming,” Bing Wang, China
“Retour En Normandie,” Nicolas Philibert, France
Read the rest of the article


Congrats to Gus, Blake, the producers, actors and crew!

XOXOXOXO

Guess I should start shopping for something to wear! 😮

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Last Gus Van Sant Casting Call for Skaters & Teens

by admin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Last Chance for Regional Skateboarders and Teens to try out for Gus Van Sant’s “Paranoid Park” on August 15

Filmmaker Hopes to Find Fresh Talent for Lead and Supporting Roles in New Independent Film

Portland, Ore. – August 15, 2006 – Today, the final open casting call for filmmaker Gus Van Sant’s upcoming independent film “Paranoid Park” will take place from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Ambridge Event Center (300 NE Multnomah St, Portland, Ore., 97232), announced Portland’s Lana Veenker Casting.

According to casting director Lana Veenker, the locally-based filmmaker is on the lookout for fresh talent for the film’s lead and supporting roles. “None of the roles have been filled as of yet,” says Veenker. “Any kid walking in off the street has a shot at getting cast.”

“Paranoid Park,” based on the novel by Blake Nelson, is the story of a teenage skateboarder who accidentally kills a security guard and has to figure out what to do when police start to investigate.

The August 15 casting call is open to skateboarders age 14-30 and students age 14-18 to fill nearly twenty roles for both males and females. Filming is set to begin in October of 2006 in Portland.

For up-to-the-minute information, interested parties may call the Paranoid Park Hotline at 503.222.2462 or visit http://www.myspace.com/ParanoidPark.

###

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Casting Teens for Gus!

by admin

At long last, I’m poking my head back in here. Clearly, blogging is not my medium. 😐 Mea culpa.

I’ll quickly summarize the whirlwind of the past few months, so I can update you on the latest news:

May 2006:

We were hired to do the Oregon and Washington casting on a Morgan Freeman movie for Lakeshore Entertainment, called “Feast of Love,” based on the Charles Baxter novel. Actually, we’re still working on it. It’s been great working with the producers, crew and the very lovely Robert Benton who is directing. Just one last session this weekend and we should be about done.

June 2006:

Besides the regular commercial biz coming in, we did a major spot for Nike, requiring 150 talent for a night shoot at a shopping mall. Oy! I won’t even go into the craziness of that gig; I’ll just say that I bow to the producer for pulling it off with such class. If WE thought it was insanity, I can’t even imagine what HIS job was like.

We also managed to cast a few indie shorts, a music video, a couple TV pilots and some educational stuff, but the big fun came working on James Westby’s new feature “The Auteur” (based on his short by the same title). Hilarious script. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!! And I think I can pretty safely say that, after working on that film, I’m probably the only person on the planet who has been embraced by Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama…and porn star Ron Jeremy(!). But those stories are for another day.

July 2006:

We actually got FOUR whole days off on the 4th of July holiday, so that was amazing and fun. We picked up on “Feast of Love” again when we got back, finished up bookings on “The Auteur” and scrambled through several more commercial gigs, before getting a call from Gus Van Sant’s producer about casting his new film, “Paranoid Park,” based on the Blake Nelson novel.

I don’t have a lot of time to go into it now, because we’re heading into MAJOR cattle calls on August 3rd and 5th to find teens for the film, but anyone interested can check out the MySpace page we’ve set up:


www.myspace.com/ParanoidPark

We need 14-18 year olds of all types, plus we’re going to need skateboarders 14-30 at our next cattle call on August 15th. Check it out and tell everyone you know!

Later!