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1430 SE 3RD AVENUE, No.100
PORTLAND, OR 97214
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Thursday, February 25, 2010

"Leveraging" the impact of film with our legislators

by admin

Click here to hear our testimony today at the State Capitol on “Leveraging” the Impact of the Film/Video Tax Credit Extension Law of 2009:

House Committee on Sustainability and Economic Development

Testifying:

John Rogers, Executive Producer, and co-creator of Leverage
(via Skype)
Lana Veenker, Casting Director, Lana Veenker Casting
Vince Porter, Executive Director, Oregon Film and Video Office
David Besaw, Owner, 52nd Avenue Hardware & Building Supply

Members:

Rep. Tobias Read, Chair
Rep. Cliff Bentz, Vice-Chair
Rep. Jules Bailey
Rep. Lew Frederick
Rep. Vic Gilliam

Also in Attendance:

Rep. Phil Barnhart (House Revenue Committee)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Shooting Stars 2010 at Berlinale

by admin

Just returned from a whirlwind trip to Europe to speak at the Prague Film School, teach a workshop at the English Theatre Berlin (alongside casting directors Nancy Bishop and Emma Style) and attend EFP‘s fantastic Shooting Stars program at Berlinale.

Last year’s program featured David Kross (“The Reader” opposite Kate Winslet) and Carey Mulligan (nominated for an Oscar for “An Education”), so the caliber of talent is high and I can’t wait to see what this year’s honorees will accomplish.

This was my third year at Shooting Stars and, along with casting colleagues from all over Europe, I got to meet 10 of Europe’s top up-and-coming actors. I’m seen in this video with French actress Anaïs Demoustier and Polish actress Agata Buzek:

Check out the Shooting Stars website for more info and to view the actors’ reels:

 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mayor’s office chimes in on Leverage Boot Camp & Oregon jobs

by admin

“Chance favors the well-prepared.”
By Jennifer Yocom
Tue, February 9, 2010 1:32pm

When John Rogers, writer and creator of TNT’s Leverage, talked to Portlanders at this weekend’s Leverage Boot Camp, one quote especially stuck out to me. Borrowed from great scientist, Louis Pasteur, he said, “Chance favors the well-prepared.” I can’t remember whether John was referring to the perspective auditioners should keep when trying out for minor roles or to be an extra in Leverage, or if he was attributing it to what I’m thinking of: how do we build a film industry in Portland?

Either way, he’s right.

When I worked in direct marketing, we auditioned actors for photo shoots and infomercials (yes, I worked on infomercials). And when we found the right person, it wasn’t always because he or she met all the criteria we were considering, but possessed that X factor–an element or aspect of his or her personality or “look” that would connect with the relevant audience or acting team. Translated, even if you fit the profile on paper, you might not get the job. The purpose of the Leverage Boot Camp was to get folks as familiar with the TV series as possible, increasing their chances of getting a job with the production. And who’s needed? Athletic or burly men to play cops, security guards and thugs.

“I look at all these strong guys who have lost their manufacturing or construction jobs and think ‘If we could just teach them how to say a line or two and maybe how to do an easy fight scene, they could probably audition for the show,’” says Leverage casting director and local business owner Lana Veenker. “It may be very sporadic work, but nobody’s going to sneeze at a thousand bucks for a day’s salary. That could make the difference between a family covering its mortgage payment or not.”

“Background performers only make minimum wage,” she acknowledges, “but with overtime, a day’s work could help someone who is job hunting pay their cell phone bill or buy a few tanks of gas.”

The Oregonian reported, “In Oregon, which has an 11 percent unemployment rate, the recession has been particularly hard on male workers in traditionally male-dominated industries. At his State of the City speech last week, for example, Portland Mayor Sam Adams said ‘one in three Portlanders’ in the construction industry is currently out of work.”

While Veenker is trying to get the word out to unemployed construction workers that they may have additional options in a tough economy and helping them have the tools they need to succeed at the auditions, she’s also doing a significant service to our City as a whole. In order to continue to attract television series like Leverage to Portland, we’ve got to have a solid pipeline of talent for them to hire.

The state offers fantastic incentives to film production through the Governor’s Office of Film and Television and the City of Portland provides a one-stop resource for permitting through the Mayor’s Office of Film and Video, but Lana’s efforts are a also a key piece to the overall film and tv production ecology in Portland.

So, we’ll continue to work to recruit productions to town with incentive packages but remember, “Chance favors the well-prepared,” so thank you to all those that attended the Boot Camp and thank you, Lana Veenker.

And thank you, Arts & Culture Policy Director Jennifer Yokum, Mayor Adams and the City of Portland, for helping us build this green, clean, high-tech industry of the future!

Link to article.

 

Friday, February 5, 2010

Behind the Scenes of Leverage this weekend

by admin

We have a new confirmed guest for our Saturday lunchtime Q&A at Leverage Boot Camp!

Leverage Co-Producer Paul Bernard will appear live and in person to talk to actors, aspiring actors and stunt people about how to impress the cast and crew when you’ve been hired to appear on episodic television.

Paul has worked extensively as a producer, 1st and 2nd AD and is often found deep in the trenches on set, making sure everything runs like a finely-tuned machine. You’ll want to hear his insights, trust us!


BEHIND-THE-SCENES

This means that our line-up for the Saturday morning Behind-the-Scenes session and lunchtime Q&A will now include:

    • Executive Producer & Show Creator John Rogers (via Skype)

 

    • Executive Producer & Show Creator Chris Downey (via Skype)

 

    • Co-Executive Producer & Director Marc Roskin (via Skype)

 

 

YOU CAN STILL ATTEND!

Actors who were unable to sign up for the entire Boot Camp will be happy to learn that they can now sign up for “Behind-the-Scenes Camp,” which includes Saturday’s Behind-the-Scenes session, lunch, materials and Q&A for only $90.

Networking and coffee start at 9:00 AM and lunch wraps at 1:30 PM.

COME HEAR ALDIS HODGE ON SUNDAY

Behind-the-Scenes Camp attendees can also add Sunday lunch and Q&A for only $20 more.


Sunday’s Q&A includes:

    • Actor Aldis Hodge (Hacker Alec Hardison on “Leverage”)
      (in person)

 

 

(For an extra dose of fun, Behind-the-Scenesters can add the Intro to Stunt Performing class on Sunday afternoon. See the registration site for details.)

The goodies we’re including in everyone’s packet are worth more than the price of admission, so this is not to be missed.

A FEW FULL PACKAGES LEFT

There’s also still room in the full-weekend Beginner and Thug Camps, but they will go fast after tomorrow morning’s story on Good Day Oregon. Don’t delay.

Click here to register.

 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Aldis Hodge and more at Leverage Boot Camp

by admin

Exciting news!

Series regular Aldis Hodge will participate in our Sunday Q&A at Leverage Boot Camp this weekend. Aldis plays Alec Hardison, the Leverage team’s hacker. Please come and welcome him back to Portland for another 15 episodes!

Other guests include Series Creators/Executive Producers John Rogers and Chris Downey on videoconference at our Saturday Behind-the-Scenes and Producer/Director Marc Roskin Skyping in during our Saturday Q&A.

John Rogers has written for “Transformers,” “Eureka” and was a Writer/Producer on “The Cosby Show.”

Chris Downey is the former Writer/Executive Producer of “King of Queens.”

Marc Roskin has been Executive Producer on “The Librarian,” “Blank Slate” and others. Last season, he directed an audience favorite, The Tap-Out Job, as well as The Three Days of the Hunter Job, The Runway Job and The Future Job, airing on February 3rd.

Click to register.

 

Monday, February 1, 2010

New Packages Available for "Leverage" Boot Camp

by admin

UPDATE! Watch the video on KOIN’s Keep It Local:

In response to the many requests from actors and aspiring actors who would like to participate in our “Leverage” Boot Camp this weekend, we are opening up TWO NEW PACKAGES.

One is identical to Thug Camp, but for beginning actors who are non-thug types: Beginner Camp.

One is for ALL levels of actors (including advanced actors and those who have previously appeared on “Leverage”) and includes just the Behind-the-Scenes session and Saturday Q&A: Behind-the-Scenes Camp.

Both have the option of adding the “Intro to Stunt Performing” class, which is beginning level.

There are also still a few spots left in Thug, Kid and Teen Camps.

Click here to read about available packages and to register.

Hurry, these new spots will go fast!

_____________________________________

_____________________________________
BEGINNER CAMP – NEW!

$225 Early Registration Fee (Ends January 31 February 4, 2010)
$250 Registration Fee (Begins February 1 February 5, 2010)

* 10 hours of instruction, plus lunches and Q&As.
* 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Saturday and 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM Sunday
* Total Beginner Level

This package of four courses is the same as Thug Camp, minus the Intro to Stunt Performing class. It is for beginners of all types who would like to learn what it takes to work as extras or actors on a TV show like “Leverage.” It will help them to understand the needs of the series and give them some basic tools to get started; tools which will also be beneficial for any kind of film or TV series. It includes introduction to acting; introduction to scene analysis and practice; marketing; set protocol and terminology, and audition technique using actual scripts from last season. Small speaking roles will be explored.

INTRO TO STUNT PERFORMING – NEW!

Optional Add-On When Registering for Beginner Camp
$50 Early Registration Fee (Ends January 31 February 4, 2010)
$60 Registration Fee (Begins January 31 February 5, 2010)

* 2 hours of instruction
* 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM on Sunday
* Total Beginner Level; must be attending Beginner Camp

This add-on is for beginning actors who do not fit the specs for Thug Camp, but who want to learn some stunts anyway! A two-hour introduction to stunt performing, taught by a professional stunt coordinator. Learn a few simple stunts and find out how to get ongoing training. (NOTE: Beginner Camp with the Intro to Stunt Performing add-in is exactly the same as Thug Camp, but for all types of beginning actors.)

REGISTER HERE.

___________________________

BEHIND-THE-SCENES OF “LEVERAGE” CAMP – NEW!

$90 Early Registration Fee (Ends January 31 February 4, 2010)
$100 Registration Fee (Begins February 1 February 5, 2010)

* 2 hours of instruction, plus one-hour lunch with Q&A
* 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM Saturday
* All Levels, including Advanced

This package is for all levels, including actors who have previously appeared on the show. Join us for our special Behind-the Scenes session on Saturday morning, which includes a videoconference with “Leverage” creators and stay for our lunchtime Q&A. Get a big-picture view of a TV series by exploring patterns and character archetypes that recur in each episode (we’ll use Leverage, but can be applied to any series). Learn how to determine where your scene fits into the arc of the story when you haven’t been given the whole script to read, using series research and beat sheets. Find out what makes the series regulars and crew on a TV series really love the actors, stunt people and extras. Learn tips that may improve (or decrease!) an actor’s chance of getting cast on a TV series.

This package also includes all materials and goodies that will be given to actors taking the full weekend workshop. The goodies alone are worth the price of admission!

SUNDAY LUNCHTIME Q&A – NEW!

Optional Add-On When Registering for Behind-the-Scenes Camp
$20 Early Registration Fee (Ends January 31 February 4, 2010)
$25 Registration Fee (Begins January 31 February 5, 2010)

* 1 hour lunch with Q&A
* 12:15 PM to 1:15 PM on Sunday
* All levels; must be attending Behind-the-Scenes Camp

This add-on is for all levels, including actors who have previously appeared on the show. Find out what it’s like on the set and in the audition room. Learn and ask questions about AFTRA rules. Find out what makes the series regulars and crew on a TV series really love the actors, stunt people and extras. Learn tips that may improve (or decrease!) an actor’s chance of getting cast on a TV series.

INTRO TO STUNT PERFORMING – NEW!

Optional Add-On When Registering for Behind-the-Scenes Camp
$50 Early Registration Fee (Ends January 31 February 4, 2010)
$60 Registration Fee (Begins January 31 February 5, 2010)

* 2 hours of instruction
* 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM on Sunday
* All levels; must be attending Behind-the-Scenes Camp

This add-on is for all levels, including actors who have previously appeared on the show. A two-hour introduction to stunt performing, taught by a professional stunt coordinator. Learn a few simple stunts and find out how to get ongoing training.

REGISTER HERE.