Don’t miss these Pacific Northwest actors in an all new episode of “Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists” tonight at 8PM on Freeform (check local listings).
Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
Cast Iron Studios had the royal honour and an absolute blast in teaming up with Sparkloft Media, The Port of Portland and Delta Airlines recently in a campaign to promote Portland’s only non-stop flight to London.
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!
A proper shout-out to Producer Kate Adolphson and Social Media Strategist Alexandria Goodwin of Sparkloft Media for the fun gig. The actors had a jolly good time, and so did we!
Don’t miss these Pacific Northwest actors in the series premiere of “Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists” tonight at 8PM on Freeform (check local listings).
In honor of International Women’s Day, Cast Iron Studios is excited to share some great news for Northwest actors!
Cast Iron Studios Incorporates Inclusion Rider
From its yearly Talent Diversity Initiative, to its participation in nationwide casting calls for transgender actors and performers with disabilities, to its commitment to always questioning the way roles are written—in order to create more opportunities for women, LGBTQ performers and others—Cast Iron Studios has long been an advocate for underrepresented performers.
Now, inspired by the work of the Annenberg Institute, Cast Iron Studios is working on incorporating an inclusion rider into its casting deals. “The idea is to challenge ourselves,” said President and Founder Lana Veenker, “as well as the production companies we enter into contract with, to more affirmatively seek opportunities for actors who have been historically underutilized.”
This inclusion rider will serve as a benchmark for all future projects; celebrating and ensuring the widest possible range of equity, diversity and inclusion. Based in part on the Annenberg Institute’s open-source template, Cast Iron Studios’ rider will also invite clients to make an optional financial contribution towards the Talent Diversity Initiative (TDI), which provides high-quality, intensive actor training to performers of color (and potentially, in the future, to other underrepresented groups) at no cost to the actors.
The goal of the TDI is to create a larger pool of qualified diverse talent for productions to choose from when shooting in the Northwest by removing the financial barrier to high-quality training, opening doors to networking opportunities in the local film and television community, and funneling participants towards bona fide acting coaches, talent agents, managers and casting companies.
“Graduates frequently go on to book roles in local productions,” said Veenker,” reducing the need for our clients to hire outside of market. By including this provision in our rider, we’re asking clients to not only hire more underrepresented artists today, but to help us build the talent pool of tomorrow; one that more accurately reflects the demographics of the world we live in.”
Roles for Women Hired Locally Increase by 20%
We’re also very happy to report that a recent snapshot of the stats for roles for women cast out of Cast Iron Studios shows an increase in roughly 20% over the past couple of years—and we’re determined and passionate about keeping this momentum going in all areas.
However, there’s still plenty of work to be done, as the stats for women across the board in Film/TV are still pretty dire, both in front of and behind the camera.
According to a recent study by The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, male leads vastly outnumber female leads—71.3% compared to 28.8%—over a ten year span. This means that men’s stories were featured twice as often as women’s stories.
Behind the camera, according to a survey released by the Center for the Study of Women in TV/Film at San Diego State University, “The Celluloid Ceiling” by Martha M. Lauzen, Ph.D., women made up only 20% of all the directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors and cinematographers who worked on the top 250 films in the last year.
In the words of Geena Davis:
“How do we encourage a lot more girls to inspire to lead? By casting droves of women in STEM, politics, law and other professions today in movies.”
For women, performers of color, LGBTQIA+ performers, and performers with disabilities, here’s to (cast) ironing out the gaps!
Happy International Women’s Day!
Renowned Oregon actor Robert Blanche received a life-saving double lung transplant in August, but has had a difficult time recovering. A Portland resident, Robert has been in ICU in Seattle for six months, with his wife and daughters (ages four and six months old), living nearby. Local SAG-AFTRA members therefore dedicated their January 27th SAG Awards Viewing Party to him, by hosting the “SOS: Salute to Our Star Robert Blanche Fundraiser.”
Our team first met Robert nearly 20 years ago, casting him in various commercials and print campaigns. Since then, he has appeared in many of Cast Iron Studios’ film and TV projects, including NBC’s A Walk In My Shoes, TNT’s Leverage (recurring as Detective Captain Bonanno), and over 30 episodes of NBC’s Grimm as Sergeant Franco. A beloved actor in the community, Robert and his work continue to be celebrated today amongst industry colleagues, union members, friends and family.
The SAG Awards Viewing Party and “SOS: Salute to Our Star Robert Blanche Fundraiser” was a standing-room-only smash hit. One hundred “friends of Robert” showed up to the Lake Theater in Lake Oswego, and raised over $2,500.00 for Robert and his family. The raffle was an amazing success and many union members walked away with delightful goodies, including Amanda Fugate-Moss and Myhraliza Aala, who each won an actor career counseling session, donated by Cast Iron Studios. Additionally, Kristina Haddad won a 2-night hotel voucher, contributed by Casting Associate Ranielle Gray.
With $17,000 left to raise in order to reach their goal, there’s still time to donate! The campaign runs until Valentine’s Day – and what better way to celebrate than a heart full of love and support for Robert.
Congrats to the raffle winners, kudos to the union volunteers who made this fundraiser possible, and our best wishes to Robert in his recovery.
Casting Director Eryn Goodman and Casting Associate Ranielle Gray made a whirlwind trip to Los Angeles in late January to attend the 2019 Artios Awards, and meet face-to-face with members of the casting community, who are so often only at the other end of a phone or email exchange from our cozy corner here in the Pacific Northwest.
Among those honored at the Casting Society of America’s annual awards ceremony were Robert J. Ulrich, Eric Dawson and Carol Kritzer. UDK Casting received the Hoyt Bowers Award for Excellence in Casting.
Also taking home a top honor for the night was Laura Dern, presented with the Lynn Stalmaster Award for Career Achievement by #OregonMade Wild director Jean Marc Vallée. Cast Iron Studios cast around 30 principal roles in the Oscar-nominated film, based on Cheryl Strayed’s bestselling memoir.
And though we of course cheered for all nominees and winners, we were especially glad to see so many of the casting directors we’ve worked with over the years be honored for their achievements, including David Rubin (Wild), Corinne Clark (Timmy Failure) and Jennifer Page (Timmy Failure) for Children’s Pilot and Series (Live Action) “A Series of Unfortunate Events”, Meg Morman and Sunday Boling (“In the Vault”) for Shortform Series “Relationship Status”, and Margery Simkin (Extraordinary Measures) with Michael Donovan and Associate Richie Ferris for Special Theatrical Performance Mamma Mia!.
Thank you so much to everyone who showed their support for the Oregon Food Bank by participating in the 8th annual Meals for Monologues event on December 14, 2018. We were thrilled that The Studio NW invited us into their beautiful space and hosted us all for the day.
Official word from the Oregon Food Bank is that we as a community pulled together 336 pounds of food and $453.07 in donated funds this year. All combined, that’s enough to provide approximately 1,611 meals for hunger relief directly to our neighbors.
In addition, we were given amazing total numbers that Meals for Monologues has gathered over the 8 years we’ve been doing this! Since 2011 we’ve helped to provide over 16,000 meals! We couldn’t do it without you, and we’re thrilled to spearhead this event year after year.
The team at Cast Iron Studios wants to thank our clients, and the Northwest talent agents, managers and actors who helped make 2018 our busiest year to date!
Many thanks also to Oregon Film, the Portland Film Office, OMPA, SAG-AFTRA, our supportive city and state legislators, and our wider film and television community for making this a wonderful place to carve out a profession in the entertainment and advertising industries.
In gratitude, Cast Iron Studios was proud to support the following non-profits in 2018:
Oregon Food Bank (Food & Donation Drive via Meals for Monologues)
Central City Concern (Portland Homeless Outreach)
California Community Foundation (Wildfire Relief Fund)
Natural Resources Defense Council (Environmental Advocacy)
Southern Poverty Law Center (Fighting Hate/Extremism/Bigotry)
American Civil Liberties Union (Civil Rights)
MercyCorps (Disaster Relief)
Habitat for Humanity (Fostering Home Ownership)
Emily’s List (Supporting Progressive Female Candidates)
OSPIRG (Save the Bees Campaign)
FreeGeek (Digital Equity through Environmental Sustainability)
Kiva (Microloans to Low-Income Entrepreneurs around the Globe)
Impact NW (Combating Poverty in Portland)
Planned Parenthood (Reproductive Healthcare)
Vietnam Veterans of America (Veterans’ Advocacy)
The Rebuilding Center (Salvaging & Recycling Building Materials)
And in honor of our furry friends:
Oregon Humane Society
Humane Society for Southwest Washington
West Columbia Gorge Humane Society
Home at Last Humane Society
DoveLewis Emergency Pet Hospital
Pet Partners (Therapy Pets)
Intermountain Therapy Animals
Guide Dogs for the Blind
Guide Dog Foundation
Please consider making a year-end donation to one of these deserving organizations. As a bonus, many of them are currently matching donations through December 31st!
Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous 2019,
Lana, Eryn, Ranielle and the CIS Team
We here at Cast Iron Studios are firm believers in giving back, especially during the holiday season. We’re happy to announce that our eighth annual “Meals for Monologues” canned food drive-slash-holiday get-together will be a co-production with The Studio NW!
Be sure to note the new address: The Studio Northwest, 1633 NW Glisan.
Not sure what to bring? Check out OFB’s list of Most Wanted Items.
Spread the word! RSVP and share our Facebook Event.
SELF-TAPE AUDITIONS BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!
Live in Oregon, but outside of the Portland Metro area and still want to audition? Repped by an agent, regularly seen at our office, and helping us out by leaving audition slots open to unrepped talent who may be new to us? We will accept demo reels or self-tapes from Oregon actors, in exchange for a screenshot of your donation to the Oregon Food Bank. Submission must be received by December 14th to guarantee viewing by our casting directors. See instructions below.
SELF-TAPE SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS FOR OUT-OF-TOWN ACTORS
- You must be an OREGON LOCAL HIRE with a permanent Oregon address to submit for this general audition.
- Self-taped monologue or professional demo reel must be no longer than TWO MINUTES.
- If self-taping, be sure you are framed in LANDSCAPE mode, in a CLOSE-UP (head and shoulders), with good lighting and sound. Typically, you would direct your lines to the side of camera, not directly into the lens (it may help to use a real human off-camera).
- Submission MUST be a LINK to view your video online, NOT a FILE attached to your email. Upload your video to Vimeo, YouTube or a similar platform and send us the direct URL only. Emails containing video attachments will be deleted.
- You may password-protect your video, but be sure to send us the password with your submission.
- Go to http://oregonfoodbank.org/donatenow to make your donation.
- Please list “Meals for Monologues” in the Leave a comment text box on the donation form.
- Please send a screenshot or PDF of your donation receipt with your submission.
- You may include one headshot and resume (or a link to an online casting profile) with your submission.
- Include your name and contact information.
- Please confirm in your email that you are an Oregon local hire.
- Email submission to talent[at]castironstudios.com, subject heading: M4M Oregon Hire. (Replace [at] with @ in the email address.)
- Deadline for self-tape submissions is December 14, 2018 at 11:59 PM PST. We cannot guarantee your video will be reviewed if received after the deadline.
Cast Iron Studios is seeking REAL BARBERS and REAL BOXING TRAINERS for an upcoming Adidas spot. This is a paid gig at union rates.
Submissions are due by 4pm on FRIDAY, October 5, 2018.
Casting is THIS MONDAY, October 8, 2018.
BARBERS: Male, black or mixed ethnicity, late 20s to mid 30s, with real barber experience. Charisma and ability to improvise is encouraged. Portland local hires only.
BOXING TRAINERS: Male, any ethnicity, age range 25-45, with expert-level training experience. Charisma and ability to improvise is encouraged. Portland local hires only.
This project is SAG-AFTRA, but we will consider both union and non-union performers.
Pay starts at union scale of $671.69 for one day of shooting. In addition, there are several options for internet, new media, print, industrial, and broadcast usage, which could bring this rate up by a few thousand–to several thousand–dollars, if exercised!
Shoot is on one of the following dates: Thursday 10/11, Monday 10/15, Tuesday 10/16, or Tuesday 10/23. You must be able to fully clear your schedule for the shoot date, if hired.
Wardrobe fitting is on Wednesday 10/10 or Friday 10/12.
If you fit the specs and are available for the shoot, please send an email to talent[at]castironstudios.com and include:
- Phone Number
- Level of experience as a BARBER or BOXING TRAINER
- A clear head-and-shoulders photo (selfie is fine)
If we would like you to audition, we will contact you with an audition time for Monday.
Please no calls or drop-by visits. Only submit if you fit the specs, are a Portland local hire, and can clear your schedule for the shoot. Thanks and please share!
While TNT is no longer participating as a fiscal sponsor of Cast Iron Studios’ Talent Diversity Initiative (TDI), the Portland Film Office and Oregon Film Office both expressed a wish to continue supporting the program, whose goal is to increase opportunities for actors of color in our market.
Thanks to them, and to the generous sponsorship of several of our top local acting coaches, including Katie O’Grady of The Studio NW/Acting for Kids & Teens, Ted Rooney, Scott Rogers Studios, Kristina Haddad of The Actor’s Lab, and Shelly Lipkin, we were able to offer scholarships to 17 local actors to attend the acting course of their choice.
Special thanks go out to Brian Lord of the Portland Film Office/Prosper Portland, who encouraged us to keep the program going, even if on a smaller scale; to Tim Williams, Executive Director of Oregon Film, for his unwavering support over the years; and to the coaches, who helped us to nearly double the value of our available funds.
We are thrilled to have these wonderful and talented actors as part of this year’s Talent Diversity Initiative!
Despite the productions of “Grimm,” “Portlandia” and “The Librarians” all coming to an end, show business is still booming in Oregon right now!
Casting Director Lana Veenker stopped by KATU’s AM Northwest on August 27, 2018 with a film and TV update.
Here’s the clip, in case you missed it:
In case you missed it, earlier this month, our own Eryn Goodman and Lana Veenker were nominated–alongside L.A. Casting Director Heidi Levitt–for the 2018 International Casting Director Award for “Bad Samaritan,” directed by Dean Devlin!
Lana was on hand at Sarajevo Film Festival for the Award Ceremony, and also helped her fellow International Casting Directors Network colleagues to produce a week-long program of events focused on the casting profession as part of the Festival. Check out the press release below!
FRANCESCO VEDOVATI WINS 2018 INTERNATIONAL CASTING DIRECTOR AWARD
ICDN Award for Best Casting presented on August 15that 24th Sarajevo Film Festival
(Sarajevo, BA) On August 15th, the International Casting Director Award was presented to Italian Casting Director Francesco Vedovati at Sarajevo Film Festival. Festival President Mirsad Purivatra presided over the Ceremony.
The Award was established in 2016 by the International Casting Directors Network (ICDN), and represents the first ever international prize for best casting of a feature film.Board President Beatrice Kruger noted in her opening remarks that casting directors are virtually the only department heads to receive main-titles credit on a film without a corresponding national award (such as an Oscar , César or Lola). The ICDN therefore introduced the prize two years ago at Locarno Film Festival to help increase awareness of the essential role that casting directors play in the production of a film.
Vedovati won for the Matteo Garrone film “Dogman,” which made a splash earlier this year at Cannes. He had previously earned laurels from the Italian press association–the Nastro d’Argento–for Best Casting for the same film.
“This is the second award that I have received for this movie,” said Vedovati, “but for me, this is very special, because it is an award given by colleagues. […] It’s also very important to me, because, in the history of Sarajevo, I am the first casting director to receive an award for casting, so this will remain a part of history.”
Casting Directors representing 14 different countries received nominations for the International Casting Director Award:
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
In addition to the accolade, the ICDN and Sarajevo Film Festival teamed up to present a full program of events centering on the casting profession from August 12th to the 16th. Entitled “Casting at the Heart of Filmmaking,” the program comprised of panels, Q&As, an international acting workshop, a master class through Talents Sarajevo, an Award reception hosted by Spotlight, and “Meals for Monologues,” a food drive/casting call benefiting the refugees of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Participating casting directors included Debbie McWilliams (UK), Beatrice Kruger (IT), Harika Uygur (TU), Anja Dihrberg (DE), Timka Grin (BA), Lana Veenker (USA), Francesco Vedovati (IT), Nancy Bishop (USA), Tusse Lande (SE) and Magdalena Szwarcbart (PL).
“It’s amazing that on behalf of the Festival and myself that I can welcome so many prestigious casting directors to Sarajevo for the first time,” said Festival Director Purivatra. “And I’m quite sure that this week-long program focused on casting is going to be important, not only for you who are members of ICDN, but also for so many talents from the region […]. I hope we will not only build this together as the most prestigious event for casting directors, but that actors and actresses will also be almost queueing here. It’s going be a ‘must’ event.”
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.
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.
The series was shot last fall in Portland, and highlights many fantastic Northwest talent. Please tune in at 10/9c!
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!