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Monday, December 15, 2014

Portland ‘Wild’ Premiere and Red-Carpet Madness on AM Northwest, KINK FM

by admin

On Monday, December 8th, Portland’s Cinema 21 welcomed actresses Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern, director Jean-Marc Vallée, author Cheryl Strayed, and producer Bruna Papandrea at the red-carpet premiere of Wild.

AM Northwest producer Tammy Hernandez was on hand to talk to all of them (as well as our own Lana Veenker) about the joys and benefits of shooting the film in Oregon.

Update: Catch also this segment on the Portland Wild premiere by Sheila Hamilton on KINK FM:

Thursday, September 18, 2014

TIFF 2014: “Wild” Premiere & CSA Rising Stars

by admin

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!

2014-09-08 16.44.212014-09-08 16.46.55

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.

2014-09-08 18.55.06
Lana Veenker with Director Jean-Marc Vallée
2014-09-08 19.05.37
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.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Oregon Film & Video Update on KATU’s AM Northwest

by admin

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

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Zulu 7 Debuts New Footage

by ranielle

Check out this bit of footage from Zulu 7 Productions.  Directed by Timothy Hutton and starring Christian Kane (along with Silas Weir Mitchell!).  Thanks to Paul Bernard for inviting Cast Iron Studios to be a part of the action.  You can see Portland’s own Doren Elias make an appearance at the end!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Revealing spoilers: A good way to end your acting career

by admin

In April of 2011, aspiring actress and Glee extra Nicole Crowther tweeted a spoiler about the season finale of the hit Fox series to her followers on Twitter:

Her revelation of the identities of the show’s prom queen and king evoked the rage of Glee fans worldwide, as well as the show’s co-creator Brad Falchuck, who lashed out at her with this response:

In the face of such a massive faux pas and its aftermath (Nicole was fired from her extras agency and even received death threats from fans), it appeared that her acting career was over.

After learning of her story, however, Jeff Probst of Survivor fame decided to give Nicole a second chance. He invited her to appear as a guest on his new nationally-syndicated daytime talk show, The Jeff Probst Show this fall.

After a segment in which they discuss the far-reaching effects of oversharing on social media (and whether or not she has learned from her mistake), Jeff invited Nicole on an “Ambush Adventure,” giving her the opportunity to audition for a role on NBC’s Grimm with Casting Director Lana Veenker on national television. Talk about an actor’s nightmare!

Watch here to see what happens:


Not everyone gets a second chance after an error in judgment of this magnitude, and it should be mentioned that revealing confidential information about a show you’ve been cast on can irrevocably damage your career and your professional relationships.

Because of problems we’ve had in the past with actors posting spoilers on their Facebook pages and other social media platforms, we now require all talent booked through our office to sign a non-disclosure agreement, even prior to the one they receive on set with their contract.

This is because excited actors, rushing to share the news of their bookings with family and friends, often include plot points and character descriptions, which must remain absolutely confidential until the episode airs or the film is released.

If in doubt about what you can reveal, ASK. Or to be safest, keep the information to yourself.

Has someone ever given you a second chance in the entertainment business after you made a big mistake? Share your story in the comments.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Introducing Paul Weber CSA & Lana Veenker CSA

by admin

Hey Portland actors! Spots are still available for our October 27 & 28, 2012 workshops with Paul Weber CSA and Lana Veenker CSA, but our early bird prices won’t last long, so be sure to sign up now if you’re planning to attend!

In case you don’t know Paul, here’s a video to introduce you:

And here’s an oldie with Lana:

If you missed our original blog post about the workshop, you can find it here.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Is MTV’s The Real World coming to Portland?

by admin

As the rumors continue to fly, Fox 12‘s Sophie Soong dropped in on Eryn Goodman of Cast Iron Studios to hear her thoughts on why the popular MTV series might be considering the Rose City for its home base next season.

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – It’s becoming more and more common to see Pacific Northwest landmarks in TV shows and movies — Portland’s list of silver and small screen credentials is growing: Untraceable, Gone, Leverage and Portlandia, just to name a few.

And let’s not forget Twilight.

“I think they help put us on the map a little bit, in the bigger picture in the future and what not. And ever since having television shows come here, it’s really picked up a lot,” Eryn Goodman of Cast Iron Studios said.

“We have so many kinds of locations. You can shoot ocean, you can shoot the desert, you can shoot the Gorge, you can shoot the city, we can look like a lot of different places which is fantastic,” she explained.

And that could be why MTV is possibly thinking of putting its next season of The Real World here.

Link to full article.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Another series to shoot in Portland?

by admin

Word on the street is that MTV’s “Real World” may be coming to Portland to shoot its next season here: yet another sign that Oregon is becoming a real player in the film and video industry, creating family-wage jobs and bringing much-needed revenue to the state.

KOIN‘s Ken Boddie stopped by Cast Iron Studios to get our take on the rumors.

(Note that contrary to the transcript, we do not cast Portlandia at our offices.)

PORTLAND, Ore. — MTV’s longest-running reality show could soon tape a season in Portland, according to a local entertainment blogger who has it “on good authority.”

If details are finalized, “The Real World Portland” would be the fourth network show being shot in the Rose City.

“Every time a production decides to shoot up here it’s great for the state because it means jobs,” said Lana Veenker, a casting director from Cast Iron Studios in Portland. “…We’ve got three TV series already shooting here, and hopefully some more movies and commercials and things coming throughout the summer.”

Link to full article.

Want more jobs like these to come to Oregon?  Write or call your legislators and let them know that you support the expansion of OPIF (Oregon Production Incentive Fund).  Film and video production means shutter-ready jobs across the state!


Friday, July 29, 2011

Talking film & TV on "Have You Heard? with Byron Beck"

by admin

Had a blast co-hosting Have You Heard? with Byron Beck the other day. We really enjoyed working together, although I did have to bust his chops a bit about his “Between Two Ferns” set dec! 😉

Oregon’s top casting director, Lana Veenker, talks movies and why so many of them are being made in Portland. Actor Darius Pierce shares his experience on the set of Leverage and his role in Portland’s Shakespeare Project’s production of “As You Like It,” and Absolut Herve LeClerc and Red Cap’s Samuel Thomas create cocktails in support of civil rights and Basic Rights Oregon.

Have You Heard? Hosted By Byron Beck: Episode #22 from earth2world on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

What’s New in Portland Film & TV? AM Northwest Finds Out.

by admin

Great to see KATU’s Dave Anderson again (after his star turn on Leverage episode 408, which will air in a few weeks!) on this morning’s AM Northwest.

Portland is buzzing with TV and Film productions. Casting Director Lana Veenker stopped by to tell us what’s happening now…and how we might get in on the action.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

‘Twilight’ Casting Director, Lana Veenker, Takes a Stand

by admin

The folks over at Twilighters Anonymous are helping to spread the word about the PSA we are producing. Thanks, guys!

‘Twilight’ Casting Director, Lana Veenker, Takes a Stand
July 9, 2011
By Evie

You might recognize the name Lana Veenker as the casting director from the original Twilight movie. Now Lana is taking a stand in a new PSA against rape as a weapon of war. Check out more below:

Meet Andrew & Lana from Cast Iron Studios.

Join our efforts to produce a 60-second PSA to help stop the use of rape as a weapon of war!

Our Story

New statistics show that over 400,000 women per year are raped in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where armed militias are using rape as a weapon of war to terrorize communities. Since this statistic does not include men and children, the actual number is much higher.

By comparison, as of the last census, the population of Portland, Oregon was about 584,000.

Think about that: Almost the equivalent of the entire population of Portland, violently raped. Per year.

Link to full blog post.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

We all have jobs because of Oregon’s film incentives!

by admin

Check out this great video from the set of Leverage to see the broad range of people that a TV series or film employs on a day-to-day basis. People from all walks of life, from chefs and electricians to accountants, drivers and make-up artists.

We all have our jobs, because Oregon’s successful film incentive program helps to attract productions like Leverage to our state.

Whereas the rest of the economy is flagging, 2011 is projected to be the busiest year ever for Oregon film, creating clean, green, high-paying jobs in all sectors, all across our state.

Let’s keep the momentum going and continue to fund OPIF (Oregon Film Investment Fund) at the levels needed to meet this increased demand!

We have a proven track record, and more productions banging on our doors than current incentive levels can accommodate, so we need our legislators to fully fund OPIF.

Say yes to JOBS!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Your Child in Movies: Better TV Interviews Lana Veenker at Tribeca Film Festival

by admin

Prior to the premiere of Rid of Me at Tribeca Film Festival, Casting Director Lana Veenker shared tips with Better TV‘s Rhiannon Ally on how to get your child into show biz, no matter where you live.

Your Child in Movies
Turn your child into a star! Casting agent Lana Veenker shares tips on how to get your child into show biz — no matter where you live.
by Rhiannon Ally
Better TV
May 26, 2011

Okay, parents: how many times have you looked at your child and thought they could possibly be a big star.

Well, believe it or not, it is possible to get your child on the big screen, even if you don’t live in Hollywood, New York or Chicago.

We met up with Lana Veenker, a casting agent who was in New York promoting her new film, Rid of Me. She has some tips on getting kids into show biz.

Link to video.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

NBC picks "Grimm" pilot filmed in Portland for series

by admin

KGW’s Joe Smith spoke to Vince Porter from the Governor’s Office of Film and Television, Mayor Sam Adams, Doug Boss, owner of Pacific Grip and Lighting, and Lana Veenker about the new NBC series “Grimm” that the Film Office has confirmed will begin shooting in Portland in July.

NBC picks ‘Grimm’ pilot filmed in Portland for series
by Joe Smith
KGW News Channel 8
May 24, 2011

PORTLAND, Ore. — Once upon a time in a place not too far away, the producers of a new NBC show chose the Rose City to bring its production. It’s not a fairy tale, but a true story.

The show “Grimm” is a cop drama based on the Grimm fairy tales. It’s also is a showcase for Oregon’s growing film industry, with hundreds of jobs in the starring role.

Producers spent weeks in Portland filming the pilot for the show, then waited. Would the network like it? They did.

The next question: Where would the series itself be filmed?

“NBC let us know they’re committed,” said Vince Porter, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Oregon Film & TV.

Porter says the network’s decision to film the series in Portland is having a ripple effect though Oregon’s film community.

“To have a big broadcast show that’s set in Portland is a real step up for us.”

But, as much as the producers love Portland, they also love the tax credits Oregon is offering. A percentage in cash rebates goes to the production company for spending at least $750,000 in Oregon on wages and service. That’s an easy reach for Grimm.

“It can really tip over $2 million an episode,” said Porter.

There are also other incentives: no sales tax, and built-in crews and services, from cameras, to lights to action with northwest actors.

“The minute Grimm starts up they’re going to hire 150 people and by July there will be 250,” says Lana Veenker, a local casting director who cast eight local actors for the pilot.

Link to full article and video.


Saturday, April 30, 2011

2011 Shooting Stars Casting Director Breakfast

by admin

Just stumbled across the video of this year’s Shooting Stars casting breakfast, hosted by European Film Promotion at the Hotel de Rome during the Berlin Film Festival.

Lana and fellow members of the International Casting Directors Network (ICDN) met with ten of Europe’s top up-and-coming actors over coffee as part of the weekend-long event.

The ICDN has over 40 members from 18 different countries and is the first international network of its kind. Lana was inducted into the organization in 2008.

PS: Catch a glimpse of Lana’s former boss, London casting director Jeremy Zimmermann at 0:36. They had a surprise reunion at this year’s Shooting Stars!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Trailer & Poster for "Rid of Me": A ‘Low Budget Mean Girls for Adults’

by admin

The staff of Lana Veenker Casting will soon be taking off to New York City for the world premiere of a film we cast, James Westby’s Rid of Me, starring Katie O’Grady, Theresa Russell (Black Widow, Bad Timing), Storm Large, Art Alexakis (of Everclear) and more.

Check out the trailer and poster!

Can’t wait to see Oregon take Tribeca and the Big Apple by storm!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Show business is booming in Oregon…and FREE screening tickets!

by admin

Casting Director Lana Veenker joined KATU’s Helen Raptis and Dave Anderson on AM Northwest to talk about the latest productions and what all the activity means for Oregonians.

For more information on the productions and how to get involved, see our previous blog post below.


Excited about all the movies and TV shows shooting in Oregon? Want to help us make sure these clean, green, high-paying jobs keep coming in, not only for local film industry professionals, but for individuals and small businesses all across the state?

We need you to show your support of extending the Oregon Production Investment Fund (OPIF), the successful incentive program that has attracted all of these productions to Oregon.

2011 is projected to be our busiest year ever for film and TV, and we want to keep the momentum going!

The program is due to sunset in 2012. Without your help, it could all go away, so please join us!


Join us in Salem on March 15th at 4:00 pm, when a conceptual video about the program will be taped on the Capitol steps. We want your presence and your stories, to help raise awareness of the powerful economic and cultural impact of the film and video industry in Oregon.


RSVP for the video shoot, and you’ll get a FREE ticket to the exclusive 7:00 pm screening of “Meek’s Cutoff” that follows at the Historic Elsinore Theatre (normally $20!).

“Meek’s Cutoff,” directed by Kelly Reichardt and starring Michelle Williams, was filmed in Eastern Oregon and has been shown at Venice, Toronto and Sundance Film Festivals.

The individuals and businesses below have made an extraordinary show of support by donating the cost of the tickets AND bus service from Portland so that you can go, because they understand the value of this legislation to our state.

Free tickets are limited, so RSVP now at Be sure to mention that Lana Veenker Casting referred you, so that your ticket comes from our allocation!

Tuesday, March 15th
Oregon State Capitol Building
900 Court Street NE, Salem, Oregon 97301
2:00 pm: Arrive at OMSI, if taking the bus from Portland
4:00 pm: Be ready at Capitol steps
Be sure to mention Lana Veenker Casting in the “Who Referred You?” box!

Tuesday, March 15th
The Historic Elsinore Theatre
170 High Street SE, Salem, Oregon 97301
6:30 pm: Doors open
7:00 pm: Screening
Free ticket when you RSVP for 4:00 pm Event

Can’t make the 4:00 pm video shoot? Buy advance tickets to the screening at Tickets West, The Elsinore Theatre or the Oregon Film office.

Hope to see you there!

Thank you to ticket sponsors Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Bent Image Labs, David Cress, Koerner Camera, Kamp Grizzly, Gearhead Grip and Electric, @ Large Films, Picture This Production Services & Stage, Bonnie Roseman, Rose City Realtors, Funnelbox, Gales Creek Insurance, and Pacific Grip and Lighting.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Show business is ‘on a roll’ in Oregon

by admin

Ken Boddie talks to Vince Porter, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Film and Television, and Lana Veenker, about the state of the film industry in Oregon.

Show business is ‘on a roll’ in Oregon
KOIN 6 News
March 1, 2011
by Ken Boddie




They’re just three of the television and film productions made right here in Oregon; and there’s more where that came from.

Film and television in Oregon is headed for a record year in 2011. A major network, NBC Universal, is committed to shooting a pilot in Oregon based on the Grimm’s fairy tales, and several more projects are coming that could put hundreds of Oregonians to work.

Leverage is into its third year–they just started shooting this week up on Mount Hood,” said Vince Porter, director of the Governor’s Office of Film and Television.

Portlandia caught the imagination of enough people that they’re coming back for a second season this summer,” said Porter.

“We can say that 2011 will be the biggest year we’ve ever had in the state.”

At any given time there are about 13,000 Oregonians working in the film and television industry.

Since 2007, producers have spent about $178 million in Oregon, with an overall economic impact of $350 million.

Those numbers are expected to grow to $275 million and about $500 million, respectively, by the end of the year.

Lana Veenker owns a Portland casting agency that hires for Leverage and is currently casting for the new NBC’s upcoming Grimm-based project.

She sees the growth in Oregon’s film industry, adding that Oregon is definitely on the map when it comes to film and the proof is in the jobs.

“We have fantastic film crews, we have a really strong base of actors, we have every kind of location you can imagine,” said Veenker.

Link to full article.