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Saturday, April 30, 2011

2011 Shooting Stars Casting Director Breakfast

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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!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Shooting Stars 2010 at Berlinale

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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:


Friday, January 8, 2010

Actor Workshop in Berlin: Cracking the International Market

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Next month, Lana is teaming up with her colleagues Prague Casting Director Nancy Bishop and UK Casting Director Emma Style on an international actor marketing seminar in Berlin, where Nancy will be launching her new book, “Secrets from the Casting Couch.”

Lana will be speaking on Sunday, February 14th, 2010, but classes will be offered all weekend.

Here’s a shout out to Nancy!


In this seminar, taught by Nancy and guest speakers casting directors Emma Style from UK and Lana Veenker from US, actors will learn how to present themselves for international work, highlighting how to crack into the US and UK markets. Marketing skills covered will include how to create an effective, eye-catching C.V, choose a key photo, and create a show reel and website. Nancy will outline some basic facts about the O1 Visa, for US work; Emma and Lana will discuss the specific demands of the UK and US markets. All participants will receive a free copy of “Secrets from the Casting Couch.”


About Nancy: Emmy-award nominated, American Casting Director, Nancy Bishop, has cast over sixty American and British films, from her base in Prague. She has cast for major feature films including Roman Polanski’s Oliver Twist, Hellboy, Bourne Identity, and the recently released Wanted and Prince Caspian. She has been teaching casting workshops throughout Europe, the UK, and the US, and the head of the Acting for Film Department at the Prague Film. She is a member of The Casting Society of America, and the International Network of Casting Directors.

About Emma: Emma Style has been casting since 1984. Her work includes film, television and theatre, past work includes Tea with Mussolini, Emmy Award winning Prime Suspect V and multi BAFTA award winning Our Friends in the North. More recently Emma has been casting The Take, Hogfather and The Colour of Magic. This year her work to be shown includes Going Postal for SKY, Exam, a low budget feature film and she is currently casting The Silence, a four part BBC One Drama.

About Lana: Lana Veenker began her career in London and, launched what is now one of the most successful location casting companies in the US. She has found her calling in helping actors who live outside Hollywood break into the business. Her numerous projects include casting on Extraordinary Measures, starring Harrison Ford; Twilight; The Road starring Viggo Mortensen; and 15 episodes of TNT’s Leverage. She is a member of the Casting Society of America and the International Network of Casting Directors.

Check out Nancy’s blog and website for more information.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Shooting Stars 2009 at Berlin Film Festival

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I just spent four whirlwind days at the Berlinale, one of the world’s most prestigious film festivals, to partake in the Shooting Stars program.

European Film Promotion (EFP) organizes the event aimed at showcasing ten of Europe’s most exciting up-and-coming young actors to casting directors, producers, directors and the press. This was the second year I was invited to participate in Shooting Stars and what an amazing program it was.

This year’s Shooting Stars were

Cyron Melville of Denmark
Samuli Vauramo of Finland
Hafsia Herzi of France
David Kross of Germany
Orsi Tóth of Hungary
Sarah Bolger of Ireland
Alba Caterina Rohrwacher of Italy
Verónica Echegui of Spain
Céline Bolomey of Switzerland
Carey Mulligan of United Kingdom

You can learn more about the actors and watch clips from their films on the Shooting Stars website.

Congratulations to all of this year’s honorees. It was a pleasure to meet you and I hope we will have the opportunity to work together in the future.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Casting News Forthcoming!

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Hi everyone,

I’m at JFK airport on my way back from Shooting Stars at the Berlin Film Festival.

Will have some new updates soon, including:

* An announcement of the next winner of the career consultation contest (I know; this has dragged on for a while! I guess that’s the price of being a working CD).

* A full report from Berlin, where I got to meet ten of Europe’s best up-and-coming actors.

* The latest news on projects we’re casting.

* An announcement about upcoming workshops.

* And more fun stuff!

Just as soon as I recover from jetlag…..


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Oregonian Celebrates Creativity

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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



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

Filmmaking Gone Wild!

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Film production has gone crazy in Oregon since the legislature passed some incentive programs to encourage producers to shoot here. In LA, they’re calling us the new Toronto, the new Vancouver, the new New Mexico, etc.

We started up on a new project almost immediately after my return from Berlin, met with the producer of a second film hoping to shoot this summer and are about to begin casting on a third one headed this way. This is in addition to a slew of commercial work, for clients like Nintendo, Microsoft, HP and others.

There are a handful of other features floating around out there, but we’re still waiting to hear which ones are for certain.

I guess that’s the one advantage to the collapse of the dollar. 😐 I have over a dozen screenplays on my desk right now. My European counterparts almost fainted at that! Production has been slow, slow, slow in Europe, as it’s much too dear for Hollywood these days.

This week, Paranoid Park opens in Portland at Cinema 21. Hope to see you all there! Be sure to catch “4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days” too, if you can. The Palme d’Or winning film stars the charming Anamaria Marinka, who is about to explode internationally.

Next on the agenda: A trip to the Big Apple.

Monday, March 17, 2008

2008 – A Film Fest Odyssey

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The odyssey continues….

Okay, so after the LA “Untraceable” premiere, I took off for the Berlin International Film Festival. I was one of about 35 casting directors participating in European Film Promotion’s “Shooting Stars” program, in which the top nine up-and-coming European actors are presented to the press and to casting directors from over a dozen countries during the Berlinale.

The Shooting Stars included:

Anamaria Marinka (“4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days“) – Romania
Nicolas Cazalé (“The Grocer’s Son“) – France
Elio Germano (“My Brother is an Only Child“) – Italy
Marko Igonda (“Return of the Storks“) – Slovak Republic
Joel Basman (“Cannabis“) – Switzerland
Stine Fischer Christensen (“After the Wedding“) – Denmark
Maryam Hassouni (“Kicks“) – Netherlands
Hannah Herzsprung (“Four Minutes“) – Germany

They were all delightful and talented.

I also had the pleasure of participating in a casting director panel discussion at the Berlinale Talent Campus, with casting directors from Prague, Paris, Lisbon, London and Copenhagen. It was fascinating to see how differently we all work and to pick up some new ideas!

I can’t wait to go back next year. I made some great connections with casting directors from all over Europe, whom I’m sure I will stay in contact with, so if anyone is looking to cast in Rome or Berlin or Zurich, etc., etc., let me know. I’m dialed in!

Thanks again to the EFP and the International Network of Casting Directors!

Next up: Back to Portland!