1430 SE 3RD AVENUE, No.100
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Friday, December 20, 2019

Cast Iron Studios hosts Old-School Headshot Happy Hour & Fundraiser

by Cast Iron Studios Staff


Cast Iron Studios celebrated the holidays by launching an all new fundraiser with a collection of old gems! Taking a break from the popular “Meals For Monologues” this year, actors in the community dug out their dusty old, vintage headshots from seasons past and let them shine for charity.


Lana Veenker, Eryn Goodman and John Srednicki


Entrance into the event was an old headshot along with a suggested $5.00 minimum donation.  Participants were instructed to write their favorite charitable organization on the back of their photo and post it on the wall for all to see.  As guests mingled and enjoyed holiday bevs and bites, a secret ballot box collected everyone’s vote for their favorite old headshot.




Thanks to @winebridgeimports for the variety of tasty wines.




The winning photo revealed the winning charity where the evenings proceeds were sent.  A big CONGRATS to ANNA NICHOLAS, pictured below, who was the WINNER.  Her charity of choice was Planned Parenthood and all proceeds from the event went directly to them. Thanks ANNA!



Thanks again to everyone who came down to Cast Iron Studios and participated.  Another page in the holiday history books!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

CASTING CALL: Seeking REAL Investors!

by Kelsey Norene

CIS Logo

Cast Iron Studios is currently seeking


All Types, All Ethnicities

Ages 25+

Cast Iron Studios is seeking individuals who are passionate about investing for a new project!

To be considered for this project you should be 25 years of age or older, and actively investing in retirement, college, industrial causes (building, bridges/schools/hospitals), art, OR any other field.

Submission deadline is 9am on Monday, August 31, 2015.

Applicants must be local hires in Oregon, and available to audition in Portland on Tuesday, September 1, 2015.

Shoot will be one half-day on one of the following days: Wednesday, Sept. 9, Thursday, Sept. 10, and Friday, Sept. 11, 2015 in Portland.

This is for a non-union, non-broadcast project (video to be used at an event, and internally at an investment company afterwards).

The shoot will pay $500. You must be able to clear your schedule to work on the chosen shoot day.

Role is open to any type, gender and ethnicity. Only requirement is a genuine interest in investing!

To be considered for this role:

Email the following information to talent[@] (remove the brackets in the email address):

Contact Number and Email:
Current Picture:
*Tell us what you are investing in and what it means to you*

Submissions must be received by 9am on Monday, August 31, 2015 in order to be considered.

Please no calls or drop-by visits. Email submissions only, per the instructions above.

We will contact you if we need more information, or if we would like to schedule you for an audition on September 1st.

There is no charge to audition, no offers of classes or services for pay, nor any other solicitations at the casting.

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!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Back Stage’s Spotlight on Regional Casting: Pacific NW

by admin

Check out Back Stage’s recent article on regional markets, in which Les Spindle talks to Lana about the Northwest.

Spotlight on Regional Casting
April 21, 2011
Back Stage

Why cling to the major hubs when there’s work to be had from the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters?

Sure, actors want to work in L.A. and New York. But other areas across the nation offer vibrant opportunities in film, television, commercials, and theater, for actors willing to step away from the coastal hubs and plant a few roots in homier soils. Back Stage checked out a few regions to see what’s available to actors of all stripes.

Link to list of US regional markets.

Pacific Northwest
April 21, 2011
by Les Spindle
Back Stage

Lana Veenker launched her Portland, Ore.–based firm, Lana Veenker Casting, in 1999. She says Oregon offers an abundance of employment opportunities—both union and nonunion—for actors in the vicinity. “This year is predicted to be the biggest year ever for us in films,” she says, noting that there are also plenty of television roles and many opportunities in commercials, though not much voiceover work. Veenker has cast 35 episodes of the TNT series “Leverage.” She doesn’t often cast theater, she says, but will do it occasionally—and pro bono.

Among the projects she has cast recently are “Grimm,” a pilot for NBC from the producers of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” the Lakeshore Entertainment thriller “Gone,” starring Amanda Seyfried; and “Brain Trust,” a pilot for TBS. Veenker points out that the IFC series “Portlandia” has also been a boon to the Northwest casting scene. “There’s a ton of independent films shooting in the area,” she says. “It’s really cracking.”

The region offers a wide variety of shooting locations. “The cool thing about Portland is that you’re within an hour of desert, snow, mountains, ocean, cities,” Veenker points out. Furthermore, production companies are discovering a wealth of good talent in the area. “There are really great crews up here and a really strong acting pool,” she says. “Pretty much every production that comes up here is thinking they’re going to have to fly up actors from L.A. Then they realize they’re able to hire a lot of the guest stars locally, and the co-stars, even many of the leading parts.”

She continues, “The talent base here is really serious, making their own indie films and Web series and taking acting classes. A lot of people who had careers in Hollywood or New York, with long résumés, have moved here for the quality of life. So the producers don’t have to pay them for per diem or travel.”

Link to full article on Pacific NW.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Don’t Miss Jane Jenkins & Deborah Aquila Workshop in Portland – Signups Extended to January 2nd!

by admin

Signups for this workshop have been extended two weeks to January 2, 2010.  Don’t miss out!

Jane Jenkins and Deborah Aquila
Presented by Next Dimension Productions
Date: January 8-9, 2011 (Saturday & Sunday)
Time: 12:00PM – 6:00PM
Location: Act Now Portland
Address: 232 SE Oak St, Suite 100, Portland, OR
Price: $350
Registration: Call 818-425-9764 to RSVP.  Space is limited.  Signups close January 2, 2010.

Let them know you were referred by Lana Veenker Casting!

Topics covered include:

  • How to fully analyze a script and break down scenes when prepping for auditions
  • How to handle your nerves at an audition
  • How to stand out when auditioning on camera
  • How to sharpen audition performances to get the callback
  • What a casting director looks for and insider tips

Jane Jenkins
Since 1981, Jane Jenkins and her company have cast over 100 feature films, including the Academy Award winning “A Beautiful Mind”, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”, “Something’s Gotta Give”, “Airforce Once”, “Jurassic Park”, “The American President”, “Apollo 13”, “The Lost World”, “A Few Good Men”, “Backdraft”, “Misery”, “Ghost”, “When Harry Met Sally”, “Beetlejuice”, “Stand By Me”, and “Home Alone”.  Jane is a charter member of the Casting Society of America, as well as a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and The Television Academy.

Deborah Aquila
Deborah Aquila has enjoyed a long-standing career as a casting director that has spanned both the East Coast and West Coast, television and film, as well as independent features and studio pictures.  Her independent casting career began with Steven Soderbergh’s SEX, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE.  Before moving the Los Angeles in 1993 to cast Frank Darabont’s THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, Deborah had completed over 40 independent films in New York.  In 1993 she was named Senior Vice-President of Features Casting for Paramount Pictures.  The more notable films Deborah cast at Paramount were: PRIMAL FEAR, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE II, THE BRADY BUNCH, KISS THE GIRLS and WHAT WOMEN WANT.  Deborah has been recognized six times by the Casting Society of America for her work.  She was recognized by the Hollywood community with the HOLLYWOOD FILM FESTIVAL CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Breaking Dawn" Casting Director Update

by admin

Courtesy of the Official Twilight Series Fan Page on Facebook:

Official local casting directors have been hired for THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN. Stuart Aikins reprises casting duties for Vancouver-based casting. Fincannon and Associates Casting is handling talent searches for Louisiana-based casting. Both work under LA-based casting director Debra Zane. There are no other casting organizations involved with the production at this time.

Contact information for official casting directors:

Debra Zane Casting

5225 Wilshire Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90036


Aikins / Cossey Casting

#403 1755 West Broadway

Vancouver, BC V6J 4S5


Fincannon and Associates

1235 N. 23rd St

Wilmington, NC 28405


Read the Facebook posting here.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Summit Clears Up A Few "Breaking Dawn" Rumors

by admin

Seems that the admins of sites across the “Twilight” universe have received some rumor control messages from Summit.

The biggest rumor being cleared up is, of course, regarding casting for the final film installments:

There is only one casting director working on THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN films right now – Debra Zane. As of right now no local auditions are being held. If Debra’s name is not attached to it in some form or another, it is not legitimate. She is also not putting out nationwide casting notices. Once again – as was the case with NEW MOON and ECLIPSE – any ads you see are completely false. She has set up an e-mail address specifically for casting inquiries (

Head here to read the full list of cleared-up rumors, courtesy of, as linked from the Official Twilight Series Fan Page on Facebook.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Guys like Alex O’Loughlin could grow into big stars

by admin

Almost forgot to post this article from USA Today:

Guys like Alex O’Loughlin could grow into big stars
Friday, April 23, 2010
By Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY

What makes a great date? In Hollywood, it’s a pair of stars bringing in major box-office dollars. But when a leading lady is taking home the movie budget’s proverbial bacon, where does a casting director go to find, say, Jennifer Lopez’s match made in cinematic heaven?

USA TODAY’s Andrea Mandell and casting director Lana Veenker (Twilight, TNT’s Leverage) trace the path that has under-the-radar actors locking lips with some of Hollywood’s hottest stars.

Link to article.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Margie Boulé writes about Portland casting director Lana Veenker

by admin

The Oregonian
Sunday, March 01, 2009
by Margie Boulé

Lana Veenker is a casting director. She looks for people to fill roles in major motion pictures shot in the Northwest.

You might think Lana would walk down the aisles of Zupan’s looking not for noodles or tins of tea but at the people behind the grocery carts, searching for the perfect face for the next movie she’s casting.

Nope. “I try to turn it off,” Lana says. “First, because we only need what we need when we need it.” Today she may be looking for an Asian man in his 50s. Tomorrow it could be a skinny teenager who looks like a drug addict. She’s not looking for beautiful people she can turn into stars. She’s looking for specific physical attributes to fill particular roles.

“And not in supermarkets. Because most people don’t know how to act.”

There’s another reason Lana doesn’t spend her off hours looking, looking, looking. It’s what she does all day. “I like to turn it off,” she says. “And sometimes it gets awkward.”

Link to full article

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

How’d You Get That Gig? Portland Monthly interviews Casting Director Lana Veenker

by admin

How’d You Get That Gig?

Ah…Life on the set on a Hollywood movie. The glitz, the glam—the sixteen-hour days, the freezing cold, the 3 a.m. call times. Making movies might be the toughest job a person could ever love, and these five Portlanders should know.

By Stacey Wilson
Portland Monthly
February 2009

The Casting Director

Who I am: Lana Veenker, forty-one

Where I live: Northeast Portland

What I do: “As a casting director, I select the actors for a project based on the director’s vision for each role. I audition actors, present the top candidates to the production team, and provide input as needed with the final casting choices. The casting director handles troubleshooting that may come up during production—for example, if an actor needs to be replaced. We also cast smaller roles or those created after principal photography has begun.”

How I got my gig: “Toward the end of a ten-year overseas odyssey, during which time I studied acting in Paris and Cambridge, I worked at a casting office in London. In 1999, I returned to Portland and launched my casting company, Lana Veenker Casting, with just a laptop and a cell phone. Most recently we managed local casting for Twilight, Management, Untraceable, The Burning Plain, and Into the Wild.”

My first big show: “A film called Aberdeen, starring [the Swedish actor] Stellan Skarsgård. I was in Glasgow, Scotland, seeking a girl to play the lead actress, Lena Headey, as a child. I ended up meeting the little sister of one of the actresses who was there to audition, and it was she who landed the role.”

How much I make: “It’s feast or famine, so my income is all over the map.”

Job perks: “Playing with actors and getting paid for it. Watching people and projects you believed in become successful. Also, being able to write off cable TV, Netflix, and movie and theater tickets as research is a major perk.”

Job bummers: “‘Sorry to call you past 10 p.m., but the producers now want Latina soccer moms instead of rockers. And they have to speak Puerto Rican Spanish. Can you round a bunch up by morning?’”

Worst on-set snafu: “One time an actress’s vibrator went off in her purse right after her audition. It sounded like a jackhammer. I tried to reassure her that this could happen to anyone, but I don’t think there’s any way to recover from that.”

Brush with greatness: “Walking the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival for Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park was great. But one of my favorite memories is of a Christmas party years ago at Kyle MacLachlan’s house in LA. After learning we were both from the Northwest, he produced a bottle of one of his most beloved pinot noirs and shared it with me.”

Link to full article.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

"New Moon" Casting Director Announces Search for Native Americans

by admin


Casting Director René Haynes recently wrote to tell me the following:

Please tell the fans on our behalf how grateful we are for their enthusiasm and dedication to the project – and explain that (as with all film auditions with overwhelming responses), they will only be contacted if there is further interest.

I will still keep most of the previous post up, so fans can read it, but keep in mind that the casting is closed for submissions. René Haynes also reiterated that it is their GOAL to find Native actors for the Native roles.




For months, Twilight fans have been sending us their submissions for the Native American roles in “New Moon,” despite the fact that we have announced on several occasions that we are not casting it.

(We did put out an open casting call for some of the Native American roles in “Twilight,” but since the sequel is shooting in Vancouver, we knew that new casting companies would come on board to hire the actors.)

What a shame, though, for all those contacts to go to waste. We wanted to make sure to pass our resources on to the new casting directors, so after exchanging emails and phone calls with Summit and with the new LA casting company, we were able to talk with the casting director who has been hired specifically to cast the Native American roles.

We’re very excited to announce that the wonderful and supremely qualified René Haynes is helming the Native American casting on “New Moon”.


    • For the love of Edward, do not attempt to call the casting office.


  • Repeat: Do not call the casting office.



  • One more time? Please, please, please do not call the casting office.



PS: Although the René Haynes call for submissions is now closed, here are a few tips to help you stand out in the crowd when submitting yourself for a film in the future:

We mentioned most of this once before, but it bears repeating:

1. Be professional

The casting company’s job is to find the best and most professional actors for the parts. Your chances of being chosen will increase if you demonstrate that you are reliable, responsive and serious about your acting career.

2. Fit the specs

The film calls for Native American teens and young adults, so that’s whom the casting directors want to see. The most experienced, trained, legal-to-work actors who fit these specs will be given first priority.

In our experience, only after exhausting all possibilities among those who meet the requirements will casting directors begin to consider those who don’t (in this case, great actors who are not Native American, or Native Americans who are not actors).

Reminder: This casting call is for the Native American roles only. Submitting for any other roles in the film will only waste your time and the casting office’s.

3. Follow instructions precisely

* Be sure to include ALL the requested info in your email. Your photo should be recent and should show a clear view of your face. It doesn’t need to be so big that all the casting director sees is your eyeball in her browser window. Typically a 400×600 pixel image will do.

* Please don’t email every other person on the company roster or send multiple emails. Stalkers are quickly eliminated (if you don’t know how to behave and follow instructions in something as simple as an email, how do they know how you’ll behave on set?).

* If it says “no phone calls,” they really, really, really mean it. Please be respectful of their time, their limited number of phone lines and their already heavy work load.

4. Be patient

They love and adore you, but the casting staff often doesn’t have time to respond to requests for updates or sometimes even to confirm that they received your materials. They’ll only get in contact with you when and if there is news. Unfortunately, that means a lot of waiting, but due to time constraints, there’s usually no other alternative.

5. Gain as much experience as you can.

If you don’t have a lot of experience, take some classes, find a mentor, read books and get up to speed on how the industry works, so you come across as a professional. There’s a lot of free info on this blog and in our newsletter that will help you (register on the top right sidebar, if you’re interested). If you happen to be near Portland, Oregon, you can even attend Lana Veenker’s workshop on March 1st. But most importantly, find a way to get some experience.

Hope this helps and best of luck to everyone. We can’t wait to see you on the silver screen.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Memories of Casting Director Megann Ratzow

by admin

Several of Casting Director Megann Ratzow‘s industry friends are in the process of organizing a celebration of her life (see my previous post about Megann’s sudden passing last week).

If anyone who knew her would like to share their thoughts or memories of Megann, Actor Eric Newsome, who often worked as a reader at Megann’s casting sessions, is collecting comments on a blog he created for this purpose.

The comments will be compiled and included in a memory book that her friends are putting together for the memorial.

After everyone at the celebration signs it, we’ll send it off as a memento to Megann’s parents.

Here’s the link: Memories of Megann.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Oregon Film Industry Loses Beloved Casting Director Megann Ratzow

by admin

Dear friends,

Longtime Oregon casting director Megann Ratzow died of cancer on Wednesday, January 7, 2009, after being diagnosed only nine days earlier.

The news came as a shock to the Oregon film community, who knew her as an advocate for actors and a caring, generous person who always put the interests of our indigenous film industry before her own.

Even as competitors, Megann and I respected and helped each other out. We were friends and shared the philosophy that there was enough to go around.

When struggles in her personal life took a toll on her own business, she remained kind to me and never begrudged my successes. Her focus was always on trying to make Oregon actors look and do better, and on showing out-of-state productions what great talent we have here. I do hope to carry on this legacy.

Her friends in the film industry are in the process of organizing a celebration of her life, the details of which will be posted here and on the Oregon Film & Video Office’s website.

Funeral services will take place in her native Michigan.

Donations in her name can be made to the Providence Portland Medical Foundation’s Cancer Charitable Fund. Her brother reports that Megann, who was without health insurance, was treated like a princess at Providence in her last days.

Thank you, Megann, for your many years of dedication and service to our community.