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1430 SE 3RD AVENUE, No.100
PORTLAND, OR 97214
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Friday, April 1, 2016

Thank Grimm It’s Friday: “Skin Deep”

by ranielle

Don’t miss these Pacific Northwest actors in an all new episode of “Grimm“ tonight at 9PM on NBC (check local listings).

Anne Leighton, M. Ben Newman, Amber Stonebraker, Claire Rigsby, Lauren Bair, Anya Ruoss, Julie Vhay, Dana Millican, Noah Greene.
Anne Leighton, M. Ben Newman, Amber Stonebraker, Claire Rigsby, Lauren Bair, Anya Ruoss, Julie Vhay, Dana Millican, Noah Greene.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016

KATU on the Success of Our Film Incentive Program!

by Georgia Luke

Anna Canzano of KATU caught up with Lana Veenker on Oscar night to discuss the Oregon Production Incentive Fund and how it has brought many great projects to Oregon!

‘Our film incentive program has brought a lot of TV series & movies to Oregon’

Did you know more than 400 films and television projects have been shot in Oregon? The state’s history in motion pictures dates back to silent films. The film Carol by director Todd Haynes of Oregon was nominated for six Oscars on Sunday evening.

But most days of the week in Portland, hopeful actors audition for parts in films and commercials. Cast Iron Studios, founded by casting director Lana Veenker, has cast parts for every major production that’s come through town including Grimm, Leverage, and The Librarians.*

“I think the perception of Oregon has really changed over the past seven to eight years, since we started implementing our film incentive program, which has brought a lot of TV series and movies to Oregon. And that has put us on the map,” said Veenker.

She joined Grimm actor Danny Bruno in Salem earlier this month. They went to the State Capitol, along with other members of the industry, to lobby lawmakers. They want the Legislature to expand Oregon’s film incentive program. That’s tax money used to bring productions to the state, essentially a rebate on their cost of doing business here.

Full Story and Video

* The video erroneously mentions that Cast Iron Studios does the casting for Portlandia. KATU regrets the error.

 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

XRAY FM’s Jenn Chavez covers the Talent Diversity Initiative

by ranielle

xrayfm

Lana Veenker, the President of Cast Iron Studios, discusses diversity in Oregon film and television casting and her studio’s Talent Diversity Initiative with Jenn Chavez of XRAY FM’s The Five Quadrants of Portland. Running through October and November and culminating in a graduation on November 21st, the Initiative offered intensive acting training and coaching at no cost to Oregon actors of color, whom she’s found have been underrepresented in the top acting schools and acting classes, places that are often the gateway to talent representation and introduction to casting directors.  She argues that these and other barriers faced by actors of color can make diverse casting in Oregon a challenge, and hopes that graduates of the initiative are provided with the tools and confidence to book roles in regional film and television.

(Interview on 11/19/15; story starts at ~51:13)

 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

CASTING CALL: Female Athletes – All Sports – All Levels

by ranielle

CIS Logo

Cast Iron Studios is currently seeking

Female Athletes

All Sports, All Levels

Ages 18-27

Cast Iron Studios is seeking female athletes who are active (from beginner to advanced levels) in any sport for a new project!

To be considered for this project you should be between the ages of 18 and 27, and active in any sport (such as soccer, swim, basketball, running, gymnastics, yoga, dance, volleyball, tennis, cheerleading, rowing, football, ice skating, track & field, roller derby, lacrosse, rugby, boxing, surfing, skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, etc.).

Submission deadline is 12PM on Monday, November 16, 2015.

Applicants must be local hires in Oregon, and available to audition in Portland on Tuesday, November 17, 2015, with the possibility of a callback on Wednesday, November 18, 2015. Auditions are BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.

Shoot will be one half-day on either Thursday, November 19, 2015 or Friday, November 20, 2015 in Portland.

This is for a non-union, internet project.

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 and any ethnicity. Only requirement is activity at any level in any sport!

To be considered for this role:

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

Name:
Contact Number and Email:
Current Picture:
*Tell us what sport you participate in and at what level*

Submissions must be received by 12PM on Monday, November 16, 2015 in order to be considered. If you match our specs, you will be contacted and given an audition appointment. ALL AUDITIONS ARE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.

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 Tuesday, November 17, 2015.

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

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

5th Annual Meals for Monologues

by ranielle

We here at Cast Iron Studios are firm believers in giving back, especially during the holiday season.  We’re happy to announce our fifth annual “Meals for Monologues” canned food drive-slash-holiday potluck. And new this year: toy drive!

Meals for Monologues
Food Drive Benefiting

Toy Drive Benefiting
30-Train-Logo

&
Holiday Meet-n-Greet Potluck
with

Wednesday, December 2, 2015
12:00 PM to 6:00 PM* (M4M)
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM** (potluck)

1430 SE 3rd Ave, Suite 100
Portland, OR 97214

3 NON-PERISHABLES
-or-
1 NEW, UNWRAPPED TOY
GETS YOU SEEN BY A CASTING DIRECTOR

Actors from far and wide, you’re invited to come to our offices for an open general audition call, where you can be seen by a casting director in exchange for three non-perishable food items benefiting the Oregon Food Bank or 1 new, unwrapped toy benefiting Toys for Tots.

  • Bring HEADSHOT & RESUME (stapled back-to-back or resume printed on back of photo).
  • Perform a short, prepared monologue (or two!) of your own choosing.
  • Choose a contemporary piece (we just don’t cast much Shakespeare).
  • Audition slots are 2 MINUTES MAX, so make the best use of your time!
  • No appointment necessary.  No phone calls.  One day only.  First come, first served.
  • Collection bins will be in our office November 18th to December 9th, for those unable to attend/donate on the day.

HOLIDAY MEET-N-GREET POTLUCK

Bring an appetizer, potluck dish or dessert treat and have a bite at this unique holiday party & open house. After you read for one of our casting directors—or even if you’re not auditioning and just want to say hi—stick around for elbow rubbing and general merriment.

If you’re a regular at our office, please consider leaving the audition spots open for others and simply come for the party. We’d love to see you!

*No auditions will take place 2:30PM-3PM to give Casting Directors a short break.

**Nibbles available throughout the day. Potluck “officially” starts at 5PM.

We’re looking to crack 1,000 lbs of food again this year! Not sure what to bring? Check out OFB’s list of Most Wanted Items and this article on How to Donate Food So It Won’t Go to Waste.

Spread the word!  You can join our event on Facebook.

 

SELF-TAPE AUDITIONS BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!

Not in Portland, but still want to audition? We will accept demo reels or self-tapes from out-of-town actors who are Oregon local hires (meaning you have a physical address in Oregon and/or are repped by an Oregon talent agency), in exchange for a screenshot of your donation to the Oregon Food Bank or Toys for Tots. Submission must be received by December 4th 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 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 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 VimeoYouTube 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 or https://web.charityengine.net/Default.aspx?tsid=1320 to make your donation.
  • Please list “Meals for Monologues” in the Name, Event or Occasion 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, contact information, and city where you are currently based.
  • Please confirm in your email that you are a local hire, either because you have a physical address in Oregon or are repped by an Oregon talent agent or manager.
  • Email submission to talent[at]castironstudios.com, subject heading: M4M Local Hire. (Replace [at] with @ in the email address.)
  • Deadline for self-tape submissions is December 4, 2015 at 11:59 PM PST. We cannot guarantee your video will be reviewed if received after the deadline.
Monday, November 9, 2015

Talent Diversity Initiative Coach: Jana Lee Hamblin

by Kelsey Norene

Meet our Talent Diversity Initiative Class of 2015 acting coach, Jana Lee Hamblin, owner/founder of Act Now Studio.

Jana Lee Hamblin 2Jana brings 20 years of experience, along with a true love of acting to create an environment for the actors that is wildly safe and groundbreaking. Her commitment to each student builds confidence and trust in the simplest of ways. Her ability to see each actor with clarity and love is what makes her classes unique.

Jana is known to be the person that can work with actors at all levels. As a working actor herself, Jana stays current with what is happening in the audition room now. She’s teaching our Talent Diversity Initiative actors how to walk into a casting office and to be of service – to the character, to the scene, to the director, to the moment.

From script analysis to finding the way the writer wants the text to be spoken, Jana is teaching our actors tools that are guaranteed help them to go from audition, to callback, to booked it! Using various techniques, her goal is to help our TDI actors get to the place where they can seamlessly fulfill a role; be it co-star or guest star.

Jana is high energy, engages with the actors, helps them connect with each other, and encourages everyone to get on their feet and be willing to fall on their face. She does repetition warm ups, cold reading exercises, on camera slates, mock auditions, and physical workouts that keep the actors bodies energized. She is helping our TDI actors learn how to have a strong point of view about the world around them, as this is one of the essential keys to good audition work!

Thanks, Jana, for your commitment to our program and to the community!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Talent Diversity Initiative Coach: Scott Rogers

by Kelsey Norene

Meet our Talent Diversity Initiative Class of 2015 acting coach, Scott Rogers of Scott Rogers Studios!

scott-rogersScott served as Acting Coach for 20th Century Fox Studios under a 3-year, exclusive contract, coaching actors for film and television projects. Scott has coached principal actors, for more than 3000 hours on the sets of motion pictures and national television shows. He has produced, cast, and/or directed more than 100 professional productions and written, directed, and produced dozens of TV commercials. He was the full-time, on-set, Acting Coach for the TV series North Shore and was previously the full-time Acting Coach for the hit TV show Baywatch. In 1994, after living and working in Los Angeles for more than 25 years, Scott moved to Hawai`i with his wife, Jeanne, in order to raise their (soon to be) two children in a safe and sane environment. They opened their school in 2000, to train actors for film and television. Scott has extended his school’s teaching to Portland, Oregon and serves as an acting coach in both regions!

Scott is using exercises from all around the world to help our Talent Diversity Initiative actors work more efficiently on camera and develop a deeper understanding of how to get from a page in a script to a real and captivating character that draws the audience in. Pulling from the teachings of masters such as Constantine Stanislavski, Lee Strasberg, Sanford Meisner, and Michael Chekhov, Scott uses text analysis, scene study, audition drills, camera exercises, specially designed improvisations, physical and imagination exercises to give actors the ability to trigger real and truthful emotions on demand.

His students are about halfway through the training program now, and we can’t wait to see how their skills have improved.

For more information about Scott and his acting classes, check out his website. Thanks, Scott, for being a part of our Initiative!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Oregon film and media types tackle talent diversity issues

by admin

(Thanks to the PBJ for this article on our training program!)

Portland Business Journal
October 12, 2015
By Andy Giegerich

TNT and three film and television groups are hosting a “talent diversity initiative” that could help bring a wider range of performers to stage and screen.

The project is training 32 Northwest actors. Along with TNT — which has shot a handful of series in Portland— backers include Cast Iron Studios, which is working in partnership with Act Now Studio and Scott Rogers Studios.

Lana Veenker and TNT are doing their part to bring more diversity to Portland’s acting scene. Photo Credit: Cathy Cheney

“We realized that we shared a common goal in that we all want to see more diversity represented in the projects that shoot in the Northwest.” said Lana Veenker, president of Portland-based Cast Iron Studios, a film and television casting company, in a release.

Veenker said producers, directors and executives always want more diversity in their productions, but that it’s difficult finding that diversity in Portland.

“Actors of color are underrepresented in the top acting schools and acting classes, places that are often the gateway to talent representation and introduction to casting directors,” she said. “And when they are not able to train at the highest level, it becomes even more difficult to compete and to succeed.”

Cast Iron Studios has worked on the TNT series “Leverage” and “The Librarians,” which continues to be shot in Portland.

The classes began Oct. 10. On Nov. 21, the training will culminate in a mock audition session. Veenker hopes those actors will begin getting work in 2016.

Link to original article.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Cast Iron Studios, Acting Coaches Host Talent Diversity Initiative

by admin

32 Northwest Performers Selected to Complete 36-Hour Actor Training Intensive for Film & Television

For Immediate Release
October 10, 2015

(PORTLAND, OR) Thirty-two Northwest actors have been chosen to complete a six-week intensive training program, as part of a new Talent Diversity Initiative to take place this fall in Portland. The program is being produced by Cast Iron Studios, in partnership with Act Now Studio and Scott Rogers Studios, and will be sponsored by TNT.

Diversity Initiative Class Photo 2015 Small
“We realized that we shared a common goal,” said Casting Director Lana Veenker, president of Portland-based Cast Iron Studios, a film and television casting company, “in that we all want to see more diversity represented in the projects that shoot in the Northwest.”

This can be challenging, however, in a city with the notorious distinction of being the “whitest city in America.” “On every commercial, series and film that we cast, producers, directors and executives are always telling us, ‘more diversity, more diversity.’ And believe me, we bend over backwards, but it can be really hard here.”

Veenker understood that the issue was not one of talent or even numbers, but of opportunity and access. “Actors of color are underrepresented in the top acting schools and acting classes, places that are often the gateway to talent representation and introduction to casting directors. And when they are not able to train at the highest level, it becomes even more difficult to compete and to succeed.”

The reasons behind this disparity are as varied as the individuals affected by it: Economic hardship, work or familial duties, cultural stigma, language barriers, lack of support by immediate family, even a perception that there’s no place in the industry for actors of color or their stories.

“We thought, ‘the one thing we can do is remove one of those barriers,’” said Veenker. “Let’s find a way to put a pool of actors through an intensive training program at no charge, and get them to a place where they can be booking roles more consistently. It will benefit all of us.”

Veenker approached Alexis Booth, Manager of Casting at TNT. Cast Iron Studios has had a long relationship with the network, after casting four seasons of Leverage, two seasons of The Librarians and a few TV pilots. Her goal was to see if they would underwrite the program. She also approached known Portland acting coaches Jana Lee Hamblin of Act Now Studio and Scott Rogers of Scott Rogers Studios, to ask if they would provide the bulk of the training. The response was enthusiastic from all camps.

Cast Iron Studios next petitioned Northwest talent agents to nominate actors they felt could most benefit from the program. “We wanted performers who had already been vetted as having talent and a strong commitment to their craft,” said Veenker. “And then we wanted to give them that extra boost; some high-level coaching that will help them close the deal in the audition room. These are already actors in whom we have a lot of faith. Now we want to see them crossing the goal line.”

Beginning on October 10th, two classes of 16 actors each will hone their skills by working closely with coaches Hamblin and Rogers over five 6-hour-long sessions. On November 21st, the course will culminate in a mock audition session and Q&A at Cast Iron Studios, with members of its casting team, followed by a media reception. “Over the coming year, we’ll hopefully start seeing our Class of 2015 on big and small screens nationwide. That’s the goal,” said Veenker.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Columbia Gorge Int’l Film Festival Seeks Actors for Live Script Reads

by ranielle

CGIFF

The 8th annual Columbia Gorge International Film Festival will be taking place, Aug 6-16. They have two Screenplay Workshops with screenwriters attending from around the world and they are looking for talent!

In the past, talent have booked roles with writer/directors who loved their work in the live reads. Talent have also made influential changes to works by offering their invaluable insight and suggestions. Talent can truly be a part of something very exciting!

If you or anyone you know may be available and interested you will be scheduled for the session(s) you can attend. You will be sent the scripts in advance and you will be able to suggest which role you would like to read for.

All participating talent:

  • Will be given credentials for themselves and their guests for entire film festival
  • Will be given a Special Guest Gift Bag
  • Will be able to leave headshots in the Filmmaker Lounge
  • Will be invited to dinner at ANGAELICA FARMS the evenings of the script reads to meet and mingle with attending filmmakers.
  • Will be invited to participate in the awards ceremony and invited to speak about the winning screenplays

SCREENPLAY WORKSHOP WEEK 1
Saturday, August 8th at 5:00PM
1201 39th Street, Washougal, WA 98671

SCREENPLAY WORKSHOP WEEK 2
Friday, August 14th at 7:00PM
1201 39th Street, Washougal, WA 98671

Simply email Angaelica@gmail.com if you or anyone you know can attend.

Please send:

  • Full Name:
  • Email:
  • Cell Phone:
  • Screenplay Workshop you are available for: Week 1 and/or Week 2

The first workshop is soon, so again, please email Angaelica@gmail.com ASAP if you are interested. (Don’t contact Cast Iron Studios, as your inquiry may not get to the film festival in time!)

 

Monday, January 5, 2015

4th Annual Meals for Monologues Post Game

by ranielle

Our 4th Annual Meals for Monologues event on Tuesday, November 25, 2014 was a rousing success! Actors from all over the Pacific Northwest — and beyond! — joined the efforts and the results were spectacular.

(web) _MG_7434
photo by Deneb Catalan

In just five hours, Casting Directors Lana Veenker and Eryn Goodman saw 125 actors perform monologues. That’s one actor every 2 1/2 minutes! Cast Iron Studios collected an outstanding 1,010 pounds of food for the Oregon Food Bank, and with the continuation of self-taped submissions upon proof of donation (introduced last year), an additional $437 was donated. That’s a total of 2,505 meals! That’s more than double last year’s number of meals! You guys are amazing!

What really helped put us over the top this year were donations from our generous acting community! Special thanks to Deneb Catalan, Jana Lee Hamblin, and Scott Rogers for their contribution.

(web) _MG_7401
photo by Deneb Catalan
(web) _MG_7437
photo by Deneb Catalan
photo by Deneb Catalan
photo by Deneb Catalan
(web) _MG_7470
photo by Deneb Catalan
(web) _MG_7515
photo by Deneb Catalan
Monday, December 15, 2014

PHOTOS: Portland’s ‘Wild’ Cast & Crew Screening

by ranielle

If you attended Portland’s Wild cast and crew screening on Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at the Hollywood Theatre, or just want to see fabulous photos from the event, this is the blog post for you! This is just a sampling of photos taken on the night. You can find the full gallery of photos here.

Photo Credits: Nathan Coltrane & amber smith with SpokenRAD

i-jKb2J5v-X3
Lights, camera, action at the Hollywood Theatre!
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Casting Director Lana Veenker, author Cheryl Strayed, Casting Director Eryn Goodman, and Casting Associate Ranielle Gray.
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Actors Jeffree Newman and Robert Alan Barnett.
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Actor Randy Schulman with author Cheryl Strayed.
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Agent Mary Dangerfield, author Cheryl Strayed, and actress Jeanine Jackson.
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Ranger danger? Ranger awesomeness!
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Actors Greg James and Jerry Bell.
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Author Cheryl Strayed with actor Jerry Carlton.

Full gallery of photos here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Don’t Miss These 10 Actor Workshops and Panels at Portland Film Fest!

by admin

Our friends over at the Portland Film Festival are offering a line up of workshops tailored just for actors, along with a panel discussing women in film. Details are below.

Here’s a link to tickets for all the events with information about pricing. Both SAG-AFTRA events are free.

Psst: Don’t miss Casting Director Lana Veenker on Wednesday, August 27th and Casting Director Eryn Goodman on Thursday, August 28th!

 

Women in Film Networking Event & Panel
Wednesday, August 27 • 5:30pm – 7:00pm
Mission Theater 1624 NW Glisan St, Portland, OR 97209

Come out and listen to a panel of professionals in the film industry. Networking before and after. This is the monthly meetup for the WOMEN IN FILM non-profit in Portland, Oregon. Anyone interested in film should attend and learn from the over 50 years of experience from panelists. Space is limited. RSVP today.

Moderator: Alexandra Blatt and Amy Conway
Speakers: Abbe Meryl Feder, Tara Johnson-Medinger, Alicia J. Rose, Lana Veenker

Tickets

Actors Workshop: Living & Working in LA
Wednesday, August 27 • 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Pro Photo Supply Event Center – 1801 NW Northrup Street, Portland, OR 97209

You’ve trained, you’ve studied, and you’ve been on set and in local theater productions. Thinking about taking the next step in your career and moving to Hollywood? Prepare yourself to succeed. Come take part in our Q&A and listen to experienced actors talk about the reality of living and working in LA.

Moderator: Alexandra Blatt
Speakers: Abbe Meryl Feder and Blake Robbins

Tickets

Actors Workshop: Working with Casting Directors
Thursday, August 28 • 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Pro Photo Supply Event Center – 1801 NW Northrup Street, Portland, OR 97209

Getting in front of casting directors can be one of the biggest challenges in the industry. Eryn Goodman of Cast Iron Studios leads this discussion on how to get in the door, and the best way to impress them once you do.

Speaker: Eryn Goodman

Tickets

Actors Workshop: How to Get & Work with an Agent
Thursday, August 28 • 5:30pm – 7:00pm
Pro Photo Supply Event Center – 1801 NW Northrup Street, Portland, OR 97209

Everybody knows that to be a professional actor you have to have the best possible agent on your team. Listen to two of Portland’s top agents talk about how to win a spot on their roster, and the best ways to keep that relationship running smoothly once you’re there.

Moderator: Alexandra Blatt
Speakers: Cholee Thompson and Dennis Troutman

Tickets

Actors Workshop: Directors on Actors
Friday, August 29 • 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Private Rooftop 1015 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

In this workshop, directors will discuss all areas of working with actors and why they love them. We’ll cover what they look for in casting, the best ways to communicate on set, and what makes a great actor different from the rest.

Moderator: Alexandra Blatt
Speaker: Emilie Sabath and Jason Satterlund

Tickets

Actors Workshop: Improv for Actors
Friday, August 29 • 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Private Rooftop 1015 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Throughout film, television and the internet many of the most hilarious, poignant and gripping performances have at their core the immediate authenticity of improvisation. Currently auditioning actors have become very familiar with requests for “strong improv skills.” This workshop pushes beyond quick wit and wild characters and hones the skills of Strong Choices, Responsive Listening and Authentic Dialogue. Create relationships in an instant, and fuel them with taut honesty that grabs attention and captivates audiences for film/TV and stage alike.

Speaker: Nicholas Kessler

Tickets

Actors Workshop: Auditioning
Saturday, August 30 • 1:30pm – 3:00pm
5th Avenue Cinema 510 SW Hall Street Portland OR 97201

Time and time again actors fall into the same auditioning traps. Learn how to properly prepare for and exexcute your best possible audition, what casting directors are looking for, and what skills you need to take your career to the next level.

Moderator: Alexandra Blatt
Speakers: Todd Robinson and Ted Rooney

Tickets

“We’re Here to Make a Movie”: SAG-AFTRA Indie Theatrical & New Media Agreements
Saturday, August 30 • 3:00pm – 4:30pm
5th Avenue Cinema, 510 SW Hall Street, Portland, OR 97201

Have you ever wanted to hire SAG-AFTRA performers for a project, but were frightened away by the prospect of filling out “All that union paperwork”? Are you new to filmmaking and curious about the various low-budget agreements offered? The SAG-AFTRA Indie Theatrical and New Media Agreements have been created specifically to accommodate the needs of student & emerging filmmakers. In this workshop you’ll get the “inside scoop” on how you can hire union talent for your next production!

Topics Will Include:

  • Importance of adding talent into any proposed project’s budget
  • Informed discussion of basic Union contracts & their benefits
  • Raising the bar of legitimacy by hiring TOP industry professionals

This workshop is a “must attend” for producers, directors, actors and film school students interested in educating themselves on the ease of using SAG-AFTRA contracts to hire the most highly skilled professionals available for future film and New Media projects.

Speaker: Chris Comte

Tickets

SAG/AFTRA Actors Networking Event
Saturday, August 30 • 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Wallace Park 1600 NW 25th Ave, Portland, OR 97210

Network with other acting professionals. Limited Capacity seats available.

Tickets

Actors Workshop: Marketing for Actors
Sunday, August 31 • 12:00pm – 1:30pm
5th Avenue Cinema 510 SW Hall Street Portland OR 97201

What do you need as an actor in today’s competitive market? These are the several marketing tools that will put you in the running for roles. Learn how to make sure yours are up to par, and make sure you’re employing everything you can to get noticed and be cast.

Moderator: Alexandra Blatt
Speakers: Levy Moroshan, Rich Morris, Cholee Thompson

Tickets

Films, music, and more!

For more information about the festival, click over to http://portlandfilmfestival.com.

If you’d like to receive an early morning email from the festival with a rundown of hot films, sign up for their mailing list.

There are over 154 hours of film waiting for you. Whether you’re into documentaries, animation, drama, or comedy, they’ve got you covered.

Have a great time at the festival!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Portland Film Festival presents Actors Workshop with Eryn Goodman

by ranielle

Getting in front of casting directors can be one of the biggest challenges in the industry. Casting Director Eryn Goodman will be leading a discussion THIS THURSDAY on how to get in the door, and the best way to impress them once you do.

Eryn is about to celebrate her ninth year with Cast Iron Studios and is on the front lines of all of our casting projects. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear straight from the horse’s mouth what you need to do to land the audition and book the gig, courtesy of the Portland Film Festival!

Buy tickets

Screen shot 2014-08-11 at 10.50.56 AM

Actors Workshop
Working with Casting Directors

Featuring Casting Director Eryn Goodman

Portland Film Festival
Thursday, August 28, 2014
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Pro Photo Supply Event Center
1801 NW Northrup St
Portland, OR 97209

Buy tickets

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Columbia Gorge Int’l Film Festival presents “A Conversation With Lana Veenker”

by ranielle

Don’t miss this upcoming panel for filmmakers with Casting Director Lana Veenker at the Columbia Gorge International Film Festival.

CGIFFpostcard-1024x682

Why Casting is So Important to Indie Films
A Conversation with Lana Veenker

CGIFF 2014 Guest Speaker
Friday, August 15, 2014
3:00pm

Camas Library
625 NE 4th Ave
Camas, WA 98607

Casting your independent film appropriately may be all the difference between screening your film at home and a Sundance premiere. Learn why and how some of the most important casting decisions are made. Learn where you can find a casting director who understands your project. And be encouraged with all the information you might need to put your characters in the hands of a talented casting director. Casting may make or break your next indie film. Learn more with Lana Veenker at CGIFF 2014.

Monday, April 28, 2014

PBJ Interview: Casting Director Lana Veenker on Tax Credits, Actors and Being Starstruck

by admin

Check out Erik Siemers’s April 25th interview with Lana Veenker for the Portland Business Journal. See also PBJ’s recent blog post on our development division.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Portland casting director raising funds to finance Oregon-made films

by admin

A peek at what has been happening behind the scenes at Cast Iron Studios, thanks to the Portland Business Journal.

By Erik Siemers
Apr 24, 2014

Lana Veenker has played a role in some of the biggest film and TV productions to work their way through Oregon.

As president of Portland-based  Cast Iron Studios, Veenker served as casting director to NBC’s “Grimm” and TNT Network’s “Leverage,” as well as feature films including “Twilight” and “The Road.” More recently she’s working on the film version of the Cheryl Strayed book, “Wild,” that recently wrapped up filming around Oregon and starring Reese Witherspoon, and “The Librarians,” the latest TNT series by “Leverage” producer Dean Devlin.

Now she’s hoping to attract investors to finance projects featuring Oregon writers, actors, crew and locations.

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Photo Credit: Cathy Cheney

“I’d like a slate of projects to take advantage of all the benefits that Oregon has: good crews, a good talent base, amazing locations, lower prices,” she said. “I’m trying to find some great, socially progressive stories that we could turn into movies and keep people busy here.”

Veenker spent much of the past year vetting potential screenplays, fielding as many as 150 scripts and coming away impressed at the writing talent in Oregon.

She’s taken strategy meetings in Los Angeles. As one of the only U.S.-based members of the International Casting Directors Network, she’s also hoping to lean on her global contacts.

“To be able to draw on all those things to do projects in Oregon hasn’t been done before,” she said.

Many of those calls have been to assess the types of projects that might spur interest in Oregon.

How much she’ll raise and where it will come from remains an open question.

“Some of the funding will come from Oregon, some from overseas and bigger markets,” she said. “We want to keep as much of it local as possible because that gives us the leverage to keep the projects local.”

Veenker is the subject of the Business Journal’s PBJ Interview, which will appear in this week’s print edition, available to subscribers on Friday.

Link to original article.

Monday, April 14, 2014

8 Tips for Mastering Monologues

by admin

Lana’s latest Expert column, courtesy of Backstage.

Lana Veenker CSAFretting over a monologue audition? Fear not. A monologue can be your moment to shine. Grab the bull by the horns with these great tips.

1. Keep it short. Just because you’ve been allotted two or three minutes doesn’t mean you have to choose a monologue that runs the full length of your time slot. A minute is usually enough for us to get a good idea of your type and skill level, so why not focus on nailing a shorter piece rather than memorizing more lines? Or choose two short, contrasting pieces (i.e., modern-classical or serious-comedic) to demonstrate your range.

2. Don’t go with the trendiest, coolest monologue. It’s probably being done a lot. At our last round of auditions, we saw a handful of actors performing the same scenes from recent films and plays. Likewise, if you are planning to use a monologue that your acting coach assigned you to learn for class, find out if other actors under their tutelage are also learning it. You may end up in the same audition room with three other Blanches or Desdemonas.

3. If in doubt, choose your funny, light piece. One tearful or angry audition after another can be draining to watch during a long day of casting. A humorous monologue well delivered, especially in the afternoon when energies are starting to flag, is most welcome.

4. Don’t slate like a robot; be yourself! If asked to slate your name or any other information, infuse it with your friendly, personable self. Some acting teachers grill their students (often kids and beginners) to slate the same way every time. Unfortunately, their slates end up devoid of personality—even becoming cringe-worthy—if all the actors from the same coach perform them like clones. We want to know that you’re fun, competent, self-assured, and easy to work with. Just make sure to demonstrate these qualities in your slate.

5. Don’t play the problem in the scene; overcome the problem. We tend to see a lot of Sturm und Drang in the audition room. Actors love to shout to the heavens and produce tears, but intense emotional pieces only work when their characters rise above their problems to pursue the outcome they are hoping for, despite the obstacles facing them. Wallowing in self-pity or projecting nothing but anger never works.

6. Choose a point of focus… Since you don’t have a reader or a real-life scene partner to play off of during a monologue, it can be confusing to know where in the room to plant your eyeballs. Rather than letting them float around aimlessly, choose a point of focus where you can anchor your gaze and direct your lines, whether it be the back wall, a seat in the auditorium at eye level, a lighting instrument, or just to the side of camera; whatever is appropriate to the situation.

7. …And don’t make it the casting director. Whatever you do, don’t force the person auditioning you to be your scene partner, unless specifically requested. It makes it extremely uncomfortable for them to look away or to jot down notes. It could even draw focus from your performance; at a recent audition, an actor decided to deliver her entire piece from “The Vagina Monologues” straight into the casting director’s eyes. One word: awkward.

8. Revel in it. Remember why you got into acting in the first place? To become another character, to move people, to entertain, to tell stories, to express yourself in ways you may not always get to in real life. Do that in your audition. It is a performance, no matter how short it is. Entertain, engage, soak it in, and make it yours.

Original article here. For more tips, check out Lana’s previous monologue article for Backstage.

Casting Director Lana Veenker began her career in London and, upon returning to her Northwest roots, founded one of the top location casting companies in the country.

Recent projects include “Wild,” starring Reese Witherspoon, NBC’s “Grimm,” now in its third season, and 64 episodes of TNT’s “Leverage.” Gus Van Sant, Robert Benton, Guillermo Arriaga, Catherine Hardwicke and Tim Robbins figure among past film clients. Commercial accounts include Nike, Apple and Nintendo, and international campaigns from Shanghai to Santiago.

Lana is a member of the Casting Society of America and the International Casting Directors Network. She frequently lectures across the U.S. and abroad, most recently at the Finnish Actors’ Union in Helsinki, Amsterdam School of the Arts, The Actors Platform in London, The Acting Studio in Berlin, Studio Bleu in Paris and Prague Film School.

Complete her survey to be entered into a contest for a free career consultation here.

She has been featured in The Hollywood Reporter, USA Today, MSNBC.com, MTV.com, AccessHollywood.com, and Wired, among others. Follow her on Twitter @lanaveenker.

Monday, January 13, 2014

3rd Annual Meals for Monologues Post-Game

by ranielle

Our 3rd annual Meals for Monologues event on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 was an amazing success! Actors from all over the Pacific Northwest joined the effort and the results were even better than we could have imagined.

photo courtesy Bethany Jacobs
photo courtesy Bethany Jacobs

After a full day of open call auditions, Casting Directors Lana Veenker and Eryn Goodman saw over 200 actors perform 2-minute monologues and Cast Iron Studios collected a whopping 1,160 pounds of food for the Oregon Food Bank, and with the introduction this year of self-taped submissions with proof of a donation, an additional $125 was donated.  That’s a total of 1,245 meals!

Thanks to everyone who took part in making this our biggest year yet!

 

Monday, November 25, 2013

11 Tips for Monologue-Challenged Actors

by admin

Lana’s latest expert column, courtesy of Backstage.

Lana Veenker CSAEach December, our casting company joins others across the country to host a Meals for Monologues event. Anyone and everyone can be seen by our casting directors in exchange for a few cans of food. Actors are given two-minute time slots, during which they can perform one or two monologues of their choosing. We have a blast discovering new faces—and new facets to actors we already know—and our local food bank reaps the benefit.

Do you dread monologues? You’re not alone. Since we typically use sides in auditions during the year, many actors fret about what to prepare and what to expect. Let these tips transform your monologue from a loathsome chore into a mini-performance.

1. Find out what types of pieces are acceptable. Should you do one monologue or two contrasting ones? Classic or contemporary? Serious or comedic? How long is your time slot? Will you be asked to sing? (In our case, we request contemporary monologues, since we rarely cast period pieces or musicals.)

2. Know whom you are auditioning for and what types of projects they cast. What are the names of the people behind the table? Can you find their photos online so that you recognize them upon arrival? What are they currently casting and what do they typically cast? Knowing your audience will help you select an appropriate piece.

3. Choose a monologue that features you in a role you might easily be cast in. If you’re a young leading man type, don’t attempt King Lear or Caliban. Choose something in your wheelhouse, especially if you’re just starting out. Help the casting director picture you in a suitable, age-appropriate role. Don’t make their job more difficult.

4. Or, go against type to demonstrate your range. If you’re an experienced actor always getting called in for the same types of characters, try mixing things up. If casting directors only think of you for comedic parts, knock their socks off with a poignant, dramatic piece. Nail it, and you just may renew a casting director’s enthusiasm about your work.

5. Avoid monologues you’ve written yourself—unless you’re really, really good. Performing your own material is risky. Casting directors may focus on the quality of your writing, instead of your acting. They may assume you haven’t been hired on any real projects, that you have problems memorizing others’ material, or even that you may be difficult to work with. Keep the casting directors focused on your performance, not wondering why you didn’t choose a published piece. If you do present your own work, make sure it’s flawless, and don’t say you wrote it when you slate. Just state the title and role you’re playing and jump in. If they love it, you can always reveal the author’s identity afterwards. (Wink, wink!)

6. Read the whole script. This goes without saying. Give yourself the best chance by understanding your role in its full context. Even if you find a piece in a book of monologues, go back and read the original script as you research your character.

7. Know your monologue backwards, forwards, and inside and out. Nerves on audition day are par for the course so be sure that you’re fully prepared and that the monologue is so much a part of you that you could improvise the whole thing, if need be. Just found out about the audition and your monologue isn’t entirely polished? Better to wait for the next opportunity. You don’t want the casting director’s first impression to be you going up on your lines.

8. Time your monologue precisely. Choose pieces that run a little short of your allotted time. Practice performing them with a stopwatch to make sure you don’t go over. It’s no fun to have the casting director interrupt you mid-sentence to inform you that time’s up.

9. At the audition, state your name clearly, along with the title, role, and writer’s name. When entering the audition space, don’t be so nervous that you launch right into your monologue without an introduction. Let the auditors know who you are and what you’ll be performing. Allow your personality to shine through during your slate, demonstrating the fun and positive human being that you are. Smile and gain your poise. Those first few seconds are critical.

10. Own the space and think of it as a performance. Once you begin your monologue, forget about it being an audition. Claim the space and invite the audience into your world, as if it were a real performance. (It actually is.) We want to be moved, entertained, and drawn into the story. Strut your stuff!

11. If time runs out before you finish, end gracefully. If your audition runs long and someone calls “TIME!” don’t get flustered, angry, or apologetic. Simply stop, break into a huge smile, say thank you, and exit confidently. Going over won’t damage your employment prospects, but having a meltdown in front of the CD might.

Link to original article.

Casting Director Lana Veenker began her career in London and, upon returning to her Northwest roots, founded one of the top location casting companies in the country.

Recent projects include “Wild,” starring Reese Witherspoon, NBC’s “Grimm,” now in its third season, and 64 episodes of TNT’s “Leverage.” Gus Van Sant, Robert Benton, Guillermo Arriaga, Catherine Hardwicke and Tim Robbins figure among past film clients. Commercial accounts include Nike, Apple and Nintendo, and international campaigns from Shanghai to Santiago.

Lana is a member of the Casting Society of America and the International Casting Directors Network. She frequently lectures across the U.S. and abroad, most recently at the Finnish Actors’ Union in Helsinki, Amsterdam School of the Arts, The Actors Platform in London, The Acting Studio in Berlin, Studio Bleu in Paris and Prague Film School.

Complete her survey to be entered into a contest for a free career consultation here.

She has been featured in The Hollywood Reporter, USA Today, MSNBC.com, MTV.com, AccessHollywood.com, and Wired, among others. Follow her on Twitter @lanaveenker.