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Friday, December 28, 2018

Happy New Year from Cast Iron Studios!

by Cast Iron Studios Staff

The team at Cast Iron Studios wants to thank our clients, and the Northwest talent agents, managers and actors who helped make 2018 our busiest year to date!

Many thanks also to Oregon Film, the Portland Film Office, OMPA, SAG-AFTRA, our supportive city and state legislators, and our wider film and television community for making this a wonderful place to carve out a profession in the entertainment and advertising industries.

In gratitude, Cast Iron Studios was proud to support the following non-profits in 2018:

Oregon Food Bank (Food & Donation Drive via Meals for Monologues)
Central City Concern (Portland Homeless Outreach)
California Community Foundation (Wildfire Relief Fund)
Natural Resources Defense Council (Environmental Advocacy)
Southern Poverty Law Center (Fighting Hate/Extremism/Bigotry)
American Civil Liberties Union (Civil Rights)
MercyCorps (Disaster Relief)
Habitat for Humanity (Fostering Home Ownership)
Emily’s List (Supporting Progressive Female Candidates)
OSPIRG (Save the Bees Campaign)
FreeGeek (Digital Equity through Environmental Sustainability)
Kiva (Microloans to Low-Income Entrepreneurs around the Globe)
Impact NW (Combating Poverty in Portland)
Planned Parenthood (Reproductive Healthcare)
Vietnam Veterans of America (Veterans’ Advocacy)
The Rebuilding Center (Salvaging & Recycling Building Materials)

And in honor of our furry friends:

Oregon Humane Society
Humane Society for Southwest Washington
West Columbia Gorge Humane Society
Home at Last Humane Society
DoveLewis Emergency Pet Hospital
Pet Partners (Therapy Pets)
Intermountain Therapy Animals
Guide Dogs for the Blind
Guide Dog Foundation

Please consider making a year-end donation to one of these deserving organizations. As a bonus, many of them are currently matching donations through December 31st!

Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous 2019,

Lana, Eryn, Ranielle and the CIS Team

 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Twilight Lexicon Reports: Lana Veenker Makes PSA Appeal

by admin

Many thanks to the ladies over at Twilight Lexicon, who posted about the anti-rape PSA campaign that we are producing. We appreciate you!

Lana Veenker Makes PSA Appeal
July 8, 2011
Posted by Twilight_News

Many of you who have been around the fandom awhile know that Lana Veenker was one the people who helped to cast the original Twilight movie that filmed in the Portland, Oregon area. Lana casts many shows such as Leverage that shoot in the Portland area. For Twilight, Lana helped cast much of the local talent that was used in the film (Cora the waitress, young Bella, the original Sam Solomon Trimble, etc).

Lana is now involved in a cause that means much to her, as one of her close friends is one of the major activists in this area. More details on how you can help bring awareness to this important issue here.

Link to original post.

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.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Celebrity Vampire Baseball in NOLA and more

by admin

This is a little past due, but my report on the recent Celebrity Vampire Baseball fundraiser in New Orleans was delayed by a little something called the “kernel panic screen” on my computer. Not good.

No amount of restarting would bring this baby back to life. It took three attempts to completely erase my hard drive and reinstall all the programs, only to see the Screen of Death once again, when I attempted to restore my backed-up documents.

So, my beloved MacBook Air has been shipped off to Apple and I’m left trying to cast two TV shows, run a business, finish a book proposal, prepare my personal and business tax returns and update this blog on whatever computers I can get my hands. FUN!!

CELEBRITY VAMPIRE BASEBALL

For those who don’t know about Celebrity Vampire Baseball, it is a fundraising event organized by Fan Trips. In the Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyer, baseball is a favorite pastime of the Cullen family of vampires. The fundraiser pits Twilight actors against other celebrities to help raise money for various non-profit organizations, such as the American Red Cross and Hope for Haiti Now.

I taught a few acting workshops in conjunction with Vampire Baseball last summer in Portland and also helped out as a talent wrangler (a task similar to herding cats). We had a blast with Edi Gathegi, Rachelle LeFevre, Peter Facinelli and several others from the Twilight cast.

So when I was lucky enough to be invited to help out again on the event–this time in New Orleans–I jumped at the chance. I had never been to Louisiana and was looking forward to seeing many of my Twilight and New Moon friends again, including Alex Meraz, Chaske Spencer, Gavin Bristol, Alexander Mendeluk and many of my behind-the-scenes buddies, such as agents and fan site administrators.

One of the best parts of this game was the team of people on the ground in New Orleans who had banded together to help us out. Louisiana has a thriving film industry and I got to meet several actors, directors, producers and other professionals who had volunteered to pitch in and make the event a success.

I had a blast hanging out with them and learning more about how Louisiana has built its film industry from the ground up. Even post-Katrina, there are 80 (count them: EIGHTY) films shooting in Louisiana this year that have qualified for state film incentives. Other states certainly have a few things to learn!!

Of course, the funnest part was the game itself, which was full of antics on the part of the actors and the other celebrities who participated (including New Orleans Saints kicker Garrett Hartley of Super Bowl fame and actor Nelsan Ellis of True Blood).

The evening ended with a concert by MUTEMATH, Lee Safar, The National Rifle and Sole Pursuit, benefiting Haiti relief efforts. All in all, a great weekend!

Once I get my computer back, I’ll edit this post to add some photos. In the meantime, here’s a video taken by one of the fans of Alex Meraz performing some pretty awesome dance moves. Enjoy!

Can’t wait until Vampire Baseball Salt Lake City on May 22nd, where Twilight actors will compete against Olympic athletes!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Experience New Moon Prize Giveaway Continues!

by admin

Excellent news for “Twilight” fans: The organizers of Experience New Moon still have some prizes to give away, including some signed items given to me by the “New Moon” cast to raise money for the Oregon Food Bank, so they are extending the celebration through to Christmas!

For those who couldn’t make it to the New Moon release weekend, we have continued the Oregon Food Bank fundraiser, Self-guided Twilight Set Tour, Twilight Scavenger Hunt, giveaways and drawings.

They will be giving away one prize each Monday until Christmas week!

Register to win here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Spread the Love: Give Back this Season

by admin

Once again, the holidays are approaching. It’s the time of year that we like to give a shout out to the non-profits that Lana Veenker Casting supports throughout the year. Please check out these websites and consider donating your time and/or money. It feels great!


Run for Congo Women

Started by Lisa Shannon, an author and activist from Portland, Oregon (and one of Lana’s closest friends), RFCW benefits victims of the world’s deadliest war since WWII. Lana Veenker Casting has sponsored dozens of women and their hundreds of children through Run for Congo Women, and has inspired others to become sponsors themselves. Lisa recently appeared on Oprah and her new book, A Thousand Sisters, will be released in the spring.


Make a Wish

This year, Lana participated in the Twilight Fan Trips Vampire Baseball event benefiting the Make a Wish Foundation which gives hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions by granting wishes. An amazing organization that grants a child’s wish in the U.S. every 40 minutes.


Portland Area Theatre Alliance’s Valentine Fund

PATA’s Valentine Fund provides emergency cash when crisis strikes a member of the local theatre community, such as an illness or catastrophic event. It holds a special place in Lana’s heart, after an actor and close friend in her former theatre company was hit by a car on his way to a performance. The Valentine Fund helped him pay rent while he was unable to work.


Oregon Food Bank

Oregon Food Bank reports that requests for emergency food have skyrocketed in recent months. A $10 contribution helps them collect and distribute enough food to fill an emergency food box, feeding a family of four for three- to five-days. LVC has often held fundraisers and made donations to Oregon Food Bank and encourages you to do the same.


Oregon Red Cross

When the three-year-old son of a local actress was diagnosed with leukemia (A.L.L.), Lana Veenker Casting helped organize a blood donation drive in his name. LVC has also supported Twilight blood drives over the past few years. The Red Cross has a continuing need to replenish its supplies and needs all blood types.

Here are some other organizations that LVC supports and recommends. Spread the love!

World Forestry Center
Oregon Humane Society
Amnesty International
Film Action Oregon
Muscular Dystrophy Association
Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Human Rights Campaign
Portland Rescue Mission
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Sierra Club
Goodwill
Easter Seals
Abby’s Closet
Kiva
Northwest Children’s Theatre
Oregon Bus Project
The United Way

Happy holidays!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Blood Drive to Celebrate "New Moon"

by admin

Passing this on for some friends:

STARVE A VAMPIRE, DONATE BLOOD!
Clark County Blood Donor Center
5109 NE 82nd Avenue
Vancouver, WA
Google Map
November 20th, 2009
7:30 am to 1:00 pm

Donate blood at the Clark County American Red Cross fixed site donor center on Friday November 20th, 2009 and register to be entered to win prizes which include a pair of tickets to a November 21st showing of “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” and a “Twilight” saga collection box set which includes all four books in the “Twilight” series.

3 raffles
(1) Pair of tickets to 4:30 Regal Cinema 99 Stadium 11
(1) Pair of tickets to 7:00 Regal Cascade 16 Cinemas
(1) “Twilight” saga collection box set

Friday, November 6, 2009

Werewolf Sightings & New Moon Events

by admin

WEREWOLF SIGHTINGS IN LA

Twilight” fans everywhere are counting the days until the premiere of “New Moon.” I just got back from LA, where I got to catch up with some of the Wolf Pack, and believe me, they are as excited as you.

Even though they have an exhausting schedule of press junkets and appearances from now until the premiere, they can’t wait to find out what everyone thinks of the second film in the “Twilight” saga. They told me how much they loved working with Director Chris Weitz and bonding as werewolves on the set.

It was great to see them and I’m sending lots of well wishes for their big night on the 16th. I’ll be in Los Angeles to partake in some of the festivities and I can’t wait.

EXPERIENCE NEW MOON

If you can’t make it to LA for the Hollywood premiere, definitely plan to attend the Experience New Moon event in St Helens, Oregon, which runs November 19th to the 22nd. Several of the scenes from “Twilight” were shot in St Helens, so there will be movie set tours, a Volturi ball, a VIP party, and of course, screenings of “New Moon.”

Chaske Spencer (Sam Uley) and Gil Birmingham (Billy Black) gave me a few signed photos to raffle off. I may have a few other items to pass on as well. Check out the website to find out how you can enter to win:

Members of the Oregon “Twilight” cast (such as Young Bella and the Frat Boys) and I will be attending the VIP party. We will be doing a panel discussion and answering fan questions about what it was like to work on the first film in the “Twilight” saga, how to break into show business if you’re just starting out and more.

Special Guest Anita Wheeler, a traditional Quileute story teller, will also be on hand sharing stories handed down to her from her elders.

Proceeds benefit the Oregon Food Bank, so it’s all for a great cause.

Click here for more info.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

One Person CAN Make a Difference!

by admin

Those of you who have taken my GO PRO workshop may recall a story I tell about my dear friend Lisa Shannon, a filmmaker and screenwriter who also dreamt of making a difference in the world.

Lisa started an organization called Run for Congo Women, which has now become an international movement.

Her book, entitled “A Thousand Sisters: My Journey into the Worst Place on Earth to be a Woman” comes out in April 2010 and just a few days ago (as I predicted!!), her story was featured on Oprah!

Watch the video!

Pre-order her book on Amazon!

Sponsor a woman in the Congo!

Now go out and make a difference in the world, too!

(Congratulations to Lisa and all the women and children of DRC.)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Free money AND more films in Oregon? Read on.

by admin

If you’re an Oregon resident, now’s your chance to make a few extra bucks AND help Oregon’s film industry in the process…which means more jobs right here in our lovely state.

The Governor’s Office of Film & Television is selling tax credits. They have about $3.5M available.

If you buy $1000 in credits, you’ll get $1050 back (5% interest), and it helps the Film Office bring more projects here.

Free Money AND More Films!

To take advantage of the Oregon Production Investment Fund (OPIF) Tax Credit, follow the instructions on the Oregon Film website. You can make a contribution of any amount in the year in which you plan to take the credit, then simply submit your contribution, complete the application and mail it off as instructed.

Please spread the word, if you know of anyone else who may want to pitch in for Oregon film and make a few bucks in the process.

Save

Saturday, July 4, 2009

"Twilight" Cast Hits a Home Run for Make-A-Wish

by admin

Members of the cast of “Twilight,” including Peter Facinelli, Rachelle Lefevre, Edi Gathegi, Michael Welch and Christian Serratos–as well as Alex Meraz and Kiowa Gordon of “New Moon“–made a great showing today at PGE Park in Portland for the Twilight FanTrips Vampire Baseball Event, benefiting Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Guests also included members of the local cast, including Solomon Trimble, Ayanna Berkshire, Trish Egan, Sean McGrath, Gavin Bristol, Catherine Grimme, Logan Welch and Tyler Nordby; crew members such as Bruce Lawson, Chris “Chalky” Chalk, Dan Gorczyca and others.

And let’s not forget the biggest star: Honey, Rachelle’s dog!

Here are some highlights. Enjoy!

Thanks to the fans, the cast and crew and the organizers for making it such a great event!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Holiday Season: Make a Difference

by admin

This may be somewhat off-topic, but as everyone knows, non-profits are really struggling these days.

As a company, we’ve decided this holiday season to make donations to various charities in the names of our clients, instead of sending them gift baskets, chocolates or other treats. Saves everyone’s waistlines and helps those who really need it!

Here are some of the non-profits that Lana Veenker Casting donates to throughout the year and additionally this season. Please check out their websites and consider doing the same. It feels great!


Run for Congo Women

Started by Lisa Shannon, a filmmaker and screenwriter from Portland, Oregon (and one of Lana’s closest friends), it benefits victims of the world’s deadliest war since WWII. The latest outbreak of violence over the past few weeks has forced more than 250,000 to leave their homes, bringing the total number of displaced to more than 1.2 million. LVC has sponsored almost a dozen women and their more than 60 children, and has inspired others to become sponsors themselves. Watch the video.


Portland Area Theatre Alliance’s Valentine Fund

PATA’s Valentine Fund provides emergency cash when crisis strikes a member of the local theatre community, such as an illness or catastrophic event. It holds a special place in Lana’s heart, after an actor and close friend in her former theatre company was hit by a car on his way to a performance. The Valentine Fund helped him pay rent while he was unable to work.


Oregon Food Bank

Oregon Food Bank reports that requests for emergency food have skyrocketed in recent months. A $10 contribution helps them collect and distribute enough food to fill an emergency food box, feeding a family of four for three- to five-days. LVC has often held fundraisers and made donations to Oregon Food Bank and encourages you to do the same.


Oregon Red Cross

When the three-year-old son of a local actress was diagnosed with leukemia (A.L.L.) last year, Lana Veenker Casting helped organize a blood donation drive in his name. The Red Cross has a continuing need to replenish its supplies and needs all blood types.


Abby’s Closet

Inspired by the final prom scene moments of “Twilight,” Lana Veenker Casting collected donations for Abby’s Closet at the recent cast and crew premiere party in Portland. Abby’s Closet helps young girls’ prom dreams come true. Long, formal gowns and accessories appropriate for high school girls are needed. (Prom, bridesmaid or other special occasion dresses are perfect.)

Here are some other organizations that LVC has often supported. Spread the love!

World Forestry Center
Oregon Humane Society
Amnesty International
Film Action Oregon
Muscular Dystrophy Association
Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Human Rights Campaign
Portland Rescue Mission
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Sierra Club
Goodwill
Easter Seals
Kiva
Northwest Children’s Theatre
Oregon Bus Project

Happy holidays!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Rock the Djembe!

by admin

I suppose it’s time for a long overdue update.

Where did I leave off? Oh yeah, “Paranoid Park.”

🙂

We’re getting closer to having a cast. No one has been booked yet, but a few favorites are starting to rise to the surface. We’ll see how it pans out.

Since then, we’ve also worked on a Nike job for Wieden + Kennedy, tied up a few loose ends on “Feast of Love,” cast a print job for Saturn Outlook, several infomercials, a few hospital spots, a home gym show and a video game commercial. Also have a handful of screenplays on my desk that I keep trying to get to. Ack.

More importantly, though, I held a fundraiser for Run for Congo Women and did my first trail run for a cause (a whopping 5.5 miles, but hey, it was HILLY and I hadn’t had time to train!). I think I raised a lot of money for the cause (thanks to all the theatre and film industry folks who sponsored me and to Toby Christensen who provided incredible healing djembe music at the shindig–you’re all so amazing!), but I still have to sit down and figure out the numbers.

The run itself was a very emotional experience, knowing that each mile I ran, several families were going to be affected. As Run for Congo Women founder Lisa Shannon put it, it was like carrying some of the burden for the people of war-torn DRC.

Next up on the philanthropic calendar will probably be some get-out-the-vote efforts. It’s almost that time, people! Your voice matters!

Ciao for now,

Lana

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Hugs and Laughter in the Audition Room

by admin

Anyone still reading? [cringe]

I’ve been at the office for 14 hours today. Anyone in their right mind would go home, but I saw a comment someone posted here and it made me feel guilty for such an extended absence.

Here’s the update:

We had a short lull, but now we’re in full swing again. Finishing up on a few commercials from last month and working on several new ones that just came in. Two projects got postponed–thank goodness, because there was no room left on the calendar and we’re all on the verge of collapse. But the other jobs are all a lot of fun.

The project we cast today called for an actor with Down Syndrome and all the young men we saw were positively delightful! They were having so much fun with the process that it put all the other actors (normally a tad nervous in the audition room) at ease. Each audition ended with a lot of hugs, applause and laughter.

We’ve got one tomorrow that calls for a comedian, so that will be a kick, and Thursday’s project is also a comedic spot, with Friday and Saturday callbacks for both spots. Nice way to end a (long) week.

I did catch some theatre and screenings over the past few weeks, though: Saw a production of “Crowns” by Regina Taylor (of “The Color Purple” fame) with great music and an excellent cast. Got to go out with the cast afterwards, too; all of them fantastic artists. That was fun.

Also went to see a production of Frozen by Bryony Lavery with a friend and mentor who is on the drama critics committee for our citywide theatre awards.

In addition, I managed to attend to the opening of a new play, a dance performance, the birthday party of a local musical theatre actress (OMG, you can imagine the entertainment with all of her equally talented friends in attendance!), two screenings of films by local filmmakers (one of which I cast), a graduation showcase at the Art Institute, and the monologue finals at one of our universities, for which I was an auditor.

Oh, and I finally saw Brokeback Mountain. Good flick, but I wish I hadn’t known so much about it going in. There weren’t many surprises for me. Eh. [shrug]

Met with the president of our local theatre arts association about a fundraiser I’m putting on next Monday. It’s to raise money for actors in crisis and we’ve decided to to an awards show! There have already been 100+ RSVPs, so it should be a blast. I’ll give a full report later.

Well, hopefully I will: I leave for Europe six days after the party, so knowing me, I’ll fall behind again, oh faithful readers. I apologize in advance.