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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"Management" to open 2009 Florida Film Fest

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Management,” a romantic comedy we helped cast, will open the 18th Florida Film Festival in Winter Park and Orlando, FL. The film stars Steve Zahn and Jennifer Aniston, and is directed by the wonderful Stephen Belber.

The Florida Film Festival runs March 27 – April 5, 2009 and will also feature “The Burning Plain,” by Guillermo Arriaga, another film we helped cast in Oregon.

Both films are the directorial debuts of screenwriters Belber and Arriaga.

Link to article.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Location, Location, Location

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Backstage recently interviewed several industry professionals, including Lana, on the health (or lack thereof) of five important moviemaking markets around the country:

Location, Location, Location
A look at five places where Hollywood happens outside of California.
November 3, 2008
By Mark Dundas Wood

…”Lana Veenker has been casting in Portland for nine years. Before she arrived, Oregon had been doing moderately well in attracting projects (including the 1995 UPN television series ‘Nowhere Man‘). But as with Seattle, much of the work was being siphoned off by British Columbia.

“These days things are looking decidedly up. Veenker recently worked on the teen vampire project ‘Twilight‘ and the Stephen Belber feature ‘Management,’ starring Jennifer Aniston. Veenker says she believes Gov. Ted Kulongoski ‘gets it’ when it comes to the benefits of film production. ‘A big feature film will come into someplace like Madras, which is on the edge of an Indian reservation,’ she says. ‘They’ll come in and bring Jennifer Aniston and drop a couple million dollars and not leave any mess behind. It’s kind of a good deal.'”

Link to full article.

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.






Thursday, September 11, 2008

In Toronto, Portland is King!

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For our update on how three Oregon films fared at the Toronto International Film Festival this week, hop over to Shawn Levy’s “Mad About Movies” blog on the Oregonian website.

Toronto: You (Aren’t) There
Posted by Shawn Levy September 10, 2008 08:02AM

Portland casting director Lana Veenker, our gal on the go, files this report from the Toronto Film Festival, where three films shot in and around Portland have been playing this week.

Link to full article.

In the meantime, here are a few photos from the premiere of “Management“:

Actors Steve Zahn and Jennifer Aniston, and director Stephen Belber participate in the Q&A following the world premiere of “Management” at the Isabel Bader Theatre at TIFF’08.
Zerofootprint CEO Ron Dembo, casting director Lana Veenker and actors Steve Zahn and Katie O’Grady at “Management” premiere.
Actors Katie O’Grady and Gavin Bristol, director Stephen Belber and casting director Lana Veenker at “Management” after-party at the Spoke Club in Toronto.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Just Say "Rutabaga"

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Just Say “Rutabaga”
New Background Casting Division seeks Extras for Jennifer Aniston Film
Sept 17, 2007

PORTLAND, ORE. Lana Veenker Casting announced today the launch of a new extras casting division, Rutabaga Background Casting. Its first assignment will be to provide background actors for “Management,” the upcoming Stephen Belber film starring Jennifer Aniston and Steve Zahn, which is slated to start shooting in Oregon in October.

Rutabaga Background Casting (named for the indistinguishable background chatter–“Rutabaga, rutabaga, rutabaga”–that extras are often asked to utter in crowd scenes) is teaming up on the film with Diana Hammons as its extras casting director. Hammons began her career in extras casting assisting on the Gus Van Sant film “Elephant” and went on to work in production on several other prominent films, such as “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Bobby” and “Untraceable,” starring Diane Lane.

“This collaboration will pair Diana’s expertise and passion for background casting with our resources, reputation and infrastructure,” says company founder Lana Veenker.

Rutabaga is seeking people age 18 and older to depict a variety of background characters in office, street and restaurant scenes in both Portland and Madras, as well as special ability extras, such as female soccer players and Asian males to portray volleyball-playing Buddhist monks. There is no charge to be considered for any role.

Interested adults can contact Diana Hammons at 503-274-4050 or More information is available on the Rutabaga MySpace page at


Rutabaga Background Casting
A division of Lana Veenker Casting
2580 NW Upshur Street
Portland, OR 97210

503-274-4050 tel
503-224-5249 fax

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lana Veenker Casting to provide local casting on "Management"

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Portland actors will appear opposite Jennifer Aniston and Steve Zahn
August 27, 2007

Lana Veenker Casting announced today that it is beginning casting on the new Jennifer Aniston film, “Management.” The film, financed by Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and directed by Stephen Belber, features approximately 20 roles to be cast locally.

“Most of the actors will work for just one day,” says Casting Director Lana Veenker, “but the opportunity to perform opposite such A-list talent is priceless.”

The eight-year old casting company intends to draw primarily from Portland’s pool of professional union talent, but there are a few roles that present challenges.

“We need two senior Chinese actors to play the parents of Steve Zahn’s best friend” says Veenker, “and a 35- to 45-year-old Vietnamese actor to play a Buddhist monk who gives Zahn advice.”

Actors who meet the requirements for these three speaking roles can send their contact information to talent at The remaining roles will likely be cast through local talent agencies and the company’s database of professional actors.

Extras casting will be handled separately by a soon-to-be-announced company.

Lana Veenker Casting, Portland’s premier film and television casting company, was founded in 1999 and has cast over 400 projects, including several award-winning feature films and major international commercial campaigns.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Hold Onto Your Hats

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The rest of 2007 looks GREAT for film production in Oregon!

We’ve already started casting on the new Jennifer Aniston flick, “Management”, starring Steve Zahn and directed by Stephen Belber.

And word from the Oregon Film & Video Office is that there are two more features on the way.

I got it straight from the horse’s mouth (i.e. Executive Director Steve Oster) at last Thursday’s press conference with Governor Ted Kulongoski, as the Governor was announcing the addition of actor Ed Asner (who was a hoot, by the way!) to the Film Office board of directors.

One of the films can’t be discussed yet, says Steve Oster. As for the other one: apparently, we should keep our eyes peeled towards the end of the year for a certain South African actress in town….