It’s a funny and endearing film. Woody Harrelson is hilarious!
We had a blast working with everyone on this project and hope it does great!
“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.
Both films are the directorial debuts of screenwriters Belber and Arriaga.
Backstage recently interviewed several industry professionals, including Lana, on the health (or lack thereof) of five important moviemaking markets around the country:
…”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.'”
The People Issue: Celebrating Creativity
Meet 25 of Portland’s most creative thinkers
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.”
World-Renowned Festival Highlights “Management,” “The Burning Plain” and “Wendy and Lucy”
August 30, 2008
The Toronto International Film Festival, the world’s second most prestigious film festival after Cannes, kicks off next week, with no fewer than three films on its slate that shot in Oregon:
“Management” starring Steve Zahn, Jennifer Aniston and Woody Harrelson
and “The Burning Plain” starring Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger
are part of the festival’s Special Presentations program and feature casting by Lana Veenker Casting.
“Wendy & Lucy” starring Michelle Williams
will premiere under the Contemporary World Cinema banner. All three films employed numerous cast and crew from the Northwest.
We will be on hand to attend the premieres and report back to Shawn Levy on the Oregonian’s “Mad About Movies” blog.
Time for an update!
We had an absolute blast working with Stephen Belber, Nan Morales, Jordana Glick-Franzheim and the rest of the team on “Management“. Can’t wait for another opportunity.
Jennifer Aniston and Steve Zahn were loads of fun on and off duty–and such pros to boot. I only got to meet the other leads briefly, but we hope the entire cast enjoyed their time in Oregon! We certainly loved having them here.
Next up is “The Burning Plain” by Guillermo Arriaga, starring Charlize Theron. We’re looking at just a few people for them, since most of the shoot takes place in New Mexico. But our background casting division will be handling the extras in Portland and Lincoln City. Info will be posted on the Rutabaga website and MySpace page.
Commercials have been busy recently with multiple projects for Nintendo, and clients like Samsung, HP, Adidas, Intel, Oregon Lottery, Microsoft, etc. Of course, they all seem to kick in at the same time after a lull! I keep telling producers to confer amongst themselves and spread the jobs out equally throughout the year, but that never seems to happen….
The New Year is gearing up to be busy as well, with a few features sniffing around, a handful of indie scripts (which I still need to read) and a possible music video. So we’ll be hitting the ground running after the holidays.
Speaking of holidays, we had a fun Argentine-themed client appreciation party last week, called “Noche de Luna”. The high-heeled shoes and fedoras were fantastic, and our 200 guests were even treated to a celebrity appearance or two, before the night was through. Here’s a shout out to the talented tango dancers who added to the ambiance and to Ron Toms and the staff of rontoms for all their help. You rock!
Here are a few photos of the festivities:
Lana Veenker – Rutabaga Background Casting
KINK FM 102
Friday, September 21, 2007
The owner of the casting company talks about the chance to be on film in Portland as an extra in “Management” with Jennifer Aniston.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is available on the Rutabaga MySpace page at http://myspace.com/sayrutabaga.
Rutabaga Background Casting
A division of Lana Veenker Casting
2580 NW Upshur Street
Portland, OR 97210
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 slateplease.com. 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.
The rest of 2007 looks GREAT for film production in Oregon!
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….