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Thursday, September 18, 2014

TIFF 2014: “Wild” Premiere & CSA Rising Stars

by admin

It was a whirlwind trip to Toronto for Lana earlier this month!

First stop was the Rising Stars mixer hosted by the Casting Society of America on the rooftop of the TIFF Light Box Building. The Rising Stars initiative is similar to Shooting Stars, which Lana attends each year at the Berlinale as a member of the International Casting Directors Network.

Rising Stars takes four up-and-coming Canadian actors each year, selected by a Festival jury. These four are then immersed in a series of public events and private industry meetings at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Casting directors, agents, high-profile actors, producers, studio executives, distributors, press and festival programmers turned out for a lovely brunch and a press Q&A moderated by actress Sandra Oh.

Lana Veenker and Actress Orianna Herrman at TIFF
Lana Veenker and Actress Orianna Herrman at the Rising Stars Mixer
Sandra Oh introducing the TIFF Rising Stars
Sandra Oh introducing the TIFF Rising Stars

Next up was the “Wild” reception, but not without a bit of help from hair and make-up first!

2014-09-08 16.44.212014-09-08 16.46.55

Lana enjoyed reconnecting with Author Cheryl Strayed, Director Jean-Marc Vallée and other members of the “Wild” creative team at the reception on the Garden Terrace at the Shangri-La Hotel.

2014-09-08 18.55.06
Lana Veenker with Director Jean-Marc Vallée
2014-09-08 19.05.37
With Producer Bruna Papandrea
Lana Veenker and Cinematographer Yves Bélanger
With Cinematographer Yves Bélanger
Actress Laura Dern and Casting Director Lana Veenker
With Actress Laura Dern
Lana Veenker and Author Cheryl Strayed
With Author Cheryl Strayed
Actress Orianna Herrman and Screenwriter Nick Hornby
Actress Orianna Herrman and Screenwriter Nick Hornby

Finally, it was time for the highly-anticipated premiere of “Wild” at the sold-out, 2630-seat Roy Thompson Hall!

Actors Jeffree Newman, Orianna Herrman, and Braden Paes with Lana Veenker
Actors Jeffree Newman, Orianna Herrman, and Braden Paes with Casting Director Lana Veenker at the “Wild” premiere
Roy Thompson Hall
Roy Thompson Hall at TIFF
The seats are beginning to fill up!
The seats are beginning to fill up!
Can you tell we are excited?
Can you tell we are excited?
Jean-Marc Vallée thanks his cast and crew.
Director Jean-Marc Vallée thanks his cast and crew
The team behind "Wild"
The amazing team behind “Wild”

The film turned out as fantastic and full of heart as hoped! True to the spirit of the book, while also standing on its own.

Cast Iron Studios was responsible for casting around 30 of the supporting roles in “Wild,” and our actors did great! But don’t take our word for it:

“An extraordinary supporting cast” – The Hollywood Reporter

“Great performances across the board, even from actors with one or two lines” – Variety

“The supporting cast is stuffed with fine actors” – We Got This Covered

Bravo to everyone involved!

“Wild” is scheduled for release in theatres in December 2014.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Your Child in Movies: Better TV Interviews Lana Veenker at Tribeca Film Festival

by admin

Prior to the premiere of Rid of Me at Tribeca Film Festival, Casting Director Lana Veenker shared tips with Better TV‘s Rhiannon Ally on how to get your child into show biz, no matter where you live.

Your Child in Movies
Turn your child into a star! Casting agent Lana Veenker shares tips on how to get your child into show biz — no matter where you live.
by Rhiannon Ally
Better TV
May 26, 2011

Okay, parents: how many times have you looked at your child and thought they could possibly be a big star.

Well, believe it or not, it is possible to get your child on the big screen, even if you don’t live in Hollywood, New York or Chicago.

We met up with Lana Veenker, a casting agent who was in New York promoting her new film, Rid of Me. She has some tips on getting kids into show biz.

Link to video.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Variety loves "Rid of Me"

by admin

Just got home from the premiere of Rid of Me at Tribeca Film Festival. New York City was a blast!

Check out this glowing review of James Westby’s new film in Variety:

Rid of Me
By John Anderson
April 23, 2011

An Alcove Prods. and Parkwood East Film Co. presentation. Produced by Katie O’Grady, James Westby. Co-producer, Raija Talus. Directed, written, edited by James Westby.
With: Katie O’Grady, Orianna Herrman, John Keyser, Storm Large, Theresa Russell, Ritah Parrish, Adrienne Vogel, Melik Malkasian.

Bracingly original, alarming and droll, the righteously ribald “Rid of Me” should prove a breakthrough for helmer James Westby and his producer and leading lady, Katie O’Grady. Pic also offers further evidence of the remarkably innovative indie cinema being produced outside New York and Los Angeles — in this case, Portland, Ore., where the domestic meller and the horror movie have met, wed and proven fruitful. A devoted cult following seems more likely than Pacific Northwest rain, although a reasonable ad budget could mean bigger things.

Reveling in risk, Westby has his central character, Meris (O’Grady), do something so alarmingly disgusting in the flash-forward that opens the film that it’s a wonder the character recovers our sympathies. But she does: As the story proper begins, Meris, newly married to Mitch (John Keyser), is heading back with him to his Oregon hometown. He’s lost his computer company, while she’s dewy-eyed in anticipation of wedded bliss. The move is a step down for Mitch, and Mitch is a step down for Meris: When she makes him eggs benedict for breakfast, he puts ketchup on it. This is not going to end well.

The lighting is creepy, the ambience dreadful, but they don’t hold a candle to Mitch’s old friends, who welcome him warmly back into the fold while treating his new wife like a leper. The physicality of the characters underlines Meris’s outsider status: She’s tiny, they’re intimidating; she’s quiet, they’re loud. But it’s their uncharitable nature that makes them such self-satisfied monsters. No one attempts the slightest gesture to make Meris feel comfortable, and while she initially befriends her new neighbors, the Masuds (Adrienne Vogel, Melik Malkasian), she ends up snubbing them after hearing others suggest the couple might be Al Qaeda.

Matters escalate over the course of a series of dinner parties, until one evening when Meris drinks too much and blurts out something embarrassing Mitch told her not to repeat, and the die is cast. From there, O’Grady makes Meris a figure of pity, horror, revulsion and, to Mitch, profound embarrassment; in one scene at a karaoke bar, she croons a soul-scarring, cringe-inducing song of love and reproach that makes one’s skin crawl. Ultimately, the pic demonstrates, it’s not living well that’s the best revenge; it’s just sticking around.

Westby employs all manner of techniques to keep the audience off guard and engaged, cutting together kinetic musicvid-style romps and freeze-frame tableaux, all held together by a terrific soundtrack that includes songs by Part Time Pony (“Hot Tranny Three Day Messy Weekend”), Laura Gibson and Shelley Short, and Cambodian pop star Ros Sereysothea. Helmer handled shooting and editing duties himself, very effectively.

Link to article.

Congrats to all involved and to Oregon film!

 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Trailer & Poster for "Rid of Me": A ‘Low Budget Mean Girls for Adults’

by admin

The staff of Lana Veenker Casting will soon be taking off to New York City for the world premiere of a film we cast, James Westby’s Rid of Me, starring Katie O’Grady, Theresa Russell (Black Widow, Bad Timing), Storm Large, Art Alexakis (of Everclear) and more.

Check out the trailer and poster!

Can’t wait to see Oregon take Tribeca and the Big Apple by storm!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Film Production is Off the Charts in Oregon!

by admin

Film production is off the charts in Oregon right now, thanks in large part to OPIF, our state film incentive program!

CASTING NOW

Casting is underway for three major film and television projects at Lana Veenker Casting, including Season 4 of TNT’s “Leverage,” starring Timothy Hutton,

Leverage


a new pilot for NBC called “Grimm” starring David Giuntoli, Silas Weir Mitchell, Russell Hornsby and Bitsie Tulloch,

David Giuntoli (left), Silas Weir Mitchell (right)

and a feature film for Lakeshore Entertainment called “Gone,” starring Amanda Seyfried.

Amanda Seyfried

To find out how to get involved in these productions as an actor or extra, CLICK HERE to jump to the bottom of the page.

OTHER PRODUCTIONS IN OREGON

Portlandia,” the IFC series starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, has just been picked up for 10 more episodes, scheduled to debut next January,

Portlandia


and producers should be finding out soon whether or not “Brain Trust,” the TBS pilot that shot here in December, starring D.B. Sweeney and Michael Urie, will be going to series!

D.B. Sweeney (left), Michael Urie (right)

Congrats to everyone involved in Oregon film and television production. This year is shaping up to be our busiest yet!

Moreover, our homegrown productions are gaining national and international attention:

SPECIAL SCREENING OF “MEEK’S CUTOFF”

On March 15th at 7:00 PM in Salem, there will be a special screening of “Meek’s Cutoff” starring Michelle Williams, which recently shot in Eastern Oregon, and was shown at Sundance, Toronto and Venice Film Festivals. Come show your support for the Oregon film industry, and all of the clean, green, family-wage, high-tech jobs we are creating all across the state!

Meek’s Cutoff

For information on tickets to the “Meek’s Cutoff” screening at the historic Elsinore Theatre, please visit Tickets West or the Oregon Confluence website.

“RID OF ME” TO PREMIERE AT TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

Tribeca Film Festival in New York has just announced that feature film “Rid of Me,” directed by James Westby and produced by Katie O’Grady, and shot entirely in Oregon, will premiere in April 2011 as part of its Viewpoints lineup.  Not to miss!

Bravo to all the hardworking cast and crew who make these productions possible.

_____________________________

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

NOTE: This information is for extras and actors who live in the Pacific Northwest.

INFO FOR EXTRAS:

For information on working as an extra on “Leverage” or “Gone,” please contact Extras Only.

For information on working as an extra on “Grimm,” please keep an eye out on Portland Craigslist, under Talent Gigs. Any openings will be posted there.

INFO FOR PROFESSIONAL ACTORS:

UNREPPED ACTORS
If you are a professional actor based in Oregon or Washington and you are NOT represented by a talent agency, you can create a free profile in our casting database.

  • Go to The Casting Frontier
  • Create a Basic (Free) profile in the Pacific NW Region
  • Fill your profile out completely, including your headshot and resume
  • Send the Public Link of your profile to talent[at]slateplease[dot]com, subject line: NW Actor Submission

Hint: Your public link contains a lot of random letters and numbers. If there aren’t a lot of random letters and numbers, it’s not a link we can use.

ACTORS SEEKING REPRESENTATION
If you are seeking representation in the Northwest, please contact SAG or AFTRA for a list of franchised agencies, or check the Production Directory on the OMPA website under Talent Agencies.

NOTE: We are a casting company, not a talent agency, so we don’t represent actors. Creating a Casting Frontier profile will put you in our database, but you still need an agent to promote you!

REPPED ACTORS
If you are a professional actor based in Oregon or Washington and you ARE represented by a talent agent, you should already be on Casting Frontier. There is no need for you to resubmit or self-submit. Just let your agent know you’re interested and available, and they’ll do the rest.

****Please no calls or drop-by visits.****

MORE INFORMATION

For more information on film production in Oregon, check out the Oregon Governor’s Office of Film and Television‘s website or the Confluence website.

Back to Productions

Friday, January 22, 2010

Portland boy enjoys celebrity perks for ‘Extraordinary Measures’

by admin

January 22, 2010
by KGW Staff

PORTLAND — An 8-year-old cast last year to play the role of Brendan Frasier’s son in “Extraordinary Measures” got the celebrity treatment at the Hollywood and then again at a cast party in Portland Thursday night.

Diego Velazquez, then 7, emerged from several hundred boys who tried out for the role of “Patrick”, according to casting director Lana Veenker. ”

On Tuesday, Diego joined the rest of the star-studded case at the film’s Los Angeles premier, hanging out with stars Harrison Ford, Brendan Frasier, and Keri Russell. Then, Thursday night there was a cast and crew party at Portland’s Baghdad theater where he once again got the celebrity treatment.

The movie was filmed last spring in Portland and Vancouver, Wash. It was produced by Harrison Ford who also acts in the movie.

“It was a challenging role to cast because the character of Patrick is in a wheelchair,” Veenker said, “and so we needed a boy who could not only act, but who could remain relatively still during the times in which his scenes were to be shot.”

Velazquez, who is represented by Portland’s Puddletown Talent, has also been cast a young Timothy Hutton on the TNT network show “Leverage” which films in Portland. He appears in an episode called “The Bottle Job” where Hutton has a flashback to childhood.

Link to article.

More video! Meet the young star of Extraordinary Measures:

Link to article.

Here’s also a video from January 15th, before the premiere:

Link to article.

Congratulations, Diego!

 

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

Sucked in by vampires: Twilight fans howl at the New Moon

by admin


by Aaron Weiss
KGW Newschannel 8
November 19, 2009

Teenage girls (and probably a fair number of boys, men, and women) will be lining up for midnight screenings of New Moon, the film adaptation of the second novel in Stephenie Meyer’s vampires-meets-90210 Twilight saga.

Twilight fans were disappointed when New Moon’s producers decided to shoot the film in British Columbia, after shooting the first film in the Northwest.

The third film, Eclipse, has wrapped shooting, but star Robert Pattinson told MTV that Breaking Dawn, the fourth movie, will be shot in Portland. If it’s true, that’s huge news for the local film industry, and Twilight fans, who are sure to stalk the stars as soon as they show up.

Pat Dooris talks to fans and industry veterans on the eve of New Moon’s premiere.

Link to video.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Today’s the day: LA premiere of "New Moon"

by admin

I’ve been in LA for the build up to the Los Angeles premiere of “New Moon” this evening in Westwood! Got to meet and hang out with many of the “Twilight” fan site admins, including:

Twilight Lexicon
Twilighters Anonymous
Twilight Examiner
His Golden Eyes
Twilight Series Theories
Twilight Official Facebook
Bella and Edward
Twilight Moms
Twilight Source/Imprint
Kaleb Nation

(Hope I didn’t miss anyone!)

And met Charlie Bewley, who plays Demitri in “New Moon,” and whom I think fans are going to love. Wishing him luck on his upcoming projects. Sounds like he has a few amazing prospects on the horizon.

These lucky ladies from Cullen Boys Anonymous are first in line for their spot on the red carpet. They’ve been camping out for days!

Here’s a photo of Matt Britton of Twilight Source with Kimbra Hickey, the “Hands of Twilight.”

Tonight’s the big night!

Good luck, cast and crew! Hope you have a blast.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Experience New Moon – Submit Your Questions!

by admin


Lana (location casting director on “Twilight”) and some local members of the “Twilight” cast will be conducting a panel discussion at the Experience New Moon event’s VIP party in St Helens, Oregon on November 19th. Here’s your chance to ask 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, or anything else that comes to mind.

Planning on attending? Submit your question through this web form, and enter to win time with Lana and the cast at the event. Each submission is an entry. Winner will be announced at the VIP party on November 19th.

Unable to attend? You can still submit a question! Event organizers will be posting a video of the panel discussion.

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.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"Management" to open 2009 Florida Film Fest

by admin

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.

 

Friday, December 5, 2008

Oregonian Movie Review: "The Auteur" Hits Bottom in Portland

by admin

A film we helped cast, which has screened at festivals around the world, finally opens in Portland this evening! We can’t wait!


Oregonian Movie Review: “The Auteur” Hits Bottom in Portland
by Marc Mohan, Special to The Oregonian
Thursday December 04, 2008, 7:07 PM

Arturo Domingo is an artist. In his medium of choice, he crafts unique, personal works with a style all their own. Unfortunately for Arturo, his medium of choice is hard-core pornographic film, so critical respect and wide public acclaim have largely eluded him, not to mention personal happiness.

All that just might change, though, on a trip to Portland for a retrospective of his films and a chance to reconnect with the one bright spot in his otherwise fairly pathetic life. “The Auteur” is an inspirational story about finding out what’s really important in life: true friends and lots of on-screen nudity[…].

Link to full article.


WANT TO SEE “THE AUTEUR”?

Get your tickets from Cinema 21. (Warning: Not suitable for all audiences. Hilarious comedy, sweet love story, but lots of nudity. I mean LOTS.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

KATU: Vampire Fans line up for "Twilight" Premiere

by admin

Joe English of KATU News hits the “Twilight” premiere party at Rocket on Thursday night, before heading to Lloyd Center Cinemas where fans wait in line for the midnight screening.

PORTLAND, Ore. – One of the most anticipated movies of the year is hitting the silver screen and fans could not be happier.

Twilight, based on a best selling book series by Stephenie Meyer, is about a 17-year-old girl who moves to a small town in the Northwest and falls in love with a mysterious classmate, who turns out to be a vampire.

The movie holds a special interest for folks in our neck of the woods because many of the scenes were shot in Oregon and Washington. And a lot of the cast and crew are locals, like 7-year-old Catherine Grimme from Portland, who played the main character Bella as a little girl.

Link to full article.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Portland Monthly Attends Oregon "Twilight" Cast & Crew Party

by admin

“Twilight’s” Portland Premiere
Portland Monthly
November 20, 2008
by Stacey Wilson

You’d have to be a member of the undead to not know that the movie version of Twilight, Stephenie Meyer’s juggernaut book series about lost boys and the girls who love them, opens nationwide today. But you may not know that scads of Portland locals worked on and acted in the film, which was filmed in various Oregon and Washington locales earlier this year. They celebrated their collective achievement Thursday night at an exclusive party hosted by local casting director Lana Veenker. Custom cocktails were consumed (the non-alcoholic “Edward’s Tears” was a favorite among the youth set) and stories were swapped. At a midnight screening the crew and its biggest fangs –-er, fans-–bit into Hollywood’s made-in-Oregon ode to vampires.

Photos by Kim Nguyen.

Link to full article.