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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.

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.
Thursday, December 6, 2007

Long Overdue

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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:

Stylist Kathleen Chetlain and Photographer Frank di Marco
Actor John Breen and Director James Westby
Director David Poulshock and Literary Agent Moreen Littrell
Music Manager Ken Erlich and Casting Director Lana Veenker
The ever-festive David and Sara Dochow, Set Designers
Casting Director Lana Veenker and Actor Steve Zahn
Producer Juliana Lukasik and Director Todd Korgan


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

by admin

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….