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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!


Monday, January 4, 2010

"Extraordinary Measures" in Theatres 01/22/10

by admin

Extraordinary Measures,” starring Harrison Ford, Brendan Fraser and Keri Russell, and directed by Tom Vaughan, hits US theatres on January 22, 2010.

We cast 24 roles in this film. Go see it!

Congrats to cast and crew–and many thanks to the producers for bringing us this wonderful project!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lana Talks to KBOO about the Impact of Film & TV on Oregon’s Economy

by admin

This morning, Dmae Roberts, host of Stage and Studio on KBOO FM 90.7, spoke with Oregon casting director Lana Veenker about the economic impact that national shows like “Leverage” and films have our acting and technical arts community.

Click on the “Audio” tab to listen (Lana’s interview starts at about 16:06, after Portland Actors Ensemble talks about Shakespeare in the Parks).



1. Call or email your Oregon Legislators NOW and ask them to support SB 621, as it will create immediate jobs for Oregonians in our blooming film industry.

2. If you have a good story about how our film incentives have benefited you, please be sure to share it with them.

3. Write or call House Speaker Dave Hunt (503-986-1200) and Representative Peter Buckley (503-986-1405). The fate of the bill is largely in their hands and it could die in the next couple days, if we don’t convince them to let SB 621 have a hearing and a work session.

With the Revenue Committee having closed, it is hard to say exactly what will convince the Oregon Speaker of the House Dave Hunt to re-open the bill that brings more work to Oregon by enhancing the Oregon Production Investment Fund. Your opinion may be what persuades him. Or maybe sheer volume will. Either way, please engage your civic self today.


* 621 is a job creation bill that can be immediately employed by the Oregon Legislature.

* Give SB 621 a fair hearing and work session in the House of Representatives. The work that has gone into this bill from the industry, the unions, the Oregon Senate and the Oregon Governor warrants a fair hearing in the House.

* SB 621 has a with a no-risk structure that places the investment risk on the participating business, not on the state government.

Please be forceful, but try to keep it positive.

If you have talked to another Oregon Representative and they are supportive of 621, ask them please to take our case to Hunt and Buckley.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

‘Leverage’ brings lights, cameras, paychecks to Portland

by admin

Check out this article on the economic impact of film and television production in our area! Please continue to contact your Oregon legislators; SB621 is still hanging in the balance.

‘Leverage’ brings lights, cameras, paychecks to Portland
by Kristi Turnquist, The Oregonian
Thursday June 18, 2009, 6:37 AM

With a record 12.4 percent unemployment rate in Oregon and about 12 percent unemployment in Portland, there’s at least one bright spot on the local job horizon: Hollywood has come to town — and been hiring.

Lana Veenker has spent the past several weeks sending out e-mails like this: “URGENT CALL FOR 60 EXTRAS ON ‘LEVERAGE.’ ” The pressure’s been on for Veenker, who runs her own casting company. But she’s not complaining. Lots of work? In this economy? Veenker and other members of Portland’s filmmaking community say they welcome it.

Link to full article.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lights, Camera, Action: Two Hollywood Productions Set Their Sights on Portland

by admin

KOIN 6 News’ Jessica Morkert interviews Filmmaker TJ Civis, Casting Director Lana Veenker and Executive Director Vince Porter of the Governor’s Office of Film and Television on the arrival of two Hollywood film productions in Oregon:

  • CBS Films’ “The Untitled Crowley Project,” starring Harrison Ford
  • The TNT series “Leverage,” starring Timothy Hutton. The productions will bring jobs and millions of dollars to the state.

Many thanks to the Film Office and the Legislature for their hard work implementing our very successful film incentive program, but current levels only meet about half of the demand, meaning only six months of production.


Please contact your legislators now to support Senate Bill 621 (Oregon Production Investment Fund or OPIF), so that we have enough film incentives to bring these kinds of projects to Oregon year round, benefiting hotels, restaurants, tourism, accountants, medics, carpenters, electricians, rental car companies, thrift stores, payroll companies, not to mention hundreds of actors and thousands of background performers. Film production brings millions of dollars into the state, creates good paying jobs and is a green industry.

Join us on March 17, 2009 at the Capitol to talk to legislators about OPIF. More information on the Film Office website.