Scene in Portland, So You Want to be a Thug?

So You Want to be a Thug?
Ever been told you look like a criminal? Well now’s your chance to take that to the bank. Casting Director Lana Veenker wants to train you up to become a Leverage thug. TNT’s Leverage employed over 120 local actors and more than 800 local background artists last season, and many of those people are not eligible to be featured again in Season 3. Veenker wants to make sure we have enough thugs to go around for the new episodes, which begin filming in Portland in March. If you are big and burly (you don’t have to be tall), and want to try your hand as a thug or a stunt person, check out Veenker’s Leverage Thug Boot Camp, taking place the weekend of February 6th and 7th. For more details and registration info, see the Leverage Boot Camp website and Veenker’s Casting Scoop blog.

OMM and Arthouse Agencies Branch Out
Two of Portland’s powerhouse talent agencies, OMM (Option Model Management) and Arthouse, recently announced they are both branching out to become full service agencies. The two agencies used to work as an unofficial team, with OMM booking talent for the print side of the house and Arthouse booking the film and commercial roles. Each agency is now booking talent for both the print and film jobs, which we hope is a win-win for the growing film industry in Portland.

Wake Before I Die
is first i-OPIF Production

In 2009, the Oregon legislature passed SB863, which created the “Indigenous Oregon Production Investment Fund” (i-OPIF). The fund provides rebates of  “20% of goods and services and 10% of Oregon labor for films produced by Oregon filmmakers who spend a minimum of $75,000 but not more than $750,000 on their project.”  The fund began taking applications the first week of January, and the Freeman Brothers (Todd and Jason) must have been first in line, because their production of the feature film Wake Before I Die is the first to utilize the fund.
The script for the film is an adaptation of Dale Freeman’s novel My Soul To Take. Oh, and did I mention Dale Freeman is Todd and Jason’s father? Truly a family affair. Wake Before I Die is currently in production, and is a collaboration of the Freeman brothers, produced by Robert Blanche.

CON-Con the Leverage Fanatic Convention
What started out as a relatively small fan gathering has turned into a full-fledged Leverage convention. The CON-con is on! Leverage fans from around the world are planning to converge on Portland the weekend of March 19-21, to meet and greet their fellow fans, and get a chance to rub elbows with the Leverage cast. The event kicks off on Friday, March 19th, with a TNT-hosted CON-con Cocktail Party at The Governor Hotel. Prices for events start at $25 (to attend the cocktail party) and go up to $300 for the complete Platinum package. Registration information available on the CON-con website.

The Casting Couch
Commercial spots recently booked: Bissel, RAID, Nike, Mellow Yellow. Casting happening now: Microsoft, Nike, Oil Can Henry’s, an indie film called Thumbdrive, a SAG short called Beat Red with Mike Farrell (M.A.S.H) and Doug Rowe. Jobs are up 35% from this time last year. We love that!

Job Board
TNT’s Leverage is seeking to fill the following crew positions: Location Sound Mixer, “B” Camera Operator, and Personal Assistant/Production Assistant. See the Oregon Film Board website for details.

Scene in Portland: Hot in the Zipper

Scene_in_PortlandKeri Murphy Case Settled out of Court

The case against former Murphy Management owner Keri Murphy (as reported here before: Keri Murphy Sued) was settled out of court over the Thanksgiving weekend, less than a week before it was scheduled to go to trial. The question on everyone’s mind now is how much did Murphy have to pay the plaintiff, and will the remaining unpaid talent file a new lawsuit? So far the settlement has not been made public.

Westby’s Hot in the Zipper

James Westby has transformed his Portland apartment into a 1947 Manhattan flat for his latest film Hot in the Zipper. The film gives us a glimpse into the lives of three distinctly different women, vying for the affections of a single man: the piano-playing neighbor next door. According to Westby the short film will be shot in a single day in a single location (his apartment).

Hot in the Zipper is written and directed by James Westby (The Auteur, Rid of Me), produced by Katie O’Grady, and stars Katie O’Grady (The Auteur, Rid of Me), Jana Lee Hamblin (Rid of Me), Elizabeth Strelow, and Spencer Conway. The film also credits Director of Photography Kevin Fletcher (Award Winner for Selfless), Production Designer David Storm (The Auteur), and Sound Recordist Morgan Hobart.

Gus Van Sant’s Restless in Production

Gus Van Sant has begun shooting some of the scenes for his new film Restless. Sources say he’s currently out at Indent Studios in SE Portland shooting some interior scenes.

Casting Couch

Commercial spots casting this week: Oregon Lottery, World’s Best Cat Litter, Intel. Print spots: four crews currently shooting for Nike.

Scene in Portland: Keri Murphy Sued

Here is the latest Scene in Portland column from The Portlander.

Original article here: Scene in Portland

Keri Murphy Sued for Unpaid Earnings

Keri Murphy, who once ran the former Murphy Talent Group, MTG, Whilhelmina/MTG and ABC talent agencies is being sued for misappropriating money that should have been paid to talent. Murphy allegedly received checks for thousands of dollars from clients, but never passed the money on to the talent who actually earned it. Murphy is also alleged to have been collecting fees from hopeful parents for their children’s photo shoots, comp cards and modeling classes up until a few weeks before the agency closed its doors and filed for bankruptcy back in December 2008.

One 9-year-old girl’s parents decided enough was enough and is suing Murphy for over $8,600 they claim the girl earned in the summer of 2008, plus $10,000 in punitive damages.

Murphy was deposed on Monday. The trial is set for December 5. Judge Elizabeth Perris, U.S Bankruptcy Court of Oregon will preside.

Murphy is currently living in Los Angeles and hosting the CHASEit segments on IBC’s (Intertainment Broadcasting Corporation) “That Morning Show,” airing daily on the E! channel from 6-9 a.m.

We have not heard the end of this story. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.

Portland Model Makes Top 10 in Project Green Search

When Erika Schmid graduated from Concordia College this May with a degree in Environmental Biology she had no idea it would help her modeling career. But someone she didn’t even know saw her personal modeling website and encouraged her to apply for Project Green Search, which was hosting a competition for the next big “green friendly” model. Applicants were required to submit an essay on what green living meant to them and why they would want to be a green model. Two weeks ago Schmid received notice that she had been chosen as a Top 10 finalist, and would be flown to L.A. for the final days of the competition on November 5 and 6.

Schmid spoke to me from her hotel in West Hollywood, where she had just finished an intense day of interviews and fashion shoots. When I asked what the next 24 hours would be like she said, “Well, tonight we’re going out to do some guerrilla gardening around Hollywood.” For those of you who don’t know what that means, it’s when you go out at night and secretly plant things when nobody’s looking. Shhh.

The winner of Project Green Search will be announced at the ECCO Lounge in Hollywood at 7 p.m. tonight. Erika is currently signed with OMM in Portland. Good luck Erika!

Oregon Bride Magazine Chooses Local Models

Oregon Bride Magazine will feature three local models in its Spring 2010 and Summer 2010 issues. Jon Bebe (Q6), Amanda Wall (Mode) and Jillian Rabe (OMM) booked the photo shoot for Oregon Bride, which was shot in Central Oregon and Portland. The issues feature photography by Kevin Focht, and hair and make-up by Katherine Ross of OMMStyle.

OMM Co-Founders Join PAC at AI

Nina McLaughlin and Kit Garrett of OMM accepted an invitation to be on the Program Advisory Committee at the Art Institute of Portland. This committee is made up of industry professionals and educators and provides valuable information for curriculum development. Local PAC members provide AI with input on the most current industry needs and development. PAC members, being industry leaders in the local community, can help promote the program and build better working relationships in the business community.

Casting Couch

Currently casting for a Fred Meyer spot. Just finished casting for two Oregon Lottery spots. Spots for Cartoon Network and the Oregonian have wrapped.

Cheers and Jeers for May 29, 2009

This blog was originally posted on MySpace on May 29, 2009

This blog will start out small, because I have to get ready for work, but will grow throughout the day when I have more time.

Cheers: tp Kaili at Arthouse for signing me yesterday. Athouse is the premiere talent agency for commercials and film in Portland! I’m so excited.

Cheers: to Option Model Management (OMM) for signing me to their modeiling agency yesterday. I am also very excited to work with them. They have requested my hair be darker, so those of you who liked my hair darker are getting your wish!

Cheers: to the judges at the Oregonian who have chosen one of my captions for he finals in the latest Jack Ohman cartoon caption contest. I was tied with the front runner when I went to sleep and woke up 17 votes behind! Final tally was 99 to 139 I think. My competition posted 40 votes in the last few minutes. Hmmm. I’m thinking some software was involved.

Jeers: to the person who won the caption contest, only because he spelled amendment wrong! And, check out the note from the editors of the Oregonian (below). I guess they noticed the fact the guy posted 40 votes in the last 30 minutes. So, nobody won the cartoon.

“The voting for Contest 34 was unusually heavy and had some spikes in
the tally that had us wondering if there may have been some
Chicago-style shenanigans going on ( vote early and vote often), the”
vote often” part in particular. This contest should be fun so let’s
keep it light, entertaining and fair. Thanks.”

So busted!

Jeers: to my ex husband who called and berated me for 20 minutes this morning and accused me of being an absent parent. As my friends know this is complete and utter BS.

Cheers: to my friend Jack Ohman who just got back from Washington, D.C., where he was hanging out with Ethel Kennedy and accepting the RFK Journalism Award for cartooning.

Cheers: to my kids and their friends who made roller skating at Oaks Park so much fun yesterday!

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