Category Archives: Spotlight

Q&A: Ask An Agent

Looking for local talent for your next production, but don’t know where to start? You’re not alone. Filmmakers—especially those working on their first films—often have questions about hiring talent. Here to answer your who, what, when, where, and why are Northwest talent agents Dennis Troutman with OPTION Model & Media, Topo Swope with Topo Swope Talent, Stacie Overman with TAKE2 Talent Agency, Becky Reilly with Big Fish NW Talent, Tanya Tiffany with Tiffany Talent, and Elicia Walker with Actors First Agency.

Media Inc: What services does an agent provide that I cannot get by hiring actors directly?
Topo Swope: There are huge advantages to using an agent! An agent can give the client (producer) the cost, the availability, help in Talent - topo swopechoosing an appropriate actor for the job. An agent can walk the client through the process and handle the job from A to Z. The client gives the agent all of the job details, and the agent is responsible for relaying all the information to the actors. Since the client only has to deal with one point of contact, the agent, it will save them time in that they won’t be saddled by multiple phone calls and emails. It removes the stress from an already stressful process.
Stacie Overman: By hiring talent through TAKE2, I help to make your job easier! You inform me of what you’re looking for and I do all the screening for you by going through my checklist: Are they available for all the possible dates of your shoot? Do they have transportation? Do they have the look you want? Do they have the chops you need?
I won’t send you anything that doesn’t fit all of your criteria. I do all the communication with all the talent for you. You only need to communicate your information through me, your talent agent, or as I look at it, your “business partner.”
Elicia Walker: I can only write for myself. The service I provide to Elicia Walker - Actors Firstclients would be my knowledge about my actors. We know our actors’ talents better than anyone else that may present them. I, for one, will not expect the producer to see everyone I represent. It saves the director and the producer a lot of time, and they are able to see talent that a casting director may not show. There is a lot of new talent that is in Seattle and sometimes casting directors may not know them yet. So the actors do not get seen right away.
I know that I book actors with my personal clients more, because I can talk to the client directly, and tell them about my actors’ strengths and weaknesses for a part. When you go through my office, I handle the audition process. I do the scheduling of the auditions,  make sure actors have their sides, and handle callbacks if needed. I also save time in booking because I send out the calls and all the info the actors need when they are booked. Plus I negotiate the rate for the actor.
Tanya Tiffany: Agents in the NW market provide a number of services to a production client, but the most important seem to be Prequalification and Accountability of talent copy
Prequalification: Anyone can call themselves an actor when self submitting to an ad on a callboard. Agents prequalify each of their talent to a degree that nobody who is actively producing work has the time to do on their own. Each agency does this to a different degree, some are very picky, some just have a basic minimum, but every agent has a standard that is well above the average submission when doing an open, “self submit” casting. This can save production huge amounts of time and energy looking for the diamond in a whole lot of rough. Find the right agent, let them know what you need, and you can immediately be searching for the best diamond in a field of diamonds.
Accountability: If an actor is booked directly, through a callboard, website, or friend of a friend, there is nothing for them to lose (except their day rate) for not showing up, being late, or bailing out early. For an independent actor, “I didn’t feel good,” “I had car trouble,” or “My alarm didn’t go off” are viable excuses to be late, or even no-show on shoot day.

MI: Why shouldn’t I cast my project through a callboard service (i.e. TPS, PerformersCALLBOARD, PDXAuditions, Craigslist)?
SO: Casting your project through a callboard or social media may Talent - take 2have you scratching your head wondering why you did that! You may experience no-shows or talent that isn’t quite what you were hoping for. Under-par, if you will, or they simply do not understand the entertainment etiquette. Sometimes you can find a gem. But is your project worth the risk? There are typically many reasons why talent surfing callboards are without an agent.

MI: When do I need a casting director to cast my project, vs. calling an agent(s) vs. casting it myself?
Becky Reilly: Having great talent options is the goal. A casting director is going to be your best angle to having these options. They will also help you with a variety of concerns and help navigate many unnameddynamics needed to successfully cast your project. Casting, in most cases, is critical and hiring a CD is a big step in doing it right. This will give you the most options for amazing talent that will help your project shine… now and in the future.
Most agents, I would guess, would prefer to work through a CD and there are solid CD options in the NW. Calling an agent can work. This may take more work on your end; there is a good deal of prep that goes into casting. This option limits you to their agency’s talent options.
Casting the project yourself adds a great deal of work to your already busy agenda. Using and planning, with a CD in your pre-production is going to reduce your work. Make room in your budget to get help with casting. Talented actors can make your script sing and you look great. Your buddy’s, girlfriend’s sister may not.

MI.: How much time do I need to find actors before a shoot?
Dennis Troutman: In a perfect world, producers, agents and actors Talent - Optioncan have up to a week or two to go through the process of submitting, auditions, callbacks and eventual bookings. However, some agents can also help you find an actor as late as the day before the shoot.
TS: Of course in our industry, time is a luxury rarely experienced! When a client says, “It’s a very short turn around,” and then gives us, say, 4-5 days, we laugh! That is that luxury! Usually we are working on a super time crunch, sometimes getting less than 12 hours’ notice for an actor to get to an audition! So the more time the client has to find actors, the better!
TT: The short answer, which is a little different for each agency, is that we’re used to moving fast. Most agents can move very quickly to get talent organized and scheduled to auditions, so for a proper booking agency, a few days is well enough time to make everything happen. Submitting today, scheduling 30 people to audition tomorrow, then booking talent and shooting two days later is our “normal.” Casting directors are also used to moving very quickly, and can multiply your own efforts by reaching out to multiple agents in parallel, and getting you the best talent that the market has to offer in a very short time.

MI: How can I audition actors if I don’t have a space for them to come to and can’t afford a casting director to do it?
DT: Depending on the agency you are working with, you could potentially hold a casting in their office, though it would likely need to be exclusively that particular agency’s actors.
EW: You are welcome to audition my actors at my wonderful office in Fremont. I have the space and a waiting room. I am set up to make the client comfortable and also the actors. Producers & directors welcome!

MI: How are actors priced? Rates?
BR: Good question. We cannot offer rates before getting a better understanding of the scope of your project. Our typical questions for you:
• What is the intended use of the materials that will be produced: TV Commercial, Webspot, Website, Corporate Video, Feature Film, Print, some combination, or other?
• How long will the materials be used: 13 weeks, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years? Please have an end date in mind.
• Where will the materials be used: Local, regional, national, international, internal?
• Which term(s) best describes the character(s) in this project: Spokesperson, Speaking Talent, Non-Speaking Principal, Featured Extra (seen in the foreground), Background Extra (barely recognizable in the background) or other?
You can also reference the SAG-AFTRA contracts that are easily found online:

Casting Director Spotlight

From Grimm and Z Nation to Wild and beyond, Northwest actors continue to shine in the national spotlight. Three local casting directors talk talent with Media Inc.

Casting QA - Cast Iron (PRINT)_DSC8602-EditEryn Goodman
Cast Iron Studios

How did your career as a casting director begin?
Fresh off a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater, I headed to Chicago where I interned with O’Connor Casting. I was asked if I had a backbone and wouldn’t cry, if I liked actors, and if I could go with the flow and be adaptable. I gave three “yes” responses and jumped in.
A year later, I was back home in Portland en route to Los Angeles. My family encouraged me to scope out the film community in the Northwest, and I’m glad I did. Ten days after sending out a handful of resumes and inquiries, I was spending my first days at Cast Iron Studios as a Casting Assistant. Hard to believe that was nine years ago.

What’s the biggest name movie or television series that you have done casting for? What has been the most fun project to cast?
Depends on who you ask. My little cousins would probably tell you it’s Twilight, but more recently Grimm, Leverage, and The Librarians  are the big ones. We had a blast doing the Northwest casting for  Wild, and I’m so excited to see our local talent shine. Jean-Marc Vallée has a really clear vision, and was great to collaborate with.

How does the level of talent that you see here in the Northwest compare to the rest of the country?
I can’t speak to the rest of the country, but I do know that our out-of-town directors and producers are consistently impressed and surprised by the quality of actors we provide. I think it helps that we’re so close to L.A.: there’s a decent faction of talent who have plenty of professional credits, but when it’s time to raise a family and settle down, they come up here.

What is the most important thing that a production company should know when hiring a casting director?
Not only can we find you the best fit for your project, but we can also expand your vision to options outside of the obvious. We will absolutely honor your given specs, but sometimes keeping an open mind to the wildcard we throw you could be the best thing that happens to your production.

Casting QA Nike_Imoru-065-Edit-2Nike Imoru
Nike Imoru Casting

How did your career as a casting director begin?
Specifically film, it began when a friend (who was herself a casting director) dropped out of a show I was directing in order to take a gig out of town. She asked me to take her place and cast the upcoming movie. I couldn’t believe that she would drop out of the show and was a little put out that she asked me to take over her casting desk! I’m still thanking her to this day.

What’s the biggest name movie or television series that you have done casting for?
Each one gets bigger than the last. Currently it has to be  Z Nation (Syfy). I am the lead casting director and have cast 95 percent of all the roles, including leading roles, guest and co-star roles with regional talent.

What has been the most fun project to cast?
As a casting director, probably Knights of Badassdom with Peter Dinklage, Steve Zahn, Jimmi Simpson, and Summer Glau. The River Murders with Ray Liotta was also A LOT of fun to cast. Liotta was the reader at producer callbacks; it was fantastic having him in the studio.

How does the level of talent that you see here in the Northwest compare to the rest of the country?
Northwest talent compare favourably to actors in the rest of the country, which is why I was able to cast 95 percent of  Z Nation with regional talent.
That said, I could always do with more actors who are ready to play, who can tackle bigger roles, who are experienced and who are constantly ‘in practice’ or training.
In the NW I would also like to see more skilled and experienced actors of colour.

What is the most important thing that a production company should know when hiring a casting director?
A good casting director is worth her weight in gold! A brilliant casting director… is pure gold.

Patti Hawaii cropPatti Kalles
Kalles Levine Casting

How did your career as a casting director begin?
I have my degree in Theatre and Education from WSU. While teaching in the public schools, I also worked as a Seattle actress. In 1983, I wanted a change so I saw that there was a need for a casting director here in the NW. I became a Seattle and Portland casting director. I worked a lot of commercials and industrials at first before casting for films. In 1986-1987, I cast my first film, Harry and the Hendersons. I learned from the best. In 1988, I became a Casting Society of America (CSA) member. I feel fortunate to have worked 30 years with my 2 passions of casting and teaching.

What’s the biggest name movie or television series that you have done casting for? What has been the most fun project to cast?
I have worked on a lot of big name movies, such as my first one of Harry and the Hendersons, as well as Drugstore Cowboy, Homeward Bound and Say Anything. I loved working on the TV series Northern Exposure, which I won 2 Artios Awards for casting. I am enjoying working now on the Amazon pilot of Man in the High Castle. I am hopeful that it will return to Washington State to continue shooting. I find all projects to be fun to work on, whether they be small independent films or big budgets. They are all different.

How does the level of talent that you see here in the Northwest compare to the rest of the country?
I think the NW has wonderful talent. We have a lot of theatre here that our actors perform in, which I think helps them be great. I think the hardest thing for local talent is that they are not getting 10 auditions a day, so naturally they need more coaching to do a great audition. I feel that sometimes they are not given the credit they deserve. Classes are really important for all actors to take to keep their skills sharp.

What is the most important thing that a production company should know when hiring a casting director?
I think a casting director should know the local talent in the NW. Going to theatre is a large part of knowing the actors. Another thing that is helpful is seeing their class work. I think casting directors should also have a good relationship with the agents. We need to work together as a team. I think being organized and knowing that you can keep a good time schedule on casting days are important. It reflects back on the production company.
I think the production company needs to be able to communicate what they want with the casting director to get the best result in their casting audition.

Homegrown Production: Local Companies Making Waves in the NW

While the large-budget feature films and star-studded television projects might make the headlines, the Northwest region is chock full of local production companies doing award-winning work right in our own backyard. Read on…


gary noltonGary Nolton
Limbo Films
How did you get into the industry?
I studied film at the Art Center in Pasadena, then found work in L.A. as a 2nd Assistant Cameraman via a friend who was on a TV show and was moving up from 2nd to 1st.
Are you now doing the kind of work you originally set out to do or has that changed?
I am fortunate enough to be doing exactly what I always wanted to, working as a Director/DP on narrative films, documentary and commercials.
What would you consider your best piece of work and why?
Of late, it would be a web video I shot for Bulleit Bourbon. There was total creative freedom, with no client or agency present, plus I got to edit it as well. It was as close as I have ever come to full authorship while getting paid… a rare combination!limbo films logo
What is your favorite piece of equipment and why?
Without a doubt it’s my personal ARRI Alexa, which we bought 4 years ago and it’s never disappointed me yet. It’s an HD camera built like the film cameras I shot with for 15 years, and provides a film-like image with all the advantages of digital medium.

Production QA - red jetJeff Erwin
red jet films
How did you get into the industry?
I worked in television news for many years—the last thirteen in Seattle at KING 5. In the mid-90s, the first non-linear edit systems began to appear and with the demise of real storytelling in the news world, it seemed like a good time to try something else. I first started a production company with a fellow KING employee. He became an AVID Certified Trainer and I ran the production side of the business. For three years we were actually in the KING TV building, but in 1998 we moved to our current location on lower Queen Anne. A few years later, Sue and I went into the production world on our own and red jet films began.
Are you now doing the kind of work you originally set out to do or has that changed?
I think you do the work that comes through your door. You might say you do commercials or features but pretty much everyone I know in this business does a wide variety of projects. I have gained a lot of chops shooting in developing countries so I would say we are more of a documentary style company. I enjoy telling stories that matter or have a call to action. Basically being able to do something positive for someone somewhere—anywhere—in this world we live in.
What would you consider your best piece of work and why?
That’s impossible to answer. There are just too many movies now to count. Many projects are memorable because of the locations they were shot in, some for the hardship and many for the joy. Who you work with makes a big difference as well. As I was answering these questions, I received a call from an old friend that I have traveled with all over Africa, India and South America shooting stories for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She has a new project in Africa and I would jump at the chance to work with her again. There is something about the idea that your life’s best work is still in front of you that keeps it interesting.redjet logo
What is your favorite piece of equipment and why?
I can’t stop buying tools because they keep changing. This past year we purchased a MōVI M10 and a Sony F-55. The MōVI for dynamic moves and the F-55 for 4K cine production. Both are beautiful and for the time being, my two favorites.

Production QA - guentherKelly Guenther
Guenther Group, Inc.
How did you get into the industry?
I was originally a TV news guy. I served as an on-air reporter, photographer, anchor and producer, so I really got to know all aspects of production both in front of the camera and behind it. And those skill sets really help with overall marketing for private clients today.
Are you now doing the kind of work you originally set out to do or has that changed?
Well, originally I was going to pursue being a doctor, then got convinced by my high school English teacher not to do that and finally ended up in TV. Once there, I wanted to be a foreign TV correspondent some day. But I was always a hard news guy and that was not the direction TV news was heading. The TV industry changed to the point that I thought I would have a much more interesting life telling meaningful visual stories outside of a newsroom.
Now my earlier understanding of science, math and biology, coupled with years of communications work, have me telling really interesting stories for tech clients, the medical industry and others. So what I set out to do has changed but in a really compelling way.
What would you consider your best piece of work and why?
It was a piece for a tech client where we had budget for the first time in a long time and were able to pull off something very difficult but very beautiful because of the incredible skills of a team of creatives, and the risk-taking of a creative director from the client side.
My workload was heavy at the time, so I collaborated more than usual: Scotty Mac and I figured out a way to shoot HDR video with DSLRs, Beth Craig and Mary Daisey were instrumental in getting the project off the ground when I couldn’t be there, and the creative director, Ben Hawken, fought for my idea of a more radical look and hard-hitting script even with a lot of pushback from his company. Then Todd Soliday used his wicked graphic design and editorial skills to get this technically-demanding project over the finish line.
I think I consider it one of our best because I had some really good production people collaborating on it, because the client embraced the piece and uses the presentation years later, and when I watch it now I still get tingles and love the look.guenther group logo
What is your favorite piece of equipment and why?
No real favorites. The gear is changing too fast these days. If anything, I dabble in lens purchases. That’s the one piece of gear I don’t sell off because I know I’ll be able to use that glass in one way or another in the years to come.

Peter Barnes_2010_colorPeter Barnes
Clatter&Din, Inc.
How did you get into the industry?
I was a musician, independent engineer and record producer for several years and got offered a job in a post audio house doing commercial music and post.
Are you now doing the kind of work you originally set out to do or has that changed?
Of course the industry has changed dramatically. I personally am now running operations and business development for my company. I do occasionally engineer sessions or produce music for clients that I like. So my official answer is yes and no, depending on the day.
What would you consider your best piece of work and why?
I suppose this would be our Emmy Award-winning team providing ADR for Northern Exposure for almost 9 years. Or it could have been my collaboration with Jim Copacino on the hit country song “He Drove His Eighteen Wheeler Through the Truckstop of My Heart.”ClatterDin_Logo
What is your favorite piece of equipment and why?
My brain. Seriously I guess it would be our Black Magic 4k Cinema camera. Easy to use, incredible quality, makes our work look great.

Production QA - Latino NW mario_cropMario Zavaleta
Latino Northwest Communications
How did you get into the industry?
My work in media started during the late ‘70s in a recording studio at one of the largest radio networks in Mexico City, where I am from. I worked there as a soundboard person for a couple of years until I was invited to work for a multimedia production company where I began my work as a still photographer, mainly for advertising projects. My interest in storytelling drove me to explore the television industry and I found the opportunity at one government TV station just outside Mexico City. It was there where I met Martha, my wife.
During the late ‘80s I was invited to explore the commercial fishing industry in Alaska. While working there I was contacted by a reporter from Univision Network in Miami who needed help to produce some stories about Latinos living in Alaska. It was then that Martha and I started producing news and feature stories for Univision Network. In 1996 we moved to Seattle and continued covering Washington, Oregon and other areas of the Pacific Northwest for Univision. This experience helped us acquire a strong understanding of the issues affecting Latinos in the Northwest. Trying to respond to that need and to the lack of Spanish local content that existed at the time, led us to create Latino Northwest Communications.
Are you now doing the kind of work you originally set out to do or has that changed?
It has definitely changed. My work has evolved over the years from working as a soundboard person, to still photographer, photojournalist, news producer and directing my own projects and business.
What would you consider your best piece of work and why?
I really enjoy producing documentaries and historical pieces, however I consider that our educational productions have been the most successful. One example is “Silenciosa y Peligrosa: La Diabetes en Nuestros Hijos” a special program we produced for Seattle Children’s Hospital to educate the Latino community about the silent danger of diabetes in children.latinonw_finallogo
What is your favorite piece of equipment and why?
Definitely the camera, because with it I can capture the images to document the facts and testimonies for news, a feature story or to preserve what can become a historical moment.

Production QA - Galaxy SailorMartin Vavra
Galaxy Sailor Productions
How did you get into the industry?
I had left a government job, working as an ecologist, and went back to get my Masters in Teaching. Before school started, I went to live in the Caribbean for six months. I decided to buy a consumer grade camera and film my trip. When I returned, someone asked if I would film their wedding. Within a year, I was filming weddings for fun and extra money. I grew very bored of that, and with the discovery of Video Copilot online, I started to see what could be done with a little imagination. In 2008, frustrated with my life and out of a job, I moved to Portland with a camera, a computer, my futon, and my dog. I was determined to get into making movies or die trying.
Are you now doing the kind of work you originally set out to do or has that changed?
I am not doing anything at all what I thought I would do. I thought I was going to become a camera guy and an editor. To be honest, I was not good at either one, and had no clue how much I didn’t know. Due to having no money, I was calling in my friends on weekends to shoot a web series about a zombie apocalypse. When the process was done, I realized my strength was finding the right people and orchestrating the entire project. From that day, I set out to get the right people, who were infinitely better at most of this than me, get them jobs and interesting projects, and direct once the project was in place. To be honest, I never thought I would own a company that is actually working and employing people.
What would you consider your best piece of work and why?
I am working on my best project to date. I am a giant sci-fi fan. When I was approached with this project as a possible TV show, I saw what it could be. The whole of it needed a steady course and a good heading. We just shot the proof of concept pieces, and it is better than I had imagined. While I realize we all love our baby, I am really excited and have the utmost faith that my baby is going to grow up to be something amazing.
What is your favorite piece of equipment and why?GS_logo_FIN_Working
This is going to be abstract, but I think the person is the best ‘equipment.’ A tool is a tool, and no amount of RED footage will save your bad story. No jib will save a bad event. No dolly will make the dialogue better. It’s the people that come together. I know that the question is not meant to be marginalizing to the human aspect, but it’s the first place my heart went to. A person is versatile, creative, instinctive, flawed and irritable. Just like a lot of equipment, but the difference is that a person can turn that around and make the day better. When your dolly breaks, it’s the person that will turn that around and make the shot work. No piece of equipment could replace the people.

chris donaldson hand crankChris Donaldson
Hand Crank Films
How did you get into the industry?
An old girlfriend of mine was a filmmaker in Los Angeles and asked me to lend her a hand on a documentary she was making. The rest is history.
Are you now doing the kind of work you originally set out to do or has that changed?
I originally set out to do narrative and feature film work, which I’ve done a fair amount of. But when I moved to the Pacific Northwest, I became involved in Hand Crank Films, which is predominantly a commercial production company (though we have a few narrative projects in the works). So now we do that to support our filmmaking habit.
What would you consider your best piece of work and why?
Tough question. We’ve done a lot of pretty decent work, from zombies to emotional fundraising pieces. So it’s hard to say for sure. What’s interesting about commercial work is the fact you need to balance commerce against art, i.e. you need to hit some real specific marketing objectives in a creative way. So maybe I’d say the fundraising piece called ‘The Letter’ that we did for Overlake Hospital, which helped raise $600,000-plus. You can view it here.Hand Crank Films logo
What is your favorite piece of equipment and why?
My favorite piece of equipment is still the pencil. All the fancy gear cannot replace a well-written story. But yeah, we like the RED Epic, too.

Production QA - Deep SkyJared Hobbs
Deep Sky Studios
How did you get into the industry?
I originally went to Full Sail University back in 2000 for film, visual effects and entertainment business and law. I started out working in live TV productions and later found my calling with motion graphics and 3D visualization. Design, audio, video and visual effects I still love to do and get to often.
Are you now doing the kind of work you originally set out to do or has that changed?
I went to college to get into visual effects field, but having decided not to move to L.A., I started out working in Eugene, Oregon, at KVAL and Chambers Productions. Later freelanced in Portland doing motion graphics and video production.
What would you consider your best piece of work and why?
That’s tough to say since we do so many types of multimedia. We rarely get the same projects and always pitching for something new. Recently we shot and animated an Innovation video for Cambia Health. It was very complex and we made it look pretty elegant and beautiful.
What is your favorite piece of equipment and why?Oregon Film Ad 012814
We are more software-based here and primarily use After Effects. We do have a Cintiq 24” touch display we use for matte paintings, animation and storyboarding. I personally don’t have the time to use it often, but we absolutely love it.

Production QA - Red DoorDavid Poulshock
Red Door Films
How did you get into the industry?
Through the back door. I was a keyboardist in the cult band Upepo (now in the Oregon Music Hall of Fame) and needed to “get a real job” because I was getting married and we planned to have kids. Not a great idea on a musician’s wages. So I responded to a classified ad for a copywriter/TV spot producer, thinking my liberal arts degree would help. But after the interview, I realized I knew nothing and told them I wasn’t qualified. They said, “Let us decide that,” and gave me an assignment to write some TV spots over the weekend, featuring Ed McMahon as a spokesperson for a local S&L. I checked out a couple of books on how to write ad copy from the library, wrote the spots, delivered them Monday, and they hired me on the spot. Four months later I was producing “Check King, the King of Checking Accounts” commercials for Lincoln Savings & Loan, starring Ed McMahon. And the rest is history.
Are you now doing the kind of work you originally set out to do or has that changed?
Yes and no. I always saw (and still do) advertising as a way to keep my creative juices flowing. Along the way, I did a stint as a copy chief for an apparel manufacturer and another as an account executive for an events-oriented ad agency. Then I went out on my own and discovered long form video. We started doing industrials and corporate pieces, back when you could do Noir mysteries and sci-fi spin-offs and comedy spoofs, yet still sell product. Then we went on to produce the Wee Sing kiddies for Universal Home Video, The Head Table TV pilot about sustainable cooking, a series on American History and another on higher mathematics for public television, and on it goes. Now our work is a mix of commercials, docs, web videos, feature films—even iBooks.
What would you consider your best piece of work and why?
That’s not an easy question.
In the can, currently: the documentary Raw Materials. Well, it’s sort of in the can. We’ve decided to shoot some more footage. The film is a rich and heartfelt look into the lives of three rugged Americans, and asks the question, “Is the American dream still worth dreaming?” Why my best work? Just the joy of starting with a raw idea and crafting it into something beautiful.
On the page: my screenplays The Fix and Turbulence — both award-winners, yet very different from each other. Why? Same as above. The door films logo
What is your favorite piece of equipment and why?
My ears. How can you write a good script, direct a good film or play a good song without knowing how to listen?

Oliver TuthillOliver Tuthill
Blue Wood Films, LLC
How did you get into the industry?
I started out as an extra in movies by registering with the unemployment office in Hollywood, California. After I worked in about 50 movies as an extra and stand-in, I got hired by a director to say one line in a film so I could join the Screen Actors Guild. On the first day on the set the lead actor got angry with the director and quit, and they asked me to step into the lead role, which I was eager to do. The film turned out terrible, but I still made it into SAG and then found agency representation and a personal manager also. After meeting and working with Academy Award-winning director Jonathan Demme, I decided I wanted to concentrate on producing and directing. TV star James Arness of Gunsmoke fame and MovieMaker Magazine publisher Tim Rhys both encouraged me to pursue my dream of being a director, which I did, and in 2002 I won the Washington State Governor’s Award in Media for educational documentaries I directed.
Are you now doing the kind of work you originally set out to do or has that changed?
I started out doing production primarily, but now work more as an executive producer, helping other producers and filmmakers find financing to get their features funded.
What would you consider your best piece of work and why?
I would consider my best piece of work my documentary Questions For Crazy Horse because I filmed it while living on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and I had the opportunity to work with the late Lakota Indian actor and activist Russell Means. My skills at that time were pretty finely honed, and I already had one award-winning documentary on the Lakota and life on Pine Ridge being distributed by Entertainment 7 internationally and Passion River Films domestically. I captured a time and a people in transition that no longer exists. My production manager was Celeste Olds and a real trooper. We had some close calls with certain folks who were not happy to see us on the reservation and one incident where we were surrounded by a buffalo herd, but we made it out okay. The film still is blue wood films logoa steady seller, and I fill purchase orders on it every week through Amazon Advantage.
What is your favorite piece of equipment and why?
Final Cut Pro 7 because it is so user-friendly.

Production QA - FurmanNikia Furman
Furman Pictures
How did you get into the industry?
I started young. I was literally raised in a barn out in the sticks, and there wasn’t much in the way of consumer video technology. Even so, in grade school, I started a school newspaper and sold subscriptions, recorded fake radio dramas and staged plays. Then I started getting my hands on video cameras, and that changed everything. That’s when I decided to go to school for media.
Are you now doing the kind of work you originally set out to do or has that changed?
Yes, I am doing what I love: telling stories. I’m lucky because I get quite a variety of projects coming my way—reality television, commercials, indie films, music videos, fundraising tools for non-profits, etc. My goal is to head in the direction of more creative and collaborative storytelling. I think having an outlet like that, where you can be really creative and push yourself, is important.
What would you consider your best piece of work and why?
One of the projects I am most proud of is Beyond Adventure, a reality series that aired on Outside Television. Each episode is an introspective journey with an outdoor sports enthusiast who challenges themselves in a new way. We filmed in some of the most spectacularly scenic areas of the U.S. and even an episode in Patagonia. I experienced some life-changing moments for sure.
What is your favorite piece of equipment and why?
I love a good camera, but I don’t really get attached to them anymore. I did get attached to the Canon XL1 back in the day. It was such a Adobe Photoshop PDFsweet, sexy design. I could spend all day and night just caressing her curves… which may explain why I didn’t date much back then. Now camera technology changes so fast, and is so utilitarian in design, that I like to spend less time with a specific camera and more time focusing on how a camera will help me tell a story better. And for me, using composition, motion and color to capture and convey vivid human emotions in a way that allows the viewer to see life through new eyes… that’s where the magic happens.

Media272, Inc.
How did you get into the industry?
I have always been a technology geek and amateur photographer. So, it was only natural to consider videography. At the same time, I knew my business skills were better than my video artistry skills. In 2006, I hired a couple of videographers. Soon thereafter we established a nationwide network of videographers and an operations center in Los Angeles. In 2009, we merged with Lush Productions, the producers of the TV series This Week in Real Estate. Today, we’ve created over 80,000 videos.
Are you now doing the kind of work you originally set out to do or has that changed?
The industry is constantly changing and we try to change with it. Most of our work is for small- to medium-size businesses featuring an overview of what makes them successful. Occasionally, we develop some cool 3D imagery and motion graphics. We are doing exactly what I had hoped to do. It’s really fun to work with a business and make their vision come to life. It’s so rewarding to make someone else look great, especially when they aren’t sure even where to start. We’ve got some pretty simple systems that make it possible for us to create a great video for any business or individual.
What would you consider your best piece of work and why?
Our best piece of work is where we take a story with a complex subject and we turn it into an entertaining and informative 1-2 minute video. We blend the client’s story into b-roll content we collect on site, stock footage we purchase or have, a terrific voice over and upbeat music. In this example, the client does not want to be on camera, nor has staff who can carry the story. We need to build the video while making them look great even when they aren’t even on camera. Here’s an example.
What is your favorite piece of equipment and why?media 272 logo
I don’t have a favorite piece of equipment because I’m not the guy shooting the videos, nor editing the content. The equipment is always changing and my guys are on top of the latest. If I were to pick something as an observer versus a user, I’d pick the Jib. It’s amazing how such a simple tool can make a relatively boring scene come to life and wow viewers.

Voice Talent Agent Spotlight

Stacey Stahl of In Both EarsIn Both Ears StaceyStahlHeadshot2014

How did your career as an agency owner begin?
In 2003, a talent agency that represented dozens of Portland voices closed. Because of my exposure to the talent through working at a post-production recording studio, they started asking me if I would open an agency so they could have representation again. I brushed it off at first, thinking it wouldn’t be possible to survive as a voiceover-only agency in Portland. In 2004, In Both Ears was born with a business plan in place that would help ensure success by representing talent all over the world and servicing clients/buyers worldwide as well.

What medium do you find you get the most voice talent requests from?
Most of our work is in the commercial world—television and radio. A close second is web audio.

Where have you seen the most growth in your industry?
In the past five years, web audio has grown exponentially. Spots, videos, narration, tutorials… none of these existed when I opened IBE. Video games have also seen tremendous growth.

What have been your strangest or funniest requests for voice talent?
Both the strangest and funniest are probably those projects with explicit sexual content. Some of the Mobile App Audio requests are pretty interesting. It’s funny, nothing feels that unusual anymore.

Talent Agent Spotlight

The Northwest production industry continues to boom with film, TV, and commercial projects, which translates to increasing opportunities for local actors. This has been keeping Oregon and Washington talent agents quite busy. Media Inc. went straight to the source to find out more.


Becky ReillyTalent - big fish
Big Fish NW Talent

Are the current productions of Z Nation, Librarians, Grimm, etc., having an impact on your agency?
We have booked 11 principal characters on Grimm since it began production, and we have a callback for the first episode of season 4. Librarians is in the midst of casting as we speak and we hope to land something. Big Fish has booked 5 principal roles in the Z Nation project thus far, including Nat Zang who is a series regular! We have also booked over 300 extras into the project.
Have you “discovered” anyone?
Kyle Howard (My Boys, Royal Pains, Orange County) was a kid I worked with in Denver years ago. I got him his first ever paying gig and when he was ready, hooked him up with a scout. Tough to say I ‘discovered’ him; but I did get him on the path. Nat Zang, a series regular on Z Nation, was known by our agents in Seattle for his work in musical theater. We can, no doubt, say that we discovered him.
What’s the biggest name movie or TV production your talent has been cast in?
Tough… hmmm… Film: Bad News Bears (2005), The Postman, Love Happens. Television: Leverage, Grimm, Grey’s Anatomy, Perry Mason TV movies (back in the day, 1990-1992).
Is the current state of production in the Northwest sustainable for an agency?
We’ve managed to keep fairly busy. I think the better question is, is it sustainable for the number of agencies here? Not really… but again, we’ve managed.

Jamie Lopez/Erin FetridgeTalent - actors group 2
The Actors Group

Are the current productions of Z Nation, Librarians, Grimm, etc., having an impact on your agency?
EF: Definitely. We’ve booked several guest stars on Z Nation and multiple roles on Grimm and Librarians. We’re fortunate to have these series shooting in our region.
Have you “discovered” anyone?Talent - actors group
JL: A few people, actually: Paul Giamatti, Jeff Probst, Joel McHale, Anna Faris, Bill Nye, Cheryl Lee, and Jillian Armenante.
What’s the biggest name movie or TV production your talent has been cast in?
EF: We’ve booked someone in every feature film that’s been shot here. It’s great to work with local directors Lynn Shelton or Megan Griffiths, and we also love booking on shows like Leverage and Librarians with Jonathan Frakes directing.
Is the current state of production in the Northwest sustainable for an agency?
JL: Yes, as long as you have a competitive roster and know the buyers. An agent is only as effective as their rolodex, so it’s paramount to stay current on who’s who of the local media landscape.
EF: Yes, but the business has changed a lot in five years. We have to work harder than ever to bring great opportunities to the agency and our clients. Luckily, though, we’re all a pretty scrappy bunch and working in a place like Seattle really can’t be duplicated anywhere else. We have an incredible pool of talent here in Seattle making our job as easy as it can be.

Topo SwopeTalent - topo swope
Topo Swope Talent

Are the current productions of Z Nation, Librarians, Grimm, etc., having an impact on your agency?
Yes, indeed! Keeping us quite busy and providing many opportunities for the actors! It’s fantastic!
Have you “discovered” anyone?
We have been very fortunate to represent so many wonderful local actors throughout the years. The ‘discoveries’ continue!
What’s the biggest name movie or TV production your talent has been cast in?
Amongst others, Grimm, Leverage, Northern Exposure, and The Fugitive have been the biggest. Films: Lucky Them, Eden, Men of Honor, 21 and Over, The Ward, Humpday, Your Sister’s Sister, Safety Not Guaranteed, etc…
Is the current state of production in the Northwest sustainable for an agency?
I am in my 20th year in business, so something must be working. Of course, some years are better than others, but overall it’s been a wonderful experience and I love actors and love what I do, and plan to continue!

Terri MorganTalent - TCM
TCM Models and Talent LLC

Are the current productions of Z Nation, Librarians, Grimm, etc., having an impact on your agency?
Most definitely, they are keeping my talent booker, Melissa, extremely busy! We are so excited to have these great new shows being filmed in our area and giving the amazing talent in the Pacific Northwest the opportunity to really shine.
Have you “discovered” anyone?
We discover wonderful talent on a regular basis, so to pinpoint one person that has been “discovered” is not a true representation of all the wonderful talent that we have represented over the past many years.
What’s the biggest name movie or TV production your talent has been cast in?
We started many years ago with casting for The Postman and now all the current TV projects and feature films that are ongoing. Every project is a big one to the people that are making the movie or the TV show.
Is the current state of production in the Northwest sustainable for an agency?
It certainly helps, but we could always be busier, and we certainly have the talent to support more work in the Northwest.

Jason JeffordsTalent - puddletown
Puddletown Talent

Are the current productions of Z Nation, Librarians, Grimm, etc., having an impact on your agency?
Yes, they are. They are having a great impact mainly for the fact that it brings work to Portland and helps grow our industry. Primarily, my agency is a children’s agency so when the shows in town are not necessarily a kid-heavy show, we see a little less activity, but nonetheless, enjoy the success of the shows and appreciate any and all opportunities that do present themselves for kid actor roles.
Have you “discovered” anyone?
We have discovered a wonderful roster of talent who all have their own unique style and hold on this industry.
What’s the biggest name movie or TV production your talent has been cast in?
Puddletown Talent has had a great pleasure working with Grimm, Leverage, The Librarians and when it was filmed, Extraordinary Measures with Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser.
Is the current state of production in the Northwest sustainable for an agency?
Between the opportunities that are here on a union level and the jobs available with our non-union clients, we are extremely busy and for sure welcome any more work that would present itself to Portland.

Dennis TroutmanTalent - Option
OPTION Model & Media

Are the current productions of Z Nation, Librarians, Grimm, etc., having an impact on your agency?
They are having a major impact on our agency. These shows are not only bringing in a solid stream of revenue, but they are helping our actors take their goals and their dreams to the next level, and better equipping them to be ready for larger opportunities when they present themselves.
Have you “discovered” anyone?
We have! In the coming years, be on the lookout for future stars such as Hannah Barefoot, Sonya Davis, Aris Juson, and Isaac Frank.
Is the current state of production in the Northwest sustainable for an agency?
It is absolutely sustainable! We have enjoyed a growth in sales every year for the last five years. The Pacific Northwest is consistently ranked as one of the best regions in the United States to live, therefore, we will continue to enjoy an influx of actors and crewmembers from other markets, as well as out of state productions bringing their projects to Portland and Seattle. It is critical, though, that we continue to enjoy, and hopefully grow, Oregon and Washington’s incentive programs.

Nancy GasperTalent - The View
The View Talent Agency
Are the current productions of Z Nation, Librarians, Grimm, etc., having an impact on your agency?
Yes. We are enjoying these projects very much. They have such entertaining roles for my performers. It’s great to see the auditions get extended. The casting directors are great to work with.
Have you “discovered” anyone?
“Discovered” is a relative term. Of course every actor dreams of becoming a star/name… As an agent, it’s rewarding to see performers grow. To see them mature from being desperate to book at their first audition (and therefore often bombing it) to understanding the audition is the job; booking is the icing. The discovery of the performer’s growth through their hard work is what’s really fascinating.
What’s the biggest name movie or TV production your talent has been cast in?
Is the current state of production in the Northwest sustainable for an agency?
We are grateful for these productions in the Northwest. Thanks to the efforts of all those involved to have brought them here and to those for keeping them here. I’m happy to get to be a part of it and we look forward to more projects coming to the Northwest.

Stacie OvermanTalent - take 2
TAKE2 Talent Agency

Are the current productions of Z Nation, Librarians, Grimm, etc., having an impact on your agency?
TAKE2 talent is consistently headed out to auditions for principal roles on Librarians, Grimm, Brother in Laws and Portlandia. Excited to say we have a few actors that have nailed their auditions and have made appearances in all of these productions and a handful more.
Have you “discovered” anyone?
We have many up and coming talent…
What’s the biggest name movie or TV production your talent has been cast in?
Something Wicked with 85 actors, Saving Winston and Ghost Mine.
Is the current state of production in the Northwest sustainable for an agency?
The Northwest is the up and coming mini-Hollywood. With the amount of productions continuing to pop up and many of the TV shows getting renewed for new seasons it keeps our agency very busy. We are excited about the fact we will be getting to take part in the two newest productions, Backstrom and Intruders, which will be coming our way this August.

Tanya Tiffanytiffany-talent-copy
Tiffany Talent

Are the current productions of Z Nation, Librarians, Grimm, etc., having an impact on your agency?
Those shows are great for the entire Northwest. They help build the foundations of the film infrastructure in our area. They give talent a great opportunity to work in nationally recognized episodics, build resumes, and have a “goal” to work toward.
As for day-to-day business, they don’t really effect things, though. They really are just a drop in the bucket of the work that is going on here. Every day there are dozens of jobs casting and shooting in the Northwest. Incentive programs like “Commercialize Seattle” are exciting. Creative agencies like Copacino + Fujikado, Weiden & Kennedy, and Weber Shandwick that use local talent for their work are exciting. Companies like Microsoft, Amazon and T-Mobile that produce their day-to-day advertising in this market are exciting. There are 20, 30, maybe 40 projects hiring talent from these sources for every episode of Grimm, Z Nation, and Librarians.
Have you “discovered” anyone?
We “discover” incredibly talented actors every week. We do not hang pictures of famous actors on our walls and tell people that we “discovered” them when they were young. Our claim to fame is that Our Talent Work.
Our proudest achievement is the talent on our team that successfully make a living from working in this market, day-in and day-out, not the lucky few that got cast into a project that did well and made them a recognizably famous actor that’s now working in L.A. Some started from nothing, some came to us with experience already, but those that have the skill and commitment to be a full time actor in the Northwest make us proud to represent them.
What’s the biggest name movie or TV production your talent has been cast in?
Leverage, 5 seasons is a pretty good run. 10 Things I Hate About You was a lot of fun and pretty big, still airing on TV 15 years later. The Fugitive series was great and used a ton of local talent. Love Happens was pretty exciting, too.

Sherry BellTalent - Bliss
Bliss Talent & Modeling Agency

Are the current productions of Z Nation, Librarians, Grimm, etc., having an impact on your agency?
Yes! Keeping me very busy! These shows are always looking for new faces and talented people. I am very busy working to offer them new faces and actors. Bliss is always looking for wonderfully talented actors as well as the new face actor that is just starting.  We will help you grow.
Have you “discovered” anyone?
I have many great talent working to get their break. We are always focused to get our talent discovered! With hard work and perseverance it can happen. I would say on an everyday basis I discover many wonderfully talented people that I enjoy working with and helping them work towards their dreams.
What’s the biggest name movie or TV production your talent has been cast in?
The biggest thing we have booked has been Grimm and Portlandia.
Is the current state of production in the Northwest sustainable for an agency?
Bliss Talent is enjoying the continuing growth of production in the Northwest. We are very busy and can see it will only get busier. The Northwest has a plethora of multi-faceted offerings to the movie, television and commercial marketing production industry.

Cholee ThompsonTalent - Ryan Artists
Ryan Artists, Inc.

Are the current productions of Z Nation, Librarians, Grimm, etc., having an impact on your agency?
Absolutely! Even though these are only a small portion of the projects that we are working on, the higher profile of these shows is bringing the Northwest great visibility. They are national showcasing the depth and range of talent we have. Along with beautiful locations and great crews.
What is the most rewarding part of being an agent and representing some talented actors?
Daily we get to help some of the most passionate people in the world pursue their dreams. It brings so much joy to me to make the “you got the job!” call. It is not an easy job and it comes with a lot of no’s but those yeses mean everything!
What sets your agency apart from others in your industry?
We put our talent through a pretty tough audition process. Our goal is to find strong core talent. We personally see each talent multiple times and test their skills in all forms of on-camera acting. We know our talent pool very well. This helps us to get the clients what they need as well as help develop all our talent to what they can be.
Is the current state of production in the Northwest sustainable for an agency?
Yes, Ryan Artists and some of the other local agencies have been in business for over 30 years! The upswing in great productions is making the agency grow in size and strength.

Elicia WalkerElicia Walker - Actors First
Actors First Agency

Are the current productions of Z Nation, Librarians, Grimm, etc., having an impact on your agency?
My actors have booked Grimm. I have been back two years and those three shows can keep me busy. The monetary benefits can be nice when residuals start coming in. I think the way it has impacted my agency most is when new actors interview, they want to know what series I have booked. When they hear that I have booked Grimm, it somehow gives my agency, or any agency, a bit more cache. Actors want to be with an agency that works on these shows.
Have you “discovered” anyone?
No, I haven’t walked into a drug store and saw someone I thought could be a star. Ha! I have had actors move on to L.A. to get work. One actor who was recommended to me years ago, walked into my agency and worked a ton and then moved to L.A. He was Haines Brooks! Everyone knows him as the Sunshine Guy, on the Jimmy Dean Sausage commercials. I wish I was his agent now!
What’s the biggest name movie or TV production your talent has been cast in?
Well, we have already talked about Grimm. When I had my agency before, I booked all the oldies: Northern Exposure, Hand that Rocks the Cradle, Frasier, etc. That was in the ‘90s when there was a lot of work here. It was constant.
Is the current state of production in the Northwest sustainable for an agency?
Sustainable seems to be the buzzword in the new millennium. Sustainability is really subjective and every agency’s idea of sustainability is different. I met with three different casting directors when I decided to open an agency again, and they all said I was a fool to do it. They all said there was not a lot of work and there were a lot of agents. I still did it.
I panicked at first when there weren’t a lot of auditions to submit people for. The panic is gone and I am thrilled at the work that is coming in. Producers are still learning who I am and when they do, I book actors. I am sustaining and more.
Yes, we need more work in this town and we also have a lot of agencies to compete with.
I believe work is sustainable right now. Am I making money? Yes? Will I get rich? No!  Yet I am seeing a lot of growth, and that is what is important and that sustains me.

Will Finding Hillywood Be Found?

By Warren Etheredge

Digital technology has made it easier and more affordable for storytellers to realize their visions, however, it’s done nothing to lure audiences to watch films on the big screen. Whether in America or Rwanda, if your movie isn’t seen in theaters, it is much like a falling tree’s riddling sound. Who knows if it even happened if no one was there. Today, distribution is the most challenging aspect of the business.

Rwanda film industry pioneer Ayuub Kasasa Mago.

In FINDING HILLYWOOD, an aspiring Rwandan filmmaker Ayuub Kasasa Mago, learns to make movies as a way to purge the guilt of having survived his people’s genocide in 1994, while many of his loved ones did not. His screen stories are cathartic, but sharing them with audiences does more to heal his wounds, and the nation’s. Thus, Ayuub guides a team of his peers to take their movies across the country, on a multi-stop, 12-day festival tour, screening on a giant, inflatable screen for thousands of Rwandans seeing movies, made in their native tongue, for the first time.


Festival workers prepare the giant inflatable movie screen

Making a documentary for the first time, Seattle’s Leah Warshawski traveled to Rwanda many times over many years, along with her co-producer and co-director, Chris Towey. They found their story, then their “lead” and let Ayuub’s journey shape their own. But getting Americans to see FINDING HILLYWOOD is proving more challenging than busing across Rwanda. Yes, HILLYWOOD has played at more than 40 film festivals around the world and garnered six awards including the Audience Award at the Napa Film Festival, the Critic’s Award at the Sebastopol Documentary Festival and, most recently, the prize for Best Documentary at the Rainier Independent Film Festival in Washington State. However, theatrical distribution is elusive, in part because of the film’s running time (58 minutes) and, more disturbingly, distributors’ erroneous belief that people don’t want to see African subjects.

FINDING HILLYWOOD Director Leah Warshawski

FINDING HILLYWOOD Director Leah Warshawski

Consequently, Ms. Warshawski is tapping other outlets, including museums and educational organizations. And, on Monday July 7th, 2014, she will test her doc’s draw, by staging a Gathr screening in Seattle at The Harvard Exit. (For details, please visit:

Gathr is just one of a handful of initiatives hoping to connect movie-lovers with movies. Will it be enough to revolutionize exhibition and allow filmmakers greater control over their screenings and profit? Time will tell if new technology will prevail where the old school has failed. Will FINDING HILLYWOOD find its audience? Leah Warshawski will be around to hear the tree fall, the crowd cheer.

Tools, Tech & Gear

Media Inc. asked a few Northwest equipment vendors to share with us one piece of equipment they’re most excited about right now. Read on to find out what they said, and what you should be using on your next shoot.


red jet

Sony F-55

The Sony F-55 is stunning in what it sees. S-Log 3 holds a full 14 stops of latitude, making what once was impossible a walk in the park when it comes to holding exposure. Our workflow is simple. We shoot 4K XAVC and XAVC HD at the same time. There are no real dailies as we edit with the native footage. Not shooting RAW means no conversion pre-edit. What this really means is all of the edit time goes to being creative. red jet will use this camera on everything from small projects to  feature-length documentaries. We are excited.
Jeff Erwin, red jet films


Canon Cinema EOS C100

The Canon Cinema EOS C100, with a Super 35mm sensor and integrated professional audio, is an ideal run-and-gun filmmaking tool. The EF mount provides many options for lenses, from tilt-shift to fisheye to super telephoto. With its small form factor, ergonomical grip, and its incredible low-light performance, this camera is a “go-to choice” for DPs and documentarian filmmakers. Leasing options and rentals are available at Glazer’s Camera.
Debbie Porter, Glazer’s Camera

Oppenheimer Red


The latest cameras from Arri, Canon, RED and Sony are all my favorites in different ways. Digital cameras have come so far since we first got into them in the early 2000s.  They are all my “favorite” because they all come with advantages and disadvantages, but they all open our horizons in new and amazing ways. It is hard to pick just one, because they each answer the questions differently.  Remember that in the film days, the big differential was what filmstock you used, but today the camera is the filmstock, so choice of what camera to use becomes a rather crucial choice. But they all expand your possibilities.
Marty Oppenheimer, Oppenheimer Cine Rental

Picture This Movi

MoVI M10

The MoVI M10 is a 3-axis digital stabilized camera gimbal made by Freefly Systems. This technology has redefined the possibilities for camera movement. The gimbal design uses Freefly’s custom high performance IMU and brushless direct drive system. Key features include translation compensation, live wireless tuning and graphing, remote firmware update, drift free horizon, silent drive, shot recorder, custom direct drive motors and user adjustable shakey cam.
Sari Loveridge, Picture This Production Services

The MoVI gimbal is 100% custom designed in-house by Freefly’s engineering team. Creating the gimbal from scratch allowed Freefly to precisely execute a vision for the next generation of hand held stabilized camera gimbals. MoVI is now empowering a new era of stabilized cinematography and Professional Video of Portland is bringing it to you.
Eric Petrie, Professional Video & Tape

Koerner amira1

Arri Amira

The latest release from camera giant Arriflex is the versatile, documentary-style camera, Amira. Featuring the same quality 35mm sensor as Arri’s successful Alexa, Amira shoots in either 1080 HD or 2K, Log C or Rec 709 and shoots ProRes up to 4444.
One new feature is the recording media; CFast 2.0 cards. It shoots up to 200 fps and comes preloaded with 3D LUT’s and features in-camera grading. With a dynamic range of 14+ stops, Amira is the perfect “go anywhere” camera for the single operator.
Koerner Camera is expecting four Amiras from Arri any day now.
Michael Koerner, Koerner Camera


Pacific Grip celeb 400

Celeb 400 DMX LED

The Celeb® 400 DMX LED is one of the largest LED soft lights available in the market today measuring 45” x 14” (114.5cm x 36cm). Similar in size to the award-winning 4ft 4Bank, the Celeb produces a soft, broad wraparound light quality (CRI 95) and produces color faithfully, beautifully on HD or film, in the studio or on location.
The Celeb boasts technical innovations: dial-in white light from 2700 to 5500 Kelvin and presets with programmable settings; full range dimming without flicker or color shift. Light levels do not change when selecting Kelvin settings.
The Celeb 400 DMX operates at universal input from 100VAC-240VAC. The slim profile fixture produces more lumens than a 1K tungsten soft light, yet uses only 1.8A (120VAC) compared to a tungsten softlight at 8.3A. The Celeb 400 can also be powered by 24VDC battery.
Doug Boss, Pacific Grip & Lighting

Event Comm-CP200D

Motorola CP200


Motorola CP200Digital… New for the production, video, film industry! Have you been frustrated by not having a full digital radio available with a 2 pin accessory connector for your earpiece? Not anymore! The Motorola CP200 digital is now available for rent at Event Communications in Portland, Oregon. This is a full digital radio with all the features of the Motorola XPR 6350 but with a 2 pin connector. Higher quality audio, high capacity lithium Ion battery (50% more talk time), ultra quick charging capability and extremely durable for those unexpected moments on your shoot.
Jay Pomeroy, Event Communications


NW Camera 30' Supertechno large


The award winning 30’ SuperTechnocrane from Northwest Camera Support sets the standard for both telescopic and fixed length cranes. The SuperTechno is the most sought after crane because of its telescopic range and incredible versatility. It is considered by many the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of camera platforms because it can be used for dolly shots, pseudo steadicam shots, and crane shots in areas where conventional fixed length crane arms will not fit. With a 30-foot reach, you can place the camera anywhere within a 60-foot radius without moving the dolly. When the crane is fully extended and tilted all the way up, you can reach a maximum lens height of 30 feet in less than half the space of any conventional crane. The SuperTechnocrane’s maximum telescopic speed is five feet per second. Maneuver in the tightest spaces. Go precisely to the most inaccessible corner. Noiseless. Smooth starts and stops. Fast.
Bryan Fletchall, Northwest Camera Support


5 star

Winnebago Adventurer

This Winnebago Adventurer is 38’ long and comes equipped with everything that is needed for special clients or staff to relax, including 2 slide outs maximizing living room and bedroom space, an electric leather sofa, recliner with ottoman, air conditioning, electric fireplace, two large flat panel TVs, an extra large kitchen with a 4 door refrigerator and ice maker, spacious pass through bathroom that includes a wash sink, toilet, and large shower, a deluxe master bedroom includes queen walk around bed across from a makeup vanity, and much more. This RV offers ample space and is perfect for media and production needs. Delivery and additional equipment can be arranged.
Kristina Evans, Five Star RV

Air Systems

Air Systems’ 12-ton units

Air Systems Sales & Rentals is the primary Pacific Northwest provider of portable and temporary location and set air conditioning, heating and power generation. Our service extends from simple fans and small heaters to 80-ton air conditioning and heating arrangements. We also offer two 12-ton air conditioning units, pictured here cooling a large event tent. The 12-ton portable A/C unit has a cooling capacity of 80/67F (BTU) 149,700 12.48 ton, and the 12-ton portable 480V/3 phase A/C unit has a cooling capacity of 80/67F (BTU) 140,000 12 ton. Both are available on location for a few days, or on stages for extended periods of time.
Cathy Rowland, Air Systems Sales & Rentals

Water Buffalo

Water Buffalo’s truck sprays down a crowd.

Water Buffalo’s six-truck fleet carries a whopping 4,000 gallons of water each, cutting down on re-loading time, saving you money. Our trucks have six-way spray heads, hose reel, nozzles and the ability to hook up to your rain making plumbing. The pump systems have plenty of power to reach far out and to efficiently run multiple spray heads at a time. Trucks are also equipped with C.B. radios. We are ready to go anywhere, anytime to accommodate those beautiful Northwest shots, from street wetting to rain effects.
Phyllis Brown, Water Buffalo

Soundstage Spotlight

3369489_illustration [Converted]

Zarr StudiosZarr Studios_Lower Level Layout
Zarr Studios offers a 6,500 sq. ft. production stage that features a 50’ x 30’ cyclorama wall and 50’ ceilings. This space is ideal for small productions, commercials, music videos, still photo shoots, etc. There is ample daylight or it can be fully blacked out. Our large roll-up door allows straight access to the stage. In addition, included with the stage is a 600 sq. ft. production office, green room, make-up and wardrobe facilities and a full gourmet kitchen. There is a luxurious client lounge with fresh coffee and tea throughout the day, and bathrooms and showers. Please contact us for a tour!

Cine Rent WestCinerent West
Portland’s premier soundstage facility, 35’ x 46’ x 17’ two-wall hard cove cyc. Complete tungsten lighting and grip package. Fisher 10 dolly plus accessories. Production office (DSL, phone lines, fax, copier), green room, conference room, professional kitchen and 18’ x 20’ load-in dock area. Centrally located to downtown and freeways. Ideal facility for both corporate/commercial productions and still photography shoots.


Fremont StudiosFremont Studios
Washington’s largest studio facilities for film, video, live music and television productions. Located minutes east of downtown Seattle in Fremont. The 50,000 sq. ft. facility has 3 studios with a multi-camera video control room, multi-track audio recording, edit suite, kitchen, production offices and wardrobe/makeup rooms. Studio A is 15,000 sq. ft. with a 60’ x 40’ x 42’ performance stage, 20’ grid and 60’ x 100’ hard cyc. It is audience rated with silent A/C.

intersect-videoIntersect Video
Intersect Video specializes in professional video production, audio production and motion graphics, as well as multimedia localization and professional post production for corporate, business, and industrial customers. Intersect Video maintains a 3,500 sq. ft. soundstage with a 16’ x 32’ two wall curved white screen to 16’ tall and a 24.5’ x 45’ three wall curved green screen to 23’ tall. Available with the soundstage are studio grip and lighting rentals, with additional grip packages between 2-4 tons available through our partners at OMPA.

Island Station Media Labphotosesssion_shade_1
Island Station Media Lab is a modest sized multimedia studio facility located 5 miles south of Portland on Hwy 99e. Stage dimensions – 24’ wide by 10’ tall and 14’ deep. Our space accommodates everyone from the largest entertainment company to the smallest podcaster or freelance creative. Our indie creator rates are ridiculously low, and even our highest commercial rate can’t be beat.

pacific gripPacific Grip & Lighting
Pacific Grip & Lighting extends beyond equipment rental. Our Seattle location offers a 4,400 sq. ft. stage with a 2,500 sq. ft. camera prep area, production offices, lunch room for the crew and a pre-cabled, 19½’ grid stocked with lights for illuminating our three wall cyc. In Portland, we are in the midst of building production offices so that your organization can be close to the action.


Picture This Production Services & Stage
The Picture This soundstage is 3,000 sq. ft. with a 40’ x 50’ corner hard cyc with full lighting grid at 18’, dimmer package, 600 amps cam lock and in-house distro, high-lift, large roll-up door for 5-ton drive on, custom air exchange, kitchen and craft services area, green room, lunch room, wardrobe and makeup room, bathrooms and shower, WiFi, telephones, black, bone and blue draping.
Fisher 10 dolly system, grip, lighting and video rentals in-house. Live streaming services available.
Other available features and services are 6K space lights, 4K cyc strips, assorted grid lights, 24’ x 40’ fiber roll out green screen, 8’ round heavy duty turntable with variable speed, Fisher 10 or western dolly with FILMAIR track, various green screen and painted backdrops, and HD monitors.
The stage distro package rental includes 1-600 amp TPD, 3-100 amp lunchbox, 3-100 amp whips, 1-60 amp whip, 1-100 amp to 60 amp Y splitter.

AckermanAckerman Films/Stage 13
Located in Portland’s Pearl district, versatile, creative and comfortable shooting space – perfect for music videos, web, model, product photography. Main shooting area 46’ x 36’ with 20’ ceiling and a 14’ x 26’ x 13’ high corner green cyc that can be any color. Full lighting grid 13’ height adjustable 8’ to 18’ with overhead and floor electric distro. The stage is equipped with in-house grip package, lighting (a la carte), 360 amp service and controllable air flow. Total working space 3,000 sq. ft. Adjoining meeting rooms and green room. Floating cat-walk. Kitchenette. Five bathrooms. Separate table top stage plus many extras: Tool shop, motion control, prop and model rigging, dedicated photo sweep, post solutions, edit/composite, ready for web. Portland’s best restaurants, coffee shops, accommodations, bars and nightlife a block away.

Rex PostRexBlueprints File Set 3-2
Rex has one of the best quiet, medium-sized soundstages in the Northwest, and it is great for audio-sensitive projects. 21’ green screen plus other backdrops (white, gray, brown, mottled) are available. Teleprompter and cameras available too. We can even support you with full crewing. Come visit.

Focus On: NW Talent Agencies

Looking for talent for your next production? Whether you need a voiceover actor for a commercial, a model for a print campaign, or a lead actress for a feature film, these Oregon and Washington agencies have you covered.

In Both EarsIn Both Ears logo
We specialize in giving our customers what we feel are the finest voiceover products around. Radio, television, games, promos, web—we have the talent to take projects where they need to be. Our casting is always complimentary and the talent always hand-selected; no cattle calls at In Both Ears. We can even assist with booking studios and coordinating production, if clients need help with that as well. We consider ourselves part of the creative team. We’re pretty fun that way.

TCM Models & Talenttmc models copy
TCM, now celebrating over 35 years in business, is a full-service model and talent agency located in the heart of downtown Seattle. TCM has consistently enjoyed the reputation as one of the largest, most successful and respected agencies on the West Coast, and provides a comprehensive list of services, representing men, women and children for on camera, voice-over, fashion and commercial print work. TCM offers on-site casting space at no charge in order to assist you in finding the talent best suited for your project. Whatever your next project is, we will put our team of professionals to work at making it your easiest and most productive ever. We love what we get to do!

Topo Swope TalentTopo Swope Logo copy
After 20 years, Topo Swope Talent is considered one of Seattle’s most prestigious agencies, providing one-stop-shopping for the Northwest’s best talent. The agency has grown exponentially over the years while still possessing a boutique feel. The scene at the agency is always lively with three strong team members running things as smoothly as possible while maintaining a sense of humor and fun. TST prides itself on specialized attention to each actor and producer/casting director to meet the needs of each job. This agency represents a myriad of talent for film, TV, voice-overs, interactive games, multimedia, audiobooks, live events, print and much more.
Offering clients the full gamut of experienced actors with integrity and professionalism, you can be sure all casting needs will be satisfied!

Option Model and MediaOPTION_model
Option Model and Media is a full-service talent and modeling agency located in the heart of Portland, Oregon. We proudly offer prompt and professional service to all clients. Whether your need be actors or models, please contact us and let us know how we may assist your next project.

The Actors GroupActors Group logo
With a 28-year history in the Northwest, The Actors Group is well-known for representing top talent in television, film, broadcast, online, game and live event productions. Unlike talent agencies boasting extensive rosters, The Actors Group represents a select group of expertly talented creative individuals, and has long-standing relationships with some of the region’s most recognizable personalities. We offer a hands-on approach to brands and talent seekers, and our focused efforts allow us to recommend the best fit for each project. As experts in creative matchmaking, we are good at connecting the right brands with the right talent, helping raise awareness, drive sales, and deliver results.

Puddletown Talentpuddletown_logo copy 3
Puddletown Talent is a specialized talent agency focusing on the kids market. We represent talent for all areas of the industry. Our kids talent have modeled and acted for such companies as Target, Fred Meyer, Nike, Nintendo, OshKosh, Hanna Andersson, Chrysler, NBC’s Grimm and TNT’s Leverage, to name a few. Puddletown Talent’s attention to detail and devotion to clients and talent will make any casting experience a smooth and memorable one.

Big Fish NW Talentbigfishloggo2
In 1996, Becky Reilly brought talent agency know-how, the will to survive and a bit of a gambling spirit to Spokane. She bet on this unbelievable ‘little city that can,’ and that gamble has paid off!
As Spokane plays host to the Z Nation television series for Syfy, Big Fish finds itself deep in the mix of every aspect of the casting process. A Big Fish talent has the great fortune to have been cast into one of the series regular roles. Thousands of interested locals have made their way to Big Fish to toss hats, ears, legs, lobes, digits, etc., into the ring for consideration as human and zombie extras. And, Big Fish talent throughout the Pacific Northwest have auditioned for what will wind up being the many principal character roles to be cast throughout the first season’s production.
With Spokane hoppin’ with zombies and other projects, Seattle always kickin’ with a variety of production, and Portland continuing to slam out projects, Big Fish’s Spokane and Seattle offices, with more than 3,000 actors and extras, are pleased to be a big part of it all.

Foreground Background LLCforeground
Foreground Background LLC, run by casting director Denise Gibbs, specializes in background extras casting, real people casting and smaller/lower-budget principal casting projects in Seattle and local Western Washington communities. We reach out to over 4,600 local people when casting for films, television, new media, corporate and commercial projects. Our database consists of actors, talent agents, background extras, real people, community theaters, universities and numerous local resources, including the local filmmaking community. Experienced in “real people/mobile casting” at local businesses, factories, schools, churches, community organizations and even people’s homes. We will go to a client’s chosen filming location to interview “real people” on camera (not to be confused with street casting). Some recent 2014 notable projects include Duracell’s “Trust Your Power,” featuring the Seattle Seahawks, and feature films Laggies, directed by Lynn Shelton, and Lucky Them, directed by Megan Griffiths.

TAKE2 Talent AgencyTake2 logo copy
Stacie Overman, owner and president of TAKE2 Talent Agency, is looking for talent of all ages that would like to be a part of TAKE2 and bring all you have. Over the past six years Stacie has helped many up-and-coming talent get started in the entertainment industry. She has placed numerous talented film crew behind the camera, as well as cast in front of the camera. She cast 85 actors in the movie Something Wicked as the Assistant Extras Casting Director, as well as submitted actors that nailed their auditions for principal roles on NBC’s Grimm, Wild, The Librarians and many more. She believes in coaching people to success. Her integrity and work ethic sets her apart from most. She puts all her heart and soul into everything she does. Visit the website and submit your request for consideration.

The View Talent AgencyTVTA logo
We are a full-service agency prepared to offer our clients professional talent resources. TVTA provides clients with individual care, quick communication and excellent service. We take time to develop our talent and only send the ones qualified to meet the needs of the project.
We represent actors, models, and voiceover talent of all ages in the areas of feature film, network television, local and national commercials, commercial print, fashion print, runway, trade shows, and promotions. Our manner is friendly, timely and professional.
TVTA will do everything possible to ensure that your booking goes smoothly and that all talent are on time, professional and as represented in their photos.

Tiffany Talenttiffany talent copy
Tiffany Talent is a full scale booking talent agency for acting, modeling, and voice over talent in the Northwest. Tiffany Talent agency represents highly skilled SAG-AFTRA union talent, as well as non-union talent, in the Seattle, Portland, and Spokane markets. We are fully involved in the casting of all the SAG films and AFTRA television shows produced in the NW, including NBC’s Grimm, TNT’s The Librarians, and numerous features filmed each year. There are also a tremendous number of union commercial jobs produced in the NW, including Ford, Chevy, SPAM, USPS, WA State Lottery, and many more.