View full sizeKimberley French/Summit EntertainmentThe possibility of sharing a set with “Twilight” stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart might lead many a teen into a scammer’s arms. All your teenager wanted for Christmas was a part in the next “Twilight” movie.
Since the first two films in the “Twilight Saga” series, “Twilight” and “New Moon,” have been released and the third, “Eclipse,” has been shot, teens all over the world are getting desperate. Their last chance to be the kid sitting in the back of the lunchroom, or the teenager behind the counter of the coffeehouse, or even the brown dot on the horizon in a crowd scene, could soon be gone.
So your teen jumps on the Internet and starts searching for audition opportunities. Or your daughter, who belongs to a “Twilight” fan site, gets an e-mail out of the blue from a “casting scout” for “Breaking Dawn,” the fourth film in the series.
Don’t fall for it.
According to Lana Veenker, who owns Lana Veenker Casting in Northwest Portland, “It’s all a scam.”
Lana should know. Not only is she a legitimate casting agent, but she’s also the casting agent who gave people real parts in the first “Twilight” movie, which was shot in Oregon and Washington.
Which puts her in the hot seat these days when teens want to know how they can be in “Breaking Dawn.”
A good number have been asking Lana about ads they’ve seen online or e-mails they’ve received offering chances to audition.
Lana says the ads and e-mails claim “the deadline is approaching to audition for ‘Breaking Dawn,’ very imminently. They say ‘on Monday,’ or ‘in a few days.’ And they say, ‘You’ll miss your opportunity unless you register now,’ and ‘it’s free for you to register.’
“But when you go there, you discover ‘register’ means you give them all your contact information.”
Lana followed the links in a few ads and in e-mails that folks forwarded to her. She got to a page that claimed to be a casting call for “Breaking Dawn.”
“It says by checking ‘apply,’ you will send a link with your profile directly to the casting agent.”
People who signed up said that once they sent photos and contact info, they started getting messages, supposedly from the casting director. But they couldn’t read the messages unless they paid for an account.
It’s all a scam, Lana says.
“Anyone who is saying click here to audition for ‘Breaking Dawn,’ or the deadline is coming up, is lying. ‘Breaking Dawn’ is not in production. No casting directors have been hired. Nobody is hiring extras.”
First of all, “they haven’t even announced what city or country they’re going to shoot in,” Lana says. “They may shoot in Vancouver again,” in British Columbia. If they do, “they’re not going to hire American extras to shoot in Vancouver. American kids wouldn’t be legal to work in Canada anyway without work permits.
“There’s no way the production company would hassle getting permits for extras when thousands are dying to be in this who live right there.”
Even if Summit Entertainment, the company that produces the films, chooses to shoot in Oregon again — and there have been rumors it might — Lana says casting directors would never sift through individual applications for extras. They’d have a casting call and check out thousands at a time.
Kids who think they could be cast in actual roles need a reality check, Lana says. In the first film, a few roles did go to actors who weren’t yet famous. “But they were known to casting directors around the country,” Lana says. “They weren’t just plucked up off the street because they were fans.”
Lana thinks “Breaking Dawn” won’t be shot until the third film, “Eclipse,” is released, which is scheduled for June. “Publicity will need the lead actors until then for press, to go to premieres all over the world and appear on shows like Jay Leno’s.
“But even if, say, they were going to start shooting on June 1, the principal casting company would be hired maybe eight weeks before then, and it will work with actors who have talent agents already. There may not be any open calls.”
So anything that says casting is “imminent” is wrong.
“And extras won’t be hired until a week or so before production.”
One last thing: “No bona fide casting director charges anyone money to audition. That’s the bottom line.”
Your kid wants to be in “Breaking Dawn”? Get him to an acting class. Get her an agent. But you’d better do it fast.
This is all pretty obvious though, that these are scams. I mean why would Summit have to advertise like that? Eh, it sucks if people are really putting their money into these things.