Trish and Harold's Weblog

News, information, and random thoughts from the busy lives of Trish Egan and Harold Phillips.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Changes in Management (Sorta)

This one's more of a business notice than anything else...

The talent agency landscape in Portland is going through a major shift. As most of you know, I've been with Murphy Talent Group for the past three years. They've treated me really well, and they've done a lot to raise the profile of local talent to the area's producers (and to out-of-town producers as well). Recently my agent, Kaili Canfield, announced she and her partner Moreen Littrell are spinning off a new talent agency Arthouse Talent and Literary. MTG is going to focus exclusively on print and modeling, and will represent their film and television actors in that capacity.

Here's the official release introducing Arthouse Talent and Literary:


Kaili Canfield and Moreen Littrell announce the formation of Arthouse Talent & Literary to exclusively represent actors, writers, directors and producers

PORTLAND, OR— November 15, 2007— Entertainment industry veterans, Kaili Canfield and Moreen Littrell announce the formation of Arthouse Talent & Literary, a boutique talent agency based in Portland, to exclusively represent actors, writers,
directors and producers.

"We're very excited about working with Arthouse knowing the professionalism, talent and discernment of its founders," says top local casting director, Lana Veenker of Lana Veenker Casting. "Kaili and Moreen bring a breadth of experience to the table, and their caliber of service is sure to take the industry by storm."

Small is thinking big.

"We came to realize that a niche focus was necessary to fuel the careers of our talent roster," says Canfield, who along with Littrell, exits Murphy Talent Group where Canfield grew the actors division from zero to over 200 in four years, and Littrell launched
the film and literary division last Spring. Canfield and Littrell each have 15 years of industry experience; Canfield in the Portland market, and Littrell in Los Angeles and New York. Under the new formation, Murphy Talent Group will represent models exclusively.

"While Portland is a juggernaut of creative talent, routinely named one of the top ten indie filmmaking cities in the nation and host to every conceivable film festival and writing group, its respective talent hasn't enjoyed the level of advocacy and career orchestration their peers receive in Hollywood," says Littrell, an native Oregonian who previously worked at William Morris Agency in Beverly Hills on behalf of A-list clients including Darren Star ("Sex and the City"), J.J. Abrams ("Lost"), Kiefer Sutherland, Bob Weide ("Curb Your Enthusiasm"), and Heyday Films ("Harry Potter").

"We hope to fill that void, and help orchestrate it so that our talent, local and otherwise,
enjoy more career-elevating opportunities and visibility," says Canfield.

Eminent local talent and union leadership welcome Arthouse.

David Poulshock, principal of one of Portland's premier production companies, Red Door Films, says, "Arthouse is raising the bar for talent representation in this market at a perfect time in the evolution of theregion's creative culture. Their stable of talent is
phenomenal, and Red Door fully intends to tap that pool of talent for its upcoming projects. We look forward to working with Moreen and Kaili on many levels."

Award-winning filmmaker Nick Lyon ("Punk Love" and "Species: The Awakening") launched his career in the Northwest (and Germany) before heading to Los Angeles, and is one of Arthouse's newest clients. "I have always been saying that Portland needs an agent to help local filmmakers, writers and commercial directors to organize and to compete in the Northwest market," says Lyon. "I believe Arthouse will help both clients and freelance directors become more effective, and will open up the notion that freelance directors can be hired with or without an entire company attached. I look forward to continuing to work in Portland, and believe Moreen is a very personable and professional agent with whom I am lookingforward to working."

Award-winning actor Robert Blanche who works in both the Portland and Los Angeles markets, is also SAG Branch President and AFTRA Board Representative for Portland. As such, he has a keen insight ofthe market's potential and is especially optimistic about Arthouse's ability to leverage it. "It's very exciting for Portland to be getting quality representation that will focus solely on actors, writers, and directors who have professional synergies that haven't been properly exploited," says Blanche. "I
believeArthouse will help stimulate this market, give it greater credibility and facilitate a wealth of new possibilities for all of the players involved."

Arthouse's stable includes many local talents

In addition to Blanche (who was recently named "Best Actor" at the Drake International Film Festival in Italy for his performance in "Punk Love"), Canfield's talent roster of actors includes Laura Birn (who just completed a 15-year run as a co-star of "Young
& The Restless"), Lauren McKinney (the 15-year-old costar in Gus Van Sant's Cannes award-winning "Paranoid Park"), and October Moore (co-star of the forthcoming feature film "Selfless"). It also includes significant leadership from among the local SAG and AFTRA boards, including Chrisse Roccaro (AFTRA local board President, SAG Branch VP, and AFTRA national board member), and AFTRA board representatives Victor Morris and Michele Mariana.

In addition to Lyon, Littrell's client list of writers, directors and producers includes (but
is not exclusive to) several local talents. Among them are award-winning screenwriter/novelist/director Jan Baross (Jose Builds a Woman), writer/director/producer Michael J. Prosser ("The Dividing Hour" and the forthcoming "Recovery"), and Patrick Wensink who pitched his novel, Broken Piano For President to her at the most recent Willamette Writers Conference.

"I'm delighted to be part of the Arthouse talent pool," says Moore. "It's not every day you get to watch your agent create an agency built on a foundation that truly has the talents' best interests in mind. I have already observed some of the changes Kaili and Moreen have made in operating Arthouse and there is a passion and style that not only the talent but the local industry will benefit from."

Founders Canfield and Littrell have both been "talent" themselves

Canfield previously headed the actors' divisions at Ryan Artists and her own agency,
Actors Only, and was an assistant to Casting Director Pam Gilles. As an actor, she had roles in Mr. Holland's Opus and numerous regional commercials. She was also one of the original directors for Krayon Kids Musical Theatre Co. and was a professional figure skater for eight years.

Littrell previously managed Rob Schneider's film production office, worked at ICM on behalf of A-list actors (including Samuel Jackson, Christina Ricci, and James Spader), and at Oxygen Media for the first two years of its launch. Her own writing has been in
development and optioned for TV and Film, and appeared on network TV. Her acting
credits include Bram Stoker's Dracula, a Guinness Beer commercial directed by Ridley Scott, and off-off-Broadway sketch comedy of which she also directed.

# # #


Arthouse Talent & Literary is a(n) SAG and AFTRA franchise-pending, full-service talent agency based in Portland, Oregon. Founded in Winter 2007 by Kaili Canfield and Moreen Littrell, veterans of the entertainment industry, Arthouse represents actors, writers, directors and producers.

ARTHOUSE Talent & Literary
107 SE Washington St #156
Portland, OR