About moving to California.

I grew up in Orange County and used to work on film sets as an extra in Los Angeles. I was less than 50 miles away but it took up to 2 hours to get back home every night with traffic. Definitely not worth it for that minimum wage paycheck, or for any low level crew.

If you're michael bay, however, just take your helicopter into work everyday problem solved.

If you're just a screenwriter, I guess you don't need to be in LA, but you're going to spend a fortune on travel costs every time you need to take a meeting in LA, which will be often.
 
I had a location scout call me the other day from LA looking for a place to film a war movie.

One of my locations is a former military base that has partially been turned over to local officials.

He told me that he was charged $3000.00 to film for four hours on PUBLIC PROPERTY (a former military base) by local bureaucrats in California. They did not need street closures, crowd control or security, they just needed some military style building for background shots.

Most of California is suffering from a self-inflicted wound called Progressive Liberalism. They have priced themselves out of business by over taxing and over regulating most businesses and industry.

Georgia, Louisiana and other states now have established film industries and I plan on doing the same in Alabama.

If you want to stretch a film budget head for the South. Most states here are "right to work" and if you don't want to use union people no one can make you.

If you stay out of the major metropolitan areas (all ran by Democrats) the local officials are easy to work with and do not try to extort ridiculous amounts of money out of you.

The Alabama Film Commission has tax incentives for movies with a budget of 500K and above.

Move where you want to but in my opinion (and I used to go to CA a lot) the quality of life in that state is on the decline no matter what your station in life is.

And on a similar note: I have been trying to build relationships with people out there and I have never dealt with so many firewalls and rude people in my life and I have a long career in Public Relations.

They don't answer phones, don't return phone calls and don't seem to want to deal with anybody outside their inner circle.

We start casting for our first movie next month and unless I get some positive feedback real soon I won't even try to work with agents out there. I'll use the best regional actors I can get and call it good.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I couldn't think of anything worse than getting up at 5am for a 9am call, doing a 12 hr day and then not getting home until after midnight...

But to each their own, it's certainly an option if the traffics not too horrendous

Well my point was that you can scout for actors and audition everyone from la or making business deals in la. you don't need to work in la everyday just mingle there from time to time. it was just a thought. also you can drive to the beach for a weekend or something. the west coast beaches are a lot better than what we have over here on the east coast.
 
Well my point was that you can scout for actors and audition everyone from la or making business deals in la. you don't need to work in la everyday just mingle there from time to time. it was just a thought. also you can drive to the beach for a weekend or something. the west coast beaches are a lot better than what we have over here on the east coast.

The west coast beaches are definitely better. And I like your idea of mingling in LA to get the contacts and deals. I'm thinking of moving to Hawaii, quite frankly.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
The west coast beaches are definitely better. And I like your idea of mingling in LA to get the contacts and deals. I'm thinking of moving to Hawaii, quite frankly.

i've lived in hawaii and california. the beaches in hawaii are definitely the best. and now here I am in MD with our damn arctic gusts :lol:
 
The summers in the east coast are muggy, which I don't like. I've been wanting to live in a Pacific paradise, but I also want to get into film, so it will be a toss-up between the two.
 
I like right-to-work states, but the point remains, I don't know where I want to move to.

Thanks, everyone, for your input. :)

Right-to-work, my ass! Ugh! This is another one of those laws that has a title that is completely opposite of the actual effect it has on society. They should rename it right-to-get-worked-over.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
indiePRO
Are we talking abut the best beaches and weather? I got the
impression this was about where a producer should live to
optimize opportunities.

It would be hard to beat Hawaii for the beaches and weather
in the States.
 
Are we talking abut the best beaches and weather? I got the
impression this was about where a producer should live to
optimize opportunities.

It would be hard to beat Hawaii for the beaches and weather
in the States.

It's a combination of both. You want to pursue your dream, but you also want to live in a nice locale.

Anyway, I've been watching Detroit, which became the largest American city to go bankrupt, and its real estate is bouncing back. Not only that, I read recently that the major auto companies moved their financing divisions from New York to Motown, which is a further indication that Detroit is not going to go away.

In a similar vein, London is still one of the world's largest or second largest financial capitals (along with New York), even though the British empire is no longer around. So there is evidence that, once a city becomes an intellectual hub for a certain industry, the best and brightest will still congregate there to make business deals even if the work is not actually done in that city.

The implications for LA are enormous.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
indiePRO
It's a combination of both. You want to pursue your dream, but you also want to live in a nice locale.
In that case you should use local as your first choice. One can
make films anywhere in the world. No need to be in Los Angeles
at all.
 
In that case you should use local as your first choice. One can
make films anywhere in the world. No need to be in Los Angeles
at all.

Absolutely. But, as you said, the lore of Hollywood is meeting someone in a restaurant and then making history, so, the longer he stays in LA, the better the chances of meeting that someone. That said, people have left to do work outside, so the need is less.

But LA, as I've said, is still the place to make contacts.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
indiePRO
But LA, as I've said, is still the place to make contacts.
I agree. Which is why I asked about local. I'm a bit surprised that
beaches and weather is part of the decision.

That said, people have left to do work outside, so the need is less.
Sure, people already successful have left to do work outside. But
isn't that a different scenario then someone just breaking in – like you?
Once a producer is established and can afford to travel in for meetings
(and is in demand for said meetings) leaving L.A. to do work outside
is an option. Many (most?) do not.
 
Good point, Rik.

The thing is, many companies in LA are closing up because of runaway production, including a major prop house and a supplier of lumber and hardware. On top of this is a general wariness by Californians that, while they have come out of the recession, the good times may not come back, because of ever-increasing global competition.

I know lots of people who have gone through the same process, so I understand the situation. As for whether I should live in LA, as opposed to just setting up an office, that's a different matter. You see, the deals may still be made in California, but what law would apply? If Iron Man 3 was filmed in North Carolina, wouldn't the contract state that the courts of North Carolina would take jurisdiction if there was an issue? That's what I've been asking.
 
On top of this is a general wariness by Californians that, while they have come out of the recession, the good times may not come back, because of ever-increasing global competition.

I'd say that's not specific at all to California. Cautious optimism tempered by a general concern that we might have another crash seems to be the norm everywhere these days, and with good reason - we're not really recovered from the last crash, although we seem to be heading that way slowly and with fits & starts. I'd say anyone who's not concerned about another crash, regardless of where they are or what industry they're in, isn't paying attention.

It's a combination of both. You want to pursue your dream, but you also want to live in a nice locale.

I've got to say it seems like you're either trying to talk yourself out of moving to LA, or you don't really want to and are looking for excuses to go somewhere else. If you're really serious about pursuing your dream, you go where you need to go to get it done. You've said your interest is in producing, and all of this economic stuff aside the truth of the matter is LA is still the place where the deals get made. If that's what you're determined to do, that's where you go - f*ck the 'nice locale'. Once you've made it as a producer you can buy yourself a beautiful place in Hawaii.
 
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directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
indiePRO
You see, the deals may still be made in California, but what law would apply? If Iron Man 3 was filmed in North Carolina, wouldn't the contract state that the courts of North Carolina would take jurisdiction if there was an issue? That's what I've been asking.
Ahhh, legal questions. How lawsuits are handled is completely out of my
wheelhouse. I'm a producer, writer and director not a lawyer I don't fully
understand laws of each state. I did not get any of this from your first
question on this thread.

I still say you should use locale as your first consideration as to where to
live. Have a Los Angeles office then fly in and out for meetings. California
and L.A. seem to cause you great concern so you shouldn't live here.

However, if doing business is your primary need for where to live you
should overcome your concerns and live in Los Angeles. A great place to
be as you begin your career as a Mogul. Then when you have plenty of
money and contacts you can move to Hawaii for the beaches.

BTW: For each prop house and lumber supply company that closes, three
pop up to replace them. House of Props is two blocks from me. I popped
in to chat with Phil every couple of week. He's 91 years old. I spoke to
him on Jan 29. It's inaccurate of you to suggest his closing his place is
because of anything other than it was time to retire. OMEGA CINEMA PROPS
has four warehouses within five blocks of HOP and they are going strong.
 
My producer buddy called me from LA today. He's coming out in a few weeks to scout locations to film several movies. He has an office in LA and one in Nashville, TN.
We had a long conversation about what there is in this area to attract independent and major film companies.
He said the high cost of production and the hoops he has to jump through has finished any future plans to film out there.
He wants to liaison with me and other producers out here and film low and medium budget films using resources available in my area and other in southern states.
He will continue to live in LA and use his contacts to find people that want to use our services and to distribute productions we create.
While the movie industry and culture is still alive and well out there, the state is pricing itself out of the market. When Obamacare really kicks in the situation is probably going to get even worse.
 
Where to film and where the business is are two different questions. There's certainly a lot of places that make more sense to use as locations than LA - but at least in the short term (next decade or so) I don't see that changing the fact that the big studios and most of the producers putting deals together are still there.

I've been in Philly for just a couple weeks now and it looks like it's going to be a great place to shoot. It doesn't seem like there's a big production or indie scene here, at least not on the scale I'm used to in SF, but this place is full of free production value - every other street feels like it could be a great location. The permitting process and requirements seem pretty simple too. It's going to be a few months before I'm really settled and ready to get back into filmmaking, but I'm definitely excited about doing it here... but that's also because I personally have no interest in the business side of hollywood, I just want to make films.
 
The LA Times has an article on how the city's employees live outside the city, where real estate is cheaper. That's true not just for those employees but for people in general - I see workers in all areas who work downtown and live in the far suburbs.

Many more out-of-town L.A. employees are in close cities such as Long Beach, Inglewood and Palmdale, with nearly 4 out of 5 city employees living somewhere in Los Angeles County. And one-fifth of full-time city employees live in the Inland Empire or Orange or Ventura counties.

But they don't have to stay in California.

A handful of L.A. employees — 48 out of nearly 35,000 full-time city workers — get their paychecks delivered out of state, a few as far away as Colorado and Alaska. More than half of those are in the Fire Department, where firefighters can schedule blocks of days at work, followed by blocks of days off.

I have experience in this - they reside outside for tax purposes as well as for cost-of-living reasons, and they rent a hole near their place of employment. I fly out quite often for my work, and that's so lucrative that I've been thinking of doing it on a more permanent basis.

I've reviewed the posts on this thread, so I have a lot of information. That said, my goal is to make my own film(s), not work in someone else's, so my requirements would be different.
 
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