Well, so much for the studio

I was a ‘partner’ in a local studio. I put quotes around ‘partner’ because it was a handshake deal.

My partner is sick and tired of weddings. Weddings are the studio’s bread and butter, but he wants to make movies. We started one, which I’ve mentioned elsewhere, but we ran into difficulties in December. The holidays, of course. And one of our customers had to have a shoot done right now! and that threw off the schedule. Pard was having relationship issues with his g/f – who happened to be the one in the studio who booked the weddings and co-produced the film. They’re back together now. And previously-shot weddings were coming due and had to be edited.

I haven’t had a chance to learn Final Cut Pro yet. I offered to do the rough cuts of the wedding, but he said it would be quicker if he did them. But there’s another guy who can edit. The plan was that he would move into the studio. We’d both shoot, he’d edit, and I’d learn FCP. We’d bring another person in to book the weddings. Only he doesn’t want to do it full-time. I’m not in a position where I’d want to be on the hook for the building rental.

So I made three trips to pick up my gear. (I have lots of gear.) Pard packed his van – and I do mean ‘packed’ – and is on his way to Spokane. The other guy is taking the business name and will maintain the website. He and I will work together when weddings come up. But I know he’s not going to go out looking for gigs. I’ll work with Pard when he’s working for our main customer here in town.

The goal now is to get the bloody film finished. We might start up again in a month and a half. Only one of the actresses wants out. We’ve already shot here scenes! And one of the actors is in a bit of a mood.

So I’m going to look for a real job. If I can’t find something up here, then I’ll look back in SoCal. But I really want to finish the film.

Actors/actresses…can’t live with them, can’t shoot them. Well, unless they’re already done filming their dialog scenes. Then you can just bury the body and insert their image digitally in post. But I digress.

Bummer, but you’d be welcome back down here in La La land, and you might be in a better position to find work (as a filmaker, I mean).

You know, I had this notion for a screenplay…ah, never mind.

Good luck with whatever happens,


Do whatever you have to do to get that film in the can!

Even a truly crappy film under your arm is better than, “I almost finished a film but…”.

Studios and movers and shakers really need to have something, and you really need something, to get through the door.

I know it is easy for me to say, “get it done”, but seriously, so much work has already gone into it, just salvage what you can, do a re-cut, re-write, whatever - and put something together.

You will regret not going that last mile - take it from someone who was there.

Definitely. Pard closed a business he’s worked five years building so that he can finish the film. Now that he no longer has to worry about Bridezillas, he can concentrate on finishing. There’s still some stuff that needs to be shot here (Whatcom County), but I’ll be driving out to Spokane to finish. Conveniently, as the DP, I have all the lights! :smiley:

We have a pretty good chance of selling lots of copies ourselves. Enough to at least make back our investments. It would be foolish to not finish a film where we already have people wanting to buy it. And it might look good to distributors if we are successful self-distributing.

In the meantime, I need to start posting my surplus equipment on eBay. (35mm Arri, 16mm Arri, a couple of Bolexes, one with a Tobin motor, some lights…)

I know how much you dislike So. Cal., but I really think this may be one of those “right place, right time” things. Mr. beckwall is training a new associate and IIRC they are both learning FCP. Or was it Avid? Anyway, even out here in Palm Springs there’s tons of work, especially if you are experienced. And Mr. beckwall still edits weddings to make some extra $$$ - apparently his part time partner knows some people who know some people, cuz they just shot a 3 camera wedding of a well known celebrity (can’t say his name, just that he’s on a weekly TV show and has been in numerous movies), which Mr. beckwall is now putting together. You know those gigs pay pretty well, especially when celebrities are involved. Mr. beckwall’s main gig is writer/producer/editor of a health journal show that airs mainly in OC, and the market for this type of show is expanding like crazy. He has more work than he can do in a 60 hour week. He recently went to the county wide drill over in LA and shot 6 hours of emergency workers responding to a mock disasterl. He made $500. Anyway, good luck whatever you decide to do. Send us an e-mail if you want to talk business, ok?

Yeah, L.A. was driving me sane! Now that I’ve had a break from it, I can think about what it was that was bugging me. Primarily it was the weather. Although I lived in the Mojave Desert before coming to L.A., I didn’t like the hot, sunny weather all the time! But I’m adaptable, and can deal with weather. The other part of it was boredom. I seemed to lack a purpose. I needed new surroundings. But I’ve made some good friends through the Dope down there. It helps to have friends around. There’s no doubt that I’ll long for cool weather and rain if I move back. I love cool weather and rain. But I’ll break down and get an air conditioner this time around.

Trying not to hijack your thread, but you brought it up…I absolutely LOVED Los Angeles and only moved because of insane housing prices and traffic that turned me into a screaming, raving lunatic behind the wheel. But the weather? And if I recall, when it rains in LA, it doesn’t mess around - used to get some wild-ass storms there! But maybe you were in the wrong place at the wrong time…we lived in West Hollywood, surrounded by people in the entertainment industry and were constantly going to private film screenings, openings of shows and plays, parties with famous and someday-to-be-famous people, theater, art shows…and of course met a lot of porn stars and would bump into major celebrities at the supermarket or in restaurants or at the bank. And if you want it cool - try to find a way to live up in the hills…it is easily 10 degrees cooler there, if not more, in he evenings and you feel like you are living in the woods. There are occasional sublets or roommate possibilities there - but I don’t need to tell you the price to buy something there. All in all, I think LA is what you make of it. You have to get your ass out there to meet people, and network, and do what it takes. If you don’t have the drive, you will be mowed over by a couple hundred thousand people who DO have the motivation - so dive in and go for it!

I lived in L.A. for 17 years. I loved it for the first decade or so. After friends moved away, I broke up with my g/f, and dad died and I couldn’t go up to his place in Lancaster, it started to wear me down.

Ex-g/f lives in Hollywood, just under two miles from Cedars. (I lived up the street from Sony, BTW.) She’s practically begging me to move in with her. Large 2BR apartment, my share of rent less than $500/month. A former neighbour would rent me a room too.

Man, there’s nothing in Mojave except for Edwards AFB and a bunch of meth cookers…er…what is it that you did there?

LA? Weather? What? We have climate, not weather. :wink:

Actually, you’re missing all the loverly cold weather and rain right now. Heck, there was frost on the top of buildings in Upland this morning on my drive in. I do miss the thunderstorms of the Midwest and the misty winters of the PNW, but LA has its compensations. Besides, you come down and we’d have to have a Dopefest.


I did come down in December, and there was a Dopefest! :wink:

Cold weather we’ve got. It was overcast today, but before today we had like five days of sunshine. Summers up here are fantastic.

I worked at Edwards. Meth wasn’t that big when I lived there. When I was there you either built aircraft at Palmdale, flew them at Edwards, or grew alfalfa.

Of course, nobody tells me. :frowning:


Calling All Southern Californians :stuck_out_tongue:

Sounds like we’ll have to have another one just so you can come! (And the tax guy said I can make three or four trips to SoCal every year and write them off as business expenses.)

So, is someone arranging this, and where can I check in? I’d make a stab at setting it up myself, only when attempting to even arrange for people to go to lunch I end up with two abortive RSVPs, so that would be a hopeless task. I believe we Pasadena/South Pas Dopers would be willing to make a date, if I may speak for Campion, anu-la1970, and other in the immediate area.


Of course, the perfect place for an LA Dopefest would be in Las Vegas! On any given weekend, 200,000 people drive in from LA anyway! Let me know and I will gladly help organize it here!

And Johnny L.A. I wasn’t aware of that part of your past history with the city, so forgive me if I sounded condescending. Was not my intent…I always try to warn people heading there to either be up for the competition, or face a rough road - but you’ve been there, done that and know that. And that sharing of apartment for that price -well, that is certainly something you should give consideration to, if things are still going well with you and gf…won’t find too many deals like that in LA!

'79 man, I’m only 26. Anyway, this year I decided to stop aging. I’m just gonna ride out 26 for another good ten years.

I love L.A.! It was the final nail in the coffin of years of depression. No more school…EVER, sunshine every day…squirrells throwing avocadoes at me, 70% of my paycheck disappearing through taxes. What more could a girl want?

Seriously, for all that I get sneering comments when I tell my classmates from Illinois that I moved out there…I’m looking at the frozen lake right now (my sister and brother-in-law live on Lakeshore in a shmancy condo) and feeling smug about the decision.

Good thing I’m missing the freeze, though.