View Full Version : Tips on Moving to LA

08-04-2004, 08:44 AM
Anyone have any tips or advice on moving to LA?

Adam Isaac
08-04-2004, 10:13 AM
From Bill's script secret site. Lot of great advice in this post:

Moving to LA? (http://p083.ezboard.com/fscriptsecretsscreenwriterscafe.showMessage?topicI D=233.topic)

Done Deal
08-04-2004, 10:22 PM
And this, of course, from our site: www.scriptsales.com/DDReadMoving.html (http://www.scriptsales.com/DDReadMoving.html)

08-04-2004, 10:28 PM
i just moved, barely been here a week...if you have any specific questions hat the above posts don't answer, feel free to email me...my address is in my profile...

08-05-2004, 11:13 AM
One week... how do you like it so far? is it everything you thought? And where abouts are you?

08-05-2004, 01:49 PM
LA is not the promised land. You may like it. You may hate it. It's just a place.

Moving there doesn't mean your dreams automatically come true.

08-05-2004, 02:27 PM
LA is not the promised land. You may like it. You may hate it. It's just a place.

And what part of the East Coast do you live in? Just kidding. I love LA. My hippy new-age crunchy granola vegan ex-wife would tell me that there is some crossing of world energy lines in LA that energizes me. I gotta go with Randy Newman, I love LA!

Advice: try and get a day job as a longshoreman. I hear they need 13,000 additional because the cargo is stacking up in LA and Long Beach.

08-05-2004, 05:09 PM
LOL, I'm not debating the fact that folks who are serious about screenwriting should make the move at some point.

It's just better not to go with stars in your eyes.

08-05-2004, 05:30 PM
is it everything i thought it would be? that's tough...i moved from austin, TX, so for me the weather is awesome, the people are rude, i live next to a mountain which is pretty cool, the people drive even worse than they did back home, people talk funny, there's not a bbq place on every corner, there's a pantsload of armenians everywhere, there are much fewer hippies, everything's more expensive, and i have yet to receive a 3 picture deal.

obviously your perception is going to shaded in large part by what you're used to and what part of LA you live in. if i had to live in some crappy place in koreatown, for example, i'd be much less happy than i am in burbank. read stuff and visit. rent a car and havea thomas guide. subscribe to westsiderentals.com figure out what your priorities are before you move out here...is living in a trendy part of town important to you? is it important to you to live by yourself, come with someone, find a roommate out here? personally, my finace and i decided that we'd take a smaller place in a less hip part of the city in order to have less financial stress.

looking for apartments, it was a shock to us to learn a lot of apartments out here don't come w/central AC. we're from texas...if you're place doesn't have central AC out there, you're living in a really lousy place. we were extremely shocked to find that not all apartments came w/refridgerators. i'm still shocked by that. but we found a 1br w/fridge, AC (free central AC at that), a pool, in a really nice (as in quiet and well-kept, not ritzy) neighborhood in burbank, right next to glendale. not hip, no fancy restaurants or clubs too nearby, but affordable (895/mo, not bad, it seems, by LA standards) and reasonably big. so there's my story.

everything you read about LA is true, and that includes all the contradictory stuff. it's a huge, sprawling city, so you'll be able to find almost anything you want here. the weather alone is enough to make you question why everyone doesn't live here. just be ready for traffic, lots of driving, and armenians. more questions? let me know...

08-05-2004, 05:49 PM
Third World City.

Nuff said.

08-05-2004, 05:52 PM
looks like you're a real Angelino - griping about Koreans and Armenians in one post.

disclaimer: this is meant as a joke. anyone overcaffeinated, pms-ing, choked by creative frustration, recently cut off by a Korean or mugged by an Armenian should best move on.

08-05-2004, 07:14 PM
some tips
1)thomas guide
2) several mos of rent and/or a job
3)patience. as raven said, being in LA does not guarantee jack and that can be incredibly frustrating.
4)i loathe the weather in la, but then i'm not a fan of brown hazy disgusting smog. after the (bi-annual) rain LA is very pretty for 24-30 hours

08-05-2004, 09:50 PM
What the @#%$ is wrong with koreatown?


08-05-2004, 10:18 PM
For starters, YOU live there, jkk. :)

Boobsie Malone
08-05-2004, 11:02 PM
What he said.


08-05-2004, 11:41 PM
Well that's true.

But k-town has all you can eat korean BBQ.:p

Can I get a witness!

08-05-2004, 11:55 PM
And the fat Korean writer-guy shouts, "Witness! Speak the truth!"

(apologies for hijacking the thread :) )

08-06-2004, 03:30 AM
What's worse is that there's been a recent trend among Koreans who ventured into screenwriting.

They should stick to what they are good at. Dry cleaning, nail salons, and corner bodegas.

Evil Elf the One and Only
08-06-2004, 04:38 AM
Er, I'm so Canadian that I don't even know what a bodega is, and my mind could never wrap itself around the concept of a Korean bodega! But I do know my way around a Chinatown, so maybe moving to Koreatown wouldn't be so heavy on the culture shock as moving to, say, Brentwood. Not to mention less dangerous, from what I hear!

Gai Bao, Siu Mai, Har Gow (http://terminalcity.diary-x.com)

Adam Isaac
08-06-2004, 09:36 AM
They should stick to what they are good at. Dry cleaning, nail salons, and corner bodegas.

shiiiiit....go see Korean cinema is really picking up.

SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER, AND SPRING is one of the best films I saw all year.

IL MARE is more creative and intriguing than ANY Hollywood rom-com to have come out in the couple of years.

Nothing at all wrong with Asian writers/movie-makers

08-06-2004, 10:21 AM
I used to live in a Chinatown in the Far east - yes, they have them there, too.

It smelled BAD.

Nuff said.

08-06-2004, 07:31 PM
please note i said nothing mean about armenians or koreans...simply noted it was something of a surprise to see so many armenians in one place...since i haven't been to armenia and all. and koreatown, well, just didn't seem that attractive a place to live. except for the restaurants. i'm a sucker for kimchi and spicy squid...anyway, i didn't name the part of the city i don't want to live koreatown...it was probably some chinaman that did that.

ah, big lebowski, how i love thee...

08-07-2004, 10:02 AM
You should move to a small town in Idaho. There you find few Koreans or immigrants.

Well, I was out in Los Angeles in the latter have of 2003, and will be back in the late Fall of 2004. If you don't already have a job I recommend temping. Office Team, Stivers, and Core Staffing are all good agencies.

08-07-2004, 09:17 PM
Chinaman is not the accepted nomenclature, Dude. :lol

In all seriousness, two and half of the posters in this thread are Korean - and the two and a half of us can take a joke. So no offense towards Koreans is intended in this thread. :)

Unca Leo
08-08-2004, 12:31 AM
Dude, I'm 1/64th Korean, so adjust your ratios.

08-09-2004, 10:46 AM
Is it then the common thought that I secure a job before I make a move out to LA? And if that is the suggestion, is it possible when I live on the east to secure a job in the west? For all intesive purposes I am in the broadcast television business.

Thanks in advance.

08-09-2004, 02:43 PM
Nobody can tell you what to do before you go. Do whatever seems best to you.

08-09-2004, 06:08 PM
Anywho --

Whether you should have a job or not is a good question - if you have sharp credit and your former landlords like you (and can be contacted) you might be able to rent without a job. If you already have a job, it might make things easier on you getting a place. I leave the choice up to you, but it's something to think about. Temp gigging is good -- and can be difficult to do for studios if you haven't before. But it got me my current full time gig, so....

Other advice:

Mass transit is ugly. Not as bad as some make it out, but not as good as many other major cities. Buses can be helpful -- check out mta.net to look at different routes and whatnot. The trains are more helpful to get between parts of the valley, N. Hollywood, Universal City and Downtown (all those are virtually in a row) - if you do know where you will work, you can use all that and plan a route to get there.

Or if you can drive, just get a Thomas Guide and add 1/2 hour to your travel time when you are figuring how to get from A to B, especially during rush hour.

The studios are largely in (or near) Burbank in the dreaded valley (I live there, it ain't half bad) but Fox, Paramount and Sony are all farther south.

The beach is expensive -- don't live there -- drive there when you wanna go.

There are plenty of networking groups and events --- also you can now go to WGA events as well.

If I think of any more, I'll let you know. The fridge thing was a shock to me too for a while -- but then I realized most people live in apartments all their lives nd prefer to own their fridge and move it with them. Go figure.....

Oh and if you have a cell, check your coverage -- I lived in dead zone for four months. half a block in any direction - coverage. In my home - nada.


08-09-2004, 07:13 PM
Sebs thats great advice for me thank you. Let me layout the deal for you and if you could take one more moment for me and offer another opinion.


I'm married and we have three kids. I have a career in television production on a regional level in the northeast. I edit, produce and write as a career. Screenwriting is a love and final life desire. The problem I have is that the current market I live in has nothing more to offer. We have family out in LA in the business.

I want to make the move, my wife will because of me and her sister is there.

Not sure on the proper approach still trying to figure it out. Not looking for the answer of all answers just another perspective. You know, another set of eyes.


08-11-2004, 04:10 PM
If you're able to get employment in Los Angeles before arriving, then do so. If not, simply bring enough money for you and your family to live for 6 months, and come to LA.

I'm making the move myself from New York to Los Angeles around Nov. I spent half of 2003, so I already know the way around.

Much of the film industry is in San Fernando Valley. You've other industry jobs in Hollywood. Sony Pictures is in Culver City. The beach area (Marina del Rey, Santa Monica, and Venice) have some film jobs too.

As one person pointed out, the beach area can be expensive but I live in Manhattan now, so for the money I am paying in rent here, I'd do just as well to live in the beach area when I come back out there.

The only thing is it will take awhile to go from the beach area to downtown LA, San Fernando, etc (from public transportation the commute is too far) I'd recommend living there only if you intend to work there. Even driving by car you'll have quite aways to go.

The areas close to trains and not far from a number of film industry jobs are N. Hollywood, Hollywood, and downtown Los Angeles. (served by the Red Line)

08-11-2004, 04:52 PM
Got kids, huh? Well, you asked the right guy -- got a rugrat myself and thinking about another. If AprilHamilton is around, she's another good parent/writer resource as I believe she has a couple.

It sounds like you have production experiance which will go a long way towards getting work. That could relieve a lot of stress finacially which will help the writing. Believe you me, creativity is not enchanced by poverty when you have kids. See if the people you have worked with back east have contacts out here and if they would make an intro. That way you can get your face out there and even if there is no work right away, they;ll know who you are. Talk to the family you have out here in the biz as well - just feel them out and see if you know if they have friends in production.

Sounds like the family (wife and kids) are behind you 100% and that's great. And if you have relatives here, that will help as well.

You may want to research school districts and particular schools as you look for a place to live if the kids are school age. LA Public schools vary WIDELY in quality. But there are some really good ones as well.

I'll think of some more if I can.

Screenwriting (as we all know) is a tough road to haul - moving your family here is ballsy - but it sounds as if you have a lot of good tools at your disposal. If you have any specific questions, you can IM me too -- I will be checking the boards more often as I wrap my current script up........ :D

08-11-2004, 09:43 PM
How difficult is it to find a job good enough to support your writing habit until you find a writing job to support your habit of existing?

BTW, I'm originally from an Idaho town inhabited by many former Californians who repeatedly complained about how awful it is and how much better it is to live in Idaho (until winter hit). I guess it's a matter of deciding what you really want out of life.

08-12-2004, 05:15 PM
I just found a freebie website that lists EVERY entertainment job board and entertainment temp agency in the Los Angeles area: www.ihatemylife.us

08-12-2004, 09:33 PM
I Hate My Life (http://www.ihatemylife.us/jobs.html) is a great site. In addition to the job resources, check out the "Ten Things Worse Than Being Homeless."

08-14-2004, 02:24 PM
Very informative site. Thanks for the link.

08-17-2004, 03:22 PM
oh.my.god. did I read right? Lots change around here in the past few months... JUSTINOIV moving to LA??? Is nothing sacred???

someone once said it best re: moving to LA: "lower your expectations and bring a lot of money."

but I would have to say, it is a place but it is also the promised land. lots of great things have happenned since moving for me. (hard stuff too). go for it!!!

btw, Beverly Hills (slums of) near Cent. City and Pico has some pretty reasonable rents.

and speaking of... my building is filled with old Russian guys with protuding waistlines and craggly feet who hang out by the pool all day playing chess and arguing politics.
whatcha gonna do? it's home.