LA Neighborhoods



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  • #16
    Re: LA Neighborhoods

    First of all I want to thank everyone for posting, and please keep it coming, all the more the merrier. It really does help me narrow it down to a few promising places.

    As for my writing, I am the first one to say that I have not done all I can as far as getting reads, contacting agents, etc. That is on my plan before I go to LA. Like starting now...

    I think some of you have the wrong impression about me. First of all my children are small, only two are in elementary school, one actually in Kindergarten, my husband does not have a career, just a simple sales job at a music store (he is a guitar player and a dreamer also of course). When I say uprooting it is true in the fact that we have always lived within an hour of where we live now. I do not mean it in the sense that I am ripping my husband from a career or my children from their beloved friends. I do know that I have to get some kind of feedback. I have read hundreds of screenplays, tons of screenwriting books, etc., etc., which in fact in no way guarantees that I am any good at all, just that I know how to read. I may really suck. I may be one of those 100,000 who wrote a screenplay this year who never sold anything... but isn't just the thought of being one of those 24 worth every minute of torture and agony, even if never to be recognized.

    I must say that I do not think I will go to LA and be some big screenwriter... believe me I have recited my Oscar speech as I am sure the next wannabe screenwriter has, but I am not unrealistic or naive to the fact that it is going to be extremely hard.

    Please believe me I welcome all of your criticism, as I am sure I will have mountains of it coming my way. To be honest, just the thought that I am making this move and I am going after my own dream, even with three kids and the whole family thing......then it is worth every stupid mistake I make in the process.

    By the way, I asked Dave in Hollywhooped about moving to LA about a year ago, he said (I am not quoting) that if you want a career in screenwriting you have to be in LA. He said that if you live somewhere else you should put that you are willing to come to LA to meetings, etc. But hey I know every one has their own opinions, that is why they are so wonderful and appreciated!


    • #17
      Re: LA Neighborhoods

      Burbank sounds like it might be the type of neighborhood you're looking for. I live just above Glenoaks and it reminds me a lot of home (which for me was a suburban, midwest, soccer-mom land).

      Also, take Kullervo up on her offer or I'm going to find where you live, break into your house while your out, and send her one of my scripts while pretending to be you.

      Yes, I'm kidding, but not by much. In fact, I bet the thought ran through a few other DDer's minds, as well.
      "The intrepid Spaceman Spiff is stranded on a distant planet! Our hero ruefully acknowledges this happens fairly frequently." Calvin & Hobbs


      • #18
        Re: LA Neighborhoods

        Hey Kullervo--

        If I threaten to move to LA, will you make the same offer to me??


        • #19
          Re: LA Neighborhoods

          I've created a monster...



          • #20
            Re: LA Neighborhoods

            First off, thanks so much Gillyflower - your info is a HUGE help! Thanks for taking the time to give so much detail.

            Thanks also to kullervo for offering the help; I may just take you up on it!

            To pooks and English Dave and whoever else questions this -- Why have I written six screenplays and not made any contacts, etc., etc.,

            Consider this, over the past several years while I have been writing I have also been having babies...and quite frankly I was not ready to make contacts. You see I actually love to write. I am not writing to try to make a sale. I have read Hollywhooped a hundred of times where a writer who has only written one script is trying to figure out how to sell it. Well I have never assumed that by writing one screenplay I was a great writer. I have raised my babies and by the time I move my smallest will be starting kindergarten. I am just now ready to pursue this career. I just kept writing because I loved it, not because I was in the pursuit of a sale.


            • #21
              Re: LA Neighborhoods

              Fair comment ale. And I admire your love of writing and your enthusiasm. Good luck. But.....please get some industry feedback. I'll say no more.


              • #22
                Re: LA Neighborhoods

                "You're uprooting three little kids to LA, without coverage?!"

                Probably a good sign when your thought processes flows along such lines, means you're thinking like a Hollywood exec.

                Ale's mentioned she and her husband have already discussed moving, and I would think the emphasis on the screenwriting is probably down to this being a screenwriting board rather than an indicator of parental neglect?

                I kind of get what people are trying to say, but I can't understand how having ten contest wins and a bucketload of positive feedback should have any bearing here, given the circumstances.

                If you have kids, surely mere promise can not be used to justify a move, or count towards a justification in any meaningful way, if it's going to leave the kids worse off? The matter of talent is equally irrelevant if the move doesn't effect the kids, or gives them better long-term prospects. Words are cheap, aspirations are aspirations no matter how you cut it. Great feedback, contacts and raw talent does not make the odds of success so significantly greater that it is worth gambling a family's future.

                The only thing that could, on balance, justify such a move would be if you were already being PAID to write and had a career to advance. If you are not already a pro, the way I see it, talent has no bearing on the underlying question what-so-ever. The timetable certainly shouldn't be dictated by number of scripts written and contests entered etc--just when is the best time for the kids.

                LA is a one-industry town, but there are other reasons for moving there. If there is family on the East coast then perhaps there are better options, but that's non of my business. I am sure Ale is not making this decision in a vacuum and isn't she free to decide on LA for no other reason than she thinks she will be happier there? It's not as if California doesn't have some of the better neighbourhoods in the US.

                Ale lives 30 minutes from Atlanta. Atlanta's murder rate is five times higher than the national average.

                It is the third most dangerous city in the whole of the United States, the No.1 most dangerous of the 198 cities with a population under five hundred thousand people.

                Of the United States' ten safest and ten most dangerous medium-sized cities (100-500k), California has six of the safest towns and only one of the most dangerous (a list topped by Atlanta).


                Am I missing the bit where LA is an inherent compromise in service of her ambitions--is $1300/month not going to buy an adequate standard of life in a safe, family-friendly neighbourhood, with good schools?

                Possibly, in which case any amount of talent and pre-pro experience should still count for ****, because, as kullervo says--and Pooks and many others demonstrate--you don't need to live in LA to break-in.
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                • #23
                  Re: LA Neighborhoods

                  Correction: I've won a major comp and have a top notch agent, but that doesn't mean I've broken in!
                  my webpage
                  my blog


                  • #24
                    Re: LA Neighborhoods

                    All right, all right, I updated the business section with item #7:




                    • #25
                      Re: LA Neighborhoods

                      Does it have to be LA proper? What about Long Beach? Greater Los Angeles is more convenient for meetings (this so very hypothetical) than Georgia.

                      There's no need to put an address on title pages, just a telephone number. As long as you live in striking distance, an LA voicemail with call-forward on 323 or 310 takes care of the rest quite adequately (and very cheaply).

                      Living in LA proper is only going to give a real advantage over the metropolitan area/LA counties at this stage if you can get a job in the industry, at an agency or prodco--and an assistant's hours, working conditions and pay are not that favourable for a mother of three(?). Sure, if you start to take loads of meetings commuting from Long Beach may start to feel like a bit of joke and a scheduling nightmare, but it's still closer than Georgia.

                      Just to clarify my earlier post. Feedback should most definitely be sought, I just don't think it should count towards a move to LA or make the notion any more "reasonable" (unless it comes with a paid option!).

                      But if it's universally bad there's no doubt that's something Ale would be best to know beforehand as it may encourage her to look more carefully at other options. I know there's a bit of a contradiction here, but anyway...
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                      • #26
                        Re: LA Neighborhoods

                        Further contemplation...

                        First, I hate Los Angeles. I'm fortunate to still have a house elsewhere that I can scamper back to occasionally for mental health reasons. I live in Brentwood, one of those nice parts of town with good schools. I pay $2,000 a month for an 1,100 square foot two-bedroom apartment with a view of a parking lot. Parking, in fact, costs extra.

                        I'm going to the Sony lot this afternoon. If traffic is good, it takes fifteen minutes to get there on Sepulveda. I'm giving myself 45 minutes, because traffic is the Great Unknown. You want to be ten to fifteen minutes from where? Half the studios are over the hill no matter which side you're on. I once drove home from my parents' house in Santa Barbara, and then had to go to the Farmer's Market on Fairfax. The trip from S.B., 100 miles, took ninety minutes. The trip to Fairfax, nine miles, took ninety minutes. So don't imagine there's convenience in it. This is a town where people break up with significant others because they are geographically undesireable.

                        What about the idea that you can't break in as a screenwriter without living here? *Cough*bullsh!t*cough* Hollywood is forever grabbing some off-Broadway playwright living in Queens or some odd novelist living in Seattle.

                        What is easier to do in town is to be swept up in the cyclone of meaningless meetings, pointless schmoozing, and no-dollar options that seduce writers into the fantasy that they are on their way and ultimately lead to nothing. There is a vast industry out here that exists to serve the tens of thousands of wannabes. Think they're going to tell you the odds?

                        Here's my favorite metaphor for getting into screenwriting. It comes from the brilliant science fiction novel _The Demolished Man_ by Alfred Bester.

                        In the novel, there is a division within the police force composed of psychics. They can detect guilt in the minds of criminals, and as a result, the police capture the guilty party 100% of the time. Becoming a member of this specialized division is highly lucrative and much sought-after. Their headquarters are always filled with eager applicants, who line up at a wide desk to fill out forms. However, one of the dozen receptionists is psychic, and broadcasts a thought message: "If you can hear me, go through the door on your left." Only those who can hear the message and go through the door will ever join.

                        That's screenwriting. You can move here, take classes, hire consultants, get in writing groups, buy books, read screenplays, go to conferences, get reader jobs, make contacts-- you can paint Spielberg's house for free-- and at the end of the day, if you don't have the chops, you're not going to make it. If you are not a great writer, if you don't have great scripts, it won't happen. It's hard enough if you have all that.

                        And what if you are a great writer with great scripts? You are as rare as the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker. They won't care for ten seconds where you live. You can get the script read, get an agent, and close the deal without ever coming out here. Will they want you out here after that? Of course. But you'll be apartment hunting in a whole new zip code.

                        If you're really concerned about appearing local, get yourself a remailing service in L.A. and a cell phone with a 310 area code. Then relax. Consider taking UCLA's On-Line screenwriting program. Enter contests. See how your work stacks up. Get your work read. Hire a consultant. Post your work on Zoetrope for review. See if you're really hearing that silent call.

                        Why do most wannabe screenwriters feel the pressure to move out here to this thinly-paved hell? I think they feel trapped where they are. Anxious that their lives will never change. Maybe even depressed. Los Angeles has ever offered the illusion that it can change a common life into an uncommon fantasy, but illusion is all it is. This place can't do it for you. Only you can. You, sitting for all those long and lonely hours, writing.



                        • #27
                          Re: LA Neighborhoods

                          Dammit, I'll say almost no more except Kullervo's post is a sticky.


                          • #28
                            Re: LA Neighborhoods

                            I love this. By a process of stealth we've managed to get back on THAT subject again. Tee-hee Interesting posts though!
                            Email: kidcharlemagne108[at]yahoo[dot]co[uk]

                            "What is your greatest ambition? To become immortal and then die." - Breathless


                            • #29
                              Re: LA Neighborhoods

                              I think a lot of people are overlooking one small fact. She lives in frickin' Georgia man.

                              I'd totally move to LA too.

                              AND I say that as a huge Braves fan. Thank you TBS.

                              Edited to add:

                              I kind of like living in LA.
                              Last edited by jkk808; 11-15-2005, 11:03 AM.
                              "I dub thee: Sir Non Sequitur." - sc111


                              • #30
                                Re: LA Neighborhoods

                                Originally posted by Joe Unidos
                                I think that's the basic gist of what we were saying (and you were disagreeing with!)

                                Not really. I was disagreeing with the various suggestions that outside verification would make this idea incrementally less crazy. Yeah, only if you can cash it.

                                At the same time, negative feedback may discourage someone in this position from taking the leap. It may not. Don't count on it. Bad writers often have one thing in common with the best: stubbornness and persistence.

                                All that said, Ale may be able to make a move to SoCal without compromise. She may be an excellent writer, too!

                                What kullervo said, basically. Sure, there are exceptions. Would Adam Herz have been able to submit American Pie after only 30 pages (he ran out of money) and still land a manager if he hadn't built up contacts as an assistant beforehand? Probably not! But merely living in LA wouldn't have made his job any easier.

                                A Hollywood exec telephoned Eszterhas because he wrote a novel that gained some prominence and the exec liked the writing. He lived in Cleveland, Ohio (or somewhere nearby) at the time. Anyway, it wasn't California. There are countless other examples....
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