LA Neighborhoods



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  • #31
    Re: LA Neighborhoods

    What kullervo said about LA is all right on, but for the one little fact that she doesn't seem to like LA.

    And what everyone else has said about LA is also right on... but I was wondering more about where you are in life, not just where you are in your writing career.

    Sometimes a radical life change is a good thing, a really good thing. And if you're young enough and don't have too many job ties to one place, then I say go for it. You might never have the opportunity again, and you don't want to live with regret... you don't want to worship at The Church of "If Only"... If only I had moved to LA before the kids were in school... If only I had movied to LA before my hub got that great job... If only I had been in LA when that agent called that last minute meeting...

    When I moved out here many moons ago from the east coast I only had a list of names of friends-of-friends to cold call, I knew absolutely no one. I quit a dream job to come here for no job. It was very hard, but it was the best thing I ever did. I was very aware that I didn't want to worship at that church.

    As to neighborhoods out here, everyone has already given you alot of suggestions. I'd suggest going to the AAA and getting some local street maps so you can get an idea of LA and it's sprawl. I'd also suggest reading the LATimes online for more local news and the classifieds. Get to know where you want to live. Costs for property and rentals are way over the national average. In just 8 yrs our westside house has almost quadrupled in value. That's almost obscene.

    IMHO being near the beach is the only way to go. The weather is 10-20 degrees cooler in the summer and 10-20 degrees hotter in the winter, which means I turn the heat on maybe twice a year and we don't even need an air conditioner. That's a big cost savings with the price of the non-renewable energy we use to heat and cool our houses going up and up. The cost of living in LA is high, there's no way around that. But there are still some neighberhoods that can still be affordable. Public schools here, in general, suck, but there are some options you can research when you get here (like magnet schools, for one example).

    You, of course, need to do yr research before moving here, but I say if it's a dream of yours do it now, don't wait, don't allow yourself to live with regret.


    • #32
      Re: LA Neighborhoods

      God, I love you all.......

      Thank you all truly for your input. I honestly do want to move just to move, regardless of the writing. It is definitely a significant reason but I would find some place else probably if I didn't love screenwriting. Someone hit it on the head earlier in the post, about maybe I just want to move because I need a change, so on and so on.... I do need a change. I figure this is my life now, I can not keep sitting around on my a** just writing and writing, and painstakingly typing medical transcriptions for the rest of my life. I would be a zombie....

      Thank you all for your support and your suggestions. Now since it has been made so evidently clear that I need some feedback, etc., do you suggest query letters or flat out calling prodco? Have any of you had a lot of success with letters? You should hear me with my southern belle drawl it would be a dead giveaway that I was not from LA!


      • #33
        Re: LA Neighborhoods

        Originally posted by ale88
        God, I love you all.......

        l it would be a dead giveaway that I was not from LA!
        You and half the population of LA.

        PM Kullervo. Don't let her off the hook! And don't shoot your bolt sending to agents or prodco's before you have the chance of a FREE read from someone who knows what they are talking about.


        • #34
          Re: LA Neighborhoods

          Next, read my website. Shameless self-promotion, I know, but I talk about the mistakes I've seen in new writers' scripts
          This is great stuff kullervo. I get sent first drafts from first time screenwriters on a regular basis and over the years I've found myself writing the same detailed critique's as to what needs working on in the script.

          Lately, after another friend sent me his first script, (with all the problems outlined in your 'writing better' article), I thought to myself, man I need a template here because I'm just doling out the same advice, almost word for word, time and time again! Not any more. I'm just going to refuse to read the script until they have read this article and I'll tell them to get back to me if they're convinced they've cracked most of the problems outlined here.


          Email: kidcharlemagne108[at]yahoo[dot]co[uk]

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


          • #35
            Re: LA Neighborhoods

            Originally posted by kidcharlemagne
            I'm just going to refuse to read the script until they have read this article and I'll tell them to get back to me if they're convinced they've cracked most of the problems outlined here.


            Yeah KC but you're forgetting about the 'Ah but that doesn't apply to MY script because......' argument.

            Great stuff though Kullervo.


            • #36
              Re: LA Neighborhoods

              I second the request to sticky this!

              Now I'm going to do what I wanted to avoid for personal reasons, post where I live and how much I pay. I live in Burbank, as advertised. I also live directly across the street from two schools (on writing days, I like to take my tea-making break when they let out to hear all the kids laughing and chatting as they walk down the street). Because of the schools, this also means there's a large park right outside my window.

              It's a good place to raise kids (IMHO) and it's just under 1100 a month for a two bedroom place.

              I find the apartment itself to be very nice. There's enough open floor space for me to do my ballet/musical theatre dancing all over where the living meets the kitchen as I boil water for my pasta while listening to Robbie Williams or the mix CD I made for my neiphews before I left town. It didn't come with a fridge (many apartments here don't, so be warned) and the off button on the oven doesn't always catch, but paying attention to it corrects any problems and the stove top works fine.

              Another bonus for you if you can find it: My oven is above two shelves of drawers. This means no small children could reach it or bump into it accidentally. At worst, if the door was left down, a five-year-old might be tall enough to bump their head against it.

              The bedrooms aren't big, but aren't tiny either. There's a pool and laundry in the building. Four churches and the public library are within 15min walking distance. Groceries are a less-than-10-min drive away. The nearest subway stop to get into the city is about 15min away. No, the subway can't take you everywhere. But if you know where in the city you're going and it's near to a subway stop you get free parking in their park-and-ride and it's only $2.50 to get in and out of the city.

              I found out from someone I temped for who owned several buildings in the neighborhood that my rent was normal for this area. And, as noted elsewhere, half the studios and entertainment businesses are here.

              Burbank is one of the best things that has happened to me here.
              "The intrepid Spaceman Spiff is stranded on a distant planet! Our hero ruefully acknowledges this happens fairly frequently." Calvin & Hobbs


              • #37
                Re: LA Neighborhoods

                Originally posted by ale88
                Now since it has been made so evidently clear that I need some feedback, etc., do you suggest query letters or flat out calling prodco?
                Feedback does not mean from the industry!!! Stop! Do not send anything out anywhere until it is so perfect it shines! Feedback means what I and many others have said: get your work read by anyone you can ask, coerce, pay, or tie down to read it. Pay consultants when you have run out of ceremonial victims.

                You do not have the objectivity to judge your work. Nobody does. Enter contests and see how your scripts do.

                Here is what happens to a script that gets sent to a prodco: coverage is done on it. It's a kind of book report. The script and the writer are judged. 99% percent of the time, the report is not positive. In fact, it's usually horrible. You will never know it, and you will certainly never see the coverage. You will hear nothing, or perhaps you will get a "thanks but no thanks" rejection letter. The coverage, however, survives. Your script won't be welcome at that prodco again. Larger prodcos and studios have even been known to share coverage, to save reading time. On big projects, coverage is tracked on-line. One rejection can mean widespread failure.

                Please, please let someone read your scripts before you send them to town. If they aren't ready, you might as well be throwing them away.



                • #38
                  Re: LA Neighborhoods

                  kullervo, that Demolished Man reference was really cool. I remember reading that as a young teen. I may check it out again, see how it holds up.

                  ale88, you've got to read James Brown's The Los Angeles Diaries.

                  On the whole neighborhood thing, I'm thinking Santa Clarita's your ticket. Good schools, low crime rate, family friendly. Expensive, yeah, but not like the beach towns or Westwood. There's a train that will take you into Burbank and downtown LA during the rush hours when traffic's horrendous. Outside of rush hour, Santa Clarita's fairly accessible to everywhere in the Valley. Some people take the train in to downtown LA and rent a car at Union Station when they have meetings on the on the westside or Hollywood.
                  If you really like it you can have the rights
                  It could make a million for you overnight


                  • #39
                    Re: LA Neighborhoods

                    Wow... if this thread is stickied I'll be honored to be included.

                    Hi Ale... I'm Bart, the script analyst who's been mentoned by a couple of the responders thus far. (As always, thanks to those who've given my service the nods of approval.)

                    Ale, I've been in L.A. for 13 years now, sold a feature to Universal, done some rewrites, and I still have to deal with a lot of doubts, down time and years in which I subsist on a steady diet of 'almost'. I'm not alone. I know a person who was a writer on a TV show for a few years and is now teaching elementary school. This is a tough business.

                    During this time, I've watched my sister carve out a life and start a family. My niece is 2. Maybe it's just me, but I feel lucky that I've been able to do all this without a family to provide for in tow.
                    Reading the early pages in this thread, I was gripped by the image of a couple of head-kercheif-wearing European immigrants in 1950's New York, their three kids in tow and getting hustled in a game of three card monte. I was scared for these people I was imagining.

                    Now, clearly you can hold your own and I'm sure you're not nearly such a naive type, but as I read this thread, and thought about the writing of 6 scripts without getting Hollywood feedback-- and I asked why not? It really is the next practical step, whether you're ready to be referred to an agent or, in the far more common category, you might need to do some rewriting here and there.

                    Drop me a line... maybe we can work out a 'huddled masses' special or something. I'd consider it a priviledge to offer some guidance on your next step here.

                    [email protected]
                    - - - - - - -
                    Script consulting still going strong.

                    Details and updates here, as always:


                    • #40
                      Re: LA Neighborhoods

                      I know I've come in on the tail end of this and to be honest I have never lived in LA so I haven't got a clue about that, but this I do know -- finding a decent editor and making that investment (with both cash and time) was the best move I have ever made. My work has reached a new level over the past 6 months. After years of 'rewriting' I realised all I was doing was polishing. I still can't spell but hell you can't have everything. But take some time to find someone that 'gets' what you do and has enough exp. to be able to break it down for you.

                      Whatever you do girlfriend go for it. Life doesn't stop when kids arrive, it just slows down a bit (can you tell I haven't had them yet!!).


                      • #41
                        Re: LA Neighborhoods

                        Thanks alot Bart for offering your service. I am going to figure out which scripts I want to start with first and get back to you on it. Believe me I would love to have the notes and see what some one else thinks, as I am always revising and everytime I think its ready, I go back and read it and bam, there are more and more things I see that might need changing.

                        Also, I have also been researching the crime rates of some of the neighborhoods in the LA area. Just thought this might be some interesting info for some of you who seem to think bringing my kids to LA is not such a good idea since I have never gotten feedback etc. Of course the following is based on the fact that I would move away anyway, not just for the writing.

                        This is info from (check it out it is interesting)

                        This was the crime rate for these cities in 2003. The pop #s may have changed some. The average national crime rate is 329.7. I am assuming all of this is adequate.

                        NYC (pop 8-9 million) 301.6
                        LA (pop 3-4 million) 530.7
                        Compton (pop 94,000) 576.4
                        Burbank (pop 100,000) 209.6
                        Atlanta (pop 417,000) 1033.5
                        Savannah (pop 131,510) 602.5
                        My current town (pop 98,000) 653.5

                        So as you see, fear not for my children's safety, as it is clear I would be moving to a 'safer' place. It seems my area has some of the absolute worse crime rates.


                        • #42
                          Re: LA Neighborhoods

                          Okay, guys, I put this on sticky because there is some good info here for
                          anyone wanting to move to LA.

                          I live in Santa Cruz which is one of the most expensive places to live in the
                          US, about 40% of the population can actually afford a home, the rest rent.
                          So if you were moving to LA but wanted to live by the beach (clean
                          one at that) that's near the studios, where would you suggest for everyone?



                          • #43
                            Re: LA Neighborhoods

                            Can someone say roommates? Even the shoddy neighborhoods are pricey now.
                            "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."
                            -Maya Angelou


                            • #44
                              Re: LA Neighborhoods

                              "Live by the beach" + "affordable" + "near the studios" = impossible.

                              First, you can't live near the studios. Not all of them. Get a map. They're scattered hither and yon. And what is the advantage to living near one of them? Think the karma will rub off? Imagine you'll be spending much time there, even if you sell a script? Nope. Next, none of them are very near the beach. Not enough that you'll feel the gentle ocean pollution waft across the lot. About as close as you'll get is Sony in Culver City. Is it affordable? Not to 95% of the folks living elsewhere in the nation. And really living by the beach and having something affordable? Try Baja.



                              • #45
                                Re: LA Neighborhoods

                                I think Willoughby made a good point - Public Transport!

                                It's a dollar and a quarter on the bus or the metro. For 3 bucks you can get an all day pass.

                                My experience of travelling around by bus in LA has been positive. No doubt someone will chime in with how they were kidnapped/mugged etc on the bus. For instance from Downtown pretty easy to get to Culver City, Sony. Take the 33 or 333 along Venice Boulevard all the way to Overland then walk. Cost a dollar and a quarter. Compare that to those in cars, who are stuck in traffic on freeways, paying hefty parking fees as well as paying for the gas. Or those in taxis paying $30-40.

                                Or again from Downtown to Santa Monica, all the way to the Ocean, is only $1.25. Easy. There's even an express bus that stops every so often. Have done the trip both day and night. Relatively quick and safe. (I'm a white male and noticed that most passengers were Latino. Maybe it's a race thing and white people are scared to mingle with their fellow Angelenos?)

                                There's no need to sit in your own gas guzzler.