LA apartment building details



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  • LA apartment building details

    Do LA apartment stairwells have doors? Or do they just have an open stairwell with apartments on each level?

    And does every apartment have access to an external fire escape?

    Couldn't find this info on google, thanks.

  • #2
    Re: LA apartment building details

    Depends on when the building was constructed, what part of the city, what type of apartment. You can find just about any type of apartment building you could imagine in the downtown area. Old brick, metal fire escapes, etc. Exterior stairs that also serve as fire escapes are common throughout the city.

    Try > maps > aerial > bird's eye view, to get a look at the buildings in whatever neighborhood you're setting your story.
    If you really like it you can have the rights
    It could make a million for you overnight


    • #3
      Re: LA apartment building details

      Don't sweat it. You can find all types of apartments here in LA with anything you're looking for. This is minutia you shouldn't be worried about in your script anyway. The producers will take care of that at a later stage when needed. Write what works for your story.

      I jumped in here because I'm seeing more and more questions like this pop up, about inconsequential minutia in scripts, like door locks, or window hinges, etc. In my opinion, unless this is absolutely crucial to your story, I would consider more broad strokes in your action lines after you've already set the tone and setting.

      If your subject leaves a room through a window, the reader does not care about a latch on the window that is reflective of that regions architecture. The reader does care about your subjects motivation to do so.



      Footsteps approach outside the door. Steve pops the latch of the window, smirks and slips into the darkness outside.

      Footsteps approach outside the Victorian door. Steve pops the sliding, hinge latch of the french window, smirks and slips into the darkness.

      I mean, did we really need to know those details of the window and door and did it really move your story forward? The first example keeps us engaged, the second example has us multi-tasking our brain, keeping up with the protag and minutia of architecture.

      I know what your response might be; but it really gives us a painted picture of his surroundings! Meh. Be brief about his surroundings. If you've already mentioned Steve is in the French quarter of New Orleans being chased through an antiquated home, our imaginations will fill in the rest. Give the reader some room to explore his own vision and yeild your spoon-feeding for when it's absolutely necessary.

      Just a thought. Good luck!

      [For what it's worth I've seen both stairwell types you've described here in LA. But again, no one cares unless it's absolutely tied to motivations or your story]


      • #4
        Re: LA apartment building details

        LA doesn't have one type of apartment building. Any type of building that is attached to the ground will be believable in your script.
        -Some Guy


        • #5
          Re: LA apartment building details

          You can get a feel for what's out there by looking on
          Craigs List Los Angeles, pez.

          Here's a quick link:

          Also, what Telly said. And I'll ad this--Production takes
          care of scouting locations.

          I used to work for a locations co. in L.A. and for instance,
          we had massive volumes of 'possible locations' for filming.
          Never had a request from a writer. It was always Production,
          PA and sometimes, Director. This is all done in Pre-Production.

          Nonetheless, if you wanna browse just to get a feel for what's out
          there, I'd say Craigs List is a good picture window to LA Apartments-
          and it's free.


          • #6
            Re: LA apartment building details

            Yeah I felt it was important because my character is being chased around an apartment block, unable to use her hands. She ends up breaking into someone's apartment and through a window onto an external fire escape. I didn't want the stairwell to be an option.

            But if there are all types of buildings in LA, then I guess it's not a problem.

            Thanks guys.


            • #7
              Re: LA apartment building details

              I'm assuming you mean modern apartment building.
              YES, there are all kinds of apartment buildings in L.A.
              BUT modern apartment have emergency staircases inside, with exit doors and doors for each floor.
              Usually the exit door can't be opened from the outside of the bldg, and oftentimes you can't open from the stairway into the hallway either.
              Where you would find the old buildings w/fire escapes:
              Perhaps the remodeled areas of L.A., circling Bunker Hill (where is mostly modern financial downtown glass skyscrapers) or a specifically preserved structure in there, like a red brick former fire station that is now an exclusive club that may have them.
              East of Bunker Hill there are lots of tall old buildings, many with fire escapes, but not all of them. These are remodelded lofts.
              Otherwise is faded buildings, intermittently spread around on a radio that extends North to Hollywood, a few blocks further South of Staples Center and to the Wilshire corridor to Mid-Wilshire, a couple of miles off downtown, and a half mile before Bevery Hills. Then you've got specific downtowns, like Culver City and Santa Monica, and Pasadena, that may have a half dozen older bldgs, or less. I hope that helped.