A Film-Makers opinion of Los Angeles (Now living in Las Vegas)
Updated: May 2, 2021
by Fred RM (Director of Video Content at Neon Appeal)
See I don’t know how to answer that question without saying I had to chase it down and marry myself into film making before I ever got into filming. How else? Movies, watched a lot of movies from blockbuster as a kid and wanted to recreate some of that magic I saw in it. At first I didn’t think it would be possible because growing up with Spielberg movies, it just seemed like you had to build an entire world and scope it down to one adventure that lasted 2 hours. Once I started to see more independent movies like My own Private Idaho, I got to see various ways you could tell a story and showcase other elements in a movie. I just adapted to get cleaner and wiped better.
Life in LA at 18, my god it was the best and worst experience I’ve ever had. In terms of good, the people, the atmosphere and of course the cheap good food. The bad, I sum it usually is saying imagine the movie American Psycho being a real life documentary taking place in LA and the main character being every actor/actress you meet. Yeah it’s crazy but entertaining. I moved to LA and joined a film school with the intentions of just meeting any creative filmmakers I came across yet I ended up with a lot of pot smokers and Judd Appatow fans.
At the time the biggest hurdle for me was finding creative work to be apart of rather than making generic film projects that everyone expected. Don’t get me wrong plenty of people out there actors, cameramen, etc willing to work for free. Yet if you make your project too experimental or too ambitious you’d be on your own. So doing favors or socializing with people was the best way to get anything off the ground.
LA is always about making connections, I’d find the job no one wanted to do (boom operator) and do that job at a reduce price so I could get on peoples projects. Once I did my own projects that’s when I started getting any attention from my own peers. In LA I’d always sum it up into three categories the desperate/ the technical/ the creative. Anyone you’d meet would have the first two but never the third.
My experience in LA showed me how much Hollywood does actually appreciate someone who is actually good at their craft. I made one spec commercial in my class room with a bunch of my friends. Unknowingly to me one of my classmates had an agent and showed them my work which quickly got me a meeting into their Beverly Hills office. I was nervous as hell but oh man I had no idea what I was doing. Long story short that agent eventually would try to sue me once I decided not to work with him. His final words to me were Welcome to Hollywood, by far the best joke I’ve ever heard.