For everyone moving to L.A. with a car, a warm welcome to you and yours. All you need now is talent, determination, social savvy and some luck. Happy hunting!
For those of you who plan to move here without a car, I have some good news for you! The public transportation is pretty reliable and gives you time to write scripts or blogs like this on your daily commute. Sure, it takes at least three times longer to arrive at your destination than it would with your own automobile — thus defeating the “writing-time” benefit, and…huh.
Actually, besides not having to worry about parking, there’s nothing at all advantageous about taking the bus. This brings me to the really bad news: no matter how reliable your public transportation strategy, nobody wants you if you don’t have a car. Even if you want to hold the lowest spot (PA) on a set — ESPECIALLY if you’re a PA — you must have your own automobile. Without this veritable god-machine, you can’t be of much use to the anyone. Sets are chaotic and require you to be able to hop into your car at a moment’s notice and speed off to get what the set needs. The production needs you to have your own transportation to ensure your punctual arrival. And if you don’t have it, you’re done.
This is a lesson I’m currently learning the hard way as I scour my contacts and the net for opportunities. “MUST have a car”. “NEEDS own transportation”. “DO NOT apply if you are unable to make runs”. And I agree with them. I wouldn’t be able to take a potential crew member seriously if that person couldn’t personally drive to set.
So how do I deal with these circumstances? I recently finished with a two-week shoot, and I want more. I know I was lucky to serve as Boom Operator for that feature in the Mojave — I was able to do it because Ashley was a PA on set and was able to drive me up to location. But I know I can’t wait around for the months it’ll take to save up for a car. This will require a lot of my creativity and resourcefulness, and I’m already hard at work forming a plan. I will not be satisfied with wiling away the months as a barista.
I’ll let you know what that plan is on my next post. Until then, this bus ride is over.