Friday, February 12, 2010

LA or Elsewhere?

I've decided that I'm going to start writing to women in film who have careers I'd like to emulate or who I think I could learn something from.

One script supervisor wrote me a nice note in response to my email about working in Dallas vs. LA (she is based out of Dallas).

Thanks for the compliments.

You've asked a tricky question. This industry tends to be very cyclic: one
place is the hotspot now, but two years later, it's somewhere else. Things
happen like union strikes and film incentive programs that cause work to
migrate to certain areas. Sometimes Texas is a happening place; sometimes
not. Since Texas is so big, you might live in Dallas and miss out on
everything going to Austin or vice versa.

Two places you can ALWAYS count on film work are NY and LA. However, that's
where the competition is most fierce. Plus, they're union towns, and the
cost of living there is very high. I don't know your personal situation,
but you might want to consider marrying and raising a family there vs.
Texas. I've known a lot of people that started off in Texas, moved to LA to
work on the big stuff, then moved back to Texas to raise a family.

Last year, I worked pretty steadily until August, then I didn't work again
until March (when I accepted a job on a TV series as a logger for a PA
rate). I didn't work again until July, when I did 2 movies back to back.
I've had to turn one down in Louisiana and I've got another one that
hopefully will start in mid-October. So now I'm busy again. It's always like
this, and I've been freelancing for almost 20 years. It's always feast or

So consider these factors in making your decision:
One of a handful of scriptys vying for a handful of movies (Texas) or one of
a thousand scriptys vying for one of a thousand movies (LA).
Quality of life
Family and personal connections

You can always work for a while in one place, and then move if things don't
work out or you want to change things up. No decision is forever. If you're
in LA already, you have a place to stay and friends and contacts--what about
trying to start your career there? You can always come back home and stay
with your family to regroup in Austin, but if you come back to Austin you
may find it hard to go back and start over in LA.

Good luck to you!


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