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So I'm Moving to LA April 1st...

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To finally get my foot in the door in the vfx/mograph scene. I've been unemployed and living in the middle of nowhere with no job prospects for a year. The depression just got to be too much, so in October, after not being able to get a job at Pizza Hut, I told my wife that we're moving to LA. Where I have more of a chance finding work of any kind, and I can at least get a start in what I really want to do with my life. Last month I took a huge risk and emailed Prologue about an internship and ended up spending half an hour on the phone with Kyle Tamo while he looked at some of my work and it sounded pretty encouraging.

The search for work has begun, and I'm looking for people to hang out with, get drinks with and talk business when I get out there. So I guess what this is about is, how many of you folks are in LA? And is there a group that gets together regularly?

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Oh let's see off the top of my head:

 

me, Harry (greymachine), Govinda, Binky, Albert Omoss, Crabby, Fred, Firebetty. I think Harry would know the best as far as hookups.

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Oh let's see off the top of my head:

 

me, Harry (greymachine), Govinda, Binky, Albert Omoss, Crabby, Fred, Firebetty. I think Harry would know the best as far as hookups.

All shady ass people, watch out. They gonna steal your kidneys!

 

 

 

 

Just kidding, I just know those names from this forum. All seem like upstanding people. Would like to meet a few of them myself someday.

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Oh let's see off the top of my head:

 

me, Harry (greymachine), Govinda, Binky, Albert Omoss, Crabby, Fred, Firebetty. I think Harry would know the best as far as hookups.

 

:(

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DMALA is once a month, but thats less beer-centric.

 

see that surprises me ... I mean it's a meetup ... I thought beers were kinda expected haha

 

maybe it's a NYC thing (were all drunks on the east coast)

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I did, moved out last November. Did you take all of Sugar with you when you came out or just you?

 

I sold my half to my former partner and just moved me and my family out west. Tony moved Sugar into a new building. I'm still a Sugar director in the SW but am now a free agent globally everywhere else. Been talking to some prod companies in LA for a few weeks.

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I sold my half to my former partner and just moved me and my family out west. Tony moved Sugar into a new building. I'm still a Sugar director in the SW but am now a free agent globally everywhere else. Been talking to some prod companies in LA for a few weeks.

 

What type of work are you looking for? Directing?

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What type of work are you looking for? Directing?

 

I'm not really looking for work as I already work non-stop shooting commercials. It's just changing representation from just one company to multiple. I have a lot of interest from more than a few companies already, it's just a matter of meeting with them all and deciding who is the best fit for me. My reel has been billing 4-7M gross for the last 11 years so unless people are allergic to money, I would think I could settle on a good roster :D But one day I'm hoping my directing career implodes so I can just be a happy programmer :P

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Still looking, trying to find something affordable. I'm moving my whole family and don't have a huge budget. Trying to find a happy medium between driving and rent. Does EVERYONE make a ridiculous amount of money out there? $2300 a month for rent is just insane to me, the house I could get here for that would be monstrous, but that's like, a 3 bedroom place there. It's insane, how do you guys do it??

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Still looking, trying to find something affordable. I'm moving my whole family and don't have a huge budget. Trying to find a happy medium between driving and rent. Does EVERYONE make a ridiculous amount of money out there? $2300 a month for rent is just insane to me, the house I could get here for that would be monstrous, but that's like, a 3 bedroom place there. It's insane, how do you guys do it??

 

There's a lot of rent control in areas where you'll see lifers in pretty nice places that don't pay anything. Which I think explains the huge amount of old ladies in really nice homes around me in the Ocean Park area. I'm guessing everyone tortures themselves over this problem when moving to LA. I went through it recently myself. I was talking to some local film types who basically said everyone has a home somewhere that's cheaper they could go back to. Do you really want more space and be bored to death?

 

So, I looked at houses back in Dallas and homes in North Santa Monica. The price difference used to make me choke, now it makes me laugh. My wife and I decided living in Santa Monica (for now) is worth it. We will get a house 1/3 the size of a Dallas home (in Highland Park no less) but we think that it is the better solution. I'm happy as crap just walking the streets of SM and that makes me not really care as much about the size of my place or that LA is bleeding cash from me every month. It's about happiness, right?

 

We are doing a family trip to San Diego and my wife said, "Well there's a hotel that's 150 a night and one that's cooler but it's 210 a night". I pointed out that every night we stay in SM, I'm paying 320 a night for our condo so I'm already numb to whatever price I hear. I have just simply succumbed to the insanity. THAT or you can live in LA in a closet or a shitty hood as well. My advice would be to make your lease just long enough to see if you are going to maximise what you want out of the city. If at the end of that lease you think, I don't really care for it and I'd rather go back and live in a bigger home and in peace, then you know you did your due diligence. OR, like me, you realize you simply don't want to go back and you let LA take it's blood money from you and you smile.

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Yeah that's what I was thinking too. I just don't know HOW I'm going to afford it. I've been miserable, unemployed and living in the middle of nowhere for a year. Moving to LA IS the right decision and there's no turning back, I don't have any place else to go at this point. So my question is really, is just base pay for everything higher? Or maybe I'm just not used to getting paid what I should...

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Yeah that's what I was thinking too. I just don't know HOW I'm going to afford it. I've been miserable, unemployed and living in the middle of nowhere for a year. Moving to LA IS the right decision and there's no turning back, I don't have any place else to go at this point. So my question is really, is just base pay for everything higher? Or maybe I'm just not used to getting paid what I should...

 

I'm sure there are exceptions if you look hard enough, but yeah, LA is just more expensive. There are solutions though if you're flexible. A friend of mine has an extremely small apartment near Studio City. It looks more like a student hostile room. It's one long narrow room with a lofted bed over a small kitchen. in the other half he has a couch, TV and bike. I actually think it's quite cool and it's by the hills. So yes, it's small as crap, but still kind of neat (in a college dorm kind of way). He likes it a lot. But in general, expect less from the thing you live in in exchange for more from the city itself.

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If it was just me I wouldn't be worrying half as much as I am, hell, I'd probably be out there already. It's that I'm bringing along my wife and 2 kids. Kids complicate EVERYTHING. Love them, but geeze. My wife is set on living outside of the city where it's cheaper and we know we can afford a place, but I don't know if the saved rent is going to matter with the gas I'll be spending getting into the city. I think we'll end up doing that for 6 months until we know we're steady and we can afford to move closer and we have our income settled and know we're not going to end up homeless, again. I need to get out there and hit the ground running with freelance and anything else I can find, plus find a steady job.

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If it was just me I wouldn't be worrying half as much as I am, hell, I'd probably be out there already. It's that I'm bringing along my wife and 2 kids. Kids complicate EVERYTHING. Love them, but geeze. My wife is set on living outside of the city where it's cheaper and we know we can afford a place, but I don't know if the saved rent is going to matter with the gas I'll be spending getting into the city. I think we'll end up doing that for 6 months until we know we're steady and we can afford to move closer and we have our income settled and know we're not going to end up homeless, again. I need to get out there and hit the ground running with freelance and anything else I can find, plus find a steady job.

 

Oh, I hear you about family and stuff. I think it would be important to know where you are going to work. Even if it's to narrow it down to 3 main areas: West side, LA Proper, or The Valley. If you think you'll work on the west side (companies in SM, Venice, Culver), look into Culver City or Mar Vista areas. If you're looking at a job in LA (Hollywood, Bev Hills, W Hollywood, etc), then hollywood itself should have some affordable places (actors/waiters have to live somewhere, right?), as well as across the hill. Or like my friend if you're job is in Bev Hills area, check out Studio City. The drive is still going to suck, but it's decent path. And if you'll be working somewhere in the valley, well, the valley is generally cheaper anyways.

 

But if you got a place in Hollywood and got a job in Venice, your drive is going to SUCK. unless you can always drive in to work at 1030 am and come back by 3 or later around 9. Whereas if you lived in Culver or Mar Vista and worked in Venice, it's not really a big deal (relatively speaking).

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I moved out to LA this past June and so far have loved it. I was in the same boat. I'm actually married and 4 kids so space was an issue and raising a family in the mid-west is a lot different than LA. I choose the route of taking a long commute over living in the city. I know it's not for everyone, but for me and my family we make it work. My job is really flexible so I'm typically 7-3p so the commute isn't so bad. I would say that you'll get a lot more bang for your buck the further you are away, but you'll be trading off for a longer day. Plus people in LA just tend to work longer than other places. Another trade off is you just get paid more out here. Housing is way more expensive, but other items are not as expensive as housing is. To be honest, it might be hard to come out here and not have something lined up thought. I don't want to discourage you but you can burn through some serious cash out here if you not working. Hope that helps, best of luck.

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It's a risky move if you're bringing the family with nothing lined up. I moved here 4 years ago with a job that dissolved 1 year later. The cost of living has been weighing on me and my lady lately even though work has been consistent for me.

 

I live just outside of Hollywood/West Hollywood and do work in Burbank, Hollywood, Santa Monica and occasionally El Segundo. For me it's centrally located and my drives aren't usually horrible (Unless I try to leave Santa Monica between 5:30 and 7p). I have a 2BR that costs around $2k/mo. I could save $ by moving to the Valley but I'd end up spending about the same when you figure in the gas for a commute. And with gas currently around $4.50/gal it is something to consider into your budget. Not to mention the area is better for my lifestyle, but is likely a bit different for someone with kids. Also consider that the commute time will factor into your work day, so less time to be with your family.

 

As far as being paid more here than elsewhere, I don't know if I totally agree with that. My freelance rate is about the same as I had in Colorado, but work is more consistent. Salary wise, what I was paid when I had a fulltime here was better than I made in CO, but not enough to offset the cost of living increase. My girlfriend is a middle school teacher and makes less in LA than she did in Anchorage, Alaska or Lousiville, KY (both of which have a much lower cost of living).

 

Good luck with whatever you decide to do. It's a good place to be, but after a while a lot of people seem to develop a Love/Hate for LA.

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me, Harry (greymachine), Govinda, Binky, Albert Omoss, Crabby, Fred, Firebetty.

While sitting here next to the window all day, with the breeze and the birds rustling the trees, staring stupidly into the internet, I forget that likeminded folks actually live nearby! We should probably break our routines for a couple of hours one day to say Hi face to face. DMALA is kind of a software fetishist convention, and there was that TADA thing, which I actually tried to go to, but just sat there guzzling snacks with my gf until we were too sated to care. That place was nice. The Next Door Lounge. I'll be waiting there. Look for the tall guy passed out on a couch with a feedbag on his face.

 

My wife is set on living outside of the city where it's cheaper and we know we can afford a place, but I don't know if the saved rent is going to matter with the gas I'll be spending getting into the city.

This is not a solution for everyone, but a motorcycle is a weapon of great utility in the war against traffic. If you have a hot head, a showboatin' attitude, or a wandering mind, make sure you're an organ donor, but otherwise, it's cheap on the gas and is a hot knife through traffic butter.

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