Sunday, February 22, 2009

Settings: Part 8

It's that time again, all you wannabe Finchers, Howards, Van Sants, Daldrys and Boyles...

I have an excuse to trot out my favorite little game ... The Academy Awards are given out tonight just a few miles away at Hollywood's Kodak Theater. (Those who work in that area can take a look at Hollywood's street closures here.)

Residents of the greater Los Angeles area are connected to the big dream machine, whether or not we are employed by the entertainment industry. For the better part of a century, Los Angeles has been the nexus of entertainment, generating around $38 billion annually. That huge business of entertainment fuels many other businesses in the region -- from restaurants to payroll companies, temp agencies to set builders, animal trainers to day care providers. Cities themselves are involved in the manufacturing of entertainment, too. For those of us in the San Gabriel Valley, movie and TV crews are a way of life. (Readers of this blog might remember that my neighborhood provided background for an episode of Cold Case a few months ago.) The Changeling -- nominated for several Oscars this year -- filmed many scenes in neighboring Pasadena. Our historic neighborhoods provide the setting for many onscreen stories.

And speaking of onscreen stories... if this setting was a scene in a film, what would happen here?

22 comments:

Mister Earl said...

They would add another five to the ten commandments!

Judy Williams said...

It is the Opera House. It is closed, yet the ever present light shines through it's arches as a symbol of her burning desires. She is still inside, grasping at the stage's deep crimson folds, knowing that he has left after the final curtain call, symbolic of the end of their love affair.

Just watched "Changeling" and I highly recommend all to see it. It is perfectly period and I knew it had to have been shot in the Pasadena area.

Mister Earl said...

Speaking of the Academy Awards, I've met Rick Rosas, an accountant with Price Waterhouse Coopers, who is one of the two people in the world who know the Oscar results before the show. He explained that even though others at the firm may be involved in counting, no one at PWC gets to see all of the ballots other than him and his partner. There is a rehearsal of the show on Saturday, and the presenters are all there and Rick and his partner hand them envelopes to simulate what's going to happen tonight. Often the presenters kind of stare at Rick and his partner trying to read some clue on their faces, knowing that they already know the results.

Judy Williams said...

How fun to have that insight about PWC. Thanks for the info, Mr. E. I can't wait.

Petrea said...

It would be fun to be inside that auditorium tonight. I wouldn't want to be a fly on the wall because I'd be quickly eliminated. However, I'd enjoy sitting in the audience in a fabulous gown, as long as I could wear flats.

altadenahiker said...

I'd hate it. You can always tell who doesn't want to be stuck in a chair for four hours because they look so highly medicated.

Mister Earl said...

AH: They might be highly medicated anyway...

I wonder if Ken Fisher will be there.

Mister Earl said...

Here's a link with a little more about the ballot-counting process:

http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/news.html?d=158067

Shanna said...

I see this as a stage for a live performance - the kind that is always there, as in Shakespeare with only the words creating a set, or in "The Fantasticks". The sidewalk is the actual stage and the audience is in the dark area at the lower part of the picture. Actors enter from three areas - center stage, stage left and stage right. Since this game is really involving a movie, we will see a filmed stage play. Or maybe we just saw it and are still in a state of awe. The actors and musicians are about to stride out before the audience and take their bows. They are in Renaissance costume.

Cafe Pasadena said...

Remember most of our auto industry has left Detroit & comes from imports, and much of what we "made in the USA" has now gone to foreign lands.
So, too, our entertainment industry left Hollywood years ago and is now filmed mostly outside of California. Our state isn't doing much to hold on to what remains. With this continued trend, one day we can expect all but remnants of "Hollywood" will have left to other wealthier states & nations.

It's a sad state what's left of this once glorius industry of Hollywood. Even the entertainment unions are making ultimatums to each other & behaving greedily.

Most of what will be left may be awards shows & the stars on Hollywood Blvd. Some that you recognize, some that you never even heard aboout. Maybe one day even these stars will be dugout...and relocated to Bollywood, or somewhere.

Kim said...

Well, there are not enough steps for this to be Palermo and my daughter getting shot. . .so I think I get sucked up into the light, through those locked doors, and into the mother ship, where the show must always go on, whether I feel like it or not. . . Boop boop boop boop boop (think tones from CEOTTK).

I always want to see the Oscars, but we don't have a TV and no one ever asks me over to see them at their house, so, I see everything in magazines the following week and go to evening service at church and eat a nice dinner and study/do classwork.

What I would like to hear if I did get to see the Oscars is that a certain actor neighbor of yours was honored for her work. Wouldn'THAT be fun!
Of course, YOU would be a great contender for screenwriting honors, yourself, Laurie. Have you ever done one of those/wanted to do one of those?
-Kim
Seattle Daily Photo

Mister Earl said...

CO - for 20 or 30 years we've been hearing that the film industry has left or is going to leave California. I don't have any statistics in front of me, but it doesn't seem like that has really happened.

dbdubya said...

I agree with Mr. Earl. Drive around South Pasadena on any given day and you'll likely see film crews. While Toronto, Vancouver, and South Carolina have become popular, Hollywood, which has no geographic boundaries and encompasses all of the southland, is still the center of the film industry. Lets hope it stays so since so much of the economy is based on it.

Cafe Pasadena said...

I agree. For us who aren't directly involved in the industry it doesn't feel like anything has changed.

But, the trend over the last decades has been for less production as a % of the total. If the trend continues then it will just be the latest industry which used to be made in Hollywood or America. Everyone outside of our state seems to have a film office with the sole purpose to pull away more production from here to there.
If I find the time, I will get those stats I've read previously for you.

I heard last week in the media somewhere how one TV show moved it's production out of LA last year & with it took a few hundred nice paying jobs along & a large tax base.

Those in the state/city film offices & the industry will tell an even scarier story than me. Let's just not ignore it, or pretend there isn't a problem until it's too late...and, it's become like the latest to have it's industry & jobs exported to other lands.

This economy isn't a help.
That's enuf from me on this subject. I'm beginning to comment or look like Laurie, on her blog of all things!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Eeny-meeny-miny-moe.

writerphotodeb said...

Beautiful. Haunting.

Laurie said...

Hey everyone,

I don't have the statistics in front of me, but LA still has a thriving entertainment industry. Even counting the productions that have gone to Toronto. Other creative industries have moved in, too, making Los Angeles a city of creative jobs. I will have to find my data to back this up later when I'm not so tired.

I appreciate all the comments and GREAT scenarios, people! Kim, I used to write screenplays decades ago, and heavily shopped one of them that I wrote in partnership with a novelist friend of mine. It made all the rounds but never sold. I quickly realized I didn't have the temperament to try and be a screenwriter. It is one tough business. I have known lucky screenwriters who make good livings on scripts they sell that end up never getting produced. Others sell a script only to have it rewritten a half dozen times by other writers before being made into an entirely different film than what the original scribe wanted. Many scripts are optioned for small amounts of money and never made. Then there are novelists whose books get optioned and never made into films, or who get optioned and then have a screenwriter adapt the work into something else. Screenwriting is definitely a weird world. When people like Diablo Cody come along, or the young man who wrote Milk, it's such a nice story. So many others fall into the other categories -- or never sell anything at all! TV writing is another saga, too.

Thank you for playing along, people! Until tomorrow, everyone...

Cafe Pasadena said...

It's not just Toronto, LA, where they've left for.
And we're specifically talking about the entertainment industry, not a more generalized "creative" field.

Laurie said...

I'm not saying there hasn't been a downturn in productions shot in Los Angeles. Absolutely. 2008 was the lowest in 12 years, especially due to the strike. But that is light years away from worrying that no films/TV show or commercials are going to be shot here. The machine is in pretty firmly in place, it's just in flux. Also, for all the productions that have left -- reality TV shows have filled in a lot of the gaps. Less jobs for actors and writers, for sure, but still a big contributor to the overall economic machine. Also, video games, internet and new media are part of the creative industry that I included -- and they are a huge part of the future of entertainment, and entertainment will always have a big hub in SoCal, in my opinion.

Cafe Pasadena said...

I'm not saying zero production here will one day be the result. Who really knows the future. Otherwise, LA, thanks for seeing my view.

Anonymous said...

Its the Plunge you idiot!

Anonymous said...

I was born and raised in SoPas. That is the facade of the Plunge.