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Living in the North, working in the South


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#1 David Bowsky

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 05:40 PM

Hey there Bay Area folks.

Just got my first bite on working in the LA area. I've talked to a few folks who do the long commute to the LA zones for work, then come home to roost up here, and wondered if any of you would like to share your experiences, advice, tips, tricks, ways to save coin on the travel, and so on.

On the surface it seems like a doable solution. Are the pitfalls I haven't considered on the list below:

Travel time, means.
Where to stay, hypothetically close enough to the job to avoid sitting in LA traffic for 4 hours in the morning.
Cost vs. rate for the job. (taking into account the long term benefits if any associated with the job)

Finally, anyone use the Couch-surfing website for shorter term lodging? Hostels? Sleep in your car and "shower" at Denny's? :D

Edited by David Bowsky, 18 June 2010 - 05:40 PM.

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#2 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 06:45 PM

No one has a response? Interesting.

Here goes:

1st of all, I have not commuted for the movie biz, but I can offer some observations as I travelled a good deal between the East Bay and LA in years past.

Don't drive up and down, it will kick your butt. Even when I was young, the concentration required for the 6-7 hr drive was taxing, especially when you have to go to work right away. Flying is too expensive, and the waits to get through security too long. The cheapest way with the least strain I found was the bus (believe it or not), an express of course. Took it overnight, slept, felt pretty good.

You'll have to have a car in LA, so stash one in a safe place. It's tough to live out of your car. LAPD is not keen on it. Renting a room for $500 would be best, or couch surf I suppose, and be in a central location (not way off in the 'burbs). You'll still get stuck in traffic, but it won't be as bad.

Finally, just give up on the Bay Area. We have good coffee and decent bread now, even some good restaurants. Why not give up the culture wars, the knee-jerk far-left political conformity (Eat the Rich!) and everyone trying to be so damn smart! Here in glorious LA the unrelenting sunshine will make you forget everything you ever stood for, you'll graze on lotus blossoms, contemplate your navel and worship the money god. But avoid the alpha rays, Max, they make you look old.

Good luck!
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#3 David Bowsky

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 11:43 PM

Heh. Interesting response. Well, maybe the lack of responses is a sign in itself. FWIW: Drove, which was pretty brutal. Made the mistake of leaving LA in the afternoon, and got stuck on the 5 for hours and hours on the way out. Cheap rental car would be the way to go, coupled with the bus option.

Not really up here for all that political what-not, but you know, whatever. :) Am here for the near future for a variety of reasons, unless there's a compelling case for change, but there is definitely a different vibe down there than I remember.

Edit: I apologize for that last bit of not-really-even-close to a sentence. It's been a long week. ;)

Edited by David Bowsky, 27 June 2010 - 11:44 PM.

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#4 George Ebersole

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 01:25 AM

Heh. Interesting response. Well, maybe the lack of responses is a sign in itself. FWIW: Drove, which was pretty brutal. Made the mistake of leaving LA in the afternoon, and got stuck on the 5 for hours and hours on the way out. Cheap rental car would be the way to go, coupled with the bus option.

Not really up here for all that political what-not, but you know, whatever. :) Am here for the near future for a variety of reasons, unless there's a compelling case for change, but there is definitely a different vibe down there than I remember.

Edit: I apologize for that last bit of not-really-even-close to a sentence. It's been a long week. ;)

I've known a few people who do the reverse; live in LA and work up in the Bay Area. It's very rare for the reverse to be doable, unless you've "big name" talent.
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#5 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 09:03 PM

I was supposed to be driving tomorrow for a 3 day commercial in LA. Funny that I came upon this thread, since my biggest fear is that I'll be halfway down the 5 and I get a call for a cancelled job.

It's risky business, but I enjoy the drive and I have friends down there that I can sometimes work with on the same job.

I don't check this forum too often, but feel free to email me if you are heading down, and vice versa. I might be driving as well and we can carpool.

I've flown for a 2 day job, cheapest rental car was $50/day.

It sucks to drive, but it gives you the most flexibility.
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#6 David Bowsky

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 12:31 AM

Thanks for the offer Jamie, mighty kind of you. I'd have responded sooner, but this has been (fortunately) a busy summer for me. Dropping my contact info in your PM box in case we happen to be heading down there at similar times. For the moment I'm scheduled up here through at least the end of this month, with some fairly certain but as of yet unscheduled days in October as well.
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Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Glidecam

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

Technodolly

Wooden Camera