TL;DR: how do I Los Angeles?
I know there's a few threads on this topic already, but it looks as though they're a year old or so, and I'd like to take the temperature of LA locals re: the current and future prospects for younger people in the film industry. There's an awful lot of cynicism out there.
I have about five years of experience freelancing in the industry, but it's hard to imagine getting much further in my career without moving.
It just so happens that my current SO is interviewing for a job in LA (which may be her own "big break"), and I'm contemplating moving with her... I'm not going to sacrifice my career to stay with her, but moving to LA hardly seems like the worst idea for someone who wants to be a director of photography and filmmaker--especially considering that I'd have a SO with a job in an unrelated industry to mooch on while I get established. I have a few friends out there as well who seem to be doing alright, and could at least make first introductions.
I also know people who have moved back or to satellite cities after a few years in LA because they couldn't get out of low rent indies with abusive labor practices. I've read that while the jobs are still there, the day rates are plummeting (I was shocked at how little my friends said they made on some shows--less than I get for a day on a light corporate gig).
I hope we can refrain from a flame war about tax incentives and runaway productions--just the facts!