Los Angeles, or New York?
One of my high school students asked if aspiring filmmakers must live in LA or NYC in order to break in to the industry.
Following is a summary of my answer:
Short answer, ‘no.’
– Feature films: it’s easier to break in if you live in LA, NYC, or Toronto, simply because there are more films in production in these cities. However, I have many friends, career film technicians, that broke in to the business in Atlanta, Wilmington and Austin and they’ve never even been to LA. I have producer friends that live all over the US, Europe and even South Africa, and they’re staying quite busy with their own feature projects, large and small.
– Big Network Television: the majority of the big fiction network shows shoot in LA; the real business of network TV is there. If you want to write sitcoms, move to Cal-ee-forn-ee-a. If you want to crew on a weekly TV series, you’ll find series production in Miami, Atlanta and other metro areas.
– Non-fiction Cable and Docs: You can live anywhere and help produce non-fiction content for PBS and the cable networks such as Bravo, A&E, etc. The key is building relationships with the network execs, and providing fresh, new ideas. If you want to crew on these gigs, find the production company and offer to intern.
[Addendum] The following cities also have vibrant entertainment/media communities:
-Â Chicago – theater, comedy, advertising.
– Washington, D.C. – home to PBS, National Geographic and the Discovery Networks.
– Nashville – CMT, music videos and home to the Scripps HQ (HGTV, Food Network,Â etc.)Â * Thanks John
Regardless of your location, the key to breaking in to show bizÂ is relationships, and I’ll address this in a new thread when time allows.