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March: In Like a Lioness
March continued the surge in production from January and February, and came "In like a Lion," as they say. Even the old phrase "I'm double booked" came out of the closet. It was nice to hear folks are working again after a tough 2009.
As an equipment vendor, I'm always dealing with "interesting" business practices by LA vendors. Wow, these guys taught me years ago: Keep my back to the wall, ears and eyes open, and don't drop the soap.
An LA production company, which will remain unnamed, called and booked a four day shoot with the normal stuff - a production truck, camera truck, 2 stake-beds, 50 radios, tables, chairs, tents, trash cans, blah blah blah. They booked it a week ahead of time, which, by the way, equals a year in the "real world."
On the prep day, we picked up our sub-rental production truck and headed back to the warehouse. We were all set to load but, "Oops," we had no order. "Hmmm," call the coordinator, which I did at approximately 9:30am. "Hello (Shall Remain Nameless), do you have the order for your job?" Nameless: "Let me figure it out and I'll call you back." Me: "That sounds great, I have a crew standing by."
Three hours pass, no word, better call them back, its getting late. 12:30pm: Ring, ring, I say: "Hey (Nameless), we really need to get going on this, I have the 50 radios charged but I need to get everything else started in case we have to sub rent something." Nameless: "Well, the producer has a deal with a local (LA) production equipment company, they offer a bigger discount if we take their equipment out of LA, so we are bringing everything out of LA." OUCH, that hurt.
I tried to figure out why an LA equipment company would give a bigger discount to a company leaving LA, than one staying in LA. Had they screwed each other so much down south, that they needed to expand their screw territory into ours? Had they finally figured out that they might have too many equipment companies in one area for all to survive? Were they taking accounting lessons from Goldman Sachs or AIG?
The only thing I truly did know was that the equipment rental business in LA has always had a seedier side than Nor-Cal. I'm not saying all - for some of the greatest folks I have ever had the pleasure of working with are from the South-land - but: LA vendors, please, pretty please, don't export your way of doing business up here. Remember, you need our water to survive...
Now on to what's happening in the Bay Area. I know I promised to bring you all the ADs, but I found out some companies don't use them, or plead the fifth, so here we go.
Week 1: Smuggler LA/NY with Drew Santarsiero/NY as the 1st AD, were in town on a Microsoft commercial, followed closely by LA's Make and Model for Verizon and Jorge Salgado as the local SF production Coordinator (PC). Liz Garman/producer and Jim Barton/director of Project Film and TV(SF) were out and about on a Cisco project and JAK Productions with George Lucas/Director and Ed Hirsh/AD were in town filming scences for a month on the upcoming film "Red Tails", the story of the Tuskegee Airman, the first American black air squadron.
Week 2: San Francisco's Beyond Pix and their staff were working on a project for High Impact TV. Next up was Caviar/ NY with 1st AD Garrett Freeberg, 2nd AD Michael Jordan with a German TV show named "Singstar", great title, huh? Hot Bed Media/SF with Chris Hall/Producer for "Deloitte", end week 2.
Week 3: Amanda Steigerwald/PM with Eveo/SF for Onglyza, don't ask me what that means. Next up, Modern Industry Pictures for the 49ers, followed closely by RSA/LA with a few days on a Subaru spot. Tom Hoynes/Producer with Exposure/NY for "Speery" shoot and a week's worth of work in Tahoe, lucky folks!
Week 4: AD Jani Vournas, along with Licorice Tree Productions/Pleasanton, shooting at Goaline studios for Clorox. A Corona Beer spot was 1st AD-ed by LA's David Webb,with SF's Michael Jordan as the 2nd, for production company Smuggler out of LA. Strader/TN was in town on a Toyota spot with locals David Lambert/PM and Ryan Miller/PC running production. Finishing out the month, Teak/SF had two jobs working, one for H&M with production manager Courtney Harrell and the other a PSA with PM Krista Ruet.
I'm still waiting to be emailed some "rants" from you reader folks. Come on, I can't be the only one who rants, I hope! One rant my editor heard is that he wasn't covering enough local commercial production. Well now, where have been for the past four months. You can send your positive news to The Loop (
Cheers to all...
Posted on Apr 03, 2010 - 12:32 PM