La La Land

I’ve just returned from a whirlwind trip to LA, and thought I’d share a few observations. Spirit of full disclosure, I used to live in LA (first Hollywood, then Venice Beach) for a few years, and moved to London ten years ago.

On the Universal lot.

On the Universal lot.

– LA thrives on creativity. What’s incredible about LA is that everyone you meet is creative…from the writers in every Starbucks to the uber drivers who are actors. The entire town is geared towards creating and making content. There’s something magical about that sheer force of creative energy.

– LA has got serious income inequality issues. The spoils of wealth are not shared evenly. This is a town where Tesla cars speed past rows of homeless people. I heard on NPR that there’s over 47,000 homeless in LA. I feel as though I counted that many Maseratis, Teslas, and Jags.

– The movie business is dying (if not dead). When I left LA, the movie business was still vibrant…but this was before netlifx went from DVDs by mail to streaming. Now, every meeting on film is about how hard that business is. The exceptions seem to be big animated fare and pre-existing franchises.

– TV is hot. Everyone, including big feature film talent, is moving into TV. There’s a real risk of this market overheating (it’s worth reading the vulture piece on peak TV), but for now, the crucible of creativity is making some incredible content and audiences are the richer for it.

At Skybound, the company behind TV's hit THE WALKING DEAD

At Skybound, the company behind TV’s hit THE WALKING DEAD

– There’s a vibrant YA author network. Who knew!?  I was lucky enough to be invited by YA author Jen Klein to a meet-up of at least twenty YA authors, and this type of creative cluster is supportive to authors and thus great for readers.

Los Angeles is one of those marmite places, people either love it or loathe it. I’m in the former camp; and while the town is hard to traverse in terms of traffic, it’s a welcoming platform for anyone with a dream, creative talent, and the tenacity to see it through.

 

 

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