MUSCULARNY, You've made some interesting and somewhat truthful movie business related remarks in your above post.
In fact some associates are presently working on a script based on some of what you had to say but have been advised to "tone it down a bit' because it makes Hollywood and its 'critters' look too much like demons from hell.
And that script (part 1 of a series) only touches the 'outskirts' of the movie industry and its' schemers as well as the legit "kids" who are trying to get their first big break.
I've been somewhat fortunate to have personally witnessed or been involved with a few Hollywood success stories, but have rarely encountered the 'bad guys' who take advantage of those in Hollywood looking for a chance to be a STAR.
Your post seems to infer that you have run into some of these Hollywood characters and it would be interesting to hear more about it.
1) tone down? if you want to guarantee yourself that you will be another movie whereas you beg people to watch, do things toned down. Learn from whats currently popular, unless you are outrageous and controversial you have 0 chance of someone watching your stuff, and even then you need lots of luck. So TONE nothing down!
ill tell ya 2 funny stories we had in LA
first off I was there for work, needed to spend 3 weeks on a project (non film related), knowing how fast things get done in NY 3 weeks was plenty. But we soon figured out that what takes 3 weeks to get done in NY takes 3 months in LA, and that is if you are lucky.
We figure out that only 3 types of people roll out of bed to do work:
1) People who think the job is movie related
2) People who are a inch away from being kicked out of their home, or are down to 0 dollars and cant buy food
3) Guy / girl looking for his next bag of weed or coke or pills etc. they get desperate and will claim they are artists, painters, wood workers etc
But we also figured out that peoples word there means 0, nada, ziltch!
In addition, if you make the mistake to prepay for work or even give the guy a deposit, you just basically almost guaranteed you will never see them again.
So I am in LA in the valley, the project site is in Encino. I arrive there with 3 guys to help out. We needed people to turn this 3500 sf warehouse space into a setup whereas there is a big space then 1 small room, so all one needed to do is build 2 walls at one of the corners and allow space for a opening (no door). This was part of a larger project, the other parts we where able to do ourselves thank god.
We also needed to add lights in those rooms.
Well we start calling some people for quotes, but no luck, some dont show up, some show up and want crazy money, some show up but have no tools, they are asking us for tools, some we give the ok and they confirm they will come the next day and never show.
We are all standing there like idiots, the client in NY think we are bullshitting them. Its now 5 days and we met a ton of people and none are good for this simple job.
We go to home depot in hopes of picking up a mexican and just buying everything, but we noticed that none spoke even a bit of english. We where about to hire a translator to help us with the mexicans, but then this one guy had an idea.
He said lets go to craigslist and post an ad that we are filming a movie that offers pay + credits, it involves a male handyman that builds a special room in very quick speed, his speed and precision is a turn on for this wealthy lady of the building and she ends up marrying him.
You must be able to build and have references, pay was $800 and you must have the tools, we supply all material.
Within an hour our email box was flooded, tons of headshots, references, some ready to work for free!
This one guy who use to be a set builder had a impressive resume, so we tell him to come in the next AM and be ready to get filmed on the spot building these walls, we will film it then dub it in to the final movie.
That day we went to this store called EVS in glendale, we rented this bulky looking outdated sony beta tape camera, we also rented a dolly. Next block we got 3 directors chairs and some wires and a broken mic.
We setup the place like some film bullshit set, the guy comes in the next day, tools and all, hes so happy he was picked, we did lie and mention some big celeb names that will be in the movie, we told him no title yet.
We told him what we need built, and we said when we say cut he should rest but he must work away as his part is about a guy with mad building skills.
5 hours later, the most amazing walls where standing there.
Till today the guys in NY have no clue what we needed to do to get this done, up until a year ago the guy still called asking when the movie will be released!
Getting the lights done was a whole other headache, we ended up calling this guy from craigslist, he shows up 7PM to look at the job, we give him 150 bucks to get get the wires and whatever, he was suppose to come right back.
45 minutes go by and hes no where to be found. We call and no answer, one of us said, he must of went to a hooker. Back then CL had a erotic section, after calling 10 or so of them claiming its an emergency and if Harry (not his real name) was there or is there, skinny bald guy, one said, oh lord hes here, he gets on the phone hes like who the heck is this, why are you following me, we told him to simply return the money and thats it. No clue how but he came back and left the money in a envelope outside the door.
Those 3 weeks where full of stress, non stop. If I would of known what we needed to go thru to get simple stuff done, I would of recorded the whole experience.
One thing is for sure, there are more sub contractors in LA then there are in the entire USA.