Once again, you can count on me to keep you informed on the important issues that will help you stay safe and succeed if you ever decide to move to LA to live and work. So I will offer you all this little tidbit of advice that is only useful one time a year. But valuable none the less.. So pay attention!

LA riotsIt’s mid-June in LA and that only means one thing these days and that is ‘Be careful outside boys and girls it’s Riot Season‘. Yes, that’s right folks, usually once a year around this time, a large group of highly educated Los Angelenos unite under one cause to outwardly express their deepest thoughts, feelings and view points about the huge problems they face in today’s society in regards to out of control unemployment, racial injustices and corrupt politicians. No No wait.. That’s not it.. J/K – It’s Lakers Basketball. And they have either just Won the Championship or just Lost it. Either way, this is what you can expect if you decide to go to that final game or if your one of the lucky ones who just get caught driving in the vicinity of Staples Center on that auspicious night.

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See what your missing by not Living in Los Angeles..

It’s not every where in this country you can be walking home from work on a Thursday evening and all of sudden a giant army tank rolls by with 2 men in Tuxedos sticking out it being flanked by police officers on bikes. That’s odd I think to myself, since I’m walking down Hollywood Blvd during rush hour at the moment. Then, like a vulture circling above it’s dying prey a black-ops type helicopter appears above the buildings. Again, I think to myself WTF is going on. I would of thought we were just attacked by terrorists except for the two dorks in tuxes on the tank. Who were they and what was happening? Then it all became clear as I approached the next intersection. Ba Da Daaah Da Da Daaah..

That’s right Boys & Girls, The A-Team Premiere Party outside Mans Chinese Theatre in full effect. The 2 dorks on the Tank, that’s Bradley Cooper, star of the Blockbuster movie ‘The Hangover’ and Sharlto Copley, star of the sci-fi hit ‘District 9’. So in cased you missed it,

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In the evening hours on June 2, 2008 large explosions rocked Hollywood’s Universal Studios back-lot. No, not the work of some special effects crew filming a scene for a movie. These large explosions being heard were destroying studio buildings and movie sets, like the famous courthouse square and bell tower where the final scenes of Back to the Future were filmed. Started by roofers shingling a roof in the area, the fire ripped through multiple city blocks of sets and famous backdrops. This fire cost the film industry a lot on many levels. From the many years of history that went up in flames to the many local film jobs that followed when the back-lot closed indefinitely. Productions now had nowhere to shoot their New York and London street scenes in LA. They actually had to go to New York and London, and they use Local crews when they do this. So, the fact that the back-lot is finally open for shooting to all productions after 2 years of rebuilding is a major uplift to the employment or unemployment situation that is currently plaguing many crew members in the Hollywood filming sector. Finally, some good news in a town where good news is always lacking, some people can finally get back to work.

As you can see from the video clip, this fire was enormous and the fact that no lives were lost was a miracle. Firefighters at one point were seen going into the film vault on the lot, which houses all the studios negatives that were in danger of burning, and hauling out film cans one by one to ensure their safety.

The dedication ceremony today for the largest set construction project in Hollywood history was being held at the Universal Studios Back-Lot, with Steven Spielberg and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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Well, it almost happened again last weekend while I was on location prepping for an upcoming film shoot.  Gravity and Extreme Stupidity teamed up again to prove once and for all that ‘Stupid is as Stupid does’.  For any new people that are thinking about moving to Hollywood to work as a film crew member on a production set. I implore you to heed the words of ‘ Jon Anderson’ the lead singer of the band ‘Yes’ from their 1984 Album ‘90125‘ song entitled ‘It Can Happen‘. If taken a bit out context his words just might save your life. The important lyrics are displayed below. Read them, listen to them and learn them. Consider this my first of many PSA’s to try and get you prepared for Hollywood set life and hopefully keep you safe. Finally, FYI for all you young ones out there reading this, the below song is truly what real Rock N’ Roll sound likes..

YES Album 90125

LYRICS – ‘It Can Happen’

Look out – Look around
Look up – Look down
There’s a crazy world outside
We’re not about to lose our pride
It can happen to you
It can happen to me
It can happen to everyone eventually
As you happen to say
It can happen today
As it happens
It happens in every way.

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So you’re willing to risk it all for your Hollywood Dream, I mean really risk it all.

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Continued…           WHEN FILM SETS ATTACK

If you haven’t read Part One of this story please      (Read  it Now).

Stunt work accounts for more than half of all related injuries and deaths on a production set, for the obvious reasons of course. Second in the line of fire are the film extras. Expendable in every way possible, this group of fame craving performers will continue to be mowed down, blown up, drowned, burnt, and crushed all for that one chance to be immortalized forever on film. So watch out all you soon to be extras they’re gunning for you. (pun intended) The rest of the casualties on a set come from the regular crew, like the production assistants, the welders, the grips, the set dressers, craft services and the special efx guys. Just everyday people like you and me getting caught in the wrong place at the wrong time or doing something extremely stupid we weren’t supposed to be doing in the first place and get hurt because of it. I’m not trying to scare you, but you need to know that film and TV sets are some of the most hazardous places to be around.

Hollywood Stuntman

Set PA Taking Short Cut. Sorry My Bad Dude!

On top of that, you need to realize that this industry in certain sectors is filled with some of the biggest idiots, pill poppers, stoners, and alcoholics the world has to offer and they don’t really care about their own safety or yours for that matter. Don’t be like them, the stupid ones that live by the daily mantra “I’d rather be dead and cool, then be alive and un-cool.” Just be smart about what you’re doing and always pay attention to your surroundings when your on a active production set. Don’t trust the other guy, especially with your life! He may not know what he’s doing, physically or mentally at the moment. Furthermore, don’t do anything that you feel puts your health at risk without using the recommended safety devices that every production ‘MUST’ provide to you. If you do this, you just might make it home after every shoot with two working legs, all your fingers, your eyeballs and both your arms so that you can pat yourself on the back for a job well done everyday. If not, you could end up like one of these unlucky bastards. R.I.P.

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As I stated the other day, your answer to the following question.. “What kind of car do you drive?” can open and close many entry-level PA job doors for you. (Read Part 1 Now)

Here’s why.. If You say ” I own a…

One More Stop at the Dub House, then I'm done for the day.

1. Motorcycle or Scooter –
Pointless as far as I’m concerned if you wanna be a useful production assistant on my tv or film production. They’re pretty much only good if your working for a messenger service. MEEP! MEEP!  Which by the way, is a great entry-level Hollywood job as well. Mainly because it gives you access to many of the Hollywood studio lots and production companies. Make sure you keep a copy of your resume in your vehicle at all times, no matter what job title you carry. You never know when your gonna be somewhere good. Back to bikes..Yes, their great for zipping thru bumper to bumper traffic, but try going to Cost Co and putting 4 cases of water, 3 cases of Coke, a Supersize Pak of Paper towels & Cups on the Back of your bike. Good Luck with that.. All Hollywood PA’s are the token shoppers of the production. Every Post PA – Office PA – Set PA – Art PA – Wardrobe PA. If you can make the abbreviation of PA in your Hollywood job title you better have a big trunk so I can put my bike in it.. :)

2. Old Ass P.O.S Car or Truck –
If it’s all you got.. It’s all you got.. No Disrespect! Just remember though, you will only get about 2 lame ass ‘My Car Broke Down’ excuses before your reliability starts coming into question. DEPENDABILITY.. A major factor for anyone that wants a stable job in Hollywood. Car mechanical failures happen to everyone, just don’t make them a habit.  Unless you want A ‘Proceed with Caution’ label attached to your new Hollywood career. Plus, If it comes down to a choice between someone with a P.O.S. car and someone with 2009 Pathfinder. Trust me, It may not be fair but the person with the newer car has the upper-hand already in getting hired over you. Daily driving in LA is brutal on a cars parts, especially old ones. And as your boss, it’s one less thing that I need to worry about.

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I’m afraid to say that having your own transportation is a must if you really want to have a chance at breaking in to the entertainment industry in Hollywood. Yes, there will always be exceptions to this rule, but not many. Hollywood production assistant jobs are hard to come by in this town. If you think car pooling is gonna be an option it isn’t. Most people you will meet in this town won’t like you and they certainly won’t like giving you rides to work. The main reason being that everyone you know will be on a different schedule than you, friends and co-workers alike, especially if your a PA. Furthermore, the city of Los Angeles is way to spread out and it’s divided in half by a small mountain range making co-commuting next to impossible. And there’s nothing worse then being trapped in a car with someone you have nothing in common with for 45 minutes in rush hour traffic.

P.A. Car

If your car starts smoking.. Get the Tape Masters out of the Back Seat..

Biking is no good, unless you’re just commuting within the local beach communities. If your relying on a company car, it’s possible, it might work. But remember, at that level on the job ladder your salary blows anyway. Using your own car and getting mileage reimbursement can make a huge positive impact in your bottom line by as much as $150 per week. Drive an Electric car and you could make a small fortune. The public transportation system in LA is adequate, but it doesn’t go everywhere yet and it’s not flexible and that’s what you need to be when you arrive here in California to truly have a chance to get that first Hollywood PA Job. And as someone who occasionally interviews & hires PA’s for a living. I promise you, one of the first questions you will be asked is “Do you have your own car and insurance?” Your answer better be yes, if you want the job. But your not hired yet though.. My next question is gonna be ‘What kind of Vehicle do you have? Your answer here can open and close many employment doors as well for you. Here’s why.. If You say ” I own a…

Check back tomorrow for the Best and Worst Answers to that question..

Your New Hollywood PA Job just might depend on your answer..

Read Part 2 Here for the Best and Worst Answers

Dingo –