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New York or LA?

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  • New York or LA?

    Hello folks,

    I've been putting off really chasing my dream to be a film maker for too long. When I got out of film school, I went into software development because it was easy to get a job right off making a decent amount of money and that lead to almost ten years of not whole-heartedly following my passion for making art, music, and film. It's do or die time.

    Now here's the dilemma:

    I know LA is the better choice for getting into film production. I was planning on moving there some time this year. It would be hard not knowing anyone in the city and starting from the ground up with no support but that's life.

    Then my good friend calls me up and says he's thinking about moving to New York and wants to know if I'd like to go with him. He's a musician and would be looking to make it in the music scene there. I'm also a musician, but my primary interest is in film. If I could do both, that would be even more awesome. I know films get made in New York as well, but I just wonder how much I would regret it if I moved to New York instead of LA to try to make it in film. The advantage of New York is that my friend and I can be roommates and share living costs which are ridiculously high in both LA and New York. Also, we would both be struggling artists of sorts and have each other for support and encouragement.

    So, I just want to know what you guys think? Is it significantly more difficult to make it in film in New York than LA? Would I be shooting myself in the foot. Go to the movie making capital of the world all alone... or go to another place where movies definitely do get made also but not as many but have a friend by my side?

  • #2
    My honest opinion about this, and I give this advice to everyone that asks me. Never go anywhere without having a secure source of cashflow coming in. I think you would be shooting yourself in the foot if you just go and hope to meet some people to make films. LA as well as NY have a great film scene going on. Many of the large studios are there, even though many people think they are in LA the black suits are in NY - Like Universal Studios, many think the heads are in Studio City, but that is mostly production services, thats kind of besides the point though. If you are going to go anywhere, secure funds for at least a full year before you do. My thoughts would be: If you are going to choose one or the other, then go with NY since your friend can give you a place stay and you can collaborate with him. I still warn against this though, you need to make a game plan and don't "count" on making money on your first film so plan for that and see if you can still survive if your first film or job fails. If you can survive and continue, then you might have a way to make this work.

    Just my thoughts ^
    Distribber - Keep 100% of your film's revenue


    • #3
      If you feel that in this part of your life you need to do this then go for it man. But like nick said, just have a plan before... We care about you and dont want you to fail


      • #4
        The software development opportunities are good here (soCal in general), and many of them are in the music and film industry. I say, like so many others, move to either city and do what you already do now and get paid well for it and develop the artistic career on the side. MOST successful people in music and film in LA and New York got there by this route. You will be very surprised at the extent and scope of the music scene from the Bay area to San Diego.
        Shawn Rohrbach MFA


        • #5
          Oh yes. I'm not going to quit my job or anything. I have a software development job that I work entirely from home, and can do it from literally anywhere in the world since I don't have to go to an office or any specific location. Of course, living in either of these expensive places would definitely put a dent in my buying power, but I will have money coming in.


          • #6
            So what are your thoughts Vance?
            Distribber - Keep 100% of your film's revenue


            • #7
              My thoughts? My thoughts are these. I talked to my friend last night, and he doesn't seem completely certain about his plans. I know I will definitely be going to New York or LA either July or October of this year. October might be better to give me more time to prepare. However, if my friend goes to New York, he'll go in May, and I would probably meet him there in July if I decide to go with him. I'm pretty certain that if my friend makes up his mind for sure to go to New York, I'll probably go with him. Otherwise LA. In the meantime, I'll just be trying to shoot and edit as much stuff as possible between now and whenever I run off to wherever I run off to.

              But I guess what I was kind of looking for in this thread was to see if anyone would pipe up and say "NO!.... Don't go to New York. If you're really serious about getting into film making you have to go to LA!" As long as no one does that with good reasons behind it, I'll follow the above plan.


              • #8
                Being from New York, I can say that what they say is true. You can do anything in New York. I am saving up to move back.


                • #9
                  I live just outside of NYC (Jersey City, to be exact) and my day job is in Manhattan. I made my feature film (Surviving Family ) in and around NYC. Not having lived in LA, I can't compare the 2. But I CAN say that there's no shortage of talented actors, crew people, and post-production facilities.
                  Screenwriter and script consultant:


                  • #10
                    Man, you are talking about the two TOP places in the USA for filmmaking. its hard to say NO! to either, maybe if it was like New York or Alabama, i would say NO! to Alabama

                    know what i mean?


                    • #11
                      My friend and I are gonna try and get out to San Francisco before this fall. He has classes to to attend at the Academy of Art for filmmaking and I'm gonna try and get in there as well. They have an excellent 3D program there. I've been trying to get out there for 2 years now. Like everyone says, have a plan when getting out there. You don't want to be one of those that spends 6 months to a year there and then come back to your home town. Thats what we are trying to avoid. Whether, I get work out there in the field that I'm passionate about anyone's guess but it would be nice to be in a area that has a concentration of up artists and filmmakers. Where I live, small town and the only thing around here to do is drink at the bars hunt haha