Nicole writes in:
I am about to relocate to LA after working in film production for 4 years in Austin, TX. I am doing some housing research and had a few questions:
1. Are there any neighborhoods that are more accommodating to working in film? (Convenient drive to studios and production office spaces…)
2. What price range for an apartment can I expect to afford on a PA salary? I know prices for apartments will be much higher than I am used to in Austin. Without going into more detail than you are comfortable with, could you share a monthly salary range I could expect? It would be helpful to know what to expect in “lean” times as well as “times of plenty.”
On the other hand, movies and television are the main reason this city even exists, so it’s hard to find a place that isn’t close to at least one studio.
A lot of younger folks live in the Hollywood or mid-city area, because it’s convenient for partying as well as work. The Valley is quieter, and there are more studios there. It has a reputation for being far from everything, which is ridiculous, since ABC/Disney, NBC/Universal, and Warner Brothers are all in the Valley. Also, it’s cheaper (places like North Hollywood, or even Van Nuys).
The Oracle’s Hollywood Survival Guide has a nice breakdown neighborhood by neighborhood, if you want to splurge on $10.
PAs nowadays get paid anywhere from $500 to $750 per week. “Lean times” means $0. So, save up. You need to be prepared to not work for months on end while still paying rent and buying food.