U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 12-09-2012, 04:48 PM
 
42 posts, read 57,064 times
Reputation: 13

Advertisements

Hi, everyone.

I've been acting, writing, working as a creative consultant, etc on indie films for years--unpaid so far. I've always desired to work in the entertainment industry, most likely as an animation writer or television writer, as a career. I haven't set my goals in stone yet, clearly, but I know I want to work somewhere in that realm.

Thing is...I dislike LA and can't see myself living there. I lived there already for a short period of time and was disenchanted by the people, the sprawl, the car culture, and what I found to be a lack of creative/artsy communities.

Now I know LA isn't all bad, and I know plenty of people who are happy living there, but I just can't really see it for myself. I'd prefer to live in NYC, SF, or even somewhere in the South (I've heard Austin and Atlanta have decent work in entertainment but obviously not in the same playing field as LA or even NYC).

When it comes to NYC, I've read that work is more freelance-based, harder to find (especially in animation), lower-paying, and not as steady. Not sure what SF looks like in this regard, but I would imagine that it'd have the same problems as NYC, only probably even fewer opportunities?

Basically, just looking for advice and information here. Are any of the cities mentioned viable for finding steady enough, decently-paying jobs in the entertainment industry or should I bite the bullet and ship off to LA for my career despite my distaste for it?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-09-2012, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Savannah GA
13,420 posts, read 16,962,854 times
Reputation: 9513
Actually, Atlanta (and more specifically, Georgia) is a solid third in the nation for film / television production behind either NYC and LA, with both scripted TV series and major motion picture production continuing to grow by leaps and bounds. It offers pretty much everything you describe.

Not convinced? Three words: THE WALKING DEAD

Anyway, look it up. Though I'd think somebody as "into" the industry (particulalrly animation) as you claim would have already known this. Atlanta's home to Adult Swim's Williams Street animation house, HQ of Cartoon Network, etc. Lots of Hollywood types are moving to Georgia.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-09-2012, 10:27 PM
 
42 posts, read 57,064 times
Reputation: 13
Well, NYC doesn't even offer very much despite being the second for film/TV, so it's hard for me to imagine that Atlanta truly does. Sounds slightly better than LA though. Are you actually in the entertainment industry there?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-09-2012, 10:48 PM
 
Location: New York
880 posts, read 1,734,491 times
Reputation: 542
You'll be surprised by how much opportunities there are in Boston. But may I suggest (and if you're opened to other countries), Toronto and Vancouver. They both are excellent alternatives.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-10-2012, 06:22 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA
13,420 posts, read 16,962,854 times
Reputation: 9513
Quote:
Originally Posted by StrawberryQuartz View Post
Well, NYC doesn't even offer very much despite being the second for film/TV, so it's hard for me to imagine that Atlanta truly does. Sounds slightly better than LA though. Are you actually in the entertainment industry there?
No, I don't work in the industry but I have friends who do and they all seem to get steady work and make a decent living. I even have a friend here in Savannah who recently quit his tourism job and went to writing / editing screenplays full time. We have an all-digital film studio here (Meddin Studios) that's about relocate downtown and quadruple in size. Savannah College of Art and Design has the leading animation and sequential art program in the nation as well as a growing film school. You would be amiss not to check it out. I believe (know) it's MUCH easier to make contacts, impress people and get a foot in the door in lesser markets than NYC and LA. But the people and work is the same. It really is "Hollywood South" ... and a LOT more kindler and gentler.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-10-2012, 09:46 AM
 
Location: roaming gnome
12,391 posts, read 24,567,618 times
Reputation: 5662
I think you are already on the right track. Atlanta, SF and NYC of that list would be your best bets. Or find some similar job (writing or media related) in SF then you are still a drive away when you need to be in Los Angeles and you can have your dense walkable city in SF. But yes SF has fewer opportunities than NYC, but it might make up for that where you could quickly get to LA if you needed to. SF also has LucasFilms (now disney) Pixar and a side of Dreamworks. Atlanta is going to be more sprawled and car culture than LA, but you might like the people and communities there and there is a substantial media presence, though not on the level of LA. As far as I know there are more shoots in Atlanta than SF for both tv/film at this point. NYC might give you more media jobs or opportunities to write/act for broadway as well as film.

Austin has a few indie movie directors, but as far as I know they go back and forth from LA and there isn't really that much going on in Austin in terms of work unless you are a musician. I would take Austin off your list.

SF, NYC and ATL will all have their own pro's and con's.

Last edited by grapico; 12-10-2012 at 09:56 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-10-2012, 09:58 AM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,085 posts, read 35,035,900 times
Reputation: 15256
Quote:
Originally Posted by StrawberryQuartz View Post
Well, NYC doesn't even offer very much despite being the second for film/TV, so it's hard for me to imagine that Atlanta truly does. Sounds slightly better than LA though. Are you actually in the entertainment industry there?
Was talking to a 'contract zombie' from Walking Dead at an art exhibition this weekend. Told me that he loves Atlanta and would like to stay, but feels its not quite 'there' in terms of offering an actor steady employment. He'll likely go back to LA after this gig but he and his buds are watching the market here.
I do think Atlanta is on its way.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-10-2012, 10:15 AM
 
42 posts, read 57,064 times
Reputation: 13
Thanks for the replies so far, guys. Appreciated!

I'd honestly love to live in the South because the culture there seems to fit my personality a lot more, so I'm liking what you guys have said about Atlanta so far. I definitely will look into it more and keep it on my list (but the sprawl and car culture does make me hesitant, since those are two big things I wanted to avoid about LA).

As far as SF, Atlanta, and NYC, anyone here have experience with film/TV -careers- there? I've read that in the NYC film/TV community (especially animation), most people are constantly shifting from job to job freelancing and not sure where their next paycheck is coming from.

I'd be interested to hear if there were enough opportunities to work steadily with studios on longer-term projects or if there is at least a steady stream of work for those who are committed and outgoing enough to network, work hard, et cetera. Because I honestly wouldn't mind the freelance life and the variety of projects if it were just the lifestyle in question, but clearly, living in expensive cities like NYC or SF...I'd have to be concerned with the money factor.

Thanks again, everyone.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-10-2012, 10:22 AM
 
Location: roaming gnome
12,391 posts, read 24,567,618 times
Reputation: 5662
Quote:
Originally Posted by StrawberryQuartz View Post
Thanks for the replies so far, guys. Appreciated!

I'd honestly love to live in the South because the culture there seems to fit my personality a lot more, so I'm liking what you guys have said about Atlanta so far. I definitely will look into it more and keep it on my list (but the sprawl and car culture does make me hesitant, since those are two big things I wanted to avoid about LA).

As far as SF, Atlanta, and NYC, anyone here have experience with film/TV -careers- there? I've read that in the NYC film/TV community (especially animation), most people are constantly shifting from job to job freelancing and not sure where their next paycheck is coming from.

I'd be interested to hear if there were enough opportunities to work steadily with studios on longer-term projects or if there is at least a steady stream of work for those who are committed and outgoing enough to network, work hard, et cetera. Because I honestly wouldn't mind the freelance life and the variety of projects if it were just the lifestyle in question, but clearly, living in expensive cities like NYC or SF...I'd have to be concerned with the money factor.

Thanks again, everyone.
All the people I know who were involved in TV/Film or acting moved to LA. I know several people that finished MFA screenwriting programs, all moved to LA. Know a few people who were actors, they also moved to LA...I do know a few people that did some shooting work in New Orleans, though I think they ended up going back to LA.
Make no mistake, there is a lot more work in LA but obviously some people make it work elsewhere.

What you might be able to do is freelance as you say in one of the other cities, then keep on the lookout still for jobs in LA. If one comes up, sublease your apartment for the stint of the gig, then come back.

And you probably know already, but NYC and SF are both more expensive than LA, but those costs might come down some if you live frugally, don't drive, etc. Atlanta is the cheapest but like LA, you'd probably eventually want a car or be limited to certain areas.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-10-2012, 10:35 AM
 
14,111 posts, read 22,759,137 times
Reputation: 4208
Your best bet would be to bite the bullet and go with LA. There really aren't many other cities that are gonna offer you the wages needed to live a decent life in your industry. Yeah, there's many up-and-coming cities in the industry, but LA will always seem like the most fitting city in this regard.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top