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Old 08-24-2009, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Chicago
152 posts, read 533,741 times
Reputation: 89

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Okay, here's the deal: my wife and I currently live in Chicago and have a cute 7 month old boy. My wife has just been laid off last week, as many other Americans these days, but instead of being miserable and ask "why us?", I see it as a possible window of opportunity, and here is why. I'm sick of my job in accounting and in the past year I've been finally cultivating more seriously an old passion of mine which is filmmaking at an indie level with some quite good feedback from unexpected people (i.e. not family nor close friends). On top of that we're sick of the Chicago weather: although we love Chicago and all it has to offer, the weather here is just depressing and although we like seeing the snow and the foliage and the change of seasons, winters are just too long, springs virtually not extisting and summers are brief and too cool most of the time. Also, except for the lakeshore, the landscape here is just flat, gray and depressing. I'd like to move to a warmer "happy" weather where we can do some fun outdoor activities year round. So adding it up: filmmaking + warm weather + diverse landscaping + outdoor activies = CALIFORNIA!

Now, here are the sources of my doubts: I've never been to California, not even once as a tourist; there are probably tens of thousands of other people like me who would like to make it in the movie business who move to California every year; cost of living is very expensive there, especially housing; I made my wife move from Miami to Chicago about 2 years ago and although we don't regret it one bit (Miami just sucks) and my wife is very happy with the move we made, and although she gave me a few hints that she might be open to move again in the future, I'm just not sure this is the right moment to ask her to move again, considering we have a small kid and bought a condo just a little over 1 year ago and almost lost the equity already.

So what to do:

a) Ask my wife to move to California for a fresh start and trying to pursue my passion for filmmaking

b) Just shut up as moving to California would be the worst idea and keep going with our life here in Chicago.

Let me know your thoughts!
Cheers,
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:27 PM
 
10,630 posts, read 23,949,455 times
Reputation: 6716
b) It's a bad, bad idea right now. It would be one thing if you were single, didn't have a kid, own a condo, and your wife was eager to move right now. Can't you do some filmmaking in Chicago? You can move down the road. It would be one thing if one of you had a job offer in LA, or even if you knew people in CA and had visited, but at this point in time to make a move like that in your situation would be a bad idea from a financial standpoint, and with a young baby the stress level will be even higher.

The job situation in LA is dismal, people are leaving to find work elsewhere (including many who would stay if they could), and cost of living is high enough that you could quickly burn through whatever savings or condo money you have in hand.

Maybe as a compromise you could suggest California, stay in Chicago for now while you look for jobs in CA, and then move as soon your wife gets a job lined up. Or, alernatively, you both look for jobs in CA, you take a job in accounting (if you can find one) for some time to help finance your move and startup costs associated with moving to a new city, and then in a year or two you quit to put FT hours into your films.

Moving to CA sight-unseen is one thing (I like a little adventure, too), but without a job moving to LA right now would be a bad idea. Better to be unemployed in a city where you know people (and don't have to pay for the cost of moving) then to move where you presumably won't be pulling in any film-related money anytime in the immediate future.
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Chicago
152 posts, read 533,741 times
Reputation: 89
Thanks Uptown. However, my plan of course would be the one where we'd both look for a job there before moving, and I would take a job in accounting there for another year or so while I'd start to lay the ground to eventually quit accounting for filmmaking. As you said, with a little kid I would never move without first having a job lined up. That would be too risky and degenerate.
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:53 PM
 
Location: South Bay
7,141 posts, read 19,538,208 times
Reputation: 3402
i'm sick of my accounting job as well and i've been looking to change my job for a year now with no luck, and i live in LA.
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:56 PM
 
10,630 posts, read 23,949,455 times
Reputation: 6716
If you can get a job lined up in advance then, sure, go for it. We don't live in LA currently, but my son was born there and it's a great place for kids. (and glad to hear -- for your sake -- that the plan was to get a job first; you'd be surprised at how many posters on here plan to move first and then look for work, which given the economy isn't an ideal plan these days!) I should also note that we moved to LA without ever having seen the city before my husband accepted an LA-based job; it was a gamble, but we both ended up loving it.
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Old 08-25-2009, 12:59 AM
 
1,297 posts, read 5,103,730 times
Reputation: 566
Quote:
Originally Posted by gabry76 View Post
On top of that we're sick of the Chicago weather: although we love Chicago and all it has to offer, the weather here is just depressing and although we like seeing the snow and the foliage and the change of seasons, winters are just too long, springs virtually not extisting and summers are brief and too cool most of the time. Also, except for the lakeshore, the landscape here is just flat, gray and depressing. I'd like to move to a warmer "happy" weather where we can do some fun outdoor activities year round. So adding it up: filmmaking + warm weather + diverse landscaping + outdoor activies = CALIFORNIA!

Now, here are the sources of my doubts: I've never been to California, not even once as a tourist;
Sounds like an emotional jump. You need to consider a vacation first. Consider talking to your wife about California's climate rather than a film career. What's going to be the hit on the condo if you sell it? Can you rent it and pay the mortgage? How old is the kid? grandparents?, friends? Do you have enough to pay for private school or live in a very nice part of LA...do you want your kid to mix with the locals or will you sacrafice a good chunk of your income to pay for private school to sheild them from what our state spends 70% of the budget on? Many do.

Have you considered checking out the industry you seek to work in prior to moving here? Suprisingly, you may be able to work from your current home.
If your good, you can hop a southwest....chicago loves la and southwest loves chicago.

There are also other states that offer all of the above unless what your looking for is something else.
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:03 AM
 
1,158 posts, read 3,435,596 times
Reputation: 758
Uptown Urbanist is right on, especially as the condo market is horrendous right now and you will probably have a lot of trouble selling it unless you are willing to really take a bath on it.

In a city like Chicago, there has to be at least a few interesting stories that could end up touching some kind of cord with the rest of the American public. That may be your best short term resort, especially if you know any really creative people who can help you frame those stories in a way that would generate mass appeal.

Be glad you have a job. Believe me, there are millions who would gladly take your "boring" accounting job in a heartbeat.

The housing market in SoCal is only going to get worse because there is a lot of shadow inventory that hasn't come online yet. So take your time and plan things out so that you end up in an advantageous position. There is no hurry right now.
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Old 08-25-2009, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
6,318 posts, read 15,786,081 times
Reputation: 8429
I agree with everyone else. The unemployment rate in California just hit 11.9% officially (up to 20% unofficially, most likely!), and shows no signs of turning around just yet.

Also, you need to think about your baby's future. I see what's happening with the public schools here, and this is the last place I'd move if I were thinking of raising a family! If I already had lots of money and could afford to send my child to private school, then fine.

I also agree that you could start your indie film-making career there, and then move it to L.A. later, if that's your true calling. No one ever said that accounting was a glamorous, exciting, or creative career, but at this point if it keeps a roof over your heads and pays the bills, there's a lot to be said for it!

Best of luck to you. I admire your adventurousness; I think the timing could be a lot better, that's all.
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Chicago
152 posts, read 533,741 times
Reputation: 89
Thanks everybody for your advice, you all make very good points. You are maybe missing what I called a window of opportinity though: my wife has to look for a new job anyway and since unemployment here in Illinois is not better than Californa (around 12%) not to mention the other neighboring Midwestern states, why not taking the jump now (i.e. both looking for a job in California) instead of waiting to move in a year from now when wife has a well establish job here and it'd be harder to break the ties. We'll eventually move from here sooner or later anyway.

I'm originally from Italy so moving is nothing new to me; my wife's family lives in Miami so we're not new to having families away from us, although my mother in law has been living with us since the baby was born. We have friends here, but we've made them when we moved here so it won't be a problem making new friends there too. Our son is almost 8 months so he won't complain anyway! :-)

And yes, there are a lot of independent Filmmakers in Chicago, but there are no real jobs in the movie industry from here for you to quit your day time job.

Well, keep pouring your thoughts in! They're being really helpful!
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Planet Earth
1,080 posts, read 2,921,065 times
Reputation: 839
I don't know how you can even consider moving here, having never even seen it with your own two eyes. I've loved certain places based on tv, photos, books, etc...and then I visited and couldn't wait to get home.

Visit for at least a week or two and then decide what you want.
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