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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Office Space

Sorry for my absence yesterday, Wavers. Remember a week or three ago, I wrote about writing in cafes and the need to get out of the house? Well, yesterday I moved into my very own office! Actually, it's better than my very own; it adjoins the sunny and spacious office of my friend and creative partner - not to mention wildly funny raconteur and new media producer - Michael Perri.

Working at home has been a privilege and a convenience but my business(es) have outgrown that setup, and we had to get something more official. The best part is that my office is on a working studio lot! I say working as a descriptor because it's on one of the oldest lots in Hollywood and has a historic site status. The studio opened in 1920 as Hampton Studios and was later the site of United Artists, with Douglass Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin as its principals. Howard Hughes had an office there when RKO rented space there. Currently, True Blood is shot there and Allan Ball's offices are there as well as Sacha Baron Cohen's, Fuse Entertainment's, Egg Pictures', Heroes and Villains' and many, many more.

The funny thing is that while it is indeed a mini-studio lot (I think there are about five sound stages) similar in size to Prospect Studios, it really is pretty old and funky. There are about three large bungalows with office space rented out to some of the tenants I mentioned and many, many more. But I have also seen an acupuncturist's office and a photographer and several post-production companies. Apparently you don't want your office next to one of those - it's loud. The Lot is pet friendly; I have seen a few canines wandering the halls. The commissary is gorgeous and probably a little expensive judging by the look of the food there.

So yesterday I moved in and today I move in more. Of course, you have to make your office fun, right? It has to look like an entertainment office! Turns out I have plenty of cool and comfy furniture to go in it, and my partner Margaux is donating her Italian language TO CATCH A THIEF poster. The Script Department definitely took up some square footage in my life and now, car-load by car-load, that will be moved over to the Lot. Mike and I work together almost every afternoon on our creative pursuits, so now we'll just open the door, create the suite and get to work. In fact, we've been doing quite a bit of brainstorming the past few weeks and have quickly used up every single white board in his office - so much so that we can't even clean them off well anymore. We're told you can get white board material at home improvement stores and buy it by the foot. We'll probably wind up doing that. Or, I'd love one of those giant chalkboards like at school that flip - there's two sides and they are freestanding. If anybody knows where I can get one of those, I'd love it.

So that's the news of the week, Wavers. I shall be back with some really great interviews coming up on The Rouge Wave, some golden oldies and some fresh new thoughts for your reading/learning and procrastinating pleasure.

Say - is anyone writing this week? Can we all check in on that? What is everybody up to?

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17 comments:

Joe Public said...

Good luck in the new place! Pet friendly is cool....and show don't tell...how bout some PICS!?

Writing? Yes. And I am hell bent on getting the final rewrite done for late April, or mid May.

Audrey McKenzie said...

Julie, the office and lot sound wonderful! I bet you'll do some great work there. I love working at home, but sometime the structure of going into an office can make you much more productive.

And yes, I'm writing today. I'm working on the rewrite of my outline to make sure I "exploit my concept".

Enjoy!

Steve Axelrod said...

Sounds great. A friend of mine had an office at Gower Studios for a while ... the place had a cheesy anti-glamor that made it seem very cool. Can't quite explain that.

Work ... finally starting the insanely dark book I'm hoping to publish with Hardcase Crime-- those old-fashioned noir paperbacks. This might be too much for them. It might be too much even for me. But I finally figured out how to write it, so,why not? Besides, Hardcase books are short! That's a plus ...

Dave Shepherd said...

I'm getting notes from a producer on an assignment and working on a new spec and a short, so yes sir, I'm busy today.

Congrats on the new office though!

Trevor Finn said...

congrats on the new office! a friend of mine actually covered their kitchen at home with dry erase board, and made it so their kitchen cupboards, everything can we written on. that's extreme, but it's a good idea if you want to just be able to jot down ideas anywhere in the office.

as for me, I'm re-writing my Mad Men spec and working on a spec TV pilot, because my application to the Canadian Film Centre in Toronto is due May 14.

Christian M. Howell said...

Congrats. Onward and upward as the saying goes.
Right now I'm outlining three projects and trying to get another finished.

I'm also working on short scenes to shoot with my new little HD camera.

writer0825 said...

Congrats Julie!!! That's awesome. Would love to visit you sometime.

writer0825 said...

Oh, I'm working on a couple new projects and doing rewriting some older ones.

E.C. Henry said...

WISH I could get Margaux to donate somethin' to decorate my room. Gesh, some gals have all the luck -- and all cool friends, but I digress.

Glad to hear you're enjoying your new office.

Need to get back in the day-to-day writing flow. Been sick. This new spec. has been a little herky-jerky in the writting. NOT to happy about that, but I do have some good imagary and scenes written, so it's not all bad, and the subject matter is engaging for me.

(Sigh)

Onward and upward!

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

Luzid said...

Of course we're all writing! That's what writers do. : )

I've managed to get my quota in every day despite a case of the sniffles and some drama my friends are suffering through (I let them crash at my place for a few days after it went down).

Currently first-drafting a scifi fantasy and waiting to hear back from a couple of pro writer/producers on my last project (they dug the pitch a lot). There's always more work to be done!

Sarah said...

I'm thrilled / jealous re: your new office. I've taken a meeting there and loved it, without even realizing how historic a place it is.

Work? I am re-tooling the 1-hr spec pilot I'm writing. I've got big ups from people about the characters, voice and humor, but not about the driving arc, so am having to go back to the beginning and ask myself: what is my show really about?

It's the 'world' that my characters inhabit that's lacking. And a plot arc. I have plenty of emotional arc and emotional story possibilities, but people seem to want 'devices'. Or franchises. And I take their point.

Sheesh, this writing malarky is harder than it looks. And I've worked on the staff of TV shows. As a writer. For actual money. And been re-hired.

In was in another country, though, so it doesn't really count. :-)

Oh, but I'm still writing TV scripts for said other country, from here in LA, so do have work - after a fashion.

Love this blog. Thanks Julie! Sorry for rambling. Perhaps one gin too many.

ScreenplayJ said...

sounds great.... as long as you're confortable and your work is on track.

good luck

www.screenwritersplace.com

Stan said...

Moving on up. Hmm. Not unlike ze Jeffersons? Seriously, congrats. That is awesome. But if you see Sacha Baron Cohen running toward you down the hall being chased by a short, bald, naked guy--um, run!!!

The writing--for me anyway, like a worse sequel to a bad movie--is inevitable. Despite all efforts.

Not that any of it's anywhere near a polish.

Oh wait--Page Int'l & Blue Cat last minute deadlines are in exactly one week. D'oh!

Anthony Peterson said...

Congratulations Julie. I'm jealous. Location is so important to networking.

Still writing very regularly. I just found out yesterday that the AAA Screenwriting contest accepts adapted screenplays as long as its based on material in the public domain - so that counts me in. I'm on track to get my 7th draft finished and sumitted on time. I've taken Andrew Zinnes' comments on board and it has helped tremendously.

Rachel said...

Congrats, Julie!

As for your chalkboard, behold the power of Google: http://www.flex-a-chart.com/easel_chalk_board_rolling.htm

And your red stapler is in the mail :-)

J.J. said...

"...The best part is that my office is on a working studio lot!"

Ummm...a working studio lot? As opposed to a non-working studio lot now known as what, a parking garage?

Nice to have the space--congrats. Does it come with a studio tour?

Julie Gray said...

Thanks for the good wishes, everyone! It's fun when you see demonstrable progress in your life and career, isn't it? It's often so incremental that you go nuts wondering if anything is moving forward at all.

@Rachel - whee! thank you!!