Guest Post: Cinema Is Los Angeles, And it Needs to Stay that Way

FilmLAFor Communities, For Filmmakers1 Comment

(Ed. — Below is a post by guest blogger S. Carson, who responded to Film Works’ open invitation for guest posts.  Anyone interested in contributing as a guest blogger should email us at

Walking up the dimly lit stairs, I bounded to the top and settled myself directly in the middle chair. I always arrived early to make sure I obtained my chosen seat and slunk into it. The lights dimmed and my heart slowed. I was ready to embark on the journey that was about to begin. I stared at the screen, wishing with everything I was, that I could be behind the camera, directing the film, creating a piece of immortal history.

That was the moment I decided that I did not just want to become a writer/director. I needed to. This is what Hollywood is all about. The love of cinema. This is why I chose the life I did, regardless of the ups and downs. To me, cinema is magic, cinema is life, cinema is Los Angeles; and it needs to stay that way.

Los Angeles. Hollywood. What is it to you? The place where dreams come true, where fiction is turned into reality? When people think about Los Angeles, a certain stigma comes to mind: Movies. Hollywood. Film sets. Actors. Mansions. Major studios.

Sure, sure, Los Angeles has all of those things, but not all of us have mansions, not all of us work for the major studios and not all of us are actors. Then again, this is our community. This is where we can all come together and say what is truly in our hearts and everyone will know how we feel because they came here for the same reason. The dream is there, all we have to do is take it. However, over the past couple of years, finding our dreams has become much harder due to many productions being taken out of Los Angeles. It has decimated job opportunities. This hurts me, because Los Angeles is not just where I decided to start the career that I will have for the rest of my life, it is not just where my zeal for writing has the ability to turn into my passion for directing, it is the place I call home.

The reason I moved to Southern California was because of the film industry. Let’s face it, Los Angeles isn’t Los Angeles without it. The entertainment industry is the third largest industry in L.A. only after trade and tourism. Well, guess what brings people to L.A.? That’s right, Hollywood: Actors, Directors, Writers, Studios. Overall, movies bring them here. They are enticed by the promise of not just going to a film that will take them out of their everyday life, they want to look into ours — what we create. How we create it. Studio tours, celebrity sightings and movie theme parks all satisfy their curiosity. In my opinion, Los Angeles needs to stay the Mecca of movies, it needs to keep the stigma of ‘Hollywood.’ Jobs need to stay here, more films need to be shot here so people will want to come here, thus creating economic growth for the millions of people that depend on the entertainment industry for their livelihood, for my livelihood.

I care about the film industry’s well-being because it is my future, in good times and bad. So, until that moment comes when I have my ‘big break’ and see my name on the director’s slate, walk onto a major studio set with beige giants, or am able to buy a ticket to my own film at a movie theater, I will always return to a certain memory to keep me inspired.

A memory of when I am at the top of the theater, in the middle row as the lights dim. My imagination wanders and I picture myself on a film set in the director’s chair, cameras rolling, history being made, dreams coming true.

One Comment on “Guest Post: Cinema Is Los Angeles, And it Needs to Stay that Way”

  1. I must disagree with you Sharon: There is a century-long need for a Christian Catholic film infrastructure located near Atlanta. I sought Mel Gibson to buy some property for it last year but he was unavailable. Where are you you Mel? There are others who have a “passion” of their own in the Spirit of Christ to develop what I call edifyingly, educational entertainment and the culture in LA is not receptive thereto. The main goal is to develop films and get them not to LA but out into the world box office. And I’m not talking about rehashed Bible stories but contemporary stories about people facing dramatic challenges in the here-and-now world.So this “fish” sees potential media water in the Atlanta area… just no startup bucks as yet. Hmmm. I guess the “bucks” are the substance of the water… mammon that can be made to serve God and the eternally common good of all.

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