Monday, October 12, 2015

Venice Beach, California

Dear Reader,

Recently one of my favorite clients asked to scout Venice Beach, California for her upcoming photo shoot.  She sent me some PDF of what locations in Venice that she was looking for.  Since it was a nice Saturday sunny morning, I decided to leave early so that I wouldn't have problems finding parking.

Venice Beach is one of those locations that is very much LA.  People from across the nation and across the world come to Venice.  There is a boadwalk that peddlers sell everrything from t-shirts, to bikini, sovenier shopts, bike rentals, burgers and health food.  Muscle Beach is in the center of the action.  There are tennis courts, basket ball courts, weightlifting equipment and all sorts of work out equipment, some for free and some for a fee.  It is a place where your friends come to play and a place to show off your body.  The egoist run rampant in this jungle, even a certain governor of California found fame as a body builder at Venice Beach.

I regress, Venice is location that has so many options for a fashion shoot or any kind of shoot. There is the famous Venice Pier off of Washington Blvd, where you might see a fisherman pull up a fish or an old shoe.  Sailboats and other boats sail by in an endless parade of small craft enjoying the gentle Eastern Pacific Ocean. As you head north on Ocean Walk, there are numerous restaurants, as bikecyclist, skateboarders pass by.  There is always some sort of construction going on, which can be the perfect background for a shot.  Numerous lifeguard towers line the beach, just like in the TV series "Bay Watch".  "Bay Watch" was actually shot at Santa Monica Beach, just north of Venice Beach.  As you continue to head north on Ocean Walk, this is where the famous boardwalk starts, this is where you can find someone peddling almost anything that says "Venice Beach".  

You will need a film permit for any commercial photography, you can get the film permit from Film LA at 213.977.8600.  If you park any vehicle over 20 feet like a motor home, or a large cube truck call MPI Parking at 310.821.1081. There are several large lots, one is at the end of Washington Blvd, the second is at the end of Venice Blvd and the third is off of Rose Ave.  During the warmer months these lots can get full very quickly, so you might want to start your shoot early so that you can find a descent parking spot.  In the summer months, film permits are only issued during the week and not on weekends.  If you have any questions about Venice Beach or any questions about beaches in California call me Michael Green 818 317 7099.  I also rent motor homes and portable restrooms for photo shoots or any kind of shoot.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Panoramic House in Joshua Tree, California

Dear Reader,

I'm driving on a dusty road that leads to the Panoramic House in the town of Joshua Tree.  The house resembles a cabin inside, with its wood panelling on the walls and furniture from the early 1960's.  The outside the house takes me back in time with lawn furniture that could had been used in the TV series "Mad Men".  The house is surrounded by Joshua Trees and Palm Trees.  In the distance is a rocky butte that seems to be made of many smaller rocks glue together by time.  The Panoramic house looks over the valley below, a majestiv view, perfect for a photo shoot, commercial, TV show or a feature.

There is not a lot of parking at this location, but you can fit two motor homes at this location and still have plenty of room to park at least five to seven other vehicles.  If you have a large crew you can arrange to park at Copper Mountain College, which is less than five minutes from this location off of Rotary Way and Hwy 62.

In terms of lodging there is the 29 Palms Inn in 29 Palms (760.367.3505), a rustic Inn, made of many cottages and a small pond.  There is the Best Western also in 29 Palms 760.367.9141 that can accomadate large and small crews.  Large vehicles can park on the street adjacent to the hotel.  There is the Holiday Inn Express in 29 Palms (760.456.7870), not advisible for large truck parking.  There is a RV dump station in 29 Palms, a Stater Brothers super market, as well as several gas stations that sell diesel fuel.

A GPS can be very tricky, especially if you are driving a large vehicle like I generally do.  The best way to this location is take Hwy 62 east from Interstate 10, make a right at Old Cooper Mtn Road (dirt road), left at Sullivan Rd, right at Cooper Mesa Rd.  This will take you to the location.  (Note, you cannot turn right on Copper Mesa Rd from Hwy 62.)  The road is soft in places, as our passenger van driver learned when he drove the van for a shot near Copper Mesa Rd and Highway 62.  The van got stuck, as did the AAA truck trying to pull the van out, fortunately a nice guy in a Nissan Frontier 4 X 4 was able to pull the van, and the truck out of arms way.  Be careful in this area for soft sand.  This property is on private property call Sylvia or Thies before you scout this location.

If you do plan on shooting at this location call Sylvia or Thies at Locations Unlimited 760.343.8327. If you need motor homes, portable restrooms or any questions about this location call me Michael Green at 818.317.7099.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Salt Flats in 29 Palms, California

If anyone ask me what my two favorite locations are; it has to be Superior Salt Flats/Dale Dry Lakebed. The reason is both locations offer a very unique experience in terms of look and atmosphere, and are located on the same property.  Superior is a salt flat surrounded by open desert. With rusting heavy equipment almost appearing to melt in the 110 degrees summer heat. The salt pond mirrors the sky above.    The place is void of any life forms.  Clearly you are on another planet, so it seems.  Yet Superior is only thirty minutes from Twenty-nine Palms, the nearest town or two and a half hours from Los Angeles.  The salt flats has stared in many music videos, commercials, fashion shoots and movies.  It is a one of a kind location offering a variety of backgrounds from salt ponds, to a salt dune, silo and a pieces of equipment that are just there, buried in the ground like bones of an extinct dinosaurs.

Dale Dry Lakebed is on the same property just a little further down a dirt road.  Since it is not on BLM land you have more latitude in terms of doing stunts, explosions or any other thing your shoot might require as long as you follow certain safety guidelines.  When you film at Dale, it is like you are in the middle of no where, there are few roads that would hinder your shot.  It is quiet.  The sunsets are amazing, the sunrises are spectacular.

Superior & Dale is only thirty minutes from Twenty-nine  Palms.  There is a Stater Brothers grocery store, CVS Pharmacy, Bank of Americ ATM, Denny's, an ARCO that sells diesel.  In terms of lodging there is the 29 Palms Inn 760.367.3505.  The Best Western 760.367.9141 is also another option.  The Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites  760.456.7870 is really nice, though has limited parking for large vehicles.  There is a dump station at the TwentyNine Palms Resort 760.367.3320.  If you want to know more about this location or other locations call Thies at 760.343.8327 (Locations Unlimited) or Sylvia at 760.343.8327.  If you need a motor home, portable restrooms, or craft service, call Michael Green at 818.317.7099

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Glass House in Joshua Tree-California

Dear Reader,

The Glass House is a bacherlor pad, with walls made of glass and a reflecting pool.  This location stills blows my mind, it it what I envision the future to look like in the 21st Century.  It is surrounded by Joshua Trees and desert brush.  The glass house looks like a place that the fictional cartoon character George Jettson would vocation on, on some distant planet with his wife and kids.  

The morning sun reflects off of the Glass House, as the crew prepares for a long day.  I carefully park my motor home away from the location as to not cause an unncessary reflection.  Fortunately there is a nice parking area for at least two RVs with enough room to open the slide-outs.  The cater finds a place in the shade to set up catering.  The assistant camera persons maneuver their gear into the house from the 3 ton truck parked nearby.  The house is bustling with people trying to get ready for the photo shoot.  An hour later and the models are ready for the shot.

The Glass House  is one of my favorite locations because it is so cool and futuristic looking.  It is the perfect place for a fashion shoot, commercial or music video.  I could also envisioned a good science fiction movie using this location.  The GH is a natural fit for the topagraphy, there are so many places to shoot from to obtain an awesome shot and get that desert feel. 

The GH is located about thirty minutes from Palm Springs off of highway 62 in the town of Joshua Tree.  There is plenty of parking for small crews, larger crews can park down the road or shuttle from Joshua Tree many hotels.  In the town of Joshua Tree there is a Walmart nearby, restaurants and grocery stores.  I can provide more information about this location, lodging options, local caters, craft service people and other vital information.  Feel free to call me, Michael Green 818 317 7099.  If you need a motor home, portable restrooms for this location or other locations, I can assist you as well.