Friday, November 25, 2011

Death Valley-Bad Water, CA

Dear Reader,

Two years ago I worked on a photo shoot in Death Valley at Bad Water.  Death Valley is located about four hours east of Los Angeles off of Interstate 15 north of Baker.  The best time to visit Death Valley is from the late fall to early spring, temperatures during this time of year is very comfortable. The worst time to visit Death Valley is late Spring to early fall, the reason, extreme heat.  Death Valley is the hottest place in the United States, it is also the lowest point in the US. There are many places to shoot at in Death Valley, my favorite is Bad Water because one is surrounded by an oasis of emptiness, a dry lake depleted of H20, in a valley encircle by mountains.  Bad Water looks like you are on an alien planet, it is quiet, it is lonely, the perfect place to do your next project if you want something unique and different.

If you plan on shooting in Death Valley, Panamint Springs Resort (775.482.7680) is the closest lodging to Bad Water, it is also the only place that your cell phone will work.  If you have any questions about Bad Water for your next shoot, or if you need an RV call me Mike Green at 818.317.7099.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Los Angles-Many hidden Secretes

Dear Reader,

People ask me all the time about my favorite locations in Los Angeles.  First for some basic information, Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States behind New York 3,792,621. There are two LA’s, downtown LA and all the other cities that surround Los Angeles that is still considered LA; Hollywood, Silver Lake, Encino, Tarzana etc.… It’s very confusing, but this is the nature of LA, nothing is what it seems.  There are no “Hollywood Studios” in Hollywood, Paramount is located in Los Angeles, Sony is located in Culver City, Universal is located in Universal City, Disney and Warner Brothers are located in Burbank, confusing is it not?

This is what I like about LA, it is full of surprises; take the Hollywood sign, it used to be called “Hollywoodland” in 1923; it was mounted at the current location to lure people to buy property of course now it is a landmark.  This was never intended to become an icon for Hollywood, but it did.  This is a great location to shoot at, if only there wasn’t protected by an electric fence and barbwire.  Fortunately there are plenty of places to shoot this iconic sign.  The best viewing point is off of Beachwood Drive, north of Franklin Ave.  You can also reach the Hollywood sign from Lake Hollywood Drive off of Barham. If you take Barham Blvd, north from the 101 make a right at Lake Hollywood Drive and follow this road to the right it will take you to a dog park that has a great view of the Hollywood sign.

Griffith Park Observatory is another wonderful location to shoot at, not only from its architect and an interior from a bygone era, filmmakers have used this place in numerous films, TV shows, commercials and photo shoots.  Perched on top of the Hollywood Hills north west of Los Angeles the observatory has one of the best views of Hollywood, Beverly Hills and on a clear day one can even see the blue Pacific.  Looking to the east, one can view the skyscrapers of downtown LA, because of earthquakes there is a limit to how high buildings can be constructed, but every city has its faults.  Only Elysian Park has a better view of Los Angeles, located next to Dodger Stadium. 

Los Angeles used to have one of the best trolley systems in America; that was a long time ago, that era ended in 1960.  However, LA still has the shortest trolley car ride in the US known as Angels Flight, the trolley travels two blocks from Hill to Olive in the Bunker Hill district in downtown LA.  Angels Flight was opened in 1901 and still is in service today.  When you ride in the trolley you are taken back in time, it is the perfect place to do a photo shoot or film a period piece.

I am going to write a series of blogs about Los Angeles and the surrounding area, there are so many great locations some well known and some that are obscure.  I have lived in Southern California all my life and I have been involved in the entertainment industry for over twenty-five years, but I am always surprised when I find a new location, or a new restaurant.  If you have any questions about locations anywhere on the West Coast or you need a motor home call me (Mike Green 818 317 7099).