Tag Archives: movies
Monday was the “Your Office, Your Terms” event hosted by Microsoft Office 365 and 85 Broads, featuring an accomplished panel of Los Angeles Businesswomen… Wait, who are those two at the end? Yikes!! Guess our secret is out.
Yes, as filmmakers we are businesswomen – we’re Writers, Directors and Producers but we are also CPA’s, contractors, cooks and therapists. And guess what, every entrepreneur and business owner is the same! When you run your own show you reap all the rewards, but you also shoulder all the risk and financial commitment, so when the plumbing goes out at 3 a.m. you learn pretty quick to get handy with a wrench.
It was an honor to be included alongside: Madelyn Alfano, President & Founder of Maria’s Italian Kitchen and President of The National Association of Women Business Owners, Los Angeles (NAWBO-LA); Monica Dodi, Managing Director of the Women’s Venture Capital Fund; and Ana Perez, President of National Latina Women’s Business Association, Los Angeles (NLWBLA) [R-L from Elizabeth].
Elizabeth & I were awed by the women alongside us – each so extremely accomplished and equally committed to leadership and support of other businesswomen. We discussed business plans and accounting, and the importance of mastery and utilization of technology. We all could agree that owning and running your own business, be it a restaurant, film or tech start-up, is always a lot of work – ALWAYS a lot of work – but with focus and dedication, and the right team of advisors and supporters, there is nothing more rewarding.
Many, many thanks to Microsoft and 85 Broads, who exemplify the “advice and support” that gets us all through our day. To Independent Filmmakers who often feel like lone gunwomen in the Wild West of Hollywood, this was like a peek into a back room of powerful, dynamic woman who are changing and running the world all around us. Gosh was it cool!
“please don’t give emily the mic again. Really”
The last stop on our California prison tour was the Mira Loma Detention Center. BEAUTIFUL guard towers. Currently housing INS detainees, only the older, inactive portion is free for filming, but as the deputy assured us “filming is fine, as long as there isn’t a riot and we need these cells for emergency housing. ….But that probably won’t happen.”
Good to know.
So that’s the tour of SoCal prisons, at least as they now stand (there are rumors that Lincoln Heights might get uncondemmed – is that possible?)
While no single facility has everything we need, there are possibilities if we combine many places – Frankenstein-prisons! The Magic of Filmmaking!
But we’ll have to see what else we find out there before we decide. Many thanks to the LA Sheriff’s Department who is very film-friendly – who would you rather spend your day monitoring, prisoners or movie crews?
We are also extending our search beyond California, so stay tuned!
Back to downtown LA, this time to the 10/710 interchange and the Sybil Brand Women’s Institute.
Being the nearest closed jail to Los Angeles (now that the infamous Lincoln Heights is condemned), Sybil Brand is the go-to prison for every LA-based TV show and movie. We saw cells used by WEEDS and the “US Embassy” set from Syriana. The asbestos removal crew had a great time showing us a hallway of doors, only one of which was real (Many thanks to the final season of 24).
The best though, was the suitcase hallway. One level was being used to train drug canines, so the quarter-mile hallway had a suitcase every five feet all the way down. Surreal.
But then again, you’re already remarking at the elegance of the guard stations, so it’s just another day in LA.
As Emily and I continue to circle Southern California looking for exciting prison locations, where will we go next? NORTH!
Pitchess Detention Center is a large ranch and jail and work camp up near Castiac on the 5 Freeway. Apparently we booted the only two inmates of the “almost” empty North block out for the day so we could walk around (Check the LA TIMES Article). Many thanks, fellas!
The very cool North block Sally Port recently played a New Jersey jail (House season 7.18 “the Dig”) and the Pitchess horse ranch is Kentucky for NCIS.
Lots to see and a likely location, but a serious drive from LA!
As we continue the search for the elusive closed, film-friendly prison, Emily and I reach out of Southern California and into the Central Valley…
On a trip South from the Bay Area, Emily and I stop to tour the Fresno Tenth Street Juvenile Facility. Closed about five years ago, [for inhumane treatment violations!] it doubled well as a prison. Awesomely scary.
But five years of abandonment and flocks of dedicated pigeons will leave a building in pretty gnarly shape, so we were very glad to be wearing closed-toed shoes!
Verdict: Some interesting layouts. Scary first floor and yards. Far away.
Yay Prisons! That’s the crazy life of Hollywood, folks – you find yourself excited to see cellblocks and razor-wire, but when you’re making a prison movie you need… well… A prison.
So, Cell Blocks or Bust!
Chapter Two is the world of California Prisons. Bless the Golden State, she does know how to incarcerate.
It is not possible to shoot in CA prison or any active spaces (a good thing – don’t need anyone killed with a pencil stamped “Property of Warner Brothers”). So we are scouting inactive and/or closed facilities that allow film crews.
Nelles is a closed juvenile facility near LA. They’ve got houses, dorms, cafeterias, two chapels, offices – and because juveniles should not be left out of the lockup game, they’ve also got a prison. [Note earlier objections] Two high-security blocks, set back in a field of grass as high as your waist.
Pretty cool, could really work as our hero’s cell block. Next?
As any of you who’ve seen the Battle Teaser know, the Dell Sisters are making a prison movie. And when you’re making a prison movie, you need… a prison.
So we’ve been touring prisons and jails and detention centers and work camps and juvenile halls…all in search of the perfect location for BATTLE.
Round and round we go, where we stop, nobody knows!
But now we’re bringing it to you. Stop One – JACKSON, MICHIGAN
Jackson has cell blocks which are closed for inmates but available for filming – perfect for a prison movie (Cell block 5 is to the left). The big white whale though is SEVEN BLOCK – 5 tiers high and all bars!
Sadly for the Dell Sisters and BATTLE, Block Seven is now closed to filming (so sad!). You can visit it on a tour, but it won’t be the BATTLE prison.
We also had a whirlwind tour of the Wayne County Detention Center. It’s a quarter-mile long with one central hallway. In a Michigan winter, the officers run laps up and down for exercise!
While we went to Michigan for its prison (what a strange sentence to say), we also scouted Ann Arbor and Detroit, courtesy of the Michigan Film Office, the Ann Arbor CVB, the Jackson CVB, the Detroit Film Office, and the Wayne County Film Office. Thank you to all!