The most coveted room in the house …

I’ve had too many parties in my kitchen to count, including hosting a number of productions that got started the minute the director laid eyes on my marble island. Because production companies seek to imitate real life and real life these days takes place mostly in the kitchen, it should not come as a surprise that lots of light, lots of space, and updated counter tops/appliances are almost always what production companies seek. Sure, you can make an argument for those durable metal cabinets (sometimes retro is a sought-after look), but if you’ve been inkling to redo your kitchen, show your significant other this blog and take a look at our FAQs page.

Who knows? Once you let that Viking bust through your kitchen door, a production company might be right behind, ready to help pay for the damage.

How we ‘Dodged’ Halloween this year

IQ production company needed a home with a long driveway seen through a kitchen or living room window. They needed a porch that faced the street so they could stage a trick or treat scene. They needed a clean garage not to shoot in but to shoot from within. They needed a kitchen, a room for video village, a quiet street to block off, a busy street to shoot a night scene. They needed Caltrans approval, a place to park a process trailer and car carrier, permits and police offers. And they wanted a spot for lunch and dinner.

And why not? When you are Dodge car company the distance between desire and fulfillment can be as short as zero to 60.

It wasn’t easy but Alameda delivered the entire package in ONE week thanks to an incredibly hard-working permit department, two talented location managers (Marty Kenlon and Wilson Wu) and to Sergent Ron Simmons of the APD who often dropped everything in order to address the traffic control needs of the continually evolving shoot. The neighborhood stepped it up as well, moving their cars as requested, pausing lawn mowers while we rolled sound, and patiently waiting when traffic was blocked by the process trailer.

The City of Alameda wants your business so contact us when you are scouting your next commercial production and we will make it happen … just like we made Halloween come early this year.

How much clutter is TOO much clutter?

In the last post I touched on the issue of clutter and today I just want to sprinkle the topic with a few more thoughts that I hope will help you in making your decision whether or not to contact Alameda on Location.

Somewhere between an episode of Hoarders and a room of paintings in a museum lies the ideal interior location for media production.  Just where does your property rest along this spectrum? Let’s find out because a home can be freshly scrubbed top to bottom and still be camera-shy.

  1. Is floor space compromised with stacks of papers, boxes, and objects d’art scattered here and there?
  2. Would 15-20 people in the room feel tight and a little too intimate?
  3. Are your walls covered with posters, paintings, plaques, ceramic objects and mirrors that leave barely enough room for your drapes to hang?
  4. Are the surfaces in your home or place of work covered with papers and other items?
  5. When dusting a surface, do you have to pick up many objects to dust under them?

If you answered YES to ANY of the questions above, then your location is not a director’s dream. And that doesn’t matter if it looks just the way you enjoy it!!


Is your home suited for a commercial production?

Before we go too far down the yellow brick production road, it’s important to understand that while you may love your home and think it’s wonderful, and while it may be beautifully decorated both outside and inside, it still may NOT be a home well-suited for a commercial production. Ditto for business owners. Not all spaces work, despite their charming qualities. So, let’s discuss because the Wizard can’t help you here, but I can:

  1. Do you have large rooms? You need them! You need a few of them, in fact, because even if the crew is only using one room for filming, they need another for wardrobe, another for ‘video village’, and another for perhaps staging their art stuff and equipment. It’s nice to have room for the actors, too!
  2. Do your rooms flow freely together with ample doorway space to allow for lights, camera and lots of action by the crew members moving through them? Cameras love kitchen areas that open to a family room or other space because they can put their lights in that space and still have plenty of viewing room for the ‘action’ they are shooting.
  3. Do you collect stuff? Endearing items like vases, beer mugs, crystal decor, and garden gnomes are precious to you but to an art director, just more stuff that they’ve got to move. Nothing turns away a location scout faster than a cluttered room so unless you are willing to pack away and do that deep cleaning you’ve been meaning to do for the last 20 years, pass on this opportunity.

I will discuss clutter in the next post but until then, take a look at the photos here. Sure, there may be no place like home, but you still need a place for the camera.




Nightime at Noon

The “Think Giant” ad agency promo for Giant Ad Agency came to my home today courtesy of Sorcher Films in Mill Valley. It is night and a small boy named Jackson has snuck from his bedroom in search of pie. Downstairs in the darkness of the kitchen he finds it lonely on the table. He gets his milk and reaches not for the slice but for the whole pie because, hey, why settle for less? Thinking B.I.G. is a theme I’ve embraced fully as I’ve launched this business. BIG as in where can I donate a slice of the money pie I am making? If you have some thoughts, let me know.

In the meantime, check out these before and after shots. When a production company ‘moves in’ for the day, they move in BIG. They pay Big, too.