General Question

aneedleinthehayy's avatar

San Francisco or Los Angeles?

Asked by aneedleinthehayy (1198points) September 26th, 2008

Which is a better, more ideal place to live if I plan to pursue a career in television/animation in the Hollywood area?

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18 Answers

MissAnthrope's avatar

Well, I think SF is a far superior place to live, but if you’re working in SoCal, you probably will need to live near potential jobs. That is, unless flying back and forth isn’t an issue, or driving 8-ish hours by car.

deaddolly's avatar

LA. Otherwise, the commute would be a pain. More opportunites for your field in LA.

sndfreQ's avatar

The San Fernando Valley in North L.A. County-where the majority of the studios and post houses are located.

aneedleinthehayy's avatar

@everyone, Thank you! :)

Knotmyday's avatar

I was going to say San Fran, until I read your paragraph- North LA or Burbank specifically.

tWrex's avatar

LA. or you could try to live in between San Diego and LA. Expensive though, but isn’t everything in Cali?

basp's avatar

S.F. Is a far better place to live. As far as opportunity, la is probably better. However, I believe George Lucas has a big animation studio production place in Marin, just across the bridge from S.F.

jaredg's avatar

Lucasfilm, Pixar, and a company called PDI (owned by Dreamworks) all do computer-based animation in/around the Bay area. So if you’d rather live up here, those are the big places to shop your portfolio. There are probably some smaller shops up here that do TV production work, but I would guess they’re outnumbered 10:1 by the ones in greater Los Angeles.

SuperMouse's avatar

From what I understand, it is quite difficult to get in with the production houses in San Francisco. It might be wise to live in Los Angeles because there are many more companies there.

The cost of living in LA (although still outrageous compared to almost everywhere else), is much less than the cost of living in SF. You might want to keep this in mind because there are bound to be periods of unemployment throughout your career, especially if you are on the artistic end of the spectrum. I had a friend who worked in animation. In the three years that I knew her she was unemployed at least six times, and she has an extensive resume with lots of experience and contacts.

emilyrose's avatar

SF is fabulous but maybe not for the kind of work you want to do….though I think we have some studio offices here, Pixar and Lucas? I am not certain but I am sure someone else is!

galileogirl's avatar

Besides the 2.000 employee Lucas facility in San Francisco’s Presidio, Pixar is 10 miles across the Bay, Industrial Light and Magic is 20 miles north and PDI/Dreamworks is 30 miles south. Granted these companies hire the best and most talented and it may be difficult for novices to break into the business there. However there is a very vital independent film community in the Bay Area that is quite creative. There is definitely more employment for production workers than actors but we also have a lot of live theater where actors can earn their spurs. And let’s face it, whether you live in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto or San Francisco making a living in the film industry is an extreme long shot so you might as well live in a great environment and an exciting, accessible city.

SpatzieLover's avatar


Needle, I would think SF would be a good place for you to start out. But if you are leaning towards LA, or it’s your instinct to start there…GO FOR IT!

aneedleinthehayy's avatar

Thanks everyone, again. I’m still not sure though because you are all making San Fran seem so nice but if LA is where everything is than that is probably my best bet.
I don’t know. Working with Lucasfilms would be neat. Maybe too high of a goal…
Eh, it’s not like I want to draw or write anything I just want to work in that type of business and do something behind the scenes.
Sorry, babbling. Thanks again everyone!

SpatzieLover's avatar

Needle——Yesterday on Yahoo (can’t find it now & don’t have much more time to look) they had a featured article on how renting was “better” in the long run over owning…this article also had good points on both SF & LA life…how ‘cheap’ it really is (due to everything being so close) to live in. Thoughtof you when I read it.

Goals can NEVER be to high if you set each step to getting there in an attainable fasion. ie—break down that goal and it’s perfectly likely, especially at your age!!!

galileogirl's avatar

Re cost of renting on SF. We have rent control. I rented my 2bd apartment 17 years ago for $895, about average. Today I am paying $200 more, while new rentals in my building are going for $2500 and mortgage payments on condos this size would be $3500. Plus the landlord pays taxes and maintenance.

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