MY FATHER, THE LOCATION SCOUT
My father wasn't actually a location scout. But I heard him talk about that being his big dream to be for the longest time. He was an architect. Went to school at cal poly Pomona, studied hard, landed himself a little gig working for the City of Los Angeles as part of the City Redevelopment Agency. You may have heard of that. It got closed up a couple of years ago under Jerry Brown to save the state money. He retired long before that. But in that place he overlooked the redevelopment programs in the area around USC, Downtown L.A. and Korea Town. All that is fancy and new is basically his doing.
The point I'm making? While that was his job, he had a side passion. Having an eye on locations for filming. Or just in general finding places that had multiple purposes and most of all, knowing where every fucking thing was filmed. We would drive in Downtown and he would point to a spot and just talk about which scenes from what films were filmed at that spot. I was a little amazed with it when I was young and I could tell that he had an eye for that sort thing. So while he loved redevelopment, and shit, some of the most prolific areas in this city are what they are now because of his hard work and designs, I know deep down he always wanted to just work on films.
I eventually did that and I still don't think he was very proud of me. Years after he has died, I'm still wondering what it was, because having worked in the film and television industry for so long, I know what it was that made him tick in terms of having that little bit of knowledge. That in back of your head sort of mental image that sometimes throws you out of the moment when you're watching a film and you realize that the location isn't actually the mid-west, that's Pasadena on Green St. Or that it's not some market place in Mexico, that's over in East L.A. on first.
Yeah, that one happens a lot. Sons of Anarachy's spin off, Mayans, just seems to love using east L.A. to film just about everything. I don't find them any fault in that. for my brief stint on The Shield, East L.A. was pretty much a daily filming spot. Which when I lived there, I guess was a blessing.
But anyhow, my father gave me the tools I needed for this trick of mine. It's a bit of a curse, but also a little strange to feel like I actually got something productive from a man who just totally was checked out of my life and living a sort of plate spinning situation through his own life.
I'm thankful for it. It's a trait that I am using for other purposes. It helps me with that side passion of my own, finding historical and unique spots in Los Angeles, this city that I love and have lived for the majority of my life in. My father's ability and training in searching for those side nooks and crannies that are dropped all over the city for prime filming also serve as places that I find the most unique and interesting aspects of this city. It's a bit of a gift to have that sort of mentality to go out a search and then retain that in mind and reference it when needed - all tactics location scouts use to find that perfect spot to film what the script is calling for.
Well, that's just a bit about me.