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Monday, April 23, 2007

I'm on the 6:55 train to Toronto again. Montreal is a lovely place to live, and not a bad place to write or shoot television, but it is not where the financing is. Over the past couple of years I've found myself making the pilgrimage to the Big Smoke more and more often; now it's about once a month. I've got three network meetings and a bunch with producers.

Plus, of course the Canadian Screenwriting Awards -- I'm not up for anything this year but it's good to go and applaud your fellow Guild members. The WGC throws the best party, I think.

(Plus, I just love trains. The view is better. The tracks run through people's back yards and fields. The freeway accumulates suburbs and strip malls like arterial plaque.)

Could you get away with this kind of monthly commute in the States? It wouldn't be easy, even if the US had modern train technology. In Canada the provinces have their own subsidies, which tends to spread out film and television production. When CHUM bought Craig Media, they had to spend money in the Prairies. And Telefilm has offices throughout the country. In the States there's no similar regulation. There's money to shoot in Louisiana, but the screenwriter and director don't have to be from there.

But you don't really need to see people more than once a month. You'd need to be in LA for staffing season. You could skip August and February entirely. If you could get into LA for a few days every month the rest of the year, and so long as you have enough of a name that people are willing to see you when you are in town, you could probably live anywhere.



I think you're right. My screenwriting teacher lived in LA for 14 years, never really falling in love with the place. Finally, he felt he'd reached a place where folks would contact him whether he was available for lunch or not. He quite happily moved back to Atlanta and continued to work as a screenwriter, dashing out to the left coast as needed. (And graciously teaching workshops on occassion)

By Blogger angela, at 10:44 AM  

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