Trouble in Tinseltown

Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times

Trouble in Tinseltown

A long walkout by TV and film writers would inflict considerable pain on the local economy, well beyond Hollywood studios' gates. Scores of local businesses that rely on the entertainment business could be hurt. And tens of thousands of technical workers who toil behind the scenes are at risk of being thrown out of work. Discuss: Consumer | Industry

A new mother is full of joy -- and fear

November 10, 2007

STRIKE REPORT

A new mother is full of joy -- and fear

For Marla Kanelos, the Writers Guild of America strike is shaping up like a soap opera story line. She should know; she's been writing daytime dramas for the last decade.

His backup plan is a change of scenery

October 28, 2007

His backup plan is a change of scenery

Brett Shannon has been painting sets in Hollywood for 26 years, most recently for on such TV shows such as "Cold Case," "Pushing Daisies" and "Without a Trace." He has been able to make good money, earning $100,000 or more a year.

October 28, 2007

TODD MASTERS FOUNDER, MASTERSFX

A frightful prospect for an effects house

Not much scares Todd Masters, who has built a career on creating body parts, slimy creatures and ghoulish effects for scores of films and TV shows, including "Snakes on a Plane" and the Showtime series "Dexter."

October 28, 2007

DAVID OFFER PRUDENTIAL CALIFORNIA REALTY

Uncertainty bad for sales

Offer's real estate clientele aren't the sort of people who are living from hand to mouth. An estimated 75% of them work in the entertainment field and have bought or sold properties from him in the $3-million-to-$4-million price range.

October 28, 2007

BOB BEITCHER CHIEF EXECUTIVE, PANAVISION

Camera company keeps its eyes open

Panavision Inc., the iconic camera supplier in Woodland Hills, isn't taking any chances that there won't be a strike. The firm has contingency plans that include scaling back equipment purchases, deferring salary increases and slashing payrolls.

October 28, 2007

LYLE, JASON AND BEAU WAGGONER OWNERS, STAR WAGGONS

If productions are stilled, stars' trailers will be empty

During the 1988 writers strike, Star Waggons let go of 70 employees. "We had to lay off almost all of our workforce," said Jason, who along with his brother, Beau, runs the business founded in 1979 by his father, Lyle Waggoner, the now-retired TV actor. "Our business is recession-proof because entertainment always does well, but it's definitely not strike-proof."

October 28, 2007

RICHARD MOSIER FIRST ASSISTANT CAMERAMAN

Behind-the-lens vet has been here before

A 27-year industry veteran from Simi Valley, Mosier said he and his wife started scaling back their spending months ago in anticipation of a strike. "We cut back on the extras, like small vacations and remodeling around the house," he said.

October 28, 2007

LANCE SORENSON 24/7 STUDIO EQUIPMENT INC.

Highflying gear could come back to earth

Sorenson is enjoying his best year in a decade, with sales up 20%. One reason is that networks are scrambling to shoot extra episodes for TV series before a potential strike after Wednesday's contract expiration. That has improved the demand for the forklifts and various aerial equipment his company rents out.

October 28, 2007

HAROLD GINSBURG ART'S DELICATESSEN

Valley eatery believes in pickles, not pickets

When the writers walked out in 1988, this family-run restaurant on Ventura Boulevard, a favorite of Hollywood's workforce, suffered a 30% to 40% decline in business, Ginsburg said. That could happen again.

October 28, 2007

CAROL WATKINS FOUR SEASONS HOTEL

Not her kind of event

From power breakfasts to press junkets, celebrity weddings to photo shoots, the Four Seasons is a daily host to the city's entertainment elite. Watkins estimates that the hotel has 550 people on staff dedicated to serving Hollywood.

October 28, 2007

JANIS SPIRE ALLIANCE FOR CHILDREN'S RIGHTS

Hollywood dollars vital to charities

Hollywood raises millions for charitable causes, such as AIDS research, multiple sclerosis, autism, breast cancer and literacy.

October 28, 2007

JOYCE NEWMAN OWNER, JOYCE'S DOG GROOMING STUDIO

Pet groomer is trimming back expenses

In recent weeks, Newman has been polling her industry clients about the odds of a strike. The Burbank entrepreneur counts among her customers movie and TV executives as well as writers, directors, grips and gaffers.

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