Trouble in Tinseltown

Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles TimesTrouble in TinseltownA 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: |

  • A new mother is full of joy -- and fear

    A new mother is full of joy -- and fear

    A costly adoption and new-home purchase have left striking writer Marla Kanelos with little savings. But she is resolute.

  • His backup plan is a change of scenery

    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.

  • 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."

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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.

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