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Copy shop won’t reveal its secrets

Laura Sturza

Copy Central manager Mario Mancilla wondered whether he would be

able to reveal enough to the Leader for readers to learn about his

shop’s work for the studios, which are known for fiercely guarding


their intellectual property.

“Discretion and confidentiality are a huge part of this business,”

Mancilla said, careful to not specify the names of his industry



Though most studios won’t let a script be handled by an outside

company, when there is a last-minute crisis, “they’ll send somebody

out to sit with the project,” Mancilla said.

Nearly 70% of Copy Central’s work is industry related, Mancil- la

said. When the shop opened in 1989, Burbank resident and owner Jim

Darcey targeted the show-business industry.

Building rapport with those major clients has meant staying

technologically savvy, Mancilla said.


“Half or more of our work comes in electronically,” Mancilla said.

Jobs that come across the shop’s counter include I.D. badges,

large bound documents and print work for props on a set, such as

restaurant menus, signs for a London subway station or labels to go

on crates of exotic tea.

Toluca Lake resident Thomas Walsh is a freelance film- production

designer who has worked with Warner Bros. and the Walt Disney Co. He

has brought work to the shop at 2300 W. Olive Ave. for five years.


Walsh’ printing projects include copies of photos used for

storyboards and paper materials for on-screen set pieces.

“One of [the shop’s] greatest virtues ... is that they’re small

enough so that they can be very personal to their clients,” Walsh

said. “You’re always dealing with deadlines and they have a very good

attitude about that.”

Because clients can require emergency print jobs, Mancilla is

available by pager 24 hours a day. A recent midnight call had him and

other workers compiling 17,000 color copies into bound folders for a

studio meeting the next morning.

“We’re wranglers,” Mancilla said. “Somebody has a problem, they

bring it to us, we wrestle it to the ground.”

Along with larger clients, the shop sees “a lot of independent

people who are doing proposals for a pitch,” Mancilla said.