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Opinion and Insight

7 LA-based Directors Explain Why It’s The Perfect City of Inspiration

Danny T, The Daniels, Ramaa Mosley, Gracie Otto, Alex Feil, Daniel Kaufman and Claire Jantzen on why they’re proud to call the City of Angels home - with photos to prove it

7 LA-based Directors Explain Why It’s The Perfect City of Inspiration

It’s the home of the movie business, so it’s little surprise that a lot of directors have decided to make Los Angeles their home. But in a bid to dig a little deeper into this trend, LBB’s Addison Capper asked seven commercials directors, all based in the City of Angels, to explain why they find it such an inspiring place to live and be based out of. We’re forgetting about work here and focusing on the everyday things that make these directors tick. Without further ado!

1. Danny T – Repped by Great Guns

I loved movies so much as a kid it was annoying and unbearable to those around me. Everyone likes movies, but nobody wanted to ONLY talk about movies ALL the time…except me…or so I thought. Because I eventually discovered that in Los Angeles, not only do they make movies…but that’s all anyone TALKS about.
Now I live in this place where I am no longer the exception but the rule. I am no longer an outsider. A fish in a big pond but at least it’s not the ocean.
Speaking of oceans, the Karate Kid is my favourite movie (as everyone around me knew because…it’s all I would talk about or, unfortunately, dress as). When I first arrived in Los Angeles I drove to every location they shot the movie in.

And by the way, I met my wife and mother of my daughter in Los Angeles. She approached me, on MySpace (Facebook didn’t exist yet), by leaving a message on a Halloween picture of me dressed as a shower – straight out of The Karate Kid. Only in LA…

2. Daniel Scheinert of The Daniels – Repped by Prettybird

I was scared to move to LA because I thought it wouldn't inspire me.  HOLLYWOOD only occasionally inspires me and it's in spite of all the movie stars and blockbusters. But Los Angeles is a crazy melting pot with tons of cultures and also lots of literal melting and literal pots, AKA FOOD. China Town, Little Tokyo, Little Armenia, Little Ethiopia, Korea Town. Los Angeles inspires me because Jonathan Gold inspires me.  Because that movie Tangerine inspires me. That's my city. I do not live in La La Land.  

Here's a location from one of our music videos. This is the escalator at the Little Tokyo Mall which is basically one huge Asian food court. (It's home to awesome BYOB karaoke, Tofu Hot Pot, Boba Tea, a huge Asian market, vegan sushi, udon, great non vegan sushi and more!)

3. Gracie Otto – Repped by Joinery

As an Australian I initially saw the city of LA through the lens of the Golden Age movies I’d watched over the years – the iconic Hollywood sign, palm trees, Sunset Boulevard and Mulholland Drive, film noir shadows and driving through the studio gates! Since then, my greatest inspiration has been discovering the simplicity of Mid-Century Modern architecture on shoots in Palm Springs and, my favourite, the 1961 John Lautner designed Sheats Goldstein residence (in the pic below). This stunning glass and concrete minimalist design nestles into the canyon, overlooking LA and beyond, and was my location for a shoot with actress Elizabeth Debicki, whose statuesque form beautifully complements the lines of the design.

Photo credit: Hugh Stewart from Instyle Australia

Since moving here I joined the roster at Joinery L.A where there’s great potential to expand on my fashion, celebrity and commercial directing profile, and with Rose Byrne and Dollhouse Pictures, as we will definitely be considering these stunning architectural homes for future locations.

4. Ramaa Mosley – Repped by Splendid & Co

I've lived in Los Angeles since I graduated high school in 1998 but it wasn't until January 2017 that I fell in love with this city. Los Angeles can feel superficial and plastic when you first arrive but there are pockets of tribes across the city that beat with tremendous heart and passion. When I stood amongst hundreds of thousands of my tribe members during the Women's March I felt the deepest love and sense of community. That is what is so remarkable, Los Angeles teases the outside with the concepts of fame and fortune but her gifts are so much more meaningful: a village of people who will sit in traffic, stand packed on the metro, walk for miles all to come together to be united and have their voices heard.

5. Alex Feil – Repped by Believe Media

Why Los Angeles?
Weather, ocean, surf, beaches, nature, mountains, downtown, dogtown, suburbs, screenings, Q&A’s, passion, inspiration, top talents, locations, laid-back Californians, food and family, weirdos, heaven, angels. 

Photo credit: Diana Feil

6. Claire Jantzen – Repped by Adolescent Content

As someone who is driven by the concept of storytelling, I find the stories that ignite in Los Angeles addicting. Thousands of individuals from all over the world come to LA for the opportunity to create, innovate, reinvent, become and shine. It’s a city full of constant collaboration among incredible minds from all different backgrounds, sparking an immortal energy. There is also a very unique historic appeal in spite of constant change. LA isn’t just a place, it's a state of mind. As an artist, it’s fascinating to be surrounded by others with such incredible passion for life and location.

7. Daniel Kaufman – Repped by Anonymous Content

I lived in Los Angeles for years without a car, and when I didn’t have money for the bus, I’d walk everywhere, past miles and miles of stucco and harsh evening light. I once saw a man in blackface imitating Al Jolson. In the same walk, I heard a man bragging about five border crossings—claiming he didn't give a damn if he got deported and had to do a fifth. Another time, I ran into one of James Dean’s gay lovers who, stricken with Alzheimer’s, told me his story five times in a row without remembering. When you walk in LA, you access the city’s hidden code—the dirty, human language that ties it all together, and spells out the sprawling uncoordinated mystery. It's a beautiful, broken poetry that most people on the 10 or the 405 forget exists.

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