A location manager scouts the perfect house for a film. The only problem is the occupant. 4,291 words. Illustration by John Mann.
I’m on my way to Malibu on the 10 heading west to PCH when I round the curve of the McClure Tunnel and bang, that view of the ocean and the sparkling coastline opens up and I say to myself, this is why I live in L.A. It’s for days like this.
I can groove on it too because I work outside. Not like those suits in Century City. "Hook yourself up with a production gig,” a buddy of mine told me when I first came out to the Coast. "They pay you way too much. And most of the time it’s just hang time. Everyone else is doing lunch or waiting for their money on a development deal.” He got that right. But what did he know? Directing his first big feature, he walks straight into the tail rotor of the chopper they’re using to shoot a stunt. Long day. Magic hour. Had the whole crew rushing to pick up a dusk shot. Typical director behavior. Their only reality is their own reality. He bought it good. I don’t need that kind of grief. I’m a team player. Don’t mind doing my small part, hanging it up at night and seeing what’s on the plate for tomorrow. I don’t worry about little gold statues or where they seat me at Spago. Or who returns my phone calls. Don’t need the headaches, the hassles. I’m in, I’m out. Onward and upward. Next.
Beach Boys on the radio, Don’t Worry Baby, as I make the hard left just before Zuma onto Westward Beach. Roads get all squirrely out here. My Wrangler’s GPS freezes, so I reboot. It can route you all the way to Ojai before it wakes up. I see a guardhouse up ahead in front of State Beach. Surfer dude waves me through. I pull in and turn around. He comes out of the shack and hits me up for twenty bucks parking.
I say, “Where’s Cliffview.”
“There’s no in and out," he says.
I slide my shades down my nose, give him my best glare over the rims.
“Do I look like I’m here for the waves?"