America's Growth Cities
Los Angeles, California
The City of Angels has always been, and still is, the epicenter of screen entertainment, its deep talent pool a resource unmatched anywhere else in the world. But it is by no means a one-industry town, as Live In America EB-5, in its job research capacity is quick to point out. Many of the creative thinkers who once would have gravitated to the movie and TV businesses have adapted their talents to other thriving Los Angeles industries, from aerospace to bioscience to automotive engineering (think Tesla). Simply put, L.A. is a city with a longstanding tradition of generating new ideas that evolve into new businesses, and, in many cases, new fortunes.
Silicon Beach, technology’s adapted name for the western part of the LA Basin, is home to over 500 tech start-up companies. In addition, technology giants like Yahoo, YouTube, Google, Facebook, MySpace and AOL have opened facilities there to catch the creative flow – and perhaps make an acquisition or two. Though Silicon Valley is still recognized as technology’s capital, Silicon Beach is where more and more technology entrepreneurs now go to make waves.
The synergy of such a place is in play 24/7 – joint ventures, mergers, acquisitions, still more start-ups… But something else is going on there as well, something from the past. Investment banker Tristan Snyder said in CSQ Magazine that what sets Silicon Beach apart from other tech hotbeds “is its unique location at the intersection of media and technology.” He believes that “Southern California, led by Silicon Beach, is well-poised for continued large-scale growth, making this region a prolific breeding ground for new digital media content and technology.”
What Snyder is talking about basically is what put L.A. on the map in the first place. Making movies.
The dynamics of the movie industry and the elements that make those who work in it successful are continually changing, but profits are still very much to be had, profits that are growing in new ways. Matthew Lieberman, a director at Price Waterhouse Coopers in Los Angeles said, “Studios are now focusing on making bigger budget movies – the blockbuster films that have a longer shelf life and generate revenue from multiple releases. The big movies spin off television franchises and bring in revenues from consumer products – T-shirts, mugs, caps, all those types of items.”
This is a scenario that creates opportunities for the makers of small and medium-size films, for which there are a growing number of outlets that need them, the most prominent being Amazon and Netflix. These outlets put up all or a good part of the production money to get the movie made. “The part they don’t put up is often provided by private equity or hedge funds,” said Lieberman. “It’s a very sexy business to be in, so a lot of high net worth individuals like to be able to get an executive producer credit on the film. And to make a high-quality film is not as difficult as it used to be. With the advent of new, cheap, and easily accessible technology, more people can make a cinema-grade film.”
An IT professional is certainly one of those people. His or her skills can be adapted to digital media or special effects or any of the entertainment areas that have come into the computer realm. As, say, an art director on a Hollywood film, which is certainly an achievable post, a technically inclined visualist can make more than a comfortable living. Or the IT person can produce the film themselves, raising the money based on his or her abilities, and get immediately into the game.
China is one of the most significant players. “China is obviously a huge market for Hollywood,” said Matt Pressberg, a film business reporter at The Wrap. “Every American studio seems to have a production partner there. The Chinese box office is a big part of their underwriting, and Chinese stars have global appeal as well as popularity at home, so their profiles will go up dramatically as they’re paired with American stars.”
India’s Bollywood has long had close ties with Hollywood, and there is every reason to believe that will continue. Bollywood films are becoming more in demand as the Indian population in America grows. More frequent collaborations between Hollywood and Bollywood will generate more growth and jobs.
For an EB-5 investor exploring where to put down stakes in America, there is much to be said for Southern California, in particular the shoreline of Silicon Beach. It is an area that Live In America EB-5 knows well, one that combines great weather and lifestyle with, among other positives, quality public schools. The best reviews of those schools come from parents whose children attend them – in Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, El Segundo, Palos Verdes… As one parent told StreetAdvisor.com, “These are all TOP schools and nobody is moving away.”
For our individual write-ups on choice cities and communities in the Los Angeles Area, please click through on the individual suburbs below for more information on each.In these write-ups, we include pertinent information about each area’s school district.
- Anaheim, CA
- Arcadia, CA
- Hollywood, CA
- Irvine, CA
- Manhattan Beach, CA
- Palos Verdes, CA
- Pasadena, CA
- Santa Monica, CA
- Venice, CA
As regards Downtown Los Angeles, the gentrification is official. The real estate publication The Real Deal said that between 2000 and 2017, median home values in Downtown rose 700%. That dramatic rise, coupled with an increasingly educated workforce and the attendant rise in household income, made Downtown Los Angeles the fastest gentrifying metropolitan center in America. That honor is backed by a survey conducted by RentCafe, which ranked the 20 fastest gentrifying United States ZIP Codes, putting Downtown’s 90014 at the top. The podcast “There Goes the Neighborhood” placed Downtown L.A. among “the most unaffordable housing markets in the country.” The upside, said historian Wade Graham, a recent podcast guest, “is that we don’t have the problems we used to have. We used to be a city with over 1,000 murders a year. We had the crack cocaine epidemic. In a lot of ways I’ve seen the city really improve. There are more communal spaces and civic spaces here in Los Angeles than ever before.”
If the movie industry is a career consideration, the opportunities are basically whatever one would like to make them. The jobs range from studio executive to that art director to craft worker, the person on set who dispenses the coffee and sandwiches and makes an average of $1,200 a week – which is more than most of the actors make. The median income for a member of the Screen Actors Guild in Los Angeles is $5,000 a year. Not so good. But then there’s the other side. The Telegraph reports that Robert Downey Jr’s salary for the next Avenger film is $200 million. So there’s a significant range between between bottom and top in which to find ones niche.
The schooling for bringing a new L.A. resident up to speed in the film business can be had close-by at some of the best film schools in the world. Preeminent is the USC School of Cinematic Arts, a private media school within the University of Southern California in L.A. Its curriculum includes undergraduate and graduate programs covering film production, screenwriting, digital arts, interactive media & games. Admission into the school is extremely competitive, with an acceptance rate of 2%, which is more selective than Harvard.
The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television is also a world-class institution. The school’s enrollment is 335 undergrads and 295 graduate students and has a curriculum that covers every aspect of filmmaking, from screenwriting and acting to directing and producing to the latest digital and animation techniques. Alumni include Francis Ford Coppola, Carol Burnett, James Dean, Rob Reiner, Tim Robbins and Ben Stiller.
Other Los Angeles art forms are multifold, including of course live theater, which is performed in venues throughout the city, including the Geffen Playhouse on the UCLA campus. For viewing contemporary and historic art, the Armand Hammer Museum, which is affiliated with UCLA, is in nearby Westwood Village. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is located on Wilshire Boulevard’s Miracle Mile and is the largest art museum in the western United States. The Getty Museum has two locations, one of which is the Getty Villa that overlooks the Pacific from the eastern end of the Malibu coast. The Los Angeles Philharmonic, when it isn’t on world tour, is best enjoyed with a picnic at the magical Hollywood Bowl. All by way of saying, there is no shortage of cultural attractions in the City of Angels.
Live In America EB-5 will continue to feature opportunities and appealing lifestyles in fast-growing cities. If you have questions about how to proceed with the EB-5 process, or would like more information about Los Angeles and its way of life, send us an email at: