Friday, December 21, 2012


Seasons greetings one and all.

Well, this year has been extremely busy for us, not to mention filled with variety.  We have enjoyed renting our stages to a wide spectrum of productions, from commercials, music videos, and webisodes to student theses, independent features, and photo shoots.

Our personal favorites involved animal performers.  We were delighted by a charming Capuccin monkey, four magnificent tigers brought in for a green screen shoot, and a gorgeous South American tarantula.  The creature thespians usually upstaged the human actors, but no jealously arose.  In fact, the cast and crew were begging to have the adorable monkey sit on their heads, and the sweet-tempered simian happily obliged.  The tigers were hypnotically beautiful, yet caution kept the crew at a respectable distance, and the huge felines (all female) were pampered like true divas.  Although light as a feather and extraordinarily gentle, the harmless arachnid unnerved most of the cast and crew.

We've also had a slew of amazing music videos featuring huge names, which I am not at liberty to divulge until the videos are released.  The History Channel group came in with a fun shoot, and Sweden's Next top Model had our male site reps lined up to work on the project.  We never fail to be impressed with the original concepts and execution of the student productions that come in here--a lot of young talent will be making their mark in this industry.  Although several car commercials were shot on our Stage A, we didn't get to keep any of the sleek new vehicles--bummer.  Every rental we have had this year was unique, sometimes challenging, and invariably interesting.  We love our jobs.

Overall, it has been a great year for us, and we just want to say thanks to our clients and vendors for helping to make LCS successful.  We couldn't do it without you.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a healthy, happy new year!

Mary, Patrick, Daniel, Travis, and Lex

Friday, August 17, 2012


More often than I can recall, prospective clients who contact our rental office for stage information or scout our facility end their conversations with comments such as, "Well, your stage sounds great, but the client doesn't want to drive all the way from the West Side." Or, "We love your place, but it's too far from our offices in Los Angeles."  I won't argue with people, but I know that they are laboring under a misconception on this point.  My attempts at guiding them toward the truth are usually dismissed, and we move on.  And again, more often than I can recall, those very same clients come back, rent our stages, and become devoted return renters.  Sometimes people just have to learn things for themselves.

Those of you who are familiar with traffic patterns in and around Los Angeles County know that the morning rush hours on the 5, 170, 405 and 101 southbound can be sluggish, exasperating, and even nightmarish.  Travel time in minutes is like converting Fahrenheit to Celsius--double it and add 30. 

Conversely, northbound freeways go against the vehicular tides, and traffic flows with ease.  Once, I timed a morning trip by car from Wilshire Blvd. and 26th St. to our stages in Arleta/San Fernando, and it took me 26 minutes.  Yeah, okay, I have a lead foot, but I was only going a few miles over the limit.  The point is, 26 minutes is nothing when it comes to going from Santa Monica to San Fernando.  LCS seriously puts the meaning in "freeway close."  

A client recently told me that a shoot he booked in downtown L.A. was difficult to get to, parking was a huge pain, and the location fees and permits were costly.  After shooting at LCS, he's totally sold on us and The Valley.  What us Valley-ites know, and have always known, is that you can find anything you need here in the Hinterland just beyond the 405 and Cahuenga passes.  In fact, most entertainment industry support services are located on this side of the Great Divide.  Within a 10-mile radius of our stages, there are hundreds of companies, small and large, that serve the film/video, marketing, and web content communities.  Prop houses, set vendors, grip and lighting, audio and visual post-production houses, theatrical fabrics, caterers, break-away glass, cranes and high-lifts, rental trucks, rental animals, rental body parts, rental zombies, you name's all right here in The Valley, just a stone's throw away from our front door.

The next time you or someone you know needs a great shooting stage with a beautiful greenscreen, science-fiction spaceship sets, nearby top-notch support services, and an easy drive with plenty of free parking waiting for you, just remember--The Valley's got it, and it's a lot closer than you might think.

        Mary Claypool, Rental Manger              Patrick Mason, Stage Manger

                                       Daniel Bither, Marketing

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wow!  Here we are past the mid point of May, and June is peeking right around the corner.  Time to start thinking about summertime, summertime, sum- sum- summertime!

Back in March, we ran a hot promotion that people jumped all over:  10% off our base stage rental rates, plus our basic 3-ton grip package was included with every rental.  So, thanks to popular demand, we will be doing our part to stave off June gloom by running this same promotion next month.  Be sure to mention this great deal when you call or email us to book your next stage rental.

As usual, we've enjoyed a varied mix of productions at our facility over the past two months.  College Humor was here again, this time shooting their own unique and hilarious version of a popular kids' show.  The best part of the shoot involved a beautifully trained cappuchin monkey that thrilled cast and crew by perching on their heads during takes.

Sofia Coppola and her talented cast and crew shot a spectacular car crash gag for her upcoming feature, "The Bling Ring."  The film is based on the real-life band of teen thieves who burgled the homes of several famous celebrities.

During the month of April, our Stage B spachship sets were working at warp speed with three separate companies shooting on them; One lensed part of a feature, one returned for pick up shots for a film festival entry, and the other shot a huge webisode project.  After 20 years, these vintage sci-fi sets are still going strong.   

Check back for more updates, promotions, and news in general.   Until then, y'all take care.


     Mary Claypool                     Patrick Mason
                           Daniel Bither

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Hi everybody!

Spring has sprung.  The season is bursting with newness and vitality, much like recent productions being shot here at LCS.  I'm referring to the recent film and video projects produced by university and film school students on our stages.

A number of students have shot their theses or film/video shorts here for their school course work.  Although their hands-on production experience may be limited, their fresh ideas and enthusiasm are boundless.  It's exciting to see exceptional work being done by aspiring young filmmakers, and we are happy to be a small part of it.  We encourage the budding auteur by offering student discounts on our stage rates and equipment, plus our experienced stage managers offer guidance and support.  Students from Biola University, Cal State Long Beach, Los Angeles Film School, and Chapman University recently lenses their projects here.

In addition, we will again proudly host Los Angeles Mission College's Cross Fade Film Festival on June 9.  Screenings of student films will be showcased on our Stage A, and prominent industry vendors will be displaying their products and equipment.  Visitors will also get to see our sci-fi spaceship sets, once used in the immensely popular TV series, FIREFLY.  Check back in May for film festival updates.

FYI, our March Madness promotion is nearly over, and we still have a few rental days available before the month ends.  Book now, and get 15% off the base rental rate, plus our 3-ton grip package is included.  Such a deal!

Until next time.  Best regards,

Mary Claypool, Rental Manager             Patrick Mason, Stage Manager

                                   Daniel Bither, Marketing

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Hi everybody!

It's been a while since we've posted any blogs.  We've been busy as bunnies, but now we'll bring you up to date on the latest and greatest news.

We are ringing in Spring this year with an amazing deal for our clients during the month of March--15% off our already low base rental rates.  PLUS we are including our basic 3-ton grip package with every rental.  How you can you beat that?

On the improvement front, we are adding new sound baffle caps over our Stage A roll-up doors to ensure a quiet shooting environment.

We would like to welcome a new kid on the block, namely L.C. Sound Services.  A separate company under our roof, LCSS offers sound for picture and games, final cut, dubbing, and stage support rentals.  For more information, you can contact them at (818) 394-9844 or

Students, don't forget that we offer special discount programs with proof of full-time enrollment.  Call us for more information at (818) 768-8935.

That's all for now.  Until next time, happy trails!

Mary Claypool, Rental Manager              Patrick Mason, Stage Manager

                               Daniel Bither, Marketing
LCS - 9337 Laurel Canyon Blvd. Arleta, CA 91331-4315 Copyright Laurel Canyon Stages