What No One Tells You About Moving To Los Angeles by Jason Satterlund

Film Courage: How many years did you make a living as a filmmaker outside of Los Angeles?

Jason Satterlund, Filmmaker: Probably about 20, close to 20? Yes…it was a long, long road. And honestly moving to LA that’s the SuperBowl. There’s the question of…I wanted to move here but I was terrified because it is. This is where the big boys go and if you’re not living here you always have the excuse of like I could have made it if I’d…I could have done that. But if you don’t live here you can just keep using that excuse. It’s rubber meets the road time. Do you have what it takes to make it or not? So it’s scary

Plus I still have this childhood baggage of like Well it’s the Lion’s Den, it’s the big city. So I avoided it for a long time. But I think it was a very good thing not to live here because it forced me to do a lot more other things.

When you’re in LA and you don’t live here LA is so big. There are so many filmmakers doing the job that the jobs become very specific. I know cinematographers who shoot commercials and they end up being the guy. I knew a guy who spent several years just being the guy shooting things on tabletops, like products on tabletops and that was it, that’s all he would do. And he’d get stuck in that little job.

When I tell people that I’m in LA, when I tell people that I’m a director they say Well what are you a director of? And I’m like Well I direct features and commercials and music videos. Yes I know but when you direct features, is it action or comedy? They want you to be very hyper-specific in what you do. That is very strange to get used to that idea because there are so many people and so much…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).


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Now on Kickstarter! UNCONDITIONAL (or Berznosacjiuma In Latvian) is a short film that tells the story of an English man that moves to Latvia with his wife. Shortly after they have their first child, she passes away. He decides to stay in order to raise his child as close to how he and his wife intended. With this, come the struggles of single parenthood and living in a foreign country.