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Chapter 13. Manage the Hot Costs > The Trailer Next to Sound Stage 4

The Trailer Next to Sound Stage 4

Center Studios, located in downtown Los Angeles, is a sprawling complex of office towers and sound stages, facilities for independent movie and television production. Upstairs in the center tower is suite T-500, temporary headquarters for the production He’s Just Not That into You, a romantic comedy starring Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston, and Ben Affleck. I arrive around 4 o’clock to meet with the executive producer, Michael Beugg. Michael shows me briefly around the offices, pointing out various members of his staff. As I walk and listen, I feel more like I’m in a typical corporate accounting department than in a movie production office. I’m introduced to the production accountant, the payroll manager, a couple of interns, and an administrative assistant. I’m kidding, of course, when I claim to be disappointed: “Pretty unglamorous,” I point out. “I hope so,” Michael replies. He’s not kidding.

Michael’s office is not in this suite. It’s in a trailer outside, next to Sound Stage 4. That’s where much of the movie’s interior scenes are being shot. That’s where the action is, and to manage it well, Michael needs to be close by. We take elevators down and move through long winding corridors until we’re in the open air. Across from us are the stages—huge warehouse structures, one after another. A line of trailers are parked in front of each. The street is filled with activity. Crew members from multiple productions move in and out. A small group of extras costumed as Desert Storm troops drink Diet Cokes at a picnic table.


  

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