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5455 Wilshire

Earlier this week I drove through Culver City, for the first time in years.

The Film Score Monthly office was located at 8503 Washington Blvd. from 1999–2005, so I spent a ton of time there.

Recently I learned that the whole building was evidently turned into the offices of the massive Hollywood management–production company, Anonymous Content, which amuses me to no end.

I drove past it, but it still seemed cordoned off, so maybe they haven’t moved in, yet? Well, not my problem.

When we got to Culver City in 1999 it was still fairly desolate, but was in the process of being rebuilt. And wow, today there are new condo buildings all over the place—which for some reason all look the same—and some lanes of traffic on Washington Blvd. are restricted to buses, to make it more pedestrian-friendly.

I felt like Marty arriving in 2015 to find Hill Valley bizarrely built up and futuristic.

Anyway, prior to our time in Culver City, we had a small office in mid-Wilshire, at 5455 Wilshire Blvd. This was, if memory serves, for a little under two years: from late 1997 to early 1999.

We shared office space with what was called, at the time, the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival. I had been “discovered” by the publisher of Filmmaker magazine (and a few other film mags), who liked Film Score Monthly and wanted to bring it into his family of magazines.

I was worried that we wouldn’t quite fit—we were a magazine mostly for fans, not filmmakers and composers (although they read it too). And, in the end, we didn’t, and went our separate ways.

But the publisher suggested we start by collaborating for ad sales, which sounded good to me. He was leasing space for Filmmaker from the LAIFF, and they had two small rooms still unoccupied, so we rented them.

So that was the first “official” FSM office, shared for the most part by Jeff Bond and myself.

I was 24–25 and completely unsuited to management or a professional environment, so forgive me if I don’t want to talk about this time in detail!

I remember it was fun to be around the film festival, which started off with a kind of skeleton crew, then scaled up (for the festival itself, in May) with numerous temporary hires and volunteers.

So there was a lot of activity and it was fun to be around people, and most of them were interesting and nice.

I got comp tickets to the festival, which was generous of them, and...I’m just not a festival person. I remember the opening and closing-night films were, more or less, vanity star vehicles that just weren’t very good (which is why they did not premiere at bigger festivals).

In-between there were some interesting projects, but I was just never the one to sit and watch three movies a day.

The LAIFF was, at the time, the only significant festival that took place inside L.A. Everything else was a “destination adventure” for movie people. This one they could attend at home—but maybe that made it not as much fun?

By the time the festival scaled up for their 1999 program, they needed more space, so I was “invited to leave.” And I needed more space, too, for the beginning of the FSM CD business. So we relocated to Culver City.

Oh! But I mention this today because we made one exciting discovery while working on the CD for The Satan Bug. Our old in the movie! There’s a sequence where L.A. has been evacuated, if memory serves, and there are numerous shots from pretty much our old block of Wilshire.

And a helicopter flies over our old office—that pic is at the top of this column.

So when we did the Satan Bug CD, of course we used a screen cap of “5455 Wilshire” under the production credits.

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