One advantage or disadvantage of living in Los Angeles is that some production company might want to use your house for filming. My house was almost used once. Talk about the one that got away. Here's the sad story:
One day five years we get a knock on our front
door. My wife answers to find the location manager for a new pilot
called DOLLHOUSE. It was a Joss Whedon production. She was aware of
the name. He was my marching buddy one day on the strike line. Anyway,
they were interested in using our pool for the pilot. They had been
scanning GoogleMaps and from 300,000 miles our pool seemed to be the
right shape and color.
He took pictures, said ours was one of a number they were considering, and gave her his number if we had any questions.
came home that night and was not enthused. The thought of a film crew
– sixty guys named Dave – trampling through my house and yard did not
excite me. They always say they’ll leave the house exactly as they
found it but do they really? What if they break my priceless bowling
trophy? Plus, it’s just an invasion of privacy. I don’t want to be
sunbathing nude while Dave, Dave, Dave, and Dave drag cables across the
And there was a chance they’d want to film the second night of Passover, which is when we had 35 people coming to the house.
they pay you but weighing all the factors, it just didn’t seem worth
it. I called the location manager, politely passed, and then, purely
out of curiosity, asked what the scene was about. The conversation
went something like this:
LOCATION MANAGER: Eliza Dushku would be swimming laps.
ME: Eliza Dushku?
LOCATION MANAGER: Yeah, she’s been cast as the star.
ME: Eliza Dushku? In my pool?
LOCATION MANAGER: Well, thanks for letting us take a look.
Wait. Wait a minute. Eliza Dushku would be at my house? Swimming in
my pool? Getting out and drying off? Maybe a few times? And you'd
be paying me? Would I be allowed to be there?
LOCATION MANAGER: Of course. It’s your house. Have a good weekend.
ME: HOLD IT! Wait! I think we can do this. Yes. Definitely. I’m back in.
LOCATION MANAGER: But you said there was likely to be a conflict.
What? The Jewish holidays? No, don’t worry about them. It's not
like they’re carved in stone. Would I be allowed to invite my poker
LOCATION MANAGER: We found some other good pools anyway, so it’s really no big deal.
ME: Where? They can’t be as nice as mine. What if I waive the fee? The poker guys don’t have to come.
LOCATION MANAGER: Listen, I’ve got another call…
ME: Joss Whedon! He’s a very close friend of mine. I know he’s going to want to use my place.
LOCATION MANAGER: Well, you could always call him.
ME: I don’t know his number.
LOCATION MANAGER: Goodnight, sir.
ME: Tell ya what, could you have him call me?
Ken Levine. We marched together at 20th. I wore the ALMOST
PERFECT baseball cap. He asked “Was that a show?” Really. We got very
ME: Hello…? Hello…?
did not use my pool. Whoever’s pool they did use, they used multiple
times. And the show lasted a couple of seasons so they
probably used that pool multiple times. Oh, and they didn’t shoot
during Passover. You can search for my house on Google Maps by just typing in the word "schmuck."