My day on set…

I have been in Los Angeles, working.  I took some photos today that I thought you might enjoy.

Our first location was amazing – and it was actually used for crew parking.   It was the HOLLYWOOD FOREVER CEMETERY.

Now, it may sound strange that we would have crew parking in a cemetery… but it is centrally located and a great, quiet spot to park a lot of cars.

The odd thing was (other than the odd thing of being in an old cemetery…) was that I had never heard of this cemetery.  I spent my formative career in LA, working in the film industry, and I had never, EVER, noticed this huge cemetery right behind Paramount Studios… I was baffled.  How could I have missed it all these years?!

Well, it turns out that when I was living here, the cemetery was in total disrepair.  It must have been a mass of weeds and unsightliness at that time because I do not remember it at all.  Anyway, it was purchased at auction in 1998 and the new owners put tons of money into it to bring it back – and give it a new life!

Now, there are tours and events here… the grounds are lovely and people walk about as if it was a lovely park.  Very interesting marketing.

Anyway, here are some photos I took while there this morning.


Hollywood Forever Cemetery

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Entrance of Hollywood Forever
Location 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood
Coordinates 34°5?19?N118°19?8?WCoordinates: 34°5?19?N 118°19?8?W
Area 62 acres (25 ha)
Architect multiple
Architectural style Exotic Revival, Classical Revival, et al.
NRHP Reference # 99000550[1]
Added to NRHP May 14, 1999

Hollywood Forever Cemetery, originally named Hollywood Cemetery, is one of the oldest cemeteries in Los Angeles. It is located at 6000 Santa Monica Boulevard in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles. Paramount Studios is located at the south end of the same block on 40 acres which were once part of the cemetery, but held no interments.

Those in the graves, crypts, niches, and sarcophagi at the cemetery include culturally significant people as well as celebrities, including iconic actors, directors, writers, etc. from the entertainment industry. People who played vital roles in shaping Los Angeles are interred throughout the property. The cemetery is active and regularly hosts community events, including music and summer movie screenings. In 2011, the cemetery acted as co-production company for the American silent movieSilent Life based on the story of the Hollywood idol Rudolph Valentino, who is famously entombed there in what was originally a borrowed crypt.[2][3]


The cemetery, the only one actually in Hollywood,[4] was founded in 1899 on 100 acres (0.40 km2) and called “Hollywood Cemetery” by F. W. Samuelson and one Lombard were in 1897 the owners of a 60-acre tract of land near Hollywood in Los Angeles county, and in that year, they, with others, formed a corporation known as the “Hollywood Cemetery Association.[5][6][7]The cemetery sold off large tracts to Paramount Studios, which, with RKO Studios, bought 40 acres (160,000 m2) by 1920. Part of the remaining land was set aside for the Beth Olam Cemetery, a dedicated Jewish burial ground, where members of the local Jewish community are buried.

In 1939, Jules Roth, a convicted felon and millionaire, bought a 51% stake in the cemetery, the interment site of his parents. He used the money from the cemetery’s operations to pay for personal luxuries while allowing the cemetery and crematory to fall into disrepair.

In 1952, despite her expressed wish, Roth would not allow the actress Hattie McDaniel, best known for her role of Mammy in the movie Gone with the Wind, for which she became the first African American to win an Academy Award, to be buried at Hollywood Memorial. At the time of her death, Hollywood Memorial, like other cemeteries, was segregated (the cemetery was desegregated in 1959).[8] On the 47th anniversary of McDaniel’s death, the cemetery’s current owner dedicated a cenotaph in her honor at a prime location south of Sylvan Lake.[9]

The crematory was shut down in July, 1974 after the cremation of singer Cass Elliot. According to the cemetery grounds supervisor Daniel Ugarte, the crematory was in such disrepair that bricks began falling in around Elliot’s body (the crematory was later repaired and reopened in 2002).[10]

By the 1980s, the California Cemetery Board began receiving regular complaints from the families of people interred there. Family members complained that the grounds were not kept up and were disturbed to hear stories about vandalism on the cemetery grounds. The heirs of well-known makeup artist Max Factor (who was interred in the Beth Olam Mausoleum in 1938) moved his and other Factor family remains after the mausoleum sustained water damage that discolored the walls.

In 1986, a Los Angeles woman and 1,000 other plot owners filed a class action lawsuit against the cemetery for invasion of privacy after they discovered that Roth allowed employees of Paramount Pictures to park in the cemetery while the studio’s parking structure was undergoing construction.[11]

In the late 1980s, to settle tax bills and maintain his lavish lifestyle, Jules Roth sold two lawns totaling three acres, facing the Santa Monica Boulevard front of the property. Those lawns are now strip malls which house, among other businesses, an auto parts store and a laundromat.[12]

After the 1994 Northridge earthquake, Roth couldn’t afford to repair the roofs and other damage the earthquake caused to crypts. By that time, Hollywood Memorial was no longer making money and only generated revenue by charging families $500 for disinterments.[13]

In 1997, Roth became ill after he fell in his Hollywood Hills home. He had been embroiled in a scandal regarding another cemetery he owned, Lincoln Memorial Park, in Carson, California. Several months before his death, Roth was bedridden and disoriented and during this time his will was changed to provide for his business associates and maid, who were the only witnesses to his signature. His relatives were written out. Roth died on January 4, 1998, and he was interred next to his wife Virginia, his father, and his mother in the Cathedral Mausoleum.[12] The state of California had revoked the cemetery’s license to sell its remaining interment spaces.[14]

After Roth’s death, it was discovered that the cemetery’s endowment care fund, meant to care for the cemetery in perpetuity, was missing about $9 million, according to the current owner.[4]

Those owners, Tyler and Brent Cassity, purchased the now 62-acre (250,000 m2) property which was on the verge of closure in a bankruptcy proceeding, in 1998 for $375,000. They renamed the cemetery “Hollywood Forever” and set-out to give it a complete renaissance, restoring, refurbishing and adding to it,[15] investing millions in revitalizing the grounds and also offering documentaries about the deceased that are to be played in perpetuity on kiosks and are posted on the Web,[16] as well as organizing tours to draw visitors.[12]

In 2010, Brent Cassity and his father, along with several others, were indicted for running a Ponzi-like scheme stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from pre-need funeral contracts.[17] Authorities later found that the money the brothers invested in the cemetery came from the proceeds of the scheme.[18][19]

The cemetery has, since 2002, screened films at a gathering called Cinespia on weekends during the summer and on holidays. The screenings are held on the Douglas Fairbanks Lawn and the films are projected onto the white marble west wall of the Cathedral Mausoleum.[20] Music events take place in the cemetery as well. On June 14 and 15, 2011, The Flaming Lips played at the cemetery in a two-night gig billed “Everyone You Know Someday Will Die,” a lyric from their 2002 single “Do You Realize??[21]

This was the most amazing burial site. It is where Douglas Fairbanks JR and SR are resting.


The rest of my day was the actual hard work – the shoot.

It went well.   We had 21 talent and a full day.  Everything ended on time and on budget, which is always my goal.  Of course, the pictures were beautiful.  Yay!

Here are some photos of the vehicles… which aren’t that interesting… but I cannot show you what we were actually shooting because it was proprietary.

This was a staging area outside of our first location – a small market. The blue thing in the front is a light that goes on top of a stand. The grip truck is the big white truck. The black truck is the camera van. The white truck in the way back is where we were recording audio. But the real action was happening inside the market.

You are looking at the Production truck and the wardrobe truck. The two doors on the back are bathrooms. The truck in the far front is a prop (Art Department) truck.

This is outside our house location. The homes on this block looked to be from the golden era. So much nostalgia! We walked around the blocks and could imagine the people who once lived there. The Palm Trees were very, very tall.



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MAMA AND NEWBORN – “Welcome home, girls!” A wonderful rescue story from Skydog.

I read the following story on SkyDog Sanctuary’s FB page today … and knew I had to pass it onto you all.  This is a joyous start to your Wednesday!


Something about this photograph and the little frail baby girl….

So we haven’t taken in any horses for a while now and have focused our attention on helping get some horses at risk to other places or to find them homes. BUT it has been a busy couple of days here for sure. A few months ago we agreed to take a wonderful mustang called Jazzy and he arrived on Sunday night and we have just had the best time getting to know him. His story and lots of photos will be coming up next so you can all meet this special boy and you will fall in love with him as much as we have !!!

Seeing a baby born in corrals with a tag around her mothers neck spoke volumes about the sadness of roundups and the loss of freedom for these horses

Yesterday though saw us heading out to the BLM Corrals in Burns to pick up some very precious cargo. One of the biggest mission statements of Skydog has always been to educate and raise awareness about the plight of the mustang and promote the passing of the SAFE Act which is probably the biggest threat to wild horses who are regularly ending up in kill pens and shipping to slaughter across our borders. We love all the horses we have been able to save but one day we will be another full sanctuary with no more space and no ability to take more and we already probably say no to twenty horses for every one we take as we have to be responsible and not take more than our budget and staff can accommodate.

Here she was yesterday afternoon after being turned out in a three acre pen to acclimatise her and let them get to know their new home

However we can use the awareness we are raising to help people be a part of the solution and one of the biggest things we want to promote and encourage is the adoption of more wild horses out of BLM holdings and into people’s homes. We get so many emails and calls from people who don’t understand how to adopt a mustang or how to go about training it if they adopt a wild one and there are many different answers to that question. SO we are putting together a video diary of the process from beginning to end and will be putting some of it on Facebook over the next few weeks and all of it on our website so people can easily access it and be walked through the process and see for themselves it is fairly simple and also follow an adopted mustang from holding pens to home with a little training too. We have a couple of amazing trainers coming up to Skydog now spring is here to work with some of the wilder horses who need their feet done to see if we can gentle them enough for a trim without the stress of going through a chute.

She is a sweet little foal and much much smaller than any born here. She is frail and a little unsteady but starting to find her feet and her new life

SO we wanted to introduce you quickly to the mustang (and baby) we chose to follow through the adoption process. We had this idea in mind to do at some point but we saw a photograph taken by Beverly Shaffer who is amazing and runs the South Steens HMA Horses page on Facebook and literally follows all the wild horses and their bands and then goes to the pens to photograph them when they are rounded up and in holding so that people can see horses that may never be show on the internet adoption. This is an incredible feat and also gives people the most detailed information about any of the South Steens horses and their sires and dams and history. If anybody ever adopts one of these horses they have photographs of them in the wild and you can see their lives before they were gathered which is incredible. There are a number of groups who follow different HMA’s and their herds and it is a wonderful resource provided by some amazing dedicated horse advocates. So this photograph was posted last week by our friend Wendell Stockdale and something about it just really touched us all. We put it before the board and we all agreed that this little fragile, delicate and tiny foal deserved to have grass under her feet and a future outside of those pens. So our journey began yesterday when we made the drive to BLM Burns with Jon our ranch manager and wonderful horse trainer Kc Hansen in tow to give two horses back their freedom as best we can. It is always hard to go and see all the horses left behind still sitting in holding, and there were some incredible looking mustangs there, but all we can do is focus on the two we did take yesterday and hope that this video diary we are going to make inspires other people to adopt a mustang and give one a forever home. You would never regret it and it would probably be one of the most rewarding and wonderful experiences with a horse you could ever have. So our journey begins. We haven’t even named them yet it’s been so quick but we hope you will all enjoy getting to know them as much as we will.

Hopefully this little baby and her mama will promote adoptions and educate more people about adoption and wild horses

It was a perfect sunny day for these two to get to relax and decompress

Looking a little brighter a few hours in

The mare is only two years old herself so its a baby with a baby

So far they are very much keeping their distance as you would expect

Welcome home girls


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