It’s Snowing . . . in L.A.?

IMG_0404I live in a strange town. Quite often, I’ll drive around and see large yellow signs that Angelenos (people who live in Los Angeles) know is a directional (showing right or left, up or down) sign to a filming location. The signs use code names (not real names), so you’re unlikely to see one that says “X-Men” or “Modern Family.” And if you follow them to the location, you’re just as likely to find a shoot (filming) for a boring commercial as for a TV show or movie.

Driving around town, you can also easily spot (find) filming locations by looking for a concentration (having many in one location) of trailers, the large enclosed trucks used for hauling (moving heavy things) filming equipment and as dressing rooms (rooms for changing clothes) for the stars or actors. Sometimes one of these shoots is in my neighborhood, so I’m seldom (rarely) surprised to see those signs or trailers when I drive or walk by. However, I had a surprise last week.

Last Friday, I was driving past my neighbor’s house a few streets over (past my house) and I saw a large crane (large mechanical arm; see photo) and several large trucks. That wasn’t so surprising, but I slowed down to see what the crane was doing. The crane was moving around the roof of my neighbor’s house spraying a white substance (material). When I looked more closely, that white material covered their lawn (grassy area in front of their house) and their trees. It was snowing in Los Angeles!

I noticed that on one of the trucks was the name of the business responsible for this weather phenomenon (special weather occurrence): Snow Business Hollywood. Apparently, there is an entire company devoted to (for the purpose of; intended for) creating winter snow scenes for TV shows and movies. That’s what I guess was happening to my neighbor’s house.

Anyone who films in Los Angeles is required to get a filming permit (written permission) and the permission of the property owner. Many home and business owners will rent out their properties for a price for a short time for a shoot. I guess my neighbor decided that their house would look good in snow.

Living here, I’m not sure what to expect next — perhaps dinosaurs roaming (walking around over a large area) my street or an alien invasion (creatures from outer space coming to take over or take control)? At least life is never boring.

– Lucy

Photo Credit: by Lucy Tse

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13 Responses to It’s Snowing . . . in L.A.?

  1. Parviz says:

    Dear Lucy,
    Before reading the post through, I was surprised by the topic.
    This isn’t just the time for snow, you now. Being October.

    I don’t live in a busy place, car-wise or business-wise.
    My neighbor is actually famous for being quiet and tranquil.
    Just recently, We are facing a new phenomenon, here, as “housing development” rivalry.
    Them around us take turn to tear down their old houses and put up new ones.
    That is a good thing.
    But the bad part is that they bring these big mechanical machines to tear down the old housed and break ground for an apartment IN THE MIDDLE OF NIGHT.
    This is very creepy, and scaring both.
    You are sleeping and all of a sudden you would be roused by this tumbling sound.
    And it is far away, so although you are angry, you can’t change anything.
    If you reason with then they would say, they had to work at night because of Car Trafficking in daytime.
    Many people are ticked off, but that change no thing. It happens for all.
    Not for all. For all rich.
    The poor just have to endure, even by giving up their sleep.

    Thank again,

  2. Peter says:

    Cool Lucy ,
    But , what question comes to mind. The fake snow melts away the second it touches the house or the area around it ,given LA is always sunny and warm. So , how they can maintain the snow on the ground or even anywhere on the house for a scene of two. As u know , some scene productions takes hours and some tines days. And,sometimes it happens that they need the illusion of snow for a larg portion of the movie. How on earth they keep the snow stays on the ground for the entire production. See, it is not all about making the snow but keeping it whole.
    So , I see you are a rubber neck sometimes. Hope u didn’t hold up the traffic stopping to see what is going on.
    Here in Toronto , the do the same. I myself sometimes happen that drive pass by an enclosed ,fenced out ,or blockaded area meant for some shootings.
    But , there are no directional signs suggesting there is some filming going on a few blocks down the road. There are just some squad cars and barriers blocking the road leading to the shooting area. The traffic always slows down along the shooting area as most drivers stick they neck out as far as humanly possible in the off chance of catching a glance at ritch and famous.
    In LA must be worst as it is the hub of Movie companies. Well Lucy , it comes with jurisdiction , yes? :)))

    Pete , a rubber neck from south of Ontario ,Canada 🙂

  3. Dan says:

    Hi Lucy and everyone.

    Hey Pete, if you look at the website of that company you will find many interesting info.
    I was really surprised to learn that they are able to make 168 types of artificial snow! If asked, I would have said at the most a dozen types.
    Fortunately, and I hope that’s true, the snow it’s chemical free.

    The only thing I was wondering is: How many snowy scene do they shot over there for having a company just doing that?

    But, now that I think about that, I recall hearing a piece on NPR about a company making snow inside supermarkets and malls. That’s probably the same company.

    Anyway, that’s a really big city and many interesting and scary things happen all the time. I kind of like when there are car chases.
    When they shoot from the helicopter and the suspect is followed by ten police cars. I like it when they get the fugitive.


  4. Tania says:

    Hi! I miss you all.


  5. Peter says:

    Hi Dan,
    Well , I didn’t check the website.
    The snow scene sometimes takes up the major part of a movie. I m wondering how they manage to keep the fake snow from melting away. It is just occurred to me that they may use some sort of chemical that keeps the snow whole. I don’t know the trick but I m eager to know. Indulge me Lucy.
    However, it is fun watching them doing a set.
    It is not easy though. U know , back room boys do all the legwork for movies to make still I personaly believe they don’t get enough credit for the job done ,or recognition for that matter.
    Isn’t this less costly if you go to a snowy place to do the scene.
    Well ,now a days ,technology makes it possible for movie makers to fit the entire uinverse into a 2 by 2 sized room.
    That brings me to my second question. Enjoying a movie , shall I thank the directed and the crews up and down or the scientists who has burnt midnight oil in their entire adult life to provide the movie makers with the gear necessary ?
    Which one do u thank :the behind the scence scientists , the back room boys , or the camera guy?
    I cheer for the tech wiz
    Whom do u cheer for ? The Beaty or the work ?

    Pete , the ugly truth :)from the second largest country in the World

  6. Parviz says:

    Hey Tania
    I the most miss you.
    I hope nothing happened to your fingers.
    You are the one who wrote 12 posts each shot at writing.
    We are kind of used to that figure.
    It is a surprise and worry when you are missing.
    So tell us gorgeous, what’s going on with you.


  7. Dan says:

    Where I live is the opposite of a huge city like L.A.

    It’s one of those little towns where you can still hear the church’ bells when they sound dead for someone that is gone.

    That means that something happened. One less in the village.


  8. Marcos says:

    Hi everyone

    I live in a tropical country and snow is rare, sometimes in winter a little snow comes to in extreme south of my country and many people go to this area to see this phenomenon but it is very different that you can see in others places in the world where the winter is more severe than here. I on the other side live in a hot city, I mean hot weather, and today the temperature is about 33 celsius about 91.4 fahrenheit and we are in spring. So you can image on summer

    Sunny day for us

  9. Betty says:

    Thanks Lucy. Is that your neighbour’s house? I am not used to houses that have steep roofs like that.

    It is necessary to have a steep roof in areas where they snow a lot. The snow can get very heavy and the roof can collapse if it can’t take the weight.

    I had a house with a flat roof conservatory last time. One day I came home to find the roof collapsed into the conservatory. Since then I realized why roof has to be sloped.


    Hey Dan, it’s bleak reading your message about the church bell.

    One of my neighbors in England is basically dying. She’s is her 50s. Too young and beautiful to die, but life is not always according to plan.

    God I hope you’ll have mercy and let her recover. Even if people condemn you for exercising your magically power to let terminally ill patients live longer, you’ll be praised for saving a life.

    All the best to everyday in

    Betty 🙂

  10. Takayuki says:

    Wow! Surprise, surprise. I’m surprised that you are surprised at a thing like that.
    Isn’t it usual thing at there?
    I thought so, and it should be actually. Therefore such a company keep running such a business, I can expect.
    Surely life isn’t boring at there. But somehow for me, it seems not to be able to enjoy my life so much for just living at there…
    I wish you enjoy your life in your fantastic town!

  11. Ada says:

    That would be so exited to live in a city like Los Angeles and being able to see the shootings.

  12. Dr. Lucy Tse says:

    I noticed that in a couple of comments above, “shooting” is used to mean “shoot.” Let me clarify.

    Both are being used here as nouns. A “shoot” refers to filming, usually of a television show or movie. A “shooting,” on the other hand, is when someone takes a gun or similar weapon and shots it, usually in public and usually where there are people. For example: “The police arrived at the scene of the shooting where six people were injured.” Or, “Putting tighter controls on guns would reduce the number of school shootings.”

    You might want to be at the site of a shoot, but never at the site of a shooting. I hope that helps clarify the difference between a “shoot” and “shooting.”

  13. Dan says:

    Thank you Lucy.

    I do not know why, but it is always exciting when you guys (W.L.J.) intervene on the blog like this.
    I am not able to explain why. Maybe because it is quite rare. It could be like when you get to see the President unexpectedly.
    You are like “Whoaaaa! the President!

    I am not buttering you up, Right?

    Thank you! and a warm hug from Italy.

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