Film, Media, and
Entertainment in Los Angeles
Known for the legendary Hollywood film, television, and entertainment industries, Los Angeles is a modern metropolis with endless opportunities for aspiring storytellers. Paramount, Sony, Disney, FOX, NBC Universal, Warner Bros, and Dreamworks are all located in the city, as well as major animation, video game, music recording, and production companies.
With many major companies and organizations based in this creative hub, Los Angeles is one of the best cities for aspiring filmmakers, visual artists, and storytellers. Amblin Entertainment, 20th Century Studios, Focus Features, Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Television Animation, Hulu, Marvel Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, New Line Cinema, Nickelodeon, Netflix, Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros., and United Artists are just some of the major television and film organizations in Los Angeles. In addition to film and television, Los Angeles also has a wealth of entertainment, game design, and 3D animation studios companies and organizations, such as Activision Blizzard, Dreamworks Animation, Live Nation, Pixar Animation Studios, Riot Games, and Warner Media Group.
Los Angeles also has a thriving business, tourism, media, and technology industries, with major corporations such as the Amazon, Starbucks, and Target corporations, Ticketmaster, Lululemon, In-N-Out Burger, The Coca-Cola Company, Red Bull, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Delta Airlines, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott International, and United Airlines.
Los Angeles, now a central hub for television, film, and entertainment, has an incredible history in the visual arts that dates back to the early 1900s. At the turn of the century, a significant amount of motion-picture companies expanded west, moving to Los Angeles to take advantage of the excellent weather and diverse landscapes. After many filmmakers went west, the industry grew rapidly, with major studios, such as Columbia, Paramount, RKO, Warner Bros., securing studio space in Los Angeles. This shift effectively set the foundation for the city’s current filmmaking, television, and visual arts community.
The 1920s ushered in the Golden Age of Hollywood, with now iconic films such as Sherlock Jr. (1924) filmed in Los Angeles. In 1926, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre was built, with the first cement handprints in 1927, starting the Hollywood Walk of Fame. By the 1930s, films or “talkies” were being produced with sound. The film industry in LA continued to boom, with movies such as A Star Is Born (1937) and The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) filmed in the city. In 1949, a housing development sign that read “Hollywoodland” was revitalized to read “Hollywood,” marking one of the city’s most recognized landmarks.
As the studio system, or the domination of the film industry by a few major studios, began to fade, a greater variety of films emerged. In the 1950s and 60s, now legendary films such as Sunset Boulevard (1950), Singin’ in the Rain (1952), The War of the Worlds (1953), The Little Shop of Horrors (1960), What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), The Graduate (1967) and Valley of the Dolls (1967) were shot in Los Angeles. In 1963, the Cinerama Dome opened, screening its first film, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963).
The film industry continued to thrive throughout the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s, and the city of Los Angeles became as famous as the films set there. Rodeo Drive, a shopping district for luxury goods, is known for its use in films such as Pretty Woman (1990) and Clueless (1995). The Los Angeles City Hall is seen in Chinatown (1974), and The Bad News Bears (1976). The Santa Monica Pier can be spotted in Forrest Gump (1994), A Night at the Roxbury (1998), and Ironman (2008). Point Dume in Malibu was used for scenes in The Big Lebowski (1998) and Pearl Harbor (2001), and Malibu’s Leo Carrillo Beach is featured in Grease (1978), The Karate Kid (1984), and The Craft (1996).
Aside from film, the city of Los Angeles is also captured in iconic photos such as the 1960 photograph of Pierre Koenig’s Case Study House No. 22 in the Hollywood Hills, photographed by Julius Shulman, as well as Faye Dunaway at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1977, photographed by Terry O’Neill. In addition to vast architecture, sweeping landscapes, and dazzling celebrities, LA-based photographers were also there to capture history, such as the Vietnam War protests in the 1970s and the 1992 L.A. riots. Photographers continue to visit the most photographed locations in Los Angeles such as Griffith Observatory, the Santa Monica Pier, the Hollywood Bowl overlook, and many more.
In the past few decades, Los Angeles has become a major location for not only film, but television, animation, video games, and media. Hit television shows such as I Love Lucy (1951), The Andy Griffith Show (1960), The Beverly Hillbillies (1962), The Price is Right (1972), The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990), Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997), Arrested Development (2003), Mad Men (2007), and Modern Family (2009) were filmed at various studios in the city. Nickelodeon Studios, originally headquartered in Orlando, opened a LA studio in 1990, eventually relocating the studio to Burbank. Blizzard Entertainment, the major game production company that created the massively popular multiplayer game World of Warcraft, opened in 1991. In 1994, DreamWorks Pictures opened in LA, eventually producing animated films such as Shrek (2001) and How To Train Your Dragon (2010).
In 1999, NYFA launched our Los Angeles campus on the backlot of Universal Studios. Designed for filmmakers by filmmakers, NYFA LA fulfilled an essential need in the film, television, and entertainment industries, where aspiring storytellers get practical, hands-on experience in their chosen area of study. Los Angeles continues to thrive as a city of filmmakers, actors, and visual artists looking to get their start in some of the most competitive creative industries.
During their studies at NYFA Los Angeles, many students may undergo internships in their area of focus, helping them gain real-world experience in their chosen field. After graduation, many students choose to remain in Los Angeles, using their experience and education from NYFA to pursue their goals in filmmaking, television, broadcast journalism, acting for film, and more.
For NYFA graduates, our Los Angeles campus often provides additional resources such as career fairs to assist them with finding local opportunities.