“Coliving spaces develop unique cultures based on the location and people chosen, their mission statement, and house activities. The underlying culture gives birth to serendipitous connections between residents who share similar values and passions.”
If you’ve been following trends in Silicon Valley then you know about Live+Work Mansions (also called Live+Work Space). Basically large homes where entrepreneurs, creatives, and the like live and work together for a few days, weeks, months, or longer. The thought being that dividing where you work and where you live is old school. Plus the fact that the cost of living in California is high, this is an affordable/reasonable option to gather with like-minded people as you work on your business start-up or creative venture. (Or if you work at Google or Apple and don’t want an hour and a half commute.) Think of it as a commune for the 2000s.
I don’t know when the phrase “Live+Work Mansion” hit the scene, perhaps the pharse was coined a few years ago by a cleaver realtor when there was a glut of McMansions on the market due to the downturn in the economy. I do know the concept seems to be growing. (Here are some examples; Rainbow Mansion, TheGlint, Langton Laboratories.)
I also don’t know if there are similar set ups for filmmakers in LA, Austin or wherever—but I imagine there are. When writer/director Shane Black (Iron Man 3) was starting out he lived in the ’80s version of a Live+Work Mansion known as the Pad O’ Guys. A group of 10-12 guys and girls who were like mined in wanting careers in filmmaking. Here’s how an LA Times article described the place back in 1990:
“The center of [Shane Black's] social life is the Pad O’ Guys. Conversation at the Pad, a cross between an L.A. Algonquin round-table and a bull session by a couple white guys hanging around a mini-mall, ranges from banter about great-looking babes to semi-serious discussions of favorite movies. “We’re not totally geeks, but we used to be,” he says by way of explaining the bond that keeps a core group of 10 or 15 guys and a couple of girls together seven years after finishing college.”
Several screenwriters emerged from the Pad O’ Guys including Ed Solomon (Men in Black), David Silverman (The Simpsons) and Jim Herzfeld (Meet the Parents). Here’s how Black himself described the Pad O’ Guys helped him early in his career:
“I would do odd jobs. I was a temp guy. I worked as a dispatcher for a computer repair company and I was just writing on the side. I hung out with a group of buddies—about a dozen, some girls, but mostly guys. And together we had this group that all talked about movies and met late at night. There was a sign in the window “Open 24 hours” and it really truly was. Anytime you wanted to stop by there was somebody in there doing some crazy thing—making a movie, arguing about a film, we had our own game of Jeopardy where we’d invite all the chicks over. We were the geek fraternity, we were the nerds. It wasn’t a true fraternity, it was just 12 people who loved film. Of those 12 I’d say 10 succeeded in a fairly substantial, maybe even spectacular way, and helped each other on the way by reaching back down the ladder and pulling someone up a rung. And in turn that person helping their friend. I think for that reason it’s important to surround yourself with as many friends who are like-mined, people that you share this passion for film with, who think along the lines as you do. Get a group of like-minded people together, not for the purposes of networking—it’s not about using—it’s about finding friends who are as excited as you are—and that makes the odds [of succeeding] quadruple. Start a writer’s group or join a writer’s group is my usual advice.”
2005 talk to students in Minneapolis
Shane Black credits his writer friend Fred Dekker as the guy who reached down and pulled him up a rung by giving his script “to his agent to pass around to see if anyone liked it.” After Shane’s early success he and his buddies lived in the Fremont Place house/mansion used as George Valentin’s home in The Artist.
P.S. If you can shoot and edit video I bet you could live in Live+Work Mansion for free producing videos for entrepreneurs in the house. (Plus you’ll pick-up quite a few business skills and connections along the way.) So many creative options these days.
Related Article: Hacking Home: Coliving Reinvents the Commune for a Networked Age by Jessica Reeder