The first time the audience gets a good look at Kevin Spacey’s vice-obsessed psychopath in David Fincher’s gritty 1995 crime thriller “Seven,” he’s stepping out of a cab in front of a worn-down brick building. Nearly two decades (and a Downtown Los Angeles renaissance) later, that framework again plays a part in the actor-producer’s career.
Constructed in 1925 and restored in 2006, the Biscuit Company Lofts above the restaurant Church & State on Industrial Street is on the National Register of Historic Places, and has served as home to several life-work spaces — including Spacey’s Trigger Street Prods. and Justin Lin’s production company, Perfect Storm.
“It separates us from the typical b.s. of Hollywood that everybody has so many meetings they never get anything done,” Trigger Street president Dana Brunetti says of the digs the company has inhabited since 2008 after vacating its space near STK restaurant on La Cienega. Brunetti adds that moving to the outskirts of the TMZ (the so-called Thirty Mile Zone that reps the epicenter of Hollywood) has served as a barometer to gauge who seriously wants to work with his team and who just wants to “check one box and move onto the next.”
“A large portion of the meetings that come here are productive,” Brunetti says of his corner dwelling dotted with memorabilia from past and current projects, such as throw pillows and a campaign poster from “House of Cards” and a storm trooper from the 2009 film “Fanboys.” The space is sort of Silicon Valley startup chic, with a foosball table in the entryway and a taxidermied alligator suspended from a staircase.
“We try to keep the feel and look of the office fun,” Brunetti says. “(My staff stays) super late, and I think it’s because they enjoy being here.”
Kevin Spacey’s Trigger Street Prods. can tout nine Emmy noms for its “House of Cards” series on Netflix. Prior owners of the Perfect Storm space (top) include actor-director-musician Vincent Gallo and serial real estate buyer Nicolas Cage.
Trigger Street’s semi-reclusive locale hasn’t just boosted productivity; it’s also allowed staff members to branch out their networks. Specifically, Brunetti says the company is looking to partner on a project with its inhouse neighbor, Perfect Storm, seven floors above.
Perfect Storm’s multileveled interior design works with the building’s natural light, exposed brick and hardwood floors to give off a masculine, informally trendy attitude. There are no cubicles and, save for a motorcycle Lin felt he had to take with him after “Fast & Furious 6” wrapped, most of the furniture is custom-made or repurposed vintage items. A floor-to-ceiling black chalkboard wall behind a heavy wooden desk in the lobby serves as both a conversation piece and an idea incubator.
Perfect Storm president Troy Craig Poon hired Highland Park-based designer Sally Breer to develop the interiors after he learned she’d built a retro-style speakeasy in one of his associate’s homes. The still-evolving space will soon have a grassy lawn on the roof to accompany its panoramic views and what Poon says will be an “old-school vintage phone booth on steroids” for private calls and conversations.
“We really wanted to embrace what this (building) is,” says Poon as he lounges on a sofa re-upholstered with men’s suitwear fabric. “We see ourselves as a different type of company. It’s creative-driven. … Not having walls plays into (the) psyche of who we are.”
Perfect Storm bought the space from director-musician Vincent Gallo and moved in last year. Before Gallo, the loft space belonged to Nicolas Cage.
Poon likes the feel of the neighborhood and its history. With its hip restaurants and creative denizens, this area of Downtown is reminiscent of New York’s Meatpacking District. He also feels the space challenges perceptions of his company.
“People think of Justin as the guy who directs the ‘Fast & Furious’ movies because, in this business, you’re remembered for your last film,” he says. “What they don’t realize is that he’s got such an appetite for stories … what we make and we create here runs the gamut of genres.”