×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Quixote Studios Provides Homes-Away-From-Home for Stars

They’re beautiful. They’re glamorous. And they’re often spotted in their natural habitat: studio backlots or on location.

No, we’re not talking about movie stars but about something dear to their hearts — those ultra-luxury trailers that function as cushy homes-away-from-home and can double as offices, conference rooms, gyms, day-care centers, and rehearsal spaces.

Keeping stars happy and comfy during a long day’s shoot — or an all-nighter — is big business, and studios and production companies will spend what it takes to maximize productivity.

“A really tricked-out trailer can range from $150,000 up to $400,000,” says Mikel Elliott, co-founder and CEO of Quixote Studios, the West Hollywood-based equipment rental company whose trucks are ubiquitous in the Los Angeles area.

Quixote owns about 100 trailers of all types and sizes, including the top-of-the-line Verde model, which can rent for thousands of dollars per day.

It gets even better: The company is building a personal vehicle for a high-profile actress who didn’t want to be named in this story. “It’s being specifically designed for her particular needs,” says Elliott. “She saw Jennifer Lopez’s trailer and loved it, but she wanted it customized so her kid could have her own room, along with a viewing room for herself. So we incorporated all that.”

The result: A 47-foot, six-wheel, custom-built Verde that the star is buying outright. “I didn’t want to sell it to her,” admits Elliott, “but she really wanted it for the next films she’s doing. She was just here, going over fabrics and colors. If you’re on a set for months at a time, you really need that comfort zone you can escape to.”

Quixote is also supplying the upcoming “Avengers” movies shooting in Atlanta. “We’re working on all the cast members’ trailers,” says Elliott, “including Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr.” Other clients range from Snoop Dogg to Ellen DeGeneres (who is “quite particular” about A/C and satellite reception, per Elliott).

Stars tend to be eco-conscious, so many Quixote trailers are low emission, use repurposed materials, and incorporate green features such as Energy Star appliances. “It’s insane how much gear it takes to shoot a film,” says Elliott. “On a set, trucks and trailers are lined up for miles. We felt that anything we could do to lessen the impact by using recycled sets and fabrics is a good thing.”

Now in its 22nd year, Quixote is one of the biggest trailer providers in a competitive business. Elliott and co-founder and president Jordan Kitaen oversee some 240 employees at five locations in Los Angeles, as well as facilities in New York, Georgia, and Louisiana. The company services all aspects of production except cameras.

Elliott, whose father was a grip, met Kitaen at UCLA, then moved to the East Coast to sell computers. When he returned to L.A. nine years later, he fell into the trailer business almost by accident.

“What I really wanted to do was produce,” he recalls, “but my dad had a motor home he was renting out to the studios. I bought one too and did it up, and then another, and it just took off from there.”

Two years after he and Kitaen formed Quixote, it became one of the first companies to feature pop-outs — expandable walls that make the vehicles much more spacious when stationary. But Elliott notes that Quixote had more in mind than just trailers and transportation. “That’s why four years ago we acquired a studio,” he says. “All our producer friends were booking studios, trailers, and equipment, so why not do it all and make it easy for them?”

Coaxed along by California’s more generous tax incentives of the past few years, production has picked up in L.A., which is easily Quixote’s largest market. “There are more movies, more TV shows, and they all need trailers,” Elliott notes.

He says production is also growing in New York and Atlanta (though it has slowed down in New Orleans because of new caps on Louisiana’s tax breaks). As long as Quixote can provide stars with what Elliott calls “that ‘wow’ experience,” he’s confident his trailer business will continue to grow as well.

Popular on Variety

More Artisans

  • Game of Thrones

    Ireland Lures Filmmakers With Locations, Expertise and a 37% Tax Credit

    Few locations on earth can match Ireland’s proverbial 40 shades of green. In addition to its restful hues, the island nation also boasts alluring lakes, rugged windswept coasts, small charming hamlets, rustic farmhouses of aged stone, hilltop castles and breathtaking expanses of wild scrubland. Bustling and modern Dublin, Ireland’s capital, will be the largest English-speaking [...]

  • UNDONE Animated Series Amazon

    How Animated Series 'Undone' Used a Mix of Techniques to Tell the Mind-Bending Tale

    When Kate Purdy wanted to tell a story about the nature of reality, she knew she wanted to play with perception and time, fade in and out of memories and give voice to visions that only her main character could see. And it wasn’t long before the executive producer and co-creator of Amazon’s new series, “Undone,” [...]

  • John Wick: Chapter 3

    James Cameron, Keanu Reeves Starring in '2nd Unit: Invisible Action Stars' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Rootbeer Films has completed “2nd Unit: Invisible Action Stars” with James Cameron, Keanu Reeves, Mark Wahlberg and Halle Berry, Variety has learned exclusively. The film explores relationships between actors and stunt performers — a topic at the heart of Quentin Tarantino’s recent “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Joe Mantegna narrates “2nd Unit: Invisible Action [...]

  • Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star

    'Hustlers' Costume Designer and DP Joined Forces to Create Gritty Glamorous Look

    Mitchell Travers wonders if anything can really prepare a costume designer for working on a movie in which G-strings, double-sided tape and 8-inch platform heels comprise a complete outfit. But from the moment he began to read the script to “Hustlers,” he was in. “From the third page, I said I didn’t care what [any of the [...]

  • Joerg Pohlman to Leave Camera and

    Joerg Pohlman to Leave Camera and Lighting Company ARRI

    Joerg Pohlman is stepping down from the management board of Germany’s ARRI, one of the world’s leading movie camera and lighting manufacturers. The board will now consist of two people: Michael Neuhaeuser and Markus Zeiler. For the past eight years, every best picture Oscar winner has been shot on an ARRI camera; this year’s award [...]

  • Downton Abbey Movie BTS

    How the Production Crew Added Scope to 'Downton Abbey' for the Big Screen

    The feature continuation of “Downton Abbey” reunites the cast and much of the crew of the period TV series with a mandate to deliver more of the glamour, drama and just plain kindness that prompted millions of viewers on both sides of the Atlantic to fall under the spell of the sprawling Crawley family. “We wanted [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content