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.

More Artisans

  • Spider-Man Homecoming

    Film and TV Productions Are Using Drones for Scouting Locations, Lighting and More

    Since a ruling by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2014 that cleared the use of drones in film and TV production, the acquisition of footage by these unmanned flying machines has become de rigueur for aerial shooting in cases when cranes or aircraft are impractical or unsafe.  As such, drones have been greeted enthusiastically not [...]

  • MTV The Challenge

    How 'The Challenge' Relied on Global Crew to Pull Off Plane Game

    Thirty-three seasons into MTV’s “The Challenge,” the reality competition series has spawned a band of traveling producers and engineers who fly around the world to create one-of-a-kind games. This includes placing cameras, smoke elements and a puzzle inside a plane that was suspended more than 30 feet above water. Executive producer Justin Booth joined “The [...]

  • Chaz Ebert DePaul CHA Documentary Filmmaking

    Chicago Program Gives High School Girls Lessons in Documentary Filmmaking

    At the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, three of the projects screening in the Short Film Corner — “Birthday,” “Phenomenally Me” and “Without Dying” — will be products of the DePaul/CHA Documentary Filmmaking Program, a six-week course co-sponsored by the Chicago Housing Authority in which high school girls learn filmmaking from graduate students and faculty of [...]

  • Steven Spielberg55th Annual CAS Awards, Inside,

    Cinema Audio Society Sets 2020 Awards Show Three Weeks Earlier

    The Cinema Audio Society has moved its 2020 awards show ahead by three weeks to Jan. 25 due to the compression of the season. It will be held at the Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown. The CAS Awards recognize sound mixing in film and television, outstanding products for production and post-production, as well as the recipient [...]

  • Rocketman Elton John Biopic

    'Rocketman' Production Team Took the Fantasy Route With the Elton John Biopic

    Paramount has high hopes for “Rocketman,” the Elton John biopic starring Taron Egerton as the legendary performer. Premiering at the Cannes Film Festival on May 16, the film comes on the heels of Fox’s massively successful Freddie Mercury movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” and could capitalize on audiences’ newly discovered interest in rock star stories that transport [...]

  • Burbank-based Barnstorm VFX Studio Expands to

    Barnstorm VFX, Creator of Visuals for Amazon’s ‘The Man in the High Castle’ and Other Shows, Expands to Vancouver

    Barnstorm VFX, the company behind the visual effects on Amazon Studios’ “The Man in the High Castle” (pictured above), “HBO’s Silicon Valley” and CBS’ “Strange Angel,” has opened a new facility in Vancouver, British Columbia. The move positions the boutique digital effects, design and production shop to take advantage of expanding work north of the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content