If you’re in Los Angeles, chances are you’ve seen trailers marked “Quixote” on a city street wherever filming is taking place. As production picks up, sightings of the ubiquitous trucks have increased.
With travel still limited, L.A.-based Quixote Studios has seen an increased demand for its soundstages and “movie star trailers.” “From the middle of January on, our studios and equipment sold out,” says the company’s CEO and co-founder, Mikel Elliot, whose father was a grip. As a result, he has moved more than 150 trailers back to Los Angeles from states including Georgia. He is encouraged by the demand and hopes to see continued growth and a return to filming in L.A.
“There’s a sense that we’ve been hearing from producers that people want to stay home with their families,” he says.
The company has also been transforming soundstages around the city. In April, the film and television facility expanded, leasing 124,000 square feet in the San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Pacoima. Its soundstages have recently been used by Cardi B for a Reebok commercial, Lady Gaga for her “Rain on Me” music video and Apple TV Plus for the series “Physical.”
While some pandemic protocols have been loosening, Elliot says the soundstages continue to be COVID-safe. His key is to make clients comfortable, and each production has its own on-set safety requirements. “We have food outside, and when people come on set, they get their temperature tested. I see that practice going on for a while,” he says.
Jacob Ross, Quixote head of marketing, says the company also prioritizes security and safety in its trailers, whether for production, makeup, talent or wardrobe, with plastic dividers in place “everywhere.” Some of the trailers are also marked “Verde” to show their design is environmentally friendly.
Ross says shooting locally not only limits a production’s travel costs but can feel more secure to cast and crew. “I can see how people may feel uncomfortable staying in hotels,” Ross says. “People might have flown pre-pandemic to Toronto or New Orleans, but now, it just makes more sense — with safety still a concern — for people to shoot here.”
To Elliot, the solution is simple. “We need to focus on L.A. and building that infrastructure,” he says. “There’s no place like home.”