I’ve always been a mixed medium artist but my first love was the movies. Social Animal is located on the old Warner Bros. Hollywood Studios on Formosa Street just south of Santa Monica Blvd. Built in 1920 and called The Hampton Studios, the studio was purchased by the Mary Pickford Company in 1918 and renamed Pickford-Fairbanks Studios in 1919 following the merger of Hollywood’s “First Couple”. Fairbanks early classics “Robin Hood” (1922) and “The Thief of Bagdad” (1924) were made here. The name above the main gate became United Artists in 1921 although UA did not take ownership until 1928. UA controlled the studio until 1939 when Samuel Goldwyn became a partner and the studio was renamed The Samuel Goldwyn Studios. Goldwyn acquired complete ownership in 1955, after a long and bitter court battle with Mary Pickford. Frances Goldwyn, Sam’s widow, left the studio to the Motion Picture Home, who sold it in turn to Warner Bros. in 1980.
Walking around the studio, I’m reminded that many of the far off places that I saw on the screen, places like Frank Loesser’s New York from Guys and Dolls, were actually filmed here, the place that I go to work everyday. Luck IS sometimes a lady and, G-d willing, life sometimes works out nicely nicely.