Patrick Clair on moving to Los Angeles and why you shouldn’t judge anything by appearances

Patrick Clair on moving to Los Angeles and why you shouldn’t judge anything by appearances

Patrick Clair is an Emmy Award winning director and resident creative director of Santa Monica based filmmaking collective, Elastic. We spoke to Patrick about how travel inspires him and what to expect when you move to LA.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

ON WHERE YOU’RE LIVING

Venice Beach, CA.

ON WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO MOVE TO LA

The work, and the sun.

ON YOUR PERCEPTION OF LA AFTER LIVING THERE

Before I came here I didn’t think about how LA is a desert… literally, dry and arid and full of cactus. There’s lots of boring urban grid, but also spectacular desert scenery and dramatic mountainscapes.

 

Iconic main title design for HBO series, True Detective

ON DIFFERENCES IN CULTURE BETWEEN AUSTRALIA AND AMERICA

Americans take fewer holidays, so I think Aussies living here always need to make sure they don’t lose the urge to travel. Travel is key to understanding the world and delivering good creative insights. Also, the commutes are killer – I try to spend a few weeks every year in other cities that are more walking friendly.

ON WHAT INSPIRES YOU ABOUT LA

Big windswept skies. Good street art. Global food culture (same as Sydney, but better tacos). The ghosts of Hollywood past, and the legacy of filmmaking greats.

ON HOW LIVING ABROAD INSPIRES YOUR WORK

I like the global perspective here. People from all around the world travel here to make films and tell stories. Anything is possible, as the expectation is that we should all always be aiming to do the best work globally.

Travel is key to understanding the world and delivering good creative insights.

ON HAVING A FOREIGN ACCENT

There’s lots of foreigners here, and Aussies get a good wrap.

ON SOMETHING EVERYONE SHOULD DO WHEN THEY ARRIVE IN LA

Start at the coast, and drive Sunset Blvd all the way inland to Silverlake – see how the city changes from district to district, each neighborhood has its own character.

ON A KEY LA TIP

Don’t trust the outside of any structure. The fanciest restaurants are hidden in the dirtiest strip malls. The coolest spaces are inside the most boring corporate office parks. The most important decisions can happen in both marble palaces and grim windowless boardrooms, either is equally likely – always consider the creative, and don’t judge anything by appearances.

 

Main title design for HBO series, Westworld

ON SOMETHING TO BE PREPARED FOR

Driving.

ON WHERE YOU GO FOR CREATIVE INSPIRATION

My favourite bookstore in Downtown, Hennessey and Ingalls.

My favourite bookstore on the westside, Arcana in Culver City.

The movies. Mulholland Drive. Skylight Books in Los Felix, followed by a picnic at Hollyhock House, from where you can watch the police helicopters buzz across the city.

Taking long drives up the Pacific Coast Highway along Malibu.

Don’t trust the outside of any structure..The most important decisions can happen in both marble palaces and grim windowless boardrooms, either is equally likely

ON A NEW PHRASE YOU’VE LEARNED IN LA

June Gloom – the name for the ocean fog the settles on the coast all summer mornings, it cooks off by lunch to give glorious summer days.

ON A MUST HAVE ITEM IN LA

Car.

ON YOUR FAVOURITE NEIGHBOURHOOD

Venice or DTLA, the city is too massive for just one.

 

Adidas Superstar brand campaign

ON WHERE TO GET A GOOD COFFEE

Gjusta in Venice. Demitasse in Santa Monica. Superba Food and Bread in Venice

ON SOMETHING HARD TO FIND FROM AUSTRALIA

Good Aussie Shiraz – the stuff they sell here is often sweeter than at home.

ON SOMETHING YOU WISH YOU’D BEEN TOLD ABOUT LA

Downtown is not the center, traffic runs to Santa Monica in the morning, and the 10 is a carpark heading East after 2pm. Live near work and be happy. Consider good coffee when choosing which neighborhood to make your home.

 

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

 

Nuggets in this interview

inspiration

Hennessey + Ingalls

"My favourite bookstore in Downtown, Hennessey and Ingalls"

–Patrick Clair

inspiration

Arcana

"My favourite bookstore on the westside, Arcana in Culver City"

–Patrick Clair

inspiration

Hollyhock House

"Skylight Books in Los Felix, followed by a picnic at Hollyhock House, from where you can watch the police helicopters buzz across the city"

–Patrick Clair

food and drink

Gjusta

"Good coffee.. Gjusta in Venice"

–Patrick Clair

food and drink

Cafe Demitasse

"Demitasse in Santa Monica"

–Patrick Clair

food and drink

Superba Food and Bread

"Superba Food and Bread in Venice"

–Patrick Clair

travel

Modern Hiker

"There’s lots of boring urban grid, but also spectacular desert scenery and dramatic mountainscapes"

–Patrick Clair

Discover More arrow_forward