The following is the first in a series focusing on the local film industry, specifically the various jobs that go into producing a movie. Today: Buyer
Dan Fox is a man who knows how to get things.
As a buyer for numerous local film productions, it’s Fox’s job to acquire whatever is needed for the set.
“So if it’s a diner or a hospital or a hotel room, or if it’s somebody’s bedroom or some kind of crazy military installation, whatever it takes, we just have to source it some kind of way either in town or out of town,” said Fox, 34. “Sometimes we have special people we go to and sometimes we go to Target.”
A typical day could involve going to Party City for some balloons and some get-well cards for a hospital scene – “life elements,” Fox called them – while another mission could require a trip into rural Louisiana to procure ’50s-era gas station products from a man who just happens to keep a warehouse full of such items.
“Everything from the pumps to the display to the products that you’d see stacked up on a counter,” recalled Fox of the man’s inventory, admitting “it was pretty weird.”
Fox also said he finds satisfaction being able to pump money into the local economy. “I get to spend loads of money at majority local businesses.”
He got into the local movie scene through a “typical New Orleans connection,” Fox said. “I was working for somebody whose best friend was the older sister of my best friend growing up, and she kind of plugged me in.”
Fox got a job in the art department for 2002’s low budget indie flick “Love Liza,” and has been part of movie art departments ever since.
“I just really liked it,” he said. “I sort of clicked with the environment that is the film business. It’s not for everybody, but I really loved it.”
Overall, Fox calls work in the film industry a “good way to earn a living, and it’s a good way to keep talented, industrious people in the city. And except for an occasional traffic snarl or late night shoot where there’s a bunch of lights in your neighborhood, it’s an industry with a fairly harmless footprint. I think it’s really good for the city.”
Writer and filmmaker Brian Friedman writes about New Orleans for NolaVie.