Late last summer, actor/prolific graduate-degree-attainer/artist/etc. James Franco bought a little compound in Silver Lake (from Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant) for $775,000. In the fall, the Real Estalker reported a rumor that "Mister Franco has plans to fix up the quirky but kinda dumpy two-unit mini-compound where he's currently shacked up with his long-time b.f.f and producing partner Vince Jolivette." Well, according to his neighbor, that's not what's going on at all, and what is going on totally sucks. He says Franco doesn't seem to actually be living in the house, but rather he's set up some sort of huge production operation. Here's the neighbor's story, via an email:
At first, my partner and I were pleased to have Mr. Franco living next door. His work in 'Milk' and his academic pursuits made us happy he was on our street. That is no longer the case. If, in fact, Mr. Franco has purchased the house next door, it does not appear to be inhabited by the actor; it does appear to be inhabited by several people who are working for him. In addition, over the course of the last weeks the individuals living on the property appear to be running a MAJOR production company out of the house and have also used it for shoots. To be fair, they did provide us with notice for one shoot. Unfortunately, the occasional film shoot comes with living in Los Angeles.
But this appears to be way more than just a film shoot: The property has become a production house. In fact, Iris, who works for the actor informed me that they are running production from the house. Iris is the same individual who, when we complained to her a few weeks ago about constantly blocking our driveway said, "Have you guys met James?" Yeah, that's not going to make it better. Large white production trucks and various other vehicles block our driveway and use it as a loading zone and block our street with such regularity that we have begun calling parking enforcement to have them ticketed; racks of costumes come and go; crowds of people constantly stream in and out of the house and have business meetings in front of OUR house and treat us as if we are eavesdropping sycophants when we walk out our gate to our car; and as I write this, they've set up hair and make-up in their driveway. When I asked Iris about this, Iris basically informed me they could do whatever they want on their property. Really? Running a production of such impact and magnitude in a residential area doesn't violate any zoning restrictions? Are there no limits to the kinds of businesses one can run?
We like James Franco and we like some of his movies, but we're not so enamored of his presence that we are willing to give up our sanity in our own home.
· James Franco Bought Mad Men Costumer's Silver Lake House [Curbed LA]