It’s easy for writers or other laptop-bound freelancers to stave off isolation at a co-working space or, more cheaply, at a coffee shop (where I find myself writing this sentence). But for creatives who rely on more equipment than fits in a tote bag—like video editors and filmmakers—the options for space and community are more limited and expensive.
As of Thursday, that’s no longer the case in Los Angeles. The co-working community Hub L.A.—which I wrote about when it opened last fall—is celebrating the opening of its new, 3,200-square-foot satellite space this week, the Hub L.A. Media Lab, just downstairs from the main Hub space. Access to the lab starts at $75 per month.
I stopped by on Tuesday to check out the new digs tailored to the needs of "storytellers, message makers and visual artists." There’s a 35-person screening room that can be rented out for $125, conference rooms, a mobile green screen, two video editing bays, and a computer station to try-before-you-buy expensive software.
According to CFO Ann Le, the media lab is a logical extension of the Hub L.A.'s mission to create a collaborative, social community for impact professionals, since so many Hub members are already working in media and given Los Angeles’s status as an entertainment capital. The media lab attempts to answer the question, "How do we get media and entertainment to align themselves with other sectors we have upstairs?" in Le’s words, like nonprofits and social enterprises.
Le and the media lab’s managing director Julie Lebedev envision a space where documentarians can show a rough cut of their work for feedback to designers and educators working at the Hub, and look forward to possible collaborations between media makers and nonprofit types who need someone to tell their story (perhaps in the form of some slick PSAs?).
Lebedev and Le, who worked for Participant Media (best known for An Inconvenient Truth) and Universal, respectively, are both producing the kind of message-driven films they hope to see created at the Hub’s media kab. Lebedev’s production company Code Red is collaborating with Participant to adapt the classic children’s book The Prophet into an animated feature. Le’s helping produce Dear White People, the crowdfunded racial satire.
The Hub L.A. is part of the global network of Hubs, but according to Le and Lebedev, the Hub L.A.'s media lab is the first of its kind. While the San Francisco Hub outpost has a deal with a nearby school to make use of its media equipment, the new lab in LA is the first to offer its own equipment.