Debbies Book Digest – Scenic Expressions

We spoke with Mark & Robert Larinto, the managing partners of 4 separate set construction and storage companies; Scenic Expressions, Centerline Scenery, Scenic Highlights, and Upstate Rentals. In our series Debbies Book Digest we ask a few simple questions of some of the businesses working in the film, television and event industries about their background, experience, and love of the entertainment fields.

Mark & Robert Larinto celebrating 25 years working with the industry.

Question: What drew you into the film and television industries?

My family has been in the industry since I was child. My father was an executive at 20th Century Fox and my mother was the first employee of Scenic Express, one of the industry’s first set construction shops. Scenic Expressions was borne from Scenic Express. Soon after my mother left Scenic Express, she purchased Scenic Expressions. Within a year my brother Robert & I were working at the business, this was back in 1997.

Question: What strengths do you believe your companies bring to the table?

We’ve had to diversify our offerings but stay within our vertical. So, we offer set construction, rentals, trucking & storage.  All are within our vertical, all have the same customer base & all work together to make our offering easy to use.

Question: What do you believe has contributed to your longevity in the industry?

Relationships are the core of our businesses. We wouldn’t be in business if we didn’t maintain our relationships. There hasn’t been a day over the last 25 years that myself or my partner haven’t been available to our customers. We have staff that handles most of the day to day work, being available to customers is critical to our business.

Question: What piece of advice would you give newcomers to this industry, both from a business perspective and for creatives?

I tell our new employees to work all of the hours they can, because there are times when the industry slows down. I also have had the opportunity to talk to new business owners in the industry & my standard line there is “this is a marathon, not a sprint”. This industry rewards perseverance and steadfastness.

Question: What do you find is most rewarding about working in The Industry?

I love being a part of a creative process. Building sets allows us to play a part in the overall concept that’s being communicated. Whether is a scene in a play, or just set pieces for a musical act. It’s always different and exciting.

All photos provided by Scenic Expressions
Located on Lankershim Blvd, Scenic Expressions has a large fleet of trucks and trailers, and over 500,000 square feet of storage space.

If you would like to have your company/production featured contact us! | (626) 797-7699

Chris G TV – Set Construction to Full Blown Production Design

sequestered10_largeProduction Design – Realizing a style and theme for sets, props and locations that is aligned with a director’s (and others’) vision.

Chris G TV can get what you need done. Chris Giammalvo is a Local 800 member with over 14 years of experience in the industry. From designing and set construction to the whole production design he’s made a business out of getting a vision done right.

fitness11_largeThey have everything from carpenters and plasterers to set decorators and graphic designers waiting for your next project. They have a wide berth of experience too. From working with the Kids Choice Awards and on location home shoots to workout videos and McDonalds commercials, they can do it.

Of course sometimes you just need some scene flats or a bit of CNC routing. All of this can be provided by Chris G TV. So for your next project, whether a web series or a full production, you should drop him a call. You’d be surprised what they can accomplish.


Merritt Productions, Inc.

IMG_16There’s interesting stuff going on over at Merritt Productions. Doing custom fabrication, every project can be as wild as the imagination. Merritt is going into its 30th year, bringing ideas to life for advertising agencies, film production companies, photographers, marketing and design firms, theme parks and museums.IMG_18

Miniatures and model making, set construction, sculpture, prop fabrication, special effects, laser cutting and more—Merritt Productions helps you create the magic.


Schmidli Backdrops

painted-page-compositeSchmidli’s client list might as well read: Everyone. That’s because the list is a who’s who in fashion, advertising, film & TV, editorial, photography and more. And as it should be because Schmidli Backdrop’s backdrops are art – classic and distinct, beautiful and inspiring.

You can browse the online collection of backdrops for rent, but if you want something different from what you see, Schmidli will custom paint your backdrop. The Los Angeles and New York spaces can also be rented for shoots.


Chris G TV

services_imageWhen looking for your next project set design to rent or have custom made, give the Art Directors Guild member Chris Giammalvo and his team over at Chris G TV Inc. a shout (or a holla, do people still holla? It’s hard to keep track).

Started by Chris and conveniently located in Sun Valley, they have a large working space and a skilled team with the ability to take on any project. Their designs have been used for many commercials, music videos, and live events.

Check out their Work page to see some examples of what they have done.


IDF Studio Scenery

+IDF_Logo_webTWOFOURBuilding sets can be a very large undertaking, especially if you are doing a complex production. Unless you are interested in becoming an expert craftsman on the fly, why not go to someone who has years of experience in this area.

For over 30 years, IDF Studio Scenery has been constructing sets, props, and many other items for the entertainment industry. Their skilled staff can create that custom design you are looking for. They also have a wide variety of items available for rent. So before you head out to your local do-it-yourself store looking for supplies needed to build a lighthouse, give them a call.


41 Sets

41 Sets Web Logo41 Sets has such a thorough repertoire of set creating services, that I could never say it all in one breath. But I stand down to no challenge!! Here we go: Metalwork, Presentation Renderings, Miniatures, Delivery, Drafting Projects, Set Construction, Engine… *Gasps! Okay, I tried.

But seriously, check out their website, and the quantity of services they offer for scene creation. Recruiting them must feel like you’ve become the general of some kind ‘a set building army!

Disclaimer: If you visit their site, you may be entranced for minutes watching cool videos and movie promos as I was. I honestly couldn’t stop watching; hopefully you will have more restraint, and actually make time to hire them to build a set for you.


Greco Décor Prop & Event Rental

Lightning in a Bottle 4-9-14 blogFrom the luxurious Hunger Games Premiere to the Lightning in a Bottle Event, Greco Décor Prop & Event Rental has done (and can) do it all. From Tribal symmetry to futuristic decadence, their events are always cutting edge.

greco decor hunger games eventTheir set-ups are sure to impress even your most carny-like guests who have seen it all… just ask em; Cirque Du Soleil seemed to enjoy their event! So whether you want your event to be a Paramount Party or something Stranger Than Fiction Greco Décor has a SALT(y) Premiere for your attendees.


Chris G TV Inc.

2Q==-7Wearing many hats, traveling, and a keen eye has served Chris Giammalvo well. With years of experience in many production fields including Carpentry, Painting, Decorating, and finally designing, he was finally able to start Chris G TV.

Z-7As the creative mind behind Chris G TV, Chris was brought to Los Angeles to work with Crank Yankers on Comedy Central. He has since been the creative secret behind scenery/set construction on networks and productions such as Nickelodeon, Deadliest Warrior, Kid’s Choice Awards and numerous music videos & live events. He also has a warehouse of previous work that is available as scenery/set rentals!

I know I always wonder how anyone comes up with those unusual designs on many of the sets out there, and I’m sure you do too. With Chris’s experience as a creative production designer and the skills that are needed for all aspects of a service design shop (from concept, construction and execution) why don’t you just ask him yourself?


Schmidli Backdrops

index-7Schmidli Backdrops creates works of art used in fashion photographs, celebrity portraits, music videos, films and red carpet events. With locations in Los Angeles, New York, Hamburg, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and London, Schmidli backdrops have found their way into photo shoots worldwide.

2Q==-47Custom backdrops are painted to fit your production needs. Whether a car commercial, photo shoot, live event or film location, a Schmidli backdrop garners attention, yet it never upstages the star.