Simon's journey from valet to LA
PUBLISHED: 12:03 14 February 2008 | UPDATED: 12:57 06 May 2010
VALETING cars is a distant memory for Simon Graham-Clare who has ditched the chamois leathers to work with the Hollywood A-List. The 37-year-old former Beaumont School pupil, who still has a house and family members in St Albans, has been working in the f
VALETING cars is a distant memory for Simon Graham-Clare who has ditched the chamois leathers to work with the Hollywood A-List.
The 37-year-old former Beaumont School pupil, who still has a house and family members in St Albans, has been working in the film industry in Los Angeles for nearly five years.
Simon began valeting cars when he was still at school and when he left he developed it into a successful business. But some years later he began dreaming of greener pastures.
Following a short stint in Hong Kong, Simon began working for a stills photography company and soon built up the contacts he needed to make his break into the showbiz industry.
It came in the form of popular entertainment show TFI Friday with Chris Evans where he spent 18 months working in production.
Simon said: "Although I have loved everybody I have worked with, I think Chris Evans is a genius and always has amazing ideas."
After making his mark there, he soon got snapped-up by Warner Bros and helped to film the first two Harry Potter productions.
It was there that he also got involved in publicity which took him to a new level, and following that he went on to work on the hit films Two Week's Notice, with Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock, and Ghost Ship.
The UK Film Council then asked him to move to LA in order to promote the benefits of filming in Britain and how best to do it.
He now advises people in the film industry on a freelance basis but he is keen to get back into a producing role.
Simon does not take his success for granted and wants to help others like him achieve their dreams.
Through his work, Simon has met many British film directors and actors daunted by LA, which gave him the idea of setting up a website for those thinking about visiting or moving there to further their entertainment career.
ConsiderLA.com has a wealth of advice, including details about when people in the film business are likely to be around and not at a foreign film festival.
Simon has no plans to return to England just yet, although he admits there is a "revolving door" of friends and family bringing a piece of home to him.