Company: FilmScape Vacations
Location: Fresno, California
Owners: Jacqueline Farkas, 52, and Jay Farkas, 28
Date started: April 1997
Start-up costs: Less than $20,000
Sales: Estimated at $65,000 in first year
Deep in our hearts, we all want to be movie stars. FilmScape lets clients fulfill that dream--at least for a week. Guests experience the art of movie-making, assuming the roles of writer, director, producer and actor under the careful direction of Farkas' 28-year-old son, Jay, a professional producer and director, and FilmScape's co-owner and vice president.
Participants come from all walks of life, but many are middle-aged and upper-middle-class folks who long to penetrate the mystique of Hollywood. To expand the market, the Farkases recently launched a program for clients aged 15 to 23 who want to learn about TV production.
FilmScape was born of necessity when Jacqueline, who had owned a travel agency since 1994, found profits dwindling after airlines placed a cap on commissions. Jay came up with the idea for FilmScape; his mom provided the start-up capital.
A one-time accountant, Jacqueline much prefers travel to numbers-crunching: "I get a far better reaction when I'm handing people a ticket to a vacation than a tax form."
Pamela Rohland is a writer in Bernville, Pennsylvania.
FilmScape Vacations, (800) 345-6625, http://www.filmvacations.com
National Tour Association, (800) 682-8886, http://www.ntaonline.com
Randonnée Tours Ltd., (800) 465-6488, http://www.randonneetours.com
San Diego Surfing Academy, (800) 447-SURF, http://www.surfSDSA.com
Wild Women Adventures, (800) 992-1322, http://www.wildwomenadv.com
World Beat Tours, (888) 430-BEAT, http://www.worldbeattours.com