On a strip of land which used to be a landfill and a series of trailer parks is thirteen-miles of the most magical country on Earth. Honeywood is the brainchild of Big Al Swanson
, direct-to-video and alleged porn producer extraordinaire, who realized superpowers were going to be something the world's public could never get enough of.
The thing is, Hollywood can't (or won't) cover the liability of putting actual superpowers and Nexi in their film. The danger to their stars, equipment, and the greater Los Angeles area is simply too great. Besides, there's nothing that your typical superhero can do which can't be replicated by special effects.
Big Al, himself, has the power to stretch himself to ridiculous sizes. He also has the elasticity of rubber--which is a power that he mostly uses to survive the incredibly irritated but dangerous people he deals with on a regular basis.
Big Al, however, knew the public would be interested in "authenticity" as an alternative to CGi and also that he could get around a large amount of special effects cost by simply appealing to many of the abundant supers now living around Los Angeles. Hiring his partner, Quake
, he had the (then) seventeen-year-old create for him the perfect location to create his masterpieces.
Amazingly, Big Al's plan worked as he found himself deluged with investors who saw the potential of his idea and were eager to do superheroics in an area far away from the city itself. Unfortunately, Big Al wasn't particularly discriminatory about whose money he took and while Honeywood has since grown to be a massive enterprise rivalling its parent, he's also mortgaged out to his eyeballs trying to pay off his creditors.
King Frost, amusingly, is only semi-aware he owns a substantial stake in the studios as the start-up money he'd laundered into the films was relatively minor. It was, however, a major part of what Big Al used to get the ball rolling and technically he's one of the three studio owners with Big Al and Iron Phoenix.
Which means Big Al owes him a LOT of money.
Honeywood is, thus, always on the verge of financial ruin and only elaborate plans verging on (and exceeding) fraud have kept the studio afloat. These have included filming actual superhero and supervillain throw downs, stunt casting, and using every trick in the book to raise the "profile" of his stars. Honeywood is hand-in-pocket with the paparazzi and tries to get as many superheroes to spill the beans to them as possible. Which, of course, assumes they have superheroes working for them at all.
Simply put, Honeywood thrives on getting the assistance of famous superheroes in their movies. Whether it's as stars, stuntmen, living special effects, or just co-producers, this is the heart of Honeywood's success. Dark Sun
, Super Dragon Punch Zero
, Phoenix Force Seven
, and (until recently) The Extreme
have all been major draws for the studio. There's even a series of extraordinarily bad (verging on softcore) "Hercules" movies starring Victor Vanquish
They've all made money in the upper end of three figures.
This doesn't include the fact Honeywood also has countless knock-offs, "true life stories", bad TV shows for foreign consumption, and genuine garbage in addition to the "goofy but wonderful" garbage they thrive on. Big Al's more unpleasant creditors aren't afraid to make money off controversy either with several supervillains regularly finding work in this place or trying to get a cut of the "unlawful" use of their name/image.
Fuzion the Nuklear Wizard
makes his home in the heart of Honeywood when not visiting his headquarters or the Blue Centurions. Something about the sheer gaudiness and constant changing nature of Faux Tinseltown (which is a double-negative) appeals to the superbeing. He doesn't star in any of the movies himself but his power to alter reality has been exploited by those around him several times.
It's also pulled the place out of bankruptcy three times.
Most superheroes find Honeywood to be an embarrassment or necessary evil, publicizing the hell out of their efforts while also profiting from them. Still, many a poor superhero has found the paychecks offered by the production companies within for minor work to be quite lucrative. Enough to keep them in business for the year to come or make a difference in the lives of their favorite charities. Those heroes who foolishly sign away the rights to their likenesses or stories, however, are frequently prone to seeing truly AWFUL stories made about their lives.
Honeywood has something like 30,000 employees with several hundred Nexus stars as well as servants. While most people coming to Los Angeles still want to break into Hollywood, more than a trickle of the quirkier ones are finding their way to Big Al's ranch.