Sunday, December 16, 2012

Councilman Levin Seeks Slowdown in Neighborhood Film Shoots

October and November this year saw a relentless stream of film crews descending on the otherwise quiet streets of Brooklyn Heights. In the past two months alone 14 different productions have brought chaos to the historic, tree-lined streets as filmmakers use this brownstone-filled area as the backdrop for TV shows and motion pictures.

“I understand and respect the fact that the movie and television industry provides revenue for the city and employs a number of New Yorkers, but residents of a single neighborhood, especially one that is primarily residential, like Brooklyn Heights, should not have to bear the burden of on-street filming on an almost daily basis,” said Councilman Stephen Levin.

“The people who live in this community should be able to freely walk down the sidewalk, park on the street, and bring their children to the local playground without constantly dodging film crews,” Levin added.

Councilman Stephen Levin
Filming requires streets to be closed, parking spaces to be absconded and other inconveniences imposed on residents, and now those residents are standing up to the onslaught with the help of Levin. The councilman, who represents Brooklyn’s District 33, contacted the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting in order to place all of Brooklyn Heights on the City’s list of “hot spots.” This listing will place a hold on filming until a more reasonable schedule for filming can be implemented which impacts less on the lives of the neighborhood’s residents.

Brooklyn Heights is not the only place the film industry has been encroaching on. Film crews have been shooting in Windsor Terrace and Kensington of late as well. Some of the major projects filming in these neighborhoods include a Vince Vaughn comedy called “Delivery Man,” a Martin Scorsese star vehicle called “The Wolf of Wall Street,” and a few TV shows such as “Elementary” and “Boardwalk Empire.”