Backstory: As the cameras roll, New Yorkers yell 'cut'!
Some residents resent having to dodge booms and dolly tracks as the city grows as a moviemaking hub.
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Her small underground hideaway caters to the likes of Daniel Day Lewis, Lauren Hutton, and Kate Moss, as well as wealthy locals, who come for the spa's renowned facials and Shiatsu aromatherapy massage. (Sometimes it seems the only gritty thing on New York streets these days is an apricot facial scrub.)Skip to next paragraph
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"The big thing is noise," says Miraglia, an herbalist who came to New York from Rome and opened her spa in 1988. "The point is this: We are a small place, we have a quiet spa - it is supposed to be really silent. Instead [we have] all this noise, engines, and tracks and food. But mostly it's the attitude of the people who work for these sorts of things, you see. They own the street - if you pass by, you're an intruder."
In March, three crews converged at the same time in Brooklyn Heights, an exclusive neighborhood of tree-shaded brownstones and stunning views of Manhattan. Warner Bros. filmed scenes from "August Rush," starring Robin Williams; Castle Rock filmed scenes from "Mostly Martha," starring Catherine Zeta-Jones; and Ethan Hawke filmed scenes from his release, "The Hottest State." Though each had different locations, the number of semitrailers on the street left neighbors clamoring for parking for more than a week.
"Individual productions can get people riled up if they're huge and if the production people aren't as nice, and things happen and they get messy," says Judy Stanton, executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association. "But this was three, and parking is a real prize in this neighborhood."
In conjunction with the city, a production crew may block off certain streets, both to make room for their equipment and create a set for a scene. They are only required to give advance notice to neighbors, who must then relocate their vehicles during the days of filming. Crews are permitted to move cars that remain on the street.
Since the film industry now generates $5 billion a year for the local economy and employs 100,000 New Yorkers, by city estimates, neighbors must deal with the hassle. Still, to bridge the divide between production crews and residents, the city will occasionally halt filming in certain areas. "It's an internal management tool we use to track the volume of productions in various neighborhoods," says Ms. Cho. "We'll look at the size and footprint of a production and look at the overall impact it's had in a particular area, and if one area has played host to productions and has seen a significant impact over a period, we'll give it a rest."
The bright lights of a production, even during the day, can also annoy neighbors, and the city requires location managers to provide residents with blackout material to cover windows. As a courtesy, some productions will provide parking vouchers for local garages, though they are not required to do this. According to Stanton, some companies have even donated money to the neighborhood association, especially if they had to film in the area for an extended period.
Inevitably, however, a film crew has to stay longer than it originally planned. "Then it all falls apart, if there's a production delay," says Stanton.