City Issues Cease Fire On Movie Shoots In Brooklyn Heights & DUMBO

It’s a good thing NBC’s hit series “Smash” has wrapped its first season. The city has imposed a two-month moratorium on film shoots in Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO—bringing a cease fire to movie-making in two of the borough’s most cinematic communities.

The Brooklyn Paper reports today that the clamp-down follows persistent complaints from neighbors about parking restrictions, lights, power cables and trailers.

“It is part of our office’s continuing efforts to weigh the needs and concerns of the community while supporting the jobs that come from film and television production in the city,” city film spokeswoman Marybeth Ihle said in the Brooklyn Paper.

Production companies have filmed few movies, TV shows or commercials since April 1, when the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment pulled the plug.

Mayor Bloomberg said on Tuesday that the film & TV industry has spent $60 billion in the city over the past decade, including $7.1 billion in 2011, while employing 130,000 people. But small businesses claim they’re not spending their money on local venues.

Read the full piece in Brooklyn Paper here.

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  • Scrambler

    After months of lurking on here I am convinced that no matter the topic the same people complain about it. It doesn’t matter what it is or who it effects.

  • Eddyenergizer

    I will also echo AmyinBH, They can only request you comply with their production needs, they have absolutely no authority to prohibit you from walking or driving on public streets.

    Hicks St Guy. You keep touting that $7.1 billion figure as if it was justification for inconveniencing people where they live. I call BS on that. First, the city gets almost nothing but a nominal fee for issuing film permits, surly not even enough to cover the administration of issuing them. Second, that figure is totally inflated based on the total budget of the film so it isn’t even close to what actually spent here in the city. To further that point, look at the license plates & addresses on those production vehicles, most are not from NYC, they even bring in their own catered food. So how much of that money do you think is really spent here?

  • AEB

    Thanks for the clarification, Eddy…..

  • She’s Crafty

    Everyone should lay off @HSG.

  • weegee

    Incidentally, the industry DOES shoot in other neighborhoods. Babette’s Supper Club on “Boardwalk…” is in a church in Bed-Stuy. And the guy who lives next door to it came outside to complain about the noise of the generators. “Blue Bloods” is on Shore Road in Bay Ridge all the time, where the existing parking situation rivals that of the Heights.

    The various “Law & Order” shows constantly shoot by the Manhattan courthouses on workdays, and they have no presumption of sidewalk closures, merely the sandwich boards that serve as model releases if you walk past them. They also do their scenes with a skeleton production crew and minimal vehicles, which, I believe, required some sort of special union dispensation.

  • hicks st guy

    @Crafty, you’re the best. one of the fun things about watching Law & Order is that they filmed all over the City. I noticed places in Queens and Staten Island among other places. $7.1 billion is a lot better than new taxes or fees, then the howling would really start. @Scrambler, I totally agree, if they couldn’t kvetch, they’d have nothing to say. I haven’t noticed complaints about last nights music on the Pier. . .yet!

  • Monty

    I think the comments about “they should take the subway like the rest of us” or “compensate us with metrocards” are funny. If you all take the subway (like I do) then these productions are not really any inconvenience at all. In fact, I enjoy playing “spot my street” on TV. The money they spend gets taxed for the benefit of everyone. I don’t see why a moratorium is necessary.

  • BH’er

    I would question where the $7B number comes from – it’s certainly not flowing into the neighborhoods who have to endure the inconvenience of the filming – which means the rest of the city benefits tremendously from our inconveniences (it’s awful, ain’t it?)

    if they rent cars to put in scenes, they should have to compensate the home/condo/co-op owner that paid for the nice brownstone they’re using for a back drop – why does the city get that money?

    but we have blocked streets, clogged traffic, power cords the size of firehoses, light trucks, water trucks, noise, nuisance, towed cars and all sorts of other non-sense to contend with

    they should put some sort of curbs on the number and spread them around a little – Montague & Remsen are constantly blocked up – and ask them to fix the place up a bit on the way out!!

  • Willowtowncop

    I walk where ever I want on a public sidewalk where there isn’t an emergency. Would love to see one of these 20 year old 90 pound jackasses in a cardigan with a scruffy beard put his hands on me.

  • Silly

    This is so silly. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m a Brooklyn heights resident with a car. I don’t own the streets. the same way I get to use the streets to park my car is the same way film companies should be allowed to use the streets. It would be awful to not see the heights in movies or television. Go park a few blocks away. It’s a luxury to have a car in the first place and to expect great parking in new York city is just a dumb idea. It’s new York city…parking is a pain period but it’s my choice to have a car and let’s be realistic. So dumb.

  • WillowSt.Neighbor

    Hick st guy,
    You keep touting 7.1 Billion. Can you please tell us BH’ers exactly what we, as residents, gain from that money.
    Since you came up with that number, I am assuming you know what the benefits are to us.

  • bornhere

    Hicks St Guy seems to be correct on the numbers. The Google machine promptly reveals a CNC World soundbite and printed iteration of an evidently recent Bloomberg appearance:
    “In 2011, TV and film production generated 7.1 billion dollars worth of business, which is 2 billion dollars more than it generated in 2002. And 82 percent of this growth has been fueled by TV production — especially an increase in dramas, reality and talk shows. All told, TV and film production has generated more than 60 billion dollars in economic activity since 2002.”
    There is no mention of specific benefit beyond the (valuable) creation of jobs; but it does mention the negative effect on “traditional newspapers,” which is, in my opinion, not a happy effect.

  • hicks st guy

    where did I get the numbers? duh, read the beginning of the damn post!

  • Chris

    I’m sick of the filming too. I’ve been yelled at for leaving my own apartment in the past! Not to mention the parking issues. I don’t mind it once in a while – but it was getting to be one a week here in the south Heights!

    Yes it creates some temp jobs for some tech guys…but the city subsidizes that. They pay 30% of post production costs through a tax abatement. I’m not the biggest fan of corporate welfare…but if we are going to dump public money into private goods – why not subsidize non-public hospitals for CNAs and LPNs jobs? Or hell, use tax payer money to buy millions of subscriptions to newspapers to keep good journalists in work. I’d rather read good written journalism than watch an over priced middling movie.
    I use my car to get to client’s sites across NY and NJ. I’m not just leaving it there and hitting the Fairway once a week. It just stinks because city workers who don’t want to pay minimal $ for the municipal lots jam up the streets here during the week. Commuters from other places park and jump on the train at borough hall. Film permits come in once a week and take up 7,8,9 blocks of parking! I’m the guy that lives here! And its like I’m the only one not cheating and taking someone else’s resources.
    I’m not asking for the moon. Just to be able to go about my business, earn my living and pay my property taxes on this 550 sq feet. Feeling like I have to buy a private space (which I’ve had trouble even finding available thanks to deals with the new condo buildings downtown) just so the city can take our taxes and hand them over to someone else who can’t get a job in his field without handouts? NYC, particularly these narrow BK streets, isn’t conducive to filming. Let that industry go somewhere else and let that PA move there and find work!
    I live work and shop here and no one pays me to do it.

  • Silly

    Chris…your Response “these narrow bk streets aren’t conducive to filming ” sums up your entire response and way of thinking around here. It’s small minded . These streets are for everyone. Not just us who live here..And the movies made on these small streets have blessed the world with more entertainment than this blog could, although it’s getting close. I’ll be sure to tell Paris/Rome/ Nepal/their streets are too small too. Why is everyone so angry???

  • Rich Man’s Problem

    It’s funny how everyone’s bickering about parking spots and complaining films are being shot in the neighborhood. C’mon man, seriously. Life isn’t so bad. If you can afford a car, you can afford to put it in a parking garage for a day.