Report: Smash Crew in Brooklyn Heights Not Making Friends

As noted here, our man in the NYC Council, Steve Levin, would like to see filming in Brooklyn Heights take a chill pill and be still for a while.

This dispatch from a BHB contributor shows that filming in the neighborhood can be more that just a small inconvenience. NBC’s shoot Monday for the show Smash appears to have gone beyond the pale:

There is always a lot of filming in Brooklyn Heights. I have to be very aware of what the signs say because productions have now started to have varied times when the permits take place.

I saw they are going to film NBC’s Smash around the block where my car was parked and the parking would be locked off as of 10 PM tonight. I knew I was good because I was leaving to take a friend to the airport at 9:30 this morning.

As planned I went to get my car with my dog in tow. I tossed the three cones that were up against my tire to the side so I could get out and then I was going to move to the other side and put them back from where I left.

As I’m opening my car door two men over six feet tall start walking aggressively near me screaming that I didn’t have to toss the cones like that. Um, did they want me to run them over? They were no where near me until I moved those cones and it wasn’t like I went wild and chucked them at another car I tossed them about a foot and made sure no one was coming as they were up against my car like every other car on the street. Mind you this is over 12 hours prior to the permit taking effect and over a day before filming will begin.

The men continued to come towards me. One of them with a Jamaican accent starting screaming racial slurs at me saying that I wasn’t from this country, was a stupid ch***, etc. Then both of the guys stood next to my car on the passenger side (that was the street side), while I quickly put my dog into the car. The Jamaican guy then saw her and started to threaten my petite French bulldog. I got into the car quickly as he continued to block my door and pound with his keys on my windows and they both screamed at me.

I hauled out of there, having to wait until I was a block away to pull over and put my dog securely into her car bag. Then I dropped my friend at the airport and stashed my car in another neighborhood until Smash is done filming because who knows what they would do.

On my way home, I saw a policeman so I spoke to him and explained what happened. He asked me if the man had dreads- he did. Apparently that guy has been harassing other people all day in the neighborhood!

Why is it I felt some relief to know I wasn’t the only one? Why am I a taxpaying citizen subjected to someone who may or may not be legal in my neighborhood who is essentially a visitor? Why did two grown men think it was okay to, in tandem represent their employer this way? I’m sure it wasn’t the first time, if the guy continues to behave that way all day. It’s a bad look for Smash and for NBC. One thing I will tell you this was more alarming to me than the season finale of Smash where the director tells the producer it’s his decision who the lead is and she should shut up- hello, that is so not realistic and who, unless it was a name, would ever pick an unknown the day of a show launch, over Megan Hilty? Come on! Well, now I’m definitely not going to watch the show anymore and may silently scoff at NBC promoting itself as the network of diversity!

I can watch 30 Rock on Hulu!

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  • Resident

    Does every film crew hire “enforcers” to intimidate residents?

  • lori

    My car is usually parked fairly close to my house, so when there is a film scheduled and I have to move my car, I have found that talking with the crew responsible for the parking regulations and explaining that I will move my car in time has resulted in courtesy from the crew. However, if this SMASH! crew is acting differently, as it seems to be, something should be done. I am glad the police officer was aware of the actions of these workers. I hope this doesn’t downgrade into a racial conflict.

  • Boerum Bill

    I would have used one of the cones as a megaphone: “BACK AWAY FROM MY VEHICLE, RACIST PRICKS! YOUR SHOW SUCKS!”

  • iLikeBrooklyn

    When Vince Vaughn was filming the crew instructed me to walk on by. Walk on by my house? Excuse me? Then I wanted to video what was going on & they told me I couldn’t.

    I can’t take a picture of my house? I told them I was going to continue to take a picture of my house. As far as I know there are NO law sagainst one taking a picture of their nome.

    Then they told me I make a lot money when they film in Brooklyn Heights.

    I make money when movies are filmed in Brooklyn Heights? They’ve got the wrong person.

    Comparing Vince Vaughn with Mark Wahlberg… Wahlberg & his crew were courteous & polite, Vaugh’s? Rude. Just plain rude.

  • Boerum Bill

    On a public sidewalk, they legally can’t prevent you from taking pics or video.

    Nor can they prevent you from playing “Gangnam Style” loudly out your open window to screw up their sound.

  • AmyinBH

    The warm weather is making everyone act crazy. Maybe I should start a service escorting people to their cars and homes during filming. I could hire some large men to enforce the rights of the average citizen.

  • WillowNabe

    I would have gotten into my car and called the police.

  • Gerry

    @ Resident – these guys act like thugs two goons blocked me with two young children in a double-wide stroller another older child and bunch of groceries as we attempted to get to our home.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/vbchica14 MayaFrances

    I really like Smash, but it’s not ok for production crews (or quite frankly anyone) to treat people like this. We all get frustrated by the inconvenience caused by filming in the neighborhood, but intimidation,threats and violence is not ok. (Before anyone gets on my case, I know the guy didn’t physically touch the person sharing the incident, but banging on someone’s car is still pretty violent.) I don’t know if it’s any use but I tweeted NBC (@NBC) and the show page (@SmashNBC) that I won’t watch until something is done. (My twitter handle is @MayaFrances). Maybe if we start a #BoycottSmash movement the higher ups will take action? Either way drawing attention to the fact that it is not ok for production companies who are lucky enough to film in neighborhoods like Brooklyn Heights to treat the residents so poorly–they should be overly accommodating to us, not treating us like dirt for daring to live in our neighborhood while they’re filming!

  • artie

    wow! way to take it out on a TV show when it definitely was the a crew member who has caused the problem.

    do you know for a fact that they actually work for the Smash crew? or are you ALL crazy new yorkers that everyone talks about!

    and to the writer of this post: the TV show is make believe; a soap opera; a dramedy.

    And Megan Hilty is a pu$$@

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    Oh I so wish they tried to pull that crap on me :)

  • Wiley E.

    Is there a link somewhere that could inform the public about upcoming film shoots? Or is like the “wild west” with crazed freelance Production Assistants slapping paper notices on street poles 12-hours before the goons come in?

  • willowtowncop

    Next time take out your phone and film them banging on your car. Send it to NBC and Steve Levin.

  • Sam

    Hello. This is only a TV show. In the real world, do you seriously think Ivy Lynn would have be given a reprieve after her behavior on “Heaven on Earth”. You’re confusing the two. An unknown over Megan Hilty. Really!!! Don’t you mean Karen over Ivy Lynn. Clearly this experience has greatly distressed you to the point that you can hardly differentiate the actress from the character they portray.

  • Bornhere

    Tonight’s players were (what appear to be) two wholly passive Traffic Enforcement Agents (they’re wearing some sort of trafficky uniforms and have been there for hours), one enraged resident-driver, 4 NYPD MOS, a very officious film crew member, and a small audience. Enraged resident begs to be allowed to drive down Joralemon at Henry to his garage on State Street; officious crew member refuses; lots of ugly dialog ensues. Two police cars arrive, one having driven up Joralemon (the wrong way); more dialog; it seems the resolution was for the Henry Street RMP to escort the enraged resident down Henry to State so he could approach his garage from east to west on State. RMP on Joralemon proceeds to back down Joralemon and is quickly followed down Joralemon by Engine 224, approaching from Clinton (officious crew member does not interfere with FD). So not only can you not park ON the street, you also cannot approach your safe-haven garage FROM said street, without enlisting oodles of help.