They’re not the heroes Greenpoint deserves, nor the ones it needs right now.
Hollywood productions are turning the neighborhood’s industrial streets into a soundstage, and Greenpointers want the city to yell “cut!” An endless parade of film shoots — which recently include Marvel’s “Daredevil” and “Luke Cage” series — are blocking parking and sidewalks, say locals, and they are sick and tired of having to step around the lights, cameras, and action.
“Sometimes they’re filming on the street and they won’t even let you go through,” said Mike Hoffman, a longtime Manhattan Avenue resident. “It’s crazy.”
Someone has recently posted signs around Manhattan and Commercial avenues railing against “Ringside” — the code-name “Daredevil” uses on permits — “taking over the neighborhood.”
Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D–Greenpoint) has now swooped in to ask the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment to declare certain blocks as temporary no-film zones to give his constituents a break. Film crews descend on the neighborhood on a weekly basis and it is affecting Greenpointers’ quality of life, said a rep for the pol.
“We have a lot of constituents upset about it because their ability to get to their own homes is affected,” said Lentol spokeswoman Cathy Peake. “If you’re coming home and you’re tired after a long day and you’re trying to get to your home, if they’re in the middle of a shoot you can’t get there.”
Lentol is proposing two new film-free zones — one bounded by McGuiness Boulevard, West Street, and Commercial and Kent Streets, and the other by Manhattan, Kingsland, Norman, and Driggs avenues, said Peake.
This isn’t the first time locals have railed against too much showbiz on their streets — residents have previously bemoaned an old-timey Home Box Office production leaving Milton Street covered in dirt, and both notorious flop “Smash” and hipster comedy “Girls” creating a more modern mess.
But the mayor’s office continues to hand out filming permits for the neighborhood like candy, with no consideration for the people who actually live there, say locals. And even when it okays requested no-film zones, the hiatus is only lasts for three to six months.
“They’re really arrogant,” said resident Rolf Carle. “They feel like they don’t have to answer to anybody.”
But the mayor’s office claims it hears the locals’ woes loud and clear — it does keeps tabs on neighborhoods overburdened by filming activity, and is willing to give over-filmed areas a temporary break, said a rep.
“We work diligently with the community, local elected officials, and residents to ensure on-location filming is as seamless as possible and to balance the needs of productions that of the neighborhoods in which they film,” said an office spokesperson.
In addition to Marvel’s latest crop of anti-heroes, shows recently spotted filming in the neighborhood include “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Gotham,” and “The Good Wife.”