A crew shooting a pilot crew covered their street with soil, then hosed it down the drains, neighbors say

HBO No: Greenpointers say they got hosed by the cable network

FILM CRUDE: Neighbors say an HBO shoot for an historical series pilot left their street a mess.
The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Entertainment is a dirty business.

That is what a group of Greenpointers that has often railed against the presence of film crews in its neighborhood is saying after a crew shooting a pilot for an historical HBO series dumped tons of dirt on sleepy Milton Street, then washed it down storm drains. The whole thing felt like an act of war, according to one neighbor.

“It was like being occupied by a foreign nation,” said neighbor Bill Rohan, adding that the film crew violated his disabled parking permit by towing his car to a nearby block. “My blood pressure was definitely up that day.”

The Wednesday shoot took over three blocks, removed all the street signs, and brought more than 100 crew members and a stable of horses to the area, residents said. The parting hose-down left the block a muddy mess, according to residents.

“They left a river of mud and now it is a dustbowl,” said film-shoot accountability activist Rolf Carle. “There is dirt everywhere.”

City spokesman Marybeth Ihle claims that what Greenpointers describe could not have happened because the Home Box Office workers covered the storm drains as they always do, but she said that the city is working to address the complaints.

The production team did not return calls for comment, but network employees did return to the area on Friday to spray down the dirt with pressure washers once again. The cable channel is keeping details of the test production under wraps but some locals fear what might happen if it decides to make the show into a series.

“Are they going to start coming back here every week and disrupting everyone’s day-to-day lives?” asked Rich J. Mazur.

But the aggrieved neighbor saw a silver lining in the experience.

“At least the kids got to play with the horses,” Mazur said.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:16 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Joey from Clinton Hills says:
Greenpoint sounds like it is full of whiners...almost as bad as Bay Ridge.
Oct. 28, 2013, 10:49 am
John Reid from Your Heart says:
No doubt your lives were complicated during the filming. I’m certain that it was frustrating; things you were normally able to count on were unavailable to you. Things got untidy, I understand that.

But to compare a film shoot to an occupation, while our country is at the moment actively, violently and martially occupying other nations is just mind-boggling.

The next time something like this happens, and you’re moved to hyperbolically overstate your oppression, take a good look at your life and try to put things into perspective. Maybe even turn those feelings around and donate some time or money to a homeless shelter. Do some good instead of spouting nonsense.
Oct. 28, 2013, 12:05 pm
Jay from Nyc says:
Next time video it uses peoples faces and names and corporate logos and upload it to youtube.
Oct. 28, 2013, 12:20 pm
Teresa from Greenpoint says:
Thoughtless choice of words, John Reid from Your Heart. Many Milton Street residents (and Greenpointers) come from the Poland of the old days, when speaking up landed you in prison or a cemetery. Some of our environmental and other problems went under-challenged by residents in the past due to that experience and related feelings of anxiety and helplessness. Maybe you should consider others' personal histories and perspective before hopping onto your soapbox, though I appreciate it's more fun to do it your way, however inaccurately and hurtfully you choose to interpret people's characters.
Oct. 28, 2013, 2:46 pm
John Wasserman from Windsor Terrace says:
Hi Teresa. My name is John Wasserman. Would you like to go out on a date with me?
Oct. 28, 2013, 5:22 pm
ty from pps says:
Teresa -- You seem to have missed the point. (Spectacularly and weirdly so....)
Oct. 29, 2013, 8:30 am
Teresa from Greenpoint says:
Actually Ty, it was John Reid who missed the point, not I. To be clear, though, here's the point of the people in the article: When your quiet street turns into a movie set time after time, it’s not a restful situation; your nerves are on edge. If you're a senior citizen, disabled, or have young children, it's an extra challenge and much more than an inconvenience.

When environmental violations occur over and over again, like endlessly idling diesel generators (which are also loud), crew members hanging out in their cars to keep warm or cool with engines idling for hours, crews hollering instructions to each other regardless of the hour of day, crews cutting down tree branches that “get in the way” of a shot, clusters of people hanging around smoking, flicking buckets’ worth of cigarette butts into the street (plus random events like when the film shoot involves a car chase down your street, fire billowing from a house's window, an exploding car) ... if you had any personal stake in your community or the street where you live, you’d likely also be upset that the city allows this with absolutely no consequences for the production company. No investigation, no fines, nothing.

Please take a moment and consider these people's state of mind after years of this kind of thing, and consider the cumulative impacts on Greenpoint’s already burdened environment while you have your fun here in the comments section.
Oct. 29, 2013, 8:54 am
ty from pps says:
The whole thing felt like an act of war, according to one neighbor.
“It was like being occupied by a foreign nation,” said neighbor Bill Rohan
Oct. 29, 2013, 10:15 am
Teresa from Greenpoint says:
Don't feed the trolls, they said. I did it anyway. Entirely my bad.
Oct. 29, 2013, 10:20 am
John Wasserman from Windsor Terrace says:
I'm sorry Tersa; I would now like to retract my earlier question. Here's hoping you shall cheer up at some point in your life. John Wasserman.
Oct. 29, 2013, 10:30 am
Teresa from Greenpoint says:
Judging from the inordinate amount of time you guys relentlessly and humorlessly give to every story, I'd say I'm doing just fine. But thanks for your concern!
Oct. 29, 2013, 11:17 am
John Wasserman from Windsor Terrace says:
That's terrific news, Teresa! Glad to hear.
Oct. 29, 2013, 1:04 pm
Mike from Greenpoint says:
To John Reid and Joey or Joe both of you need to get a life you both sound like you come from the 60 s flower children era Wow people like you still exist amazing.
Oct. 30, 2013, 11:22 am
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Pardon me pointing out that that may be one of the best run-on sentences I've seen in quite a while.
Nov. 1, 2013, 2:50 pm

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: