Tuesday, January 17, 2012
CB2 suggests limiting film permits
In the current television season, New York is serving as home base for 23 prime-time series. Not only that, but 188 full-length feature movies were shot here in 2011. Thrilled city officials would like to see more, pointing out that such productions pump nearly $5 billion into the city's economy each year and support roughly 100,000 jobs.
In Long Island City, Queens, though, many people have a decidedly different take on all this. There, in the epicenter of much of the action, many residents are saying enough already, and some are even begging the city to yell, “Cut.”
In addition to noise and light pollution, Long Island City residents complain about the loss of big blocks of parking spaces, a situation made worse, they say, by production crews illegally parking personal cars in spaces reserved for production trucks.
"It's just not fair because businesses are temporarily being shut down to accommodate filming," said Joseph Conley, chairman of Community Board 2 in Queens, which represents Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside and a portion of Maspeth. Contrary to what City Hall says, Mr. Conley sees little evidence of an upside.
“Production crews don't localize, so there's no benefit to the community,” he said, pointing out that when it comes to meals, for example, the crews bring in their own outside catering companies.
With complaints from residents and businesses rising, Mr. Conley is asking the Bloomberg administration to work together with production companies to make filming less disruptive for the community. He and others suggest setting a limit on the number of productions in a given period.
Mr. Greenberg sees another way for Hollywood to endear itself to Long Island City residents. He suggests that production companies could score major points by helping out with local projects like street repairs or park cleaning.