Unforgettable Television Production Crew Causes Discomfort and Sleepless Nights For Roosevelt Island Residents With Intense Beams Of Light Shining Into Their Apartments
Reported last Thursday that two television programs were filming this past week on Roosevelt Island. One of them, the new CBS program Unforgettable was shooting scenes at night near 504 Main Street and causing problems for Roosevelt Island residents living across the street. A resident sent in this report earlier today:
Another resident, Raye Schwartz sent this message today to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Directors, President Leslie Torres and others:The movie shoot in 504 lasted all night including bright lights into the apts in 510 and 531 until after 2 a.m. on Thus/Fri and Fri/Sat.
On Thursday night July 28 and Friday Night July 29 a film crew was working in, next to and behind 504 Main Street. Let me begin this message by stating I’ve lived here for 30 years and I’ve seen many film and photo shoots on this island. I never experienced anything as horrendous as this.UPDATE 8/1 - The name of the film referenced above was Dark Water, not Dark Shadows. From Ms Schwartz:
On Thursday night, the crew set up enormous lights which were aimed into apartments at 510 Main Street and into apartments at the South wing of 531 Main Street. The lights were so intense that their beams penetrated tightly shut venetian blinds, bounced off the walls in apartments, and caused extreme discomfort to the residents all through the night. Calls to Public Safety were useless, as the people on phone duty had no idea this was going on, nor did they seem interested or able to help.
After several hours of this horror I came outside to try to find someone to lower or shield the lights and found Donna Masly, the RIOC program coordinator, on Thursday Night who insisted that the crew shield the lights so they would not continue to cause such havoc. It seems that the permit applications did not specify what they were doing with the lighting, and my understanding is that there is no provision or caveat to protect residents in their homes against such intrusions. Donna’s hands were pretty much tied because of the limitations of the permits, which I found on the RIOC website:
The same thing occurred again last night, only this time the crew refused to adjust the lights, claiming they did not have enough staff to do so and didn’t want to interrupt the scene they were shooting. The crew members said they would be working through the night until 7AM. Again, the lights penetrated my apartment such that I couldn’t watch tv or fall asleep.
The only thing one of their crew members offered was to come to my home and install black cloths across my windows. That’s absurd…in other words I should have strangers traipsing through my apartment with dirty shoes, move my furniture away from the windows, put tape or tacks into the walls, possibly knock over lamps or tables or break fine antiques and not be there in the morning to restore my apartment from a cave??? Wrong answer!!!
The evening doorman in my building, Rivercross, claimed he had numerous complaints about this situation from the residents in our building.
In view of this, it is imperative that the RIOC officers and directors immediately revisit the permitting process and revise the language of the permits to ensure that residents are not caused any discomfort or harm in their homes during such events, specifically including clauses about lights, water and noise. (Anyone remember the damage caused to Eastwood during the filming of “Dark Shadows”)? Indeed, if any Roosevelt Island resident or visitor were to play loud music, set off firecrackers, or shine lights into apartments we would be arrested, yet RIOC allowed this film company to cause a similar disturbance!
One other thing: There was not one advisory or notice about this film shoot from RIOC. The only protection offered by Public Safety was to station our officers at the filming location to protect them and their property, but not to protect the residents. It is shameful, despicable and insulting that the officers of RIOC have no regard or consideration for the residents of this community who are voting taxpayers who pay their salaries not only from NY State taxes, but also from our monthly apartment maintenance or rent.
In NY City, in addition to detailed permits, there is also an accompanying “code of conduct” requirement for filming production on location!Roosevelt Island Historical Society President Judy Berdy adds:
One thing not mentioned by Ms. Schwartz is the destruction to Blackwell Park. The tractor trailer trucks break up the paving and cause damage to the walkways. these trucks are too heavy to be put on a not roadway surface.
Also the entire west side of the park was used as a parking lot for the weekend. This precludes the use of the sitting area by residents.