City Halts Film Shoots in Hunters Point After Complaints

By Jeanmarie Evelly on June 19, 2014 5:28pm 

 A film shoot on Vernon Boulevard in March.
A film shoot on Vernon Boulevard in March.
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DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evelly

HUNTERS POINT — The neighborhood is getting a break from the spotlight.

The city has issued a temporary moratorium on filming in Hunters Point after complaints from local leaders that the neighborhood was being "inundated" with movie and TV shoots in recent years. 

The freeze went into effect at the beginning of June and will last for three to six months, and covers the area between 46th and 49th Avenues between Center and Vernon Boulevards, according to the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment.

It was first reported by the Daily News.

The moratorium comes after Community Board 2 sent a letter to the city in March complaining about the proliferation of shoots in the neighborhood, which has been the backdrop to shows like "The Blacklist," "Blue Bloods," "Person of Interest," and "The Good Wife."

Conley said he was told by the city that it issued 15 film permits in the area during the first four months of the year. The crews are an inconvenience, taking precious parking spots away from both residents and local businesses, he said.

"In some cases, the parking is taken away and then film crews cancel," Conley added.

He said he'd hoped the filming break would encompass a wider swath of the neighborhood and last longer than six months, since many television shows take production breaks during the summer.

"They go on hiatus, so maybe we'll get three months out of it in total," he said, but added he thinks it's a good start. "At least they're recognizing that Long Island City is inundated with film crews."

In a statement, the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment said it routinely "evaluates the frequency and size of production activity in a given area" and "strives to balance the needs of productions with the daily life of residents living throughout the City."

According to the city, the production industry contributes $7.1 billion to the local economy each year and employs 130,000 New Yorkers.

"This is not an attempt to shut down the industry — we know how important it is," Conley said. "But at the same time, we're saying be fair and distribute it around."

It was not clear if any shows or movies would be affected but officials said that film and TV productions know each month what parts of the city are off-limits for shooting, giving them enough time to scout for other locations.

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