BY ANNA SPIVAK & MARIA ELENA PEREZ
The filming frenzy in the Ridge continues.
This time, producers of HBO’s upcoming series “The Deuce,” chose Shore Road – from 72nd to 79th Streets – as a backdrop for the drama series starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
While the filming may have stirred excitement in some residents hoping to catch a glimpse of the stars in action, others – area drivers specially – were not so taken with the idea of film and supply trucks taking up the (already slim) parking spaces along the street.
Yellow signage taped to street poles warned drivers that their cars needed to be moved by 10 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8, for the filming that was to take place throughout the day on Thursday, June 9. Any cars not moved in time would be towed to the nearest legal spot, the sign read.
“They have taken up the entire park side of Shore Road from 72nd to 79th, plus half of a block from Bay Ridge Parkway to 77th Street,” a concerned resident living between 72nd and 74th Streets told this paper. “It’s basically going to be parking chaos.”
Reka Siegel, a resident of Shore Road, shared the same sentiment.
“They are blocking a huge amount of parking spaces,” Siegel told this paper over the phone. “I mean it’s huge and we would like at least some warning about it. Can we [maybe] have a reprieve or parking somewhere else on Thursdays? Most of us have to move and it would have been nice to allow the residents to park somewhere else.”
Influxes of complaints were called into Community Board 10 about the issue as well. Josephine Beckmann, the board’s district manager, took a drive down to the filming area herself on Thursday.
“We had a lot of complaints and a lot of angry residents,” Beckmann said. “I get it – it’s very frustrating for us because the community board doesn’t review those permits; they (film companies) go directly to the Mayor’s Office of Film.
“Once the permits are issued,” she continued, “they pretty much make sure that parking is not taking place beyond what is [written] on their permits. The viewpoint is that, while it is an economic driver for the city and it’s an industry being welcomed both at the state level and city, it’s viewed as a little bit of an inconvenience for a greater good. But, when you’re in the middle of it, it’s very frustrating.”
After complaints were made about prior film shoots in the area, Beckmann said the board requested that certain locations “not be used as much.”
In terms of what residents can do, Beckmann mentioned reaching out to the Mayor’s Office of Film and/or logging a complaint with 311.
“[Residents] can actually reach out to the film producer,” Beckmann said, noting that often times their direct numbers are printed on the ‘no parking’ signs. “I would encourage residents, if there are issues, to reach out to the production director. [Let’s say] if the whole area is not being utilized, we see if there are ways to try and consolidate it.”
On the flip side, longtime Bay Ridge resident Teri Brennan, who works in TV production, is focusing on the positive aspects the TV show is bringing to Bay Ridge.
“Production brings a lot of revenue to New York City and I’m happy to see Bay Ridge thriving,” said Brennan, who plans on watching the HBO show when it airs in the hopes of spotting some familiar places. “It’s good to see that they’re giving money towards local businesses and giving back in a way to the affected areas of Sandy.”
The show, slated to air sometime in 2017, will follow the rise of the porn industry in Midtown Manhattan from the early 1970s through the mid-’80s. Franco will play two roles – twin brothers who become mob fronts in Times Square’s lucrative sex industry – while Gyllenhaal will play the role of a prostitute.