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Queens residents grow weary of film production

February 20, 2012 5:27:31 AM PST
New York City is the production base for more than 20 prime time series, and city officials say TV and movie shoots pump $5 billion into the economy. But in Long Island City, Queens, residents are growing weary of lights, camera, action.

Residents want to make it clear that they are not anti-film. They support the industry that has put Long Island City on the map. But they say parking restrictions and several shoots on the same day are getting old.

The idea of a movie or TV show filming in your neighborhood may sound glamorous, but residents say it is anything but. Long Island City is home to two major production houses.

Orange cones mark parking spots that are about to be lost to production trucks for an all-day shoot. In the month of January alone, there were 14 separate shoots, and with more than 100 a year, residents are fed up.

"When we're seeing more filming than we have just a normal life here, then that's a little too much," resident Kenneth Greenberg said.

"When they do film, the day of, they come very early in the morning," resident Andrew Anzalone said. "Like 4:30, 5:30 in the morning, make a lot of noise with their trucks running, and loading and unloading equipment, and with the trucks running idle for hours at a time, the fumes are getting into people's apartments."

Business owners have mixed feelings. Mario's Deli has seen it's fair share of celebrities come in to grab a sandwich or a coffee, but the community board has filed dozens of complaints.

"The shoots, they don't bring any money to the local community," board member Joe Conley said. "They're not spending money locally. They come with everything. So even as far as catering, it doesn't trickle down to the local economy."

The community board has been working with the mayor's office to try and put limits on the number of permits granted at any one time. They're also trying to give residents more advanced notice.

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