For more than a week now, the Civil War-era warehouse at 159 Pioneer Street that houses artist Dustin Yellin’s studio and art center The Intercourse — which was, like much of the surrounding Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook, badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy — has not only gotten its power back, but has been lit up with massive lighting rigs, festooned with scaffolding and set pieces, and surrounded by trucks for the filming of “Winter’s Tale,” a fantasy film set partly in 19th century New York that stars Russell Crowe, Will Smith, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Connelly, and others. But now locals are becoming impatient with the over-schedule film shoot’s drain on the storm-devastated neighborhood’s scarce resources (and its parking spaces).
“The crew’s taking up all the parking spaces on the streets that residents and business owners desperately need to help the area dig out and recover,” local resident Francis Kerrigan told the New York Post.
The shoot, which recently brought Crowe to Yellin’s art center, was originally scheduled to be completed by Thanksgiving weekend, but has since been extended. Another resident, noting the food-filled catering tent set up outside The Intercourse’s main entrance at Pioneer and Imlay, said: “People are still trying to dig out. Fairway was under six feet of water. Now the movie has a craft-services tent in the parking lot.”
“There is no truth to this,” a representative for Crowe told the Post, adding that the actor’s “scheduled first day of shooting was [Sunday].”
The shoot surely comes at a key moment for Yellin, whose studio and center were severely damaged by flood waters from Sandy, so much so that the gallery held a benefit silent auction earlier this month.
— Benjamin Sutton