downtownexpress.com
Volume 19 Issue 41 | Feb. 23 - March 1, 2007

‘Bourne’ plans a smoother crash in the Seaport

Matt Damon may get a better reception in the Seaport than his former “Bagger Vance” co-star Will Smith, whose “I am Legend” film crew caused neighborhood uproar several weeks ago.

Universal Pictures made a presentation to Community Board 1’s Seaport/Civic Center Committee last week on upcoming shooting for the film “The Bourne Ultimatum,” starring Damon and Julia Stiles, who grew up in Soho.

Lauri Pitkus, a Universal project director, said that the movie will take over parts of South and Dover Sts. and Peck Slip to film a car chase scene from March 17-18, St. Patrick’s Day weekend. The film crew will be on location from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days, Pitkus said, and will set up the night before.

The car chase will start at the corner of Market and South Sts. and end near the Department of Transportation lot underneath the Brooklyn Bridge at the corner of Dover and South Sts., Pitkus said.

The board had concerns about the film crew’s impact on quality of life issues, specifically noise and parking, but Pitkus said she was working to reduce the impact, especially in the wake of the “I am Legend” filming, which included 1,000 extras and closed off many streets to parking. In the end, many committee members seemed happy to have their community on film.

“I can’t wait for that movie,” said John Fratta, committee chairperson and a fan of the first two “Bourne” movies. “I just love it.”

Though Fratta’s affection for the Bourne franchise may have helped a little, board members were more impressed by Universal’s willingness to communicate with the community. One of the biggest complaints about past movie shoots has been that neighborhood residents receive little prior notice of the disruptions and come home at night to the unpleasant surprise of blocked streets and towed vehicles.

“It depends upon the production company on whether you’re going to get proper notice or not,” Marc Ameruso, a board member who has done location film work, said at C.B. 1’s full board meeting on Tuesday.

At the Tuesday meeting, board chairperson Julie Menin said that the Quality of Life Committee would be addressing the movie shoot issue as a whole. Menin stressed that the board would meet with representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting to try and keep movie shoots off of streets that have endured frequent production disruptions, as well as areas that are heavily impacted by construction.

Sayar Lonial, an aide to Councilmember Alan Gerson, said that Gerson’s office would pressure the film agency to enforce the rules it already has about respecting and notifying the communities in which movies are shot.

“If we can just follow those rules, all our lives will be much better,” Lonial said.

— Ernest Scheyder and Skye H. McFarlane

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