Call it a homecoming.
Writer, producer and actor William DeMeo, who got his big acting break in A Bronx Tale (portions of which were filmed in Sheepshead Bay) and named his production West Street after the Gravesend street he grew up on, is back in the neighborhood today, filming scenes for his upcoming feature-length indie flick Back in the Day at Night Light Cafe (1657 Sheepshead Bay Road).
The bar will serve as the scene of an “argument in the neighborhood bar,” and crew on set this morning told us that DeMeo and Shannon Doherty will both be in the area for today’s filming.
We’re told Danny Glover will be in the movie, and even Mike Tyson has a cameo. Consider this a scoop – none of these stars are listed on the IMDB page, which does note that Michael Madsen, Joe D’Onofrio and Paul Borghese will co-star, and Borghese is serving is director.
The film, written by DeMeo, takes place in the 1980s and the current day, following Anthony Rodriguez (DeMeo), a half-Italian, half-Puerto Rican youth growing up in Bensonhurst. After losing his mother and suffering his abusive, alcoholic father, he’s taken under the wing of a local mob boss (Madsen), who supports him as he rises as a boxing talent to eventually become a world champion.
The movie will definitely feature Southern Brooklyn prominently, and future shoots around Sheepshead Bay – as well as Gravesend and Bensonhurst – are likely. For now, mind the traffic: Sheepshead Bay Road is a nightmare to get down.
The FX television series The Americans is shooting around the neighborhood today, with signs posted on Avenue Z, East 7th Street, Kathleen Place, Coney Island Avenue, Avenue X and Avenue Y.
The show, which debuted in January, is set during the Cold War and is the story of two Soviet KGB officers posing as an American couple in the suburbs of Washington D.C., where they struggle to keep their cover under the gaze of their neighbor, an FBI Counter-Intelligence Agency.
It stars Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and Noah Emmerich.
Film crews arrived this morning, with trucks taking their places around Coney Island Avenue at around 9:30 a.m., creating a small stir among neighbors. Here’s how the news unfolded in our instant chat box:
Andrey West: Yeap you absolutely right. Movie trucks are coming in
Well now we are curios witch movie
It will be fun to watch. I work right here . For the next 10 hours I will be watching things unfold out of my window!))
Michelle Renee: ITS A SHOW CALLED THE aMERICaNS
Andrey West: Are you serious?? This is so cool. Me and my wife really like the show.
And thanks to Crafty Carol and Daniel Tanner for tipping us off.
Photo by Allan Rosen
While it wouldn’t be out of the question that the FBI would conduct a raid in our area, that wasn’t what went down yesterday, despite a crowd of people wearing FBI jackets assembled on Brighton 6th Street.
Nope, no raid. It’s the filming of new police drama.
Filming was taking place on Brighton 6th Street near the boardwalk for the series called Taxi: Brooklyn South. The show, produced by a French company and spun off from Luc Besson’s Taxi franchise, hasn’t yet locked up a U.S. distributor, even though they started filming in the beginning of August.
Here’s a synopsis from Deadline.com:
Taxi: Brooklyn South centers on Caitlyn Sullivan (Chyler Leigh), a brilliant investigator at the Brooklyn Police Station whose stubborn character and her recklessness behind the wheel have made her an outcast within the NYPD. She teams with Marseille-born Leo Romba, a happy New York Taxi driver full of energy and care for his clients, to form the most improbable and efficient partnership to solve crimes and mysteries around Brooklyn.
There’s also this Facebook post for a casting call that gives a little more insight to the taxi driver who will be one of the show’s main characters.
America just cannot get enough of police procedurals. And that’s quite fine by me.
Thanks to Allan Rosen for the tip and info.
More than 100 people gathered yesterday to gawk at Hollywood using our neighborhood as the backdrop for a “battle in an urban wasteland.” The big budget film Cymbeline stars Ethan Hawke, Mila Jovovich and Ed Harris in a modern-day retelling of the William Shakespeare play of the same name. Only Hawke and Harris were on-scene yesterday, filming a shootout that climaxed with the explosion of a cop car.
Most of the people stood around for hours as set guys milled about, readying props and preparing shots, for what ultimately turned out to be little more than a few minutes of actual action. A shootout was filmed in the morning. Then they recorded a few blasts ripping into the windshield of the cop car. Ed Harris, rifle in hand, took a few attempts to lob a grenade under the cop car while standing in the doorway of the Burger King (2481 Knapp Street). Finally, the day ended after the car’s doors and hood were rigged with explosives and blasted off just after 5:00 p.m.
Some spectators stood around after the show and got to see Ethan Hawke strut around. He spent most of the day inside the Burger King’s interior, which we’re told was revamped for the movie. They made no changes to the exterior or Knapp Street to make it look like a wasteland. Go figure.
View the photos from Sheepshead Bites and our contributors!
Photo by Robert Fernandez
Sheepshead Bay and other parts of Southern Brooklyn are quickly becoming a fashionable place for Hollywood types to film their movies. The latest movie filming our streets is Cymbeline, a modern-day adaptation of the William Shakespeare classic, not the Pink Floyd song.
The movie, directed by Michael Almereyda, stars the likes of Ethan Hawke, Mila Jovovich and Ed Harris and will be filming scenes this Thursday and Friday on Knapp Street between Avenue X and Avenue Y. Shooting will also take place on Avenue Y between Knapp Street and Bringham Street. One scene will be shot at the Burger King (2481 Knapp Street). Here is the description of the scene from the event notice issued:
I E BURGER KING
2481 KNAPP STREET, Brooklyn (Interior Exterior)
Description: A battle in urban wasteland btwn a biker gang and local police. Various interior-exterior scenes in small empty burger king and surrounding private parking lot 3 Picture Squad Cars, 8 motorcycles. prop guns, handcuffs and ak47. flame bars and smokers. Prop cadaver smolders on gurney. The Interiors and Exteriors are happening simultaneously as the battle engulfs the closed burger king . The entire company will be staging on the private exterior parking lot on premises of the closed burger kingP
Pretty cool, but also kind of sad that the local Burger King on Knapp Street might easily double for a scene set in an “urban wasteland.” Still, it is interesting how much Hollywood activity has come to the area in recent months, drawing in the likes of Bill Murray, Jason Clarke and even the Spider-Man 2 crew in Bensonhurst. If anyone near the site catches some interesting photos or runs into a celebrity, please share them with us!
Jason Clark (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Is Southern Brooklyn becoming Hollywood’s latest hot-spot? Late last February, Spider-Man 2 was being secretly filmed in Bensonhurst and now, another big budget flick, The Candy Store, is heading to Brighton Beach, according to a report by Digital Spy.
The Candy Store tells the story of a former covert operative who stumbles upon an insidious organization that sets up shop in Brighton Beach. The film stars Jason Clark, who you may recognize as the guy who waterboards terrorists in Zero Dark Thirty, and Omar Sy, an actor set to star in the new X-Men movie.
Clark and Sy are replacing the much more famous Brad Pitt and Denzel Washington, who sadly won’t be running around Brighton Beach with fake guns. Oh well, it’ll still be cool to see a bit of Hollywood glitz and glamour injected into Brighton Beach.
A member of the crew seconds before she told me not to use flash on my camera. Photos by Erica Sherman
We received a heads up from a tipster that the brand new J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan drama, “Person of Interest,” the pilot of which debuted on CBS last week, was filming on Brighton Beach Avenue and Brighton 12th Street yesterday, so we ran on over and shot a few photos.
Additional photos and a write-up are below the fold…