When I moved from the West Village one mile away to Gramercy this summer, I assumed that movies and shows filming on my block was something I’d left behind. I was okay with that. Exchanging David Duchovny right outside my door for lots more space and light was the right choice.
Then something really cool happened yesterday. I was writing (or staring into space and calling it writing) when I heard a bunch of people on the street below my window wall. There had been a movie trailer and cones and equipment the afternoon before, followed by something filming in front of a brownstone. The shot was simple: A guy bouncing a basketball on the sidewalk in front of the stoop, talking to someone on the stairs I couldn’t see through the trees. I waited for Jake Gyllenhaal to emerge from the trailer. He never did.
But things were getting serious yesterday. A bigger crew spent a few hours in the afternoon decorating a few brownstones with Halloween stuff. Spider webs, ghosts, pumpkins, and lights were everywhere. This was the view from my place:
I found out that they were filming an ep of Blue Bloods. I also found out that Donnie Wahlberg is on Blue Bloods.
Cue Joey Joe wailing “Please Don’t Go Girl”
Everyone left for dinner. When it started getting dark, a huge crew showed up. The street was filled with people setting up cameras and equipment and monitors and lights. A big craft service table on the corner was piled with food. The VIP tent went up. I learned about the VIP tent during those two days David Duchovny was filming in front of my old building. The key players chill in the tent. Along with the stars.
Cue Jordan’s falsetto on “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)”
A guy showed up to talk to one of the VIPs. It was quite possibly Donnie. I thought about running downstairs to check. But I was behind on my writing (due to all the staring into space). So I decided that of course it was Donnie.
Someone shouted, “Rehearsal!” The first scene rehearsed. Tons of actors in Halloween costumes were trick-or-treating at three or four houses. The costumes were impressive – Dorothy, a witch (who cackled), a sexy nurse, a convict on a bike, Spider-Man. A bunch more. Someone yelled, “Rolling!” The entire street of like 100 cast and crew got quiet. The clapperboard guy snapped the clapperboard. “Background!” Actors started moving. “Action!” The scene began.
It’s hard to see here, but there were lights and decorations way down the street. There was a big pumpkin on the stoop that was all lit up. Sparkle pumpkin! The decorations were left there today. I thought it was a deal they set up with the homeowners. But I just checked and they’re all gone. Too early for them, anyway. Wouldn’t it be funny if the homeowners decided to put up the same decorations in a few weeks?
The same scene was filmed many times. It never got boring to watch. At one point I had to take a break and do some things around the house. It was fun hearing the witch’s cackle while I was loading the dishwasher. At one point, that guy I thought was Donnie showed up again holding a script.
Cue Donnie doing the “Hangin’ Tough” wave
It had to be Donnie. The crew immediately swarmed around him. Plus he had the right stuff. (Note: It was not Donnie. Most likely).
Around 11:00, everyone burst into applause. That was a wrap on the shoot. Confused pedestrians watched a bunch of actors in costumes heading toward their trailers. Only in New York.
Can I just say how awesome it was to almost have to go to bed with earplugs because a show was filming outside my windows and not because my downstairs neighbor was snoring through the floor? Hearing crickets one night, then “Rolling!” and “Action!” the next was just what I wished for. My new street rules.
Until next time…and the next cute boy filming on my street. Or not.