HBO has requested to shoot here for the nights of May 20, 21 and 22, for a six-part series called “The Undoing,” starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant.
The matter was discussed at the March 5 and March 12 Town Board work sessions.
Linda Perkins, who is working out logistics for the potential shoot, asked the Town Board to put together a list of requirements she can take back to HBO. Critical to her initial inquiry was that the town would agree to filming at night, since current policy has limited such events to daytime hours.
Tuesday afternoon that appeared to be a reasonable request for board members for a planned scene involving police vehicles and a helicopter that could end by 11 p.m. Ms. Perkins thought it would be possible to film that scene in one night.
A crew would set up for the three nights of filming and then take about two days of packing up gear to move to the next venue for the series.
At issue for the board and neighbors are the specifics of the shoot. A site has not been chosen by the producers, but the scenes to be shot on the Island would depict a summer house that has been in the family of the principals for generations. The helicopter scene involves an arrest and the chopper would hover overhead, but not land on the Island.
Concern expressed by the board are: where the film would be shot; if filming involving the helicopter and police car could be done in a single night; how weather could affect the shooting schedule, possibly pushing it into a weekend; and the number of people involved in the filming.
Board members speculated that allowing the shoot with some restrictions could net the Island about $15,000 in fees charged to HBO.
Councilman Jim Colligan suggested to Ms. Perkins that several steps could sweeten the pot for Islanders. He suggested a more substantial amount of money, which could be used for affordable housing.
Others suggested that those involved with the shoot consider staying at hotels and Bed & Breakfasts on the Island and eating at local restaurants.
Ms. Perkins said she would look into the request for funding and said between 80 and 100 people could be coming to the Island for the filming.
While a food concession is established on site, she suspected many would visit local restaurants and consider staying on the Island.
“We’re here to work with you,” Supervisor Gary Gerth said.
Islander KC Bailey had words of warning for the board.
Noting that she has worked in the film business for more than 25 years, Ms. Bailey said the helicopter scene could be computer-created. An actual chopper, she said, would disturb neighbors in the area. Other neighbors would have the sounds of generators running for hours at a time.
Councilman Paul Shepherd said he’s concerned about noise, but wouldn’t dismiss the filming out of hand.
The discussions will continue while the board assists Ms. Perkins in locating possible sites for the filming.
Those with knowledge about site plans and subdivisions are invited to submit applications at Town Hall to be considered as members of the Planning Board. The Planning Board needs to fill the position quickly since the resignation of John D’Amato brings the group from its standard five members to four.
The town also needs to hire five or six lifeguards. There are training courses being offered at Peconic Landing in Greenport for those seeking certification or to renew their certifications. Detailed information on the courses, hours of employment and remuneration can be obtained at Town Hall.
Boaters with moorings set up for one size of vessel and replacing them with larger boats must file information with the Town Clerk so that the Waterways Management Advisory Committee can ensure there’s sufficient room to maneuver the new boat within the mooring field.
Also, those who lend their moorings to friends must file that information with the Town Clerk, providing dates and the size of vessels.