About That Annoying Helicopter

helicopterIf you live anywhere near Tribeca you’ve heard the annoying helicopter buzzing around and around and around since 7 a.m. It has a camera attached to the front, so it’s clearly filming something, but what? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2? Taylor Swift’s latest outfit? The top of 56 Leonard? I know folks have complained to 311 (good luck with that), but I think our best bet is to try to get answers from the following people/organizations:

••• Made in NY, a.k.a. the Mayor’s Office of Film & TV: @MadeinNY on Twitter, facebook.com/madeinny
••• Made in NY commissioner Cynthia Lopez: @docuqueen on Twitter
••• Council member Margaret Chin: @CM_MargaretChin on Twitter, and on Facebook here; contact form on her website

If anyone can think of other people to ask, let me know and I’ll add them here. And if you don’t complain, don’t expect anything to change. (Thanks to A.M. for the photo!)

UPDATE: “That’s a gyro stabilizer for a camera,” tweeted Phil Lenger. “Usually for shooting beauty shots or TV.”

UPDATE #2: This is why I think it had to do with Ninja Turtles 2:

ninja turtlesUPDATE #3: Funny!

misplaced BreitlingUPDATE #4: I got confirmation from a member of the Ninja Turtles 2 crew that it was indeed their helicopter. By the way, that shoot is taking over most of northeast Tribeca and a bunch of other streets. (The flyers say “Half Shell.”)

UPDATE #5: I heard back from Cynthia Lopez, head of Made in NY. I’ll try to remember to follow up. You’re still encouraged to express your dismay at the disturbance and the lack of warning about it.

tweet from Cynthia LopezUPDATE #6: From A.M.: “For those of us who don’t Tweet or Facebook here is Margaret Chin’s email: chin@council.nyc.gov and Cynthia López’s email form: http://www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/mailfilmcom.html.”



  1. Eric,

    When you speak to Cynthia Lopez, can you ask her if there’s any way we can find out in advance when a film shoot is going to close streets for a significant period of time? Half Shell had signs up to hold parking on a long stretch of Hudson, but none indicated that the main northbound thoroughfare of western Tribeca would be closed for several hours. If they close a secondary or tertiary street for several hours for a crane the DOT seems to require a large orange sign be posted more than a week in advance. Why no advance notice for shutting down traffic in a huge part of the neighborhood for a film shoot?

    Also, during the traffic lockdown yesterday afternoon I had a nice chat with two patrol officers from the 1st precinct. They warned me that they’d heard that Hudson Street was going to be shut down for parts of both Sat and Sun during the weekends of July 11th and 18th. Can you ask Ms. Lopez about that too?


  2. The annoying chopper is back…on a Sunday night

  3. Thanks Erik for publishing this. For those of us who don’t Tweet or Facebook here is Margaret Chin’s email: chin@council.nyc.gov and Cynthia López’s email form: http://www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/mailfilmcom.html

    Let our voices be heard instead helicopters!

  4. I love Made in NY. I don’t love 7am helicopters and excessive street closures. Per Nicole’s point, at a very minimum the notices should make it abundantly clear that Half Shell is not a normal filming exercise. CB1 should take up the following:

    – Advance notice to residents of low flying choppers. Not only is it incredibly noisy, but it’s concerning when you don’t know what is going on.
    – Advance notice of stunt filming. This weekend included a stunt. I found out when a a production person moved a crowd of onlookers to my building’s awning for “safety reasons” – it was a chase scene with a car slamming on the breaks on Hudson, in front of Duane Park. What kind of insurance does the production have for this? And shouldn’t residents and buildings be notified that they are in an “unsafe zone?”
    – Overuse of the Duane Park area for filming. This is becoming a weekly, and sometimes daily, situation. Productions promise they are wrapping up quickly, but they forget that someone else will be there the next day. Some productions are very generous to donate to the park or even local coops, but most do not. I get it – it’s a

    • (cont) It’s a great street street, not so much when constantly covered with cables, catering carts and trailers.

  5. Perhaps they shouldn’t allow helicopters to fly so early, but the industry creates a lot of high paying blue collar manufacturing jobs– not the kind of jobs that are that common today and the movie business is one of the few industries where the US still leads.