A film crew moved onto the Peninsula on Tuesday, setting up for a week of filming a television pilot and prompting protests from some neighbors.
Sony Pictures is filming scenes for a show called “Brenda Forever” at a house in the 5900 block of Seaside Walk in the Peninsula. On the ocean side of Ocean Boulevard, the location is accessed by the short 59th and 60th places.
“We only got 24 hours’ notice,” said Susan Ficht, one of the neighbors protesting the film permit. “This is a parking impacted area to begin with. What are they thinking?”
Filming permits are issued through the Office of Special Events and Filming, part of the city manager’s department. A spokesperson there said any filming company working in a residential neighborhood must get signatures of 80% of the nearby residents to allow the filming to take place between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. The percentage is figured by the number of residences or businesses in the block where the filming takes place or by those impacted by no parking restrictions.
The production company, listed as Remote Broadcasting, turned in those signatures Tuesday morning, according to Third District Councilman Gary DeLong’s chief of staff, Ann Cramer. Special Events and Filming staff were verifying those signatures Tuesday, but assuming the signatures are valid, the current permit will be honored, Cramer said.
Signatures include renters, Ficht said, and the production company is offering payment for the signatures. Paying neighbors for the impact of filming is a common practice.
The permit says the company would be prepping the film site from Tuesday, April 2, to today, April 4, with work taking place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Actual filming could take place from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, April 5; 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday, April 8; and 9 a.m. to midnight Tuesday, April 9. It would take another two days to strike the set.
That 2 a.m. time has another neighbor, Norman Rasmussen, more than a little upset. In a protest letter sent to the city, he says:
“This is the most overreaching, arbitrary, unreasonable and inconsiderate action I have seen in a long time… How would they (the people approving the permit) like to have this noise and bright lights until 2 a.m. in front of or behind their homes. Most of us are asleep well before 2 a.m. For the filming company, it is just as dark at 9 p.m. as 2 a.m. This is a public nuisance and you should not allow this to occur.”
While the disruption of the actual filming is one concern, the parking impact will have more consequences, Ficht said. No parking signs were posted for April 2-4 from 7 am. To 7 p.m.; from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. from April 5 through April 10 on both 59th and 60th places and on the south side of Ocean Boulevard from 59th to 60th as well as the 600 feet east of Claremont Avenue. Some trucks will be parked overnight in the Claremont beach lot.
“Parking is a serious problem in the Peninsula,” Ficht said. “Most of the renters on our block have no parking spaces or garages — street parking is their only option.”
The current permit is only for the current week of filming. Rasmussen said that he had been told the location could be used for up to a year, and he vowed to keep fighting the issue if it occurs again.