Letter to the Editor: My Two Cents About Movie Productions in Local Neighborhoods

Chamisa Street Homeowner
Los Alamos

Regarding Ellen Walton’s Letter to the Editor (click here) about the current filming in White Rock, I’d like to add my two cents.

A few years back there was a movie production of some weeks’ duration on Chamisa Street in Los Alamos. The nominal site was two houses down from mine, which is on a corner. There were numerous offensive aspects to this:

  • Traffic control. The crew took it upon themselves to regulate traffic on Chamisa, barring all but residents of the affected section. Their manner in doing this was extremely arrogant and officious, at one point demanding that I provide identification. At that point I told them that they could either call the police or get out of my way. I regard hemming my car in from all sides as borderline violence.
  • Lighting. Huge lights were set up for night filming. Nothing like a few million candlepower being beamed into one’s bedroom window near midnight.
  • Noise.  For whatever reason they used their own trailer-sized generator to power said lights. To mitigate noise on the set, the generator was located on county property around the corner, 10 feet from my house. Sleep was not possible. Cleverly the control panel of the generator was padlocked shut.
  • Property damage. At that time I had a lawn extending from the front of the house to the street curb. The county has an easement extending some number of feet back from the curb. The crew took full advantage of this to store equipment and for loitering and smoking cigarettes, smashing down, and as I learned in the spring, killing a large swath of lawn.
  • Litter. Said front lawn was littered with fast food trash and cigarette butts. This was not cleaned up on their departure.
  • Fire danger. It was winter, the lawn was dry, my house has a wooden exterior, clowns were smoking in said lawn. How careful were they?
  • Access in/out my own driveway.  Even once past traffic control there was no guarantee that a large truck wouldn’t be parallel parked, blocking my driveway. Ditto mornings when I needed to get to work, resulting in me having to find someone who could find someone who could move the truck, significantly delaying my departures to work.
Reportedly the owner of the house in which some of the filming took place was recompensed, as was the owner of the back yard where the lights were set up, and another’s whose garage was used for some purpose. I wasn’t.
This was no longer civilized society, yet we area residents were expected be tolerant of unacceptable behavior and circumstances–because the county says so?



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