Red White and Blue locationAustin's independent filmmaking scene means that most people here know someone who let a movie or TV production shoot in their home or neighborhood. I know someone whose condo was used in an episode of Friday Night Lights. The photo on the right is from Slackerwood reporter Debbie Cerda's living room ... but she doesn't keep her home looking like this. It's a dressed set for the movie Red White & Blue, which premiered at SXSW earlier this month. Debbie had a lot of fun while 20 cast and crew members took over her Austin house for a couple of days, and has no regrets about loaning out her home.

Other people are not so happy to have location shooting occur in their neighborhood. I've been reading the LiveJournal for author Poppy Z. Brite, who lives in the Central City neighborhood in New Orleans, where HBO has been shooting David Simon's TV series Treme. Brite wrote that she found the big production crew to be "extremely obnoxious" and put up a sign in front of her yard asking that her house not be filmed. She cites a Times-Picayune article about the Treme crew, and while some New Orleanians have enjoyed using their homes for shooting the TV series, one story disturbed me as much as Brite. Apparently about a year ago, the Treme crew wanted to re-create a post-Katrina atmosphere and placed ruined refrigerators all down a street in Uptown New Orleans. That's an iconic image that many of us find difficult to look at, even years later, and seeing it on a street where I lived would have really upset me personally. I would hope that film production crews would be more tactful as a rule.

I have to say, I'd be reluctant to let a film crew shoot in my house ... maybe if it were an indie filmmaker I knew, or if it were for a very limited time. We don't have a large house, and there's no way we would not be disrupted, which is a problem for people who work part-time or full-time from home. I'd probably be fine with filming in my neighborhood as long as I could get in and out of the area during the week. How would you react if a film or TV crew wanted to shoot in your house or on your block? Does it make a difference whether it's a low-budget film or a full-fledged production crew?
categories Movies, Cinematical