Spider-Man shoot could pump more than $600,000 into local economy

06:28 PM, Apr 28, 2013

Andrew Garfield in a scene from the motion picture The Amazing Spider-Man. A chase scene for the sequel starts filming in Rochester on Tuesday. (Jaimie Trueblood/Columbia Pictures)/


Written By Tina Yee and Catherine Roberts Staff writers

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Are you ready Rochester?

Signs of filming have been appearing — and disappearing — since the end of the week.

Street signs announcing State and Main streets and others heading east along Main Street have disappeared. New York City police cars and taxicabs are parked in a lot near the Public Safety Building.

In case you have lived in a cocoon for the past month and haven’t heard, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 starts filming in downtown Rochester on Tuesday and will continue through May 9.

It’s a big thing for Rochester right now,” said Malik Gunner, 14, of Rochester, who was waiting to catch a bus Friday to the Urban Choice Charter School.

I think it’s great; put Rochester on the map for something besides crime,” said Danyee Williams, 36, of Rochester, who also was waiting for a bus on Main Street. It “makes you feel like you’re in Hollywood.”

With it comes some headaches. Parts of Main Street will close each day. Buses will need to be re-routed, including those taken by 1,800 City School District students. Commutes will be disrupted.

But it also brings a sense of excitement to downtown — and money.

Columbia Pictures is sending 200 crew members to Rochester over the period of the shoot. Filmmakers also have hired 250 local crew members and 150 local extras, Empire State Development’s film office said Sunday.

Over the course of the filming, including advanced scouting, filmmakers estimated they would need 3,000 hotel nights and spend an additional $400,000 on local vendors, $120,000 on craft service and $120,000 on restaurant meals, the film office said.

The city of Rochester said Friday the filmmakers will pay overtime hours for three to nine firefighters each day of the shoot and up to 100 police officers during the course of the week. They will also reimburse other city expenses.

Having this production come to Rochester will mean new jobs and investments in the area,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday in a statement. “We are pleased to welcome Peter Parker and company to the beautiful city of Rochester.”

Columbia Pictures made a deal with New York to film all of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in the state, making it the largest movie production ever to be filmed here. In total, about 3,500 jobs will be created by the film, and 11,000 people will be chosen as extras, according to the film office.

By shooting the film in New York, we are able to streamline our production needs and realize enormous benefits and efficiencies as a result of the state’s motion picture tax incentive program,” said Gary Martin, president of production administration for Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, in a statement.

The film is set to be released in May 2014.

Details from Columbia on what is actually being filmed in Rochester are sketchy, though. All Columbia Pictures will say is that it’s a chase scene; no advance interviews were granted.

It’s the second unit coming to Rochester, which means the stunt crew. (The location manager, Nils Widboom, is a 1996 Brighton High School graduate.) Stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone and the other actors are not expected at all in Rochester. There’s a possibility director Marc Webb could travel to the set to check in, but the filming here will not be overseen by him.

City spokesman Gary Walker said cars will be going up to 70 miles per hour down Main Street during some sequences.

So even though filmmakers will be here for 10 days, the end product will probably be less than 10 minutes in the final film and will look like a chase in midtown Manhattan, where the story takes place.

The city plans to release by 6 p.m. each day estimated street closures for the next day. Main Street will only be completely closed during the actual filming. As scenes are set up, it will be open to pedestrians and some car traffic.

When the street is closed, businesses along Main Street will not be able to use their front doors, and filmmakers have been talking to affected companies to work out deals.

Local businesses ranged in the information they received.

Newal Shoaibi of Rochester, owner of Short Stop Groceries and Deli at 216 E. Main St., said he first heard that his business might be affected by the filming a few weeks ago when an employee told him someone came by asking a few questions about their business.

Shoaibi said he was OK with the movie filming in Rochester, “but if it affects the business, I won’t be.”

I don’t even know how bad it’s going to be,” Shoaibi said, adding his two-month-old business is dependent on bus riders to make a profit.

Filmmakers told Chris Seeman, co-owner of Hot Rosita’s Grill at 17 E. Main St., that access to his restaurant would be limited during five days — April 30, May 2 and 3 and May 6 and 7.

Seeman, 22, said the restaurant plans on opening a back entrance to let customers in when Main Street is completely closed. He’s hoping that the film crew will break during the lunchtime rush from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

They expressed they are not here to hurt us, they want to help us out any way they can,” said Seeman, who has had at least four conversations with the studio in the past three weeks.

Co-owner Arnold Casselbury, 29, said Columbia Pictures representatives told them they want to keep the businesses happy. They are being paid $100 for their restaurant sign, which may or may not be used in the movie. They also signed a contract for about $1,000 a day to cater for 200 people on the days filming will be in front of Hot Rosita’s.

They are currently waiting to hear about a separate contract that would compensate them for their potential loss of business during filming.

While the two are worried about business, they are excited about the movie being filmed here.

I’m pumped. I’m trying to get into the movie, ” said Seeman. “It’s a hassle to a lot of people. I just look at the positive. It’ll bring a lot of people to Rochester.”