neighborhood news: Burns Park residents are mostly enjoying their time in the "Scream 4" spotlight
Burns Park neighborhood resident Julie Carroll has been surrounded by the film industry since she was a little girl in the 1940s, growing up in Grand Rapids. Her father owned a movie rental business, and she recalls it all — changing the reels, splicing film, moving projectors.
But this summer, Carroll is experiencing Hollywood in quite a different way: The major motion picture "Scream 4" is filming in the two houses across from her Lincoln Avenue home.
Carroll and her husband Phil, who have lived in their home since 1972, have never seen this much activity in their neighborhood.
“Football Saturdays are sometimes a challenge, but nothing like this,” Carroll said.
Since filming began, Cambridge Road and Lincoln Avenue in Burns Park have been lined with lighting equipment, trailer trucks with electrical and mechanical supplies, and Woodsboro emergency vehicles being used in the movie. In addition to the two homes occupied by the production company, several homeowners in the neighborhood rented their driveways and garages to the film’s crews, or have cables running across their property.
Woodsboro, of course, is the fictional California town where "Scream 4" takes place. As an homage to the Michigan filming locations, the unit numbers of the emergency vehicles are marked with local area codes: 313, 734, 810 and 248.
Like several of her neighbors, Carroll hasn’t been bothered by all the fuss this summer. She said it’s been fun and interesting to watch the production happening.
“It was pretty neat to watch them throw the victim out of the window,” Carroll said. “I mean, the practice and preparation that goes into protecting (the actress).”
Homeowners Joel Howell and Linda Samuelson have a driveway used by the film crew. Parked in it is a condor — a construction-like crane which the production team uses to get set lights at a high angle. Howell and Samuelson were complimentary of the film’s location management team.
“The crew has been unbelievably careful to make sure we’re taken care of,” Howell said. “It has been a little inconvenient, but overall, fine.”
Lincoln Avenue resident Bob German, who stood watching the production with the Carrolls earlier this month, said he has enjoyed the activity in the neighborhood.
“It’s pretty unique,” German said. “What are the chances of that happening? It’s been very vibrant for the community,” he said.
Sally Fekety-Bolgos, who lives across Washtenaw Avenue in the Angell neighborhood, has come nearly every evening to watch filming, which has occurred between 5 p.m. and 5 am. nearly every evening since Aug. 5.
“It’s just much more interesting than sitting at your computer,” Fekety-Bolgos said. “It’s an interesting process to watch.”
Carroll said many people who don’t live on the street have come to watch. The first night of filming, for example, people showed up with lawn chairs and sat on the Carrolls’ lawn extension.
“We’ve definitely seen an increase in dogwalkers,” Carrol said. “And we have talked to neighbors that we haven’t talked to in a while.”
Production is scheduled to wrap in the neighborhood on Aug. 27, according to the neighbors who talk regularly with the film crews. Carroll, who said she’d never seen any of the previous "Scream" movies, plans to see "Scream 4."
“We will go to see the movie just to see our neighbors’ houses and our neighborhood,” Carroll said.