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‘Winter’s Tale’ Transforms Prospect Park West into 19th Century Street

The period film brings horse-and-buggy, the Ford Model T and big-name actors like Colin Farrell, William Hurt, Will Smith, Russell Crowe in typical garb from the era.

Although temperatures were too mild, a small block-long section of Prospect Park West had piles of what looked like snow covering the ground and shrubs while a horse and buggy and a Ford Model T scuttled by the mansions between First and Second Street.

During the snow, a few big-name actors—like Colin Farrell, William Hurt, Will Smith, Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Jessica Brown Findlay— were decked out in 19th century garb. The men in bowler hats and waist coats and the women in bonnets and walking coats.

Your eyes were not deceiving you, all that was happening this week in Park Slope—taken over by cameras, trailers, actors and bright lights—was all because of the filming of “Winter’s Tale,” which is supposed to hit theaters late 2013, is based on Mark Helprin’s eponymous novel.

The fantasy story, which is set in both the 19th century and present-day Manhattan, is a dizzying tale that “revolves around a thief, a dying girl and a flying white horse,” according to IMDB.

The film is directed by Akiva Goldsman (“Angels & Demons”) and will be distributed by Warner Brothers.

A production assistant on set at The Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture said that they were shooting a few scenes this week in Park Slope, but also Red Hook, Brooklyn Heights and Manhattan.

One of the more exciting scenes was with Colin Farrell and Russell Crowe. The PA said that Farrell, who plays an orphan and master-mechanic named Peter Lake, had his stunt double climb out of the Society for Ethical Culture’s window after robbing it. However, Crowe’s character was trying to kill Jessica Brown Findlay’s (from Downtown Abbey) character Beverly Penn, but Farrell swept in saved her, fighting off Crowe with a knife.

Farrell’s character also rides a flying white horse.

Photographers, Park Slopers and even tourists came to crowd around across the street, trying to get a glimpse of the action.

Two women who were visiting from Germany could hardly contain their excitement.

“We are just waiting to see someone famous. We came to Brooklyn for the day because I read on the Internet that Colin Farrell and Russell Crowe will be filming here,” said Caroline Wanninger.

A Sloper who was watching the shoot said she came to see the snow and horses, since the fact that a film is being shot is not that exciting, since it happens all the time in Park Slope.

“There’s so many film shoots, but you usually never see it on the screen,” said Anne Schwartz. “Hopefully I’ll see this scene when it comes out.”

Matthew taylor December 10, 2012 at 05:38 PM
We live in New York City. This is a place where movies and TV shows have ALWAYS been filmed. It has always been a fact of life. It has always been inconvenient whereas parking spaces are concerned. But please save all the "I'm suing the mayors office" nonsense. First of all, no you're not. And second of all, good luck with that. If you can't deal with the occasional inconvenience of film sites in your neighborhood, you should move to Nebraska.
Tina Magnuson December 10, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Dear Tom As a member of the film community, does this mean you never go to the movies? The film industry employees quite a lot of us here as well as numerous support vendors. Additionally, neighborhoods where filming occurs usually also benefit from additional business. So go and enjoy a nice break from work and see a movie! We in the business greatly appreciate the support and temporary inconvenience our shooting causes you from time to time, but the end result is usually a terrific film!
Patti December 10, 2012 at 06:37 PM
I hear they are filming in Nebraska these days also. How about moving to Idaho?
Patti December 11, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Good luck with that.
Parksloper December 12, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Hey, as long as they don't block those precious bike lanes, eh.

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