Showtime film crews will descend on the far reaches of East Hampton Town this week to shoot scenes for “The Affair,” a new show about a relationship between a diner waitress in Montauk and a novelist and schoolteacher from the city, both of whom are already married.
Showtime assistant locations manager Andrew Poppoon outlined the production team’s plans to the East Hampton Town Board at a work session July 15.
This will be the third time crews for “The Affair” have set up shop. Last fall, East Hampton was inundated with complaints after an overnight shoot in the Amagansett residential neighborhood of Beachhampton, but crews faced fewer objections when they returned again this May.
But the upcoming filming, which includes a three-day shoot of B-roll footage July 23 through 25 and several large shoots throughout Napeague and Montauk next week, would be the first filming during the high summer season.
“Why now? Why not do it in September when we’re not in the middle of when people come here?” Councilwoman Sylvia Overby asked Mr. Poppoon. “Why are we doing this now.”
The premiere episode of the show is set to air on Oct. 19, and Mr. Poppoon said the B-roll footage is being used for the opening credits and must be shot as soon as possible.
He added that Showtime’s filming schedule is dictated by actor and director availability, not the ebb and flow of busy season in the Hamptons. Crews plans to come back in early September to shoot more footage.
But, he said, season two is expected to take place in Manhattan.
The shooting slated for July 28 through Aug. 1 includes scenes at the commercial dock at Inlet Seafood in Montauk, at Deep Hollow Ranch, The Lobster Roll in Napeague and at the Montauk Train Station.
Board members were concerned about the logistics at the train station, where vacationers and taxis often wait to pick up travelers, and intense coordination would be needed between the railroad and the production crew. They also questioned plans to station four town police officers at that shoot.
“This is fraught with potential pitfalls unless it’s done very carefully, unless who’s in charge down there makes it clear to these guys when to stop and when to start,” said Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell.
The board was also leery of a proposed arial shoot of B-roll footage from a helicopter, and of the traffic issues of shooting along the Napeague stretch. The crew plans to park its largest production trailers at the Amagansett American Legion Hall and transport equipment to The Lobster Roll on smaller stakebed trucks.
“I’m concerned about Napeague Meadow Road,” said Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc. “There have been numerous very serious accidents there over the years. There are line of sight issues for what is already a very dangerous intersection.”
Board members were also leery of a car-mounted camera that would be collecting B-roll shots along East Hampton’s roads this week, and potentially distracting drivers.
“You have our advice as to where we’re drawing the line in the sand here,” said Mr. Cantwell.
Residents of Beachhampton had a mixed view of Mr. Poppoon’s presentation.
“What they promise they’re going to do and what they do are two separate things,” said Rhona Klopman.
“This seems like a much more reasoned presentation and discussion,” said Ken Silverman, whose house is very near the site of the all-night shoot last year. “There are a lot of different degrees between 15 minutes and a four-hour shoot that goes on until 2 o’clock in the morning.”
Amagansett Wine & Spirits owner Michael Cinque, who sits on the board of the Amagansett Lifesaving Station, said Showtime agreed last year to donate $1,5000 to the lifesaving station as a goodwill gesture to the community.
“There’ve been emails back and forth and the check hasn’t come yet,” he said.