‘Sleepy Hollow’ filming to close streets
Residents and visitors to Salisbury should watch for evening street closures starting next week as production crews take over several blocks to film the TV pilot “Sleepy Hollow.”
Salisbury has been selected as the backdrop for the Fox production, which a studio press release calls “a modern day supernatural thriller based on the legend of Sleepy Hollow, following Ichabod Crane as her partners with Sleepy Hollow’s local female sheriff to solve the mysteries of a town ravaged by the battle between good and evil.”
In this retelling of the Washington Irving short story, Crane wakes up in a modern-day Sleepy Hollow 200 years after slaying a soldier on the battlefield. The soldier — the headless horseman of the original tale — also returns from the dead, seeking revenge.
The show will be set in the 1800s and modern times, with law enforcement agent Crane and the villainous horseman traveling through time to do battle between good and evil.
If the pilot spawns a TV series, several locations in Salisbury could become permanent backdrops, city spokeswoman Elaney Hasselmann said earlier this week.
Crews will film between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. through Wednesday at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on West Council Street, near the Confederate Monument at the intersection of West Innes and North Church streets and at nearby Bell Tower Park.
Beginning Monday, filming will take place nights between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m., though crews will be at the sites during the day to set up equipment and position power, lighting and set dressing. The shooting will include mostly exterior scenes on West Council Street between North Main and North Church streets, driving sequences on West Innes at North Church and at a set in Bell Tower Park.
Filming will require more street closures in Salisbury at one time than ever before, said Wendy Brindle, city traffic engineer.
“The good thing is, it will be done at a time where there is not a lot conflicting,” Brindle said.
Monday through Friday, streets will close at 6 p.m. and reopen at 7 a.m. the next day.
• Main and Church streets will be closed for three blocks between Fisher and Liberty streets.
Drivers southbound on Main will take a detour at Kerr Street to Fulton Street.
Drivers headed north on Main will take a detour at Monroe Street and go to Long Street and then to Kerr Street. The city does not want to send heavy trucks over the Shober Bridge on Ellis Street, Brindle said.
• Innes Street will be closed for four blocks between Fulton and Lee streets.
Drivers headed east on Innes will take a detour at Fulton and go to Monroe Street and then Long Street.
Westbound traffic on Inne will detour at Long and go to Kerr and then Fulton.
• On Thursday and Friday, one additional block of West Innes will be closed, reaching to South Ellis Street.
The studio has been working with the city and N.C. Department of Transportation to coordinate street closure requests.
The studio plans to hire off-duty police officers to help with traffic control. Traffic will be stopped for periods up to five minutes while scenes are shot, the press release said. Emergency vehicles will be able to pass through when necessary.
Crew members will make sure sidewalks are kept open and patrons can get to businesses, the press release said.
Filming will include “controlled pyrotechnic devices and special effects” cleared through the Salisbury fire and police departments, including small explosives, gunfire, atmospheric smoke and stunt activity, the press release said. The special effects last for several minutes, but residents won’t hear gunfire continuously throughout the evening.
While most lighting will be provided by small lights on tripod stands, the production will also have several large pieces of lighting positioned around downtown and used during filming. The equipment includes a truck with lights similar to baseball stadium lighting and Condor boom or scissor lifts with lights attached. The lighting will produce a glow around shooting locations, the press release said.
The lights will be powered by generators. Location managers said they will “do our best to minimize any sound disturbances from the generators as well as prevent our lights from shining directly into residences.”