Mayor Calls ‘Joy’ Movie Crew ‘Rude’ as Residents Turned Away

Mayor James J. Fiorentini is among those giving criticizing the lack of courtesy shown by a film crew in downtown Haverhill Tuesday. The crew was shooting scenes for the motion picture “Joy.”

Washington Street near Washington Square was closed off from public viewing by a giant screen erected across the street. The studio also denied Fiorentini’s earlier request for a public autograph session with actors involved in the production. A few residents were able to snap fuzzy photographs of star Jennifer Lawrence as she did take after take of a certain scene on Washington Street.

“Yes, but the movie company was rude,” Fiorentini said in a post responding to public compliments on Haverhill’s role as a host city to the film production. “I tried. They won’t do autographs and would not even allow the public, their customers, to watch.”

Public comments on their experiences downtown during the location shoot also indicated police were turning away would-be stargazers. Fiorentini previously indicated the stretch of Washington Street would be open to pedestrian traffic during filming.

“It was too bad that they didn't have any autograph signing or picture taking set up for the public today...it’s not that often that films are made here... It would have hyped it up more for the city...I guess actors don’t do it anymore,” said one local resident who had viewed the Washington Street film set Monday evening.

“Wish they did a pic op for Haverhill citizens, film crew was not friendly at all,” said another local observer.

The film “Joy” portray the downtown Haverhill scenes as downtown Dallas, Texas.

34 thoughts on “Mayor Calls ‘Joy’ Movie Crew ‘Rude’ as Residents Turned Away

  1. Of course they dint have to sign autographs but boy it sure would have been nice. But eho cares. We do not need movie stars to sign oeices of oaoer for us to feel better. On the other hand, it might have generated nice well being type of feelings. One oerson can make a difference.

  2. Chase, I think the Mayor does a wonderful job and every time I was out this week I saw teams filling in potholes and sweeping up the sand. It doesn’t happen in an instant. As far as the city as a whole is concerned, I do see better things happening everyday in Haverhill and advances being made for very tough problems, and people coming together to support positive change rather than just grousing about it. It’s not all or nothing – a mayor has many things to tend to and cannot be a one issue leader. That said, I think I do not think the movie crew was a problem, i think expectations of interaction with stars and a closed set while shooting were unrealistic. Perhaps the mayor’s quote was taken out of context or appeared harsher than intended. Not sure, wasn’t there.

  3. The Mayor should be worrying about more important things. Let’s be honest, this city is falling apart. Road conditions are deplorable. Buildings are in shambles. Businesses can’t stay open, rents are out of control and so much more. The movie crew was here to do a job, not be a welcome wagon for onlookers. Perhaps the Mayor should start being a little better at his job, before he starts badmouthing how other people do theirs.

  4. All the crew I met on days before the actual filming could not have been nicer. They advised what to look at ,engaged in conversation, gave little bits of scoop and said there’d be no photos and no spectating while filming took place. I do not for an instant think anyone was rude. It costs thousands and thousands of dollars per minute to shoot a film, they can’t have people walking through the set and stop action for every adorable young fan. I’ve shot commercials for clients for years and you just can’t stop for autographs and keep on budget. The actors and crew are there to do a job.

  5. I walked downtown Sunday while they were setting up and walked right through the middle of it all checking out the stores and thought one store was a new store that opened downtown and one of the crew said, oh that’s fake and couldn’t have been nicer.

  6. I am completely embarrassed by the comments of people criticizing the film crew and Ms. Lawrence. I saw a perfect comment earlier, this was not a Hollywood theme park set up for the citizens, this was a business transaction. These people had a job to do under very stressful circumstances, and NO ONE on the planet has the right to demand access to a celebrity. For heavens sakes, grow up people!

  7. I’d be rude too if I was “WORKING” and I was being bothered or distracted by strangers not thinking about the big picture. The cast and crew are people too. People that have a job to do. People that paid a whole lot of money to our city and to our small business owners downtown to use there stores for different scenes.

    • Haverhill Residents and our city’s Mayor should be happy enough to have been picked to shoot part of the film here and bring more revenue into our city. I feel the mayor is completely innapropriete for even engaging in such immature comments. How about you work 16 hour days then pose for a bunch of strangers who are snapping pictures of you when you’ve spent countless hours on the same scene take after take. Your going to be Tired, Hungry and Grouchy too. People need to stop and think about what these crews and cast have to do, how much they paid and who they are as people not celebrities off hours with time to spare. They spend long hours and time away from they’re families and can’t even do their job without a paparazzi complaining about autographs and pictures? I can see having the cast maybe take 1 picture for the city to put on our Downtown building picture project thing that recently happened but to charge that much money and be called names like rude and ignorant just because their busy WORKING and don’t have time to eat lunch let alone sign autographs for all our Nosey, Intrusive and Rude citizens that lack empathy, privacy, and simple common curtesy, I’m embarrassed even the Mayor thinks the same way as some uneducated individuals who have this thought that the world owes them something. If anything Haverhill owes the cast and crew the respect and privacy considering that’s what they paid so much money for. It’s safe to say words travel fast in the movie industry and what type of cast and crew will want to do business in Haverhill or any other city that doesn’t respect them and feels entitled to extras on top of all the money they paid our city and small business owners, They are paying to bring fame, and great advertisement that will drive in more outsiders to our city, which will bring in a lot more revenue. Let alone the advertisement it brings to the movie entertainment industry for future business opportunities in our city such as this one. We have had within the last 4-5 years, Atleast 3 movies including this one I can count that have been filed in our city. That’s HUGE!!!! It also says a lot about how this ONE BAD experience with this films crew and cast members had to deal with while filming in our city, and now this WILL affect the potential and likely hood Haverhill may have had for Future Golden Business Opportunities like this one and many others our city has been so blessed to have had. All because the Mayor and some Haverhill residents are greedy and feel entitled and want more? This is very unfortunate for the rest of us respectful appreciative residents. I know if I was a producer I would never want to do business with this city’s mayor and residents after hearing this. It’s just not worth all the time, hardwork and money that goes into making a movie to have to deal with this on top of it all.

  8. The crew was rude. Coworkers and myself were trying to cross the street using the cross walk on our way to grab lunch and were yelled at and chased as if we were trying to sneak on the set. We did not care about the movie being filmed we were merely trying to cross the street in a safe manor

    • By “crew” I’m sure you mean the one or two production assistants in charge of making sure people are not in the shot or in the way of the work or in any danger? They are just trying to do what they’re instructed to do swiftly and safely while keeping their jobs. They were probably stressed all day due to the amount of people trying to sneak on set or get in the way seeking autographs and photos.

      No one is a mind-reader, don’t take it personally Haverhill Employee.

  9. Instead of worrying about autographs for the public maybe the major should be more concerned with the safety of the public. Gang fights with baseball bats and people shooting guns last night. Its amazing that anyone would want to film a movie here.

  10. I work in the movie business, and live outside of Haverhill. Movie crews, especially local crews, are very courteous towards the locals. Because, I personally have been to the same neighborhoods for many films. We see the same people again and again. It is in our best interests to cooperate with the people who’s area we are working in. I understand that not everyone will be excited for a movie to be shot near where they live. However, the film company did pay for all permits and fees to close the street off, along with a police detail, and are sensitive towards the neighbors. A movie set is still an industrial workspace, much like a construction site. Unless you work on that site, it is not open to the public for safety reasons. We work on that site, it is our job, as well as the safety and well being of those who’s neighborhood we are in.
    When I was there, I saw a lot of excited people who personally welcomed me to their city, and I thanked them too! I hope this can be cleared up.

  11. For all of the above reasons plus the fact that film makers seem to feel they are better than their customers/the paying public and audience, —— I stayed away from Washington Street while the movie was in he process of being filmed. Nor will I pay to see the movie.

    • Most of us are your neighbors. We just go to work in the morning like everyone else. Difference is, sometimes our work seems a lot different than most people. No superiority complex or any other perceived notions.

  12. Once a film crew pays for a location permit, they have temporary ownership of the location according to the terms of the permit. To expect any special treatment, like autograph signing or viewing, is naive and reveals the inexperience of the local official. Indeed, inviting the public to a film shoot as if it’s a performance for their benefit is actually obstructing the film company from doing the work they have paid to do. So it’s the other way around – the mayor actually owes the “Joy” crew an apology.

    In this situation the production company is the “customer,” Mr. Mayor, not the public. And in an atmosphere of trust everything could have been worked out ahead of time.

  13. This whole incident of Rudeness started with One Person on the Haverhill Facebook Page, in which she stated that the “Crew” was rude to her Daughter when looking through a Peep Hole to observe the Filming.
    From that statement , another joined in stating the same situation, then it went on and on as a “Domino Effect of Rudeness”…… One started and all others joined in !

  14. I am sure that the production company, the actors, directors, and all those involved are EXTREMELYy grateful to the mayor for hosting the filming in his town. However, these people are working! Where it seems to many that Hollywood is just a lot of play and games, it is not. Yes, they are doing what they love, but again, they are working. it is a job and they must ensure that ALL areas of production are just right and everyone has a job to do to ensure a successful film. There are budgets involved. I think the mayor is being a little unreasonable and over zealous. There is always plenty of time to coordinate a signing and photo taking. Depending on the timing, these people may be filming a scene that calls for a tremendous amount of focus, concentration, and momentum. For them to break that continuity would mean a loss; of focus and work. As an artist myself i know that is crucial. I’m sure the mayor and any other hard working individual would not be very happy if someone barges in to their office during a very important meeting and ask if he can do some photos and signings at any given moment if the day. It is truly wonderful that the mayor supports the arts, but i think he needs to take a step back and think about it. Mr. Mayor, schedule a time to do that. I’m sure that they would be more than happy to do it. Just not while they are working.

  15. In response to the absurdity of this article & mayor, here is some food for thought including a few first-hand reports.

    “We should all go to the mayors office and have photos and autographs as he works.”

    “It’s a little ridiculous that the article attempts to back-up the mayor’s claims with a few anonymous quotes. Shouldn’t the mayor be doing better things with his time than waiting for an autograph from Jennifer Lawrence?”

    “So the next time I see a Red Sox game or Pats game I should be allowed to get right on the field and demand autographs?”

    “I’ve never seen an article like this in my life. The mayor needs to understand these people are trying to do a job and CONTRIBUTE to his city.”

    “No one was “yelling mean things” to people. I find it extremely unlikely that the mayor was told pedestrians would be allowed to walk the street.”

    “Most of those store fronts were empty. Maybe the mayor should be grateful money was coming into his city instead of whining he didn’t get an autograph.”

    “This is so ridiculous. With the amount of vehicles (both picture cars and work trucks) that a film brings through a location, it is downright dangerous to encourage citizens to increase foot traffic in the area. What so many don’t understand is that blocking off streets is for, among other things, the safety of the public. Also, saying that it’s “rude” that actors didn’t tack on an hour of photo ops and autographs with the public to an already grueling day of shooting is ignorant and inconsiderate to the hard work that they’re doing.”

    “Shouldn’t the mayor be at work instead of trying to get autographs?”

    “What this mayor is whining about is people not taking time out of their work day to ‘play’ with people. It may look like a street to civilians, but it is a place of business for the people making the movie. And making movies may sound like fun, but it is a lot of WORK. And they’re looking at 16 hours straight of it, and it’s expensive, so losing 5 minutes because people are crowding into a shot can be $50,000 waste of time and budget for the producers. The mayor needs to understand that people need to be allowed to WORK free from harassment AFTER work the crew and actors can do as they please. It is not a circus, it is not a playground where Jennifer Lawrence hangs out on the monkey bars, it is a place of work, where people are doing jobs. And the mayor should not only understand that, he should be explaining it to his constituents and not running his mouth.”

  16. Dear Mr Mayor and residents, no one was being rude that i saw. however we did put up privacy frames so as not to be disturbed. we understood the chaos that a film shoot can cause and willingly gave up our lunch break so as not to disturb your town any longer than was needed to get our shots. the production also paid for many of the empty storefronts, and paid top dollar for those as well as the businesses that where affected. i believe the quote from the globe was “one week of sales for ten hours of closing”. the cast had had there phones hacked into in recent memory and was quite rightly a little shy these days. im very sorry you didnt get to get a selfie but they where working.

    Mike G, i was a grip that day

  17. I hope no one was actually rude. We (I did not work on this movie but I’m referring myself as “industry personal”) can certainly be loud, have bright lights, and loud trucks. But I hope every interaction between resident local crew member was nothing but courteous.

    It sounds the source of complaint was over the lack of autographs which is ridiculous. No, actors can not treat the day as an opportunity for autographs. Some are willing if a resident can approach them, but they are in character and working. We as crew members are there to help facilitate the professional work atmosphere. This article was written from sheer ignorance of what a working day entails because there’s not enough time and it’s not professional. As I always tell my mom, it’s not like I can go to someone’s cubicle and start taking pictures of their monitor and asking their boss for autographs (hyperbole, yes, but we are all trying to get through our work day).

    Side note: but legally, no you can’t tell people to not take pictures on a public street (it’s public after all) as long as it’s not of the monitors because that’s a copy written image. But they can ask that you refrain because it ruins the surprise and secrecy of the movie. Whether a citizen wants to respect that request or not is up to them. No flash photography though! The flash will ruin the shot.

  18. I’ve worked in the film business for 15 years. I have NEVER heard of a mayor requesting an autograph session from the talent. Also, in the few instances where talent does give out autographs, it usually causes a major commotion, blocks traffic, and becomes a safety hazard for both the actors and the public.

  19. The film producers paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to shoot here for one day, and you want them to pause their schedule for an autograph session? Grow up. This is a business, not a carnival.

    • Hey Doctor Amari,
      I’m just curious why you would use quotation marks on the words bomb and luck?
      Also-why the heck would you wish that on a large group of hard working professionals? They are working 12-14 hours per day to make entertainment. They all understand that what they do for a living isn’t life or death, but maybe it can make a few people escape their daily grind. And as a society we have decided that entertainment (good or bad) is a worthwhile endeavor.

  20. Mayor…How about explaining to taxpayers why Haverhill cops were being rude too!!! How can the police prohibit citizens from taking pictures on a public street? IS THAT EVEN LEGAL? Why were cops assisting the movie studio personnel in this craziness? There was even movie personnel yelling up to residents who live in the Wingate Street condos to stop taking pictures. It was like the SS in Nazi Germany telling people what to do in their own homes.

    And Mayor, how about sharing with the citizens of Haverhill how much you charged the movie studio to use a very busy public street for an entire day???

    • I think you are onto something Jack. There seems to be a pattern here. Maybe that’s why not many movies are done here in Haverhill. I spoke to a friend who is in the business and was told that the Mayor was rude to this crew to start with. This person said the word is “out” now that Haverhill is not a very friendly place to deal with.

    • Hi Jack, Just so you are aware… The movie studios pay the officer’s for their time. They are not paid by the town. I can also assure you the town was paid generously. Hope all is well.

    • Some of these comments are ridiculous. I was an extra in this movie and the crew was amazing. It was a closed set, which means only the crew, actors and extras are allowed in the area. It doesn’t matter who you are. Jennifer Lawrence or any actor for that matter does not hang around and sign autographs. People were taking pics from the building windows downtown during filming (which is a huge no-no). They had to keep starting the scenes over due to this and the crew was actually pretty nice about asking people to please stop filming. To all you people complaining about being inconvenienced by filming trust me, filming this movie here was the best thing to happen in this hole in years. You don’t just crash a movie set and expect to hang out with the actors.