Much of the time, film or television productions operate in studio lots to create fake neighborhoods in an effort to avoid taking to city streets. Although it isn’t difficult to find production crews in major cities like Los Angeles, New York, or Miami, often shutting down streets to get the perfect shot for a hit series, it isn’t always safe for the cast or workers on the scene.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, such was the case in Baltimore recently when the production of Apple +’s Lady in the Lake series starring Natalie Portman was stopped after the cast and crew were allegedly threatened by locals.
The Baltimore Police Department reported that a production driver was stopped by a group who said that “they would ‘allow’ filming to continue,” only if they were paid a $50K fee. When the driver refused, the group allegedly claimed they would “come back later this evening [and] shoot someone.”
“The leaders of the production decided to err on the side of caution and reschedule the shoot after they found another location,” a department spokesperson reportedly said. Meanwhile, THR obtained a statement from Endeavor Content, the production studio working on Lady in the Lake.
“Friday afternoon, on the Baltimore set of our production Lady in the Lake, prior to the arrival of the cast and crew … a driver on our production crew was confronted by two men, one of whom brandished a gun directed at our driver, and then they fled the location. We are working with the Baltimore Police Department as the investigation is ongoing. The safety and security of our crew, cast and all who work across our productions is our highest priority, and we are thankful no one was injured. Production will resume with increased security measures going forward. It has been a privilege filming Lady in the Lake in Baltimore, working with its vibrant community across many areas.”
NBC News updated the story by adding that production has indeed resumed, but details are being kept private. The Baltimore Banner reported that those making the threats were “drug dealers.”