Town Board Hesitates Over ‘The Affair’ Filming

“This is not the time of year to be causing any further hindrance to people’s movements on the roads.”

A producer for the Showtime series “The Affair,” which filmed in East Hampton Town last fall and again in late May, will have to return to the town board for a second take, as he did not get the full thumbs-up on plans for a late-July shoot.

Town board members concerned about traffic, safety, and the ability of residents and visitors to get around told Andrew Poppoon, an assistant location manager, that they would not approve a daylong shoot at the Montauk train station on July 31, nor would they allow filming of a scene with a car mounted on a trailer to look as if it were driving at the entry to the Lobster Roll restaurant on Napeague.

Board members also grounded the producer’s plans to fly a helicopter 500 feet above residential areas in Montauk to get B-roll shots.

“This is our high season; a lot of residents feel that we are already completely overburdened and that we don’t need to add to that,” said Town Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc. “This is not the time of year to be causing any further hindrance to people’s movements on the roads.”

The board grilled Mr. Poppoon about details but took little issue with certain parts of the Showtime proposal, which includes filming “support footage” from Wednesday through Friday, July 25, with a 20-person crew, and the main shoot from July 28 through 31 at locations including the Deep Hollow Ranch and Inlet Seafood in Montauk and the Art Barge on Napeague.

Only one scene is to be filmed at a house on Marine Boulevard in Amagansett, where a major shoot last fall prompted complaints from numerous residents.

The TV producers have been working with East Hampton Town Police Lt. A.J. McGuire and with members of a committee that vets gathering and film permit requests, which includes Councilman Fred Overton and Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez.

However, Ms. Burke-Gonzelez said Tuesday, that group had reviewed only a portion of the Showtime request.

She said that she was “not comfortable” with the additional Marine Boulevard filming.

Based on a detailed discussion with Lieutenant McGuire and the filmmakers, Mr. Overton said that he would not oppose the use of the train station. Access to it would only be closed off for minutes of the day.

Even if the town were to agree, however, approval would be withdrawn should a looming Metropolitan Transit Authority strike come to pass, as the area would be needed for bus staging. Mr. Overton said the film crew has made “every effort to minimize the impact to the town,” and “to make sure there was very little impact to traffic and our summer visitors.”

“I think it’s a traffic nightmare, and I’m not comfortable agreeing to any part of this permit,” said Councilwoman Sylvia Overby. She asked why the production company could not wait until the fall, when the scenery would look the same but the town would be less crowded. “I feel it impacts a big portion of the community, from Montauk to Amagansett,” she said.

Mr. Poppoon said that the production company must adhere to a schedule imposed by Showtime, and that summertime filming is a must in order to produce the episodes in time. They are due to air this year.

Off season is “a whole other ballgame,” Supervisor Larry Cantwell told the Showtime representative. “This time of year it’s seven days a week of activity that we’re very happy to have, but at the same time, we’re maxed out in terms of safety.”

The Showtime crew has proposed filming from Sept. 8 to 12, in addition to the summertime shoot.

“The later the better,” Mr. Cantwell said.

“The Affair” is a drama that, according to Showtime, explores “the psychological effects of an affair between a married waitress at a Hamptons diner and a teacher who spends the summer at his in-laws’ estate on the island.”

It stars Dominic West and was created by Sarah Treem, whose credits include “House of Cards,” and Hagai Levi, whose credits include the program “In Treatment.” Its pilot was filmed in East Hampton, and scenes from its first season have been filmed in East Hampton Town. Season two of the show, Mr. Poppoon said Tuesday, is set in Manhattan.