Fans of the movie “Fast and Furious” rev their engines as they make donuts and spew exhaust fumes at all hours of the day and night in Angelino Heights, near Echo Park, and residents say they are fed up. Some parents say dangerous driving has made their children too scared to get out, thinking a car will lose control.
Area residents blame NBCUniversal, which has so far released nine “Fast and Furious” movies, all filmed in Angelino Heights. As the studio shot scenes here for the 10th installment, residents say the franchise emphasizes street racing and car stunts, and they want the production crew off their streets.
“If you’re seeing that and experiencing that every day, where your heart drops every time there’s a car screeching in front of your house that looks like it’s practically going to crash into your car or your property, you better bet your family gets it. will be affected,” says Bella, an Angelino Heights resident who works in the entertainment industry and declined to give her full name for fear of retaliation from NBCUniversal.
Last week, Streets Are For Everyone, an advocacy group that aims to reduce traffic fatalities, helped residents organize a neighborhood protest as film crews filmed nearby.
Some residents don’t understand why the studio has to shoot in Angelino Heights.
“I’m sure for all the money they’re spending…they can build a set,” says Planaria Price, who has lived in the neighborhood for 50 years. “They did that with ‘Charmed,’ they shot the pilot there, they immediately built an interior set, they came for the exteriors.”
Price says a local house that serves as the home of Dominic Toretto, the main character in the “Fast and Furious” movies, wouldn’t be difficult to render on a soundstage because “it’s not that complicated, they can certainly build a facade and just leave our neighborhood out of this.”
NBCUniversal did not respond to KCRW requests for comment for this story.
People in the community primarily want the studio and fans to be respectful of the neighborhood. They also hope to work with the city to redesign nearby streets to stop stunts and races in the area. For example, a wide intersection could have more green space at a roundabout to make wide streets less attractive.
The ultimate goal of the residents is to return their community to the way it was before the fans started arriving in their cars.
“What has our community come to? Where is the sense of family value and peace here? We have no peace,” says Bella, who bought her house here 17 years ago when it was a quiet neighborhood. “And until something is done, we’re not going to go back to the way it was, when we initially moved to an area that we thought would be the perfect place to raise our family.”
For now, filming has wrapped in Angelino Heights and “Fast and Furious 10” is expected to hit theaters in May 2023. Residents hope the studio won’t return to their neighborhood if another installment is made.