‘Off Track Betty’ Short Film Captures Delancey Street in Flux, and One Woman’s Faded Sense of Belonging

Posted on: July 1st, 2015 at 5:09 am by

This image has been archived or removed.

OTB ghost signage on Delancey St., April 2010

One local filmmaker just completed a film shot completely around the Lower East Side. Specifically, the intersection of Delancey and Essex Streets. Its subject matter is also of the neighborhood.

Shot exclusively on 16mm film, Off Track Betty is a narrative short about a longtime resident who realizes she no longer recognizes, nor belongs in her home. A theme that many can certainly relate.

Its director, Clayton Smith, has lived on the Lower East Side for fifteen years. The creative spark behind the story was the east-facing facade of 101 Delancey with its aged OTB ghost signage. An exercise in imagining the person who may have lived behind the letters – hence the name of the film.

But what happens when the local filming locations for an independent movie begin disappearing? Such was the case with Off Track Betty. According to Smith, demolition for the Essex Crossing mega-project commenced on his second day of production. So, in essence, the film documents a place and time that is rapidly disappearing.

This image has been archived or removed.

Photo: Off Track Betty

Same with the format on which the story was captured. Smith notes that Off Track Betty was one of the last film projects on 16mm processed in New York City. Ever. The only film lab remaining in the city – which also serviced Boardwalk Empirerecently discontinued developing services. Film Lab New York closed in December 2014.

Off Track Betty is almost complete, but needs a final boost to wrap the final edit. There’s a Kickstarter campaign underway to raise $11,000; roughly $9,000 has already been raised. Head here if interested in donating.

Recent Stories

James & Karla Murray Fundraising for ‘Mom & Pop’ Installation in Seward Park

Three months after first revealing their homage to the vanishing city, two prolific storefront chroniclers are raising money for its installation later this summer. Indeed, husband-wife artists James and Karla Murray just unveiled a Kickstarter campaign to help fund their Lower East Side mom-and-pop throwback. “Mom & Pops of the L.E.S.” is a bittersweet large-scale […]

‘Cherche Midi’ on the Bowery Sets Closing Date for June 10

For Cherche Midi, the end of the line is nigh. Final date is set. We are told by workers that business at Keith McNally’s four-year-old successor to Pulino’s will reportedly conclude on June 10. The cause for closure is apparently the expiration of the restaurant’s lease. However, the state filing noted the reason as “economic,” […]

CB3 to Consider Soho House 2-Story ‘Garden’ Expansion on Ludlow Street

Open for exactly two years, Ludlow House is primed for major expansion on its namesake street. The members-only club proposes demolition of the south-adjacent building – Libation will close imminently – to make way for its Ludlow Garden concept. As previously reported, Ludlow Garden would occupy the ground and cellar levels of the new two-story […]

Contra/Wildair Team to Join the ‘Market Line’ Roster at Essex Crossing

That Hell Square liquor store from the Contra/Wildair guys is dead in the water. But it appears they might be headed to Essex Crossing. In August 2017, we broke news that principals Fabian Von Hause and Jeremiah Stone were planning a “wine-focused” liquor store that would include Wildair beverage director Jorge Riera at the helm. […]

‘Adam Lucas x Nom Wah Tea Parlor’ on the Bowery [PHOTOS]

Local artist Adam Lucas (formerly known as Hanksy) yesterday joined forces with Nom Wah Tea Parlor for a collaboration of art and apparel. The two-night gallery stint, dubbed “Neighbors,” kicked off last night at 168 Bowery with plenty of fanfare. Inside the four walls of the Old Bowery Station space (at Kenmare), Lucas’ new creative […]