LES-Based ‘Off Track Betty’ Premieres at Brooklyn Film Festival Next Month

Posted on: May 25th, 2016 at 5:16 am by

This image has been archived or removed.

OTB ghost signage on Delancey St., April 2010

Off Track Betty, the low-budget short shot exclusively on 16mm film, will see its world debut next month. It’s slated to appear twice during the Brooklyn Film Festival, on June 5 and June 10.

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

Director Clayton Smith has, as previously reported, lived on the Lower East Side for more than fifteen years. His inspiration for the story was the faded OTB ghost signage on the facade of 101 Delancey. Smith apparently saw a face in the window below the “T” and wondered what it would be like living behind the letters, so to speak. After shooting the film, he took the idea to Kickstarter last year, and was able to score an additional $17,000 in funding to “navigate post-production to exacting standards in the service of the project.”

What makes Off Track Betty unique was the changing landscape of its subject matter. During filming, chosen locations were disappearing at quite the clip. 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. Much like the medium on which it’s recorded; Off Track Betty was one of the last film projects on 16mm processed in New York City. Ever.

Recent Stories

Bird Watching on the Lower East Side this Weekend

Binoculars at the ready! This weekend, the Urban Park Rangers from the Department of Parks and Recreation are hosting a birding session on the Lower East Side. The Rangers will guide enthusiasts of all levels to the best spots in the neighborhood, and the city at large, to catch fall migratory birds in action. Bring […]

Bank of America Plants itself Beside Destroyed Sunshine Cinema

With a commercial office building rising on the ashes of the Sunshine Cinema, it’s no wonder that a retail bank is moving in next door. Bank of America is planting itself in the long-fallow shop at the southwest corner of East Houston and Eldridge Streets. Work permits on file with the Department of Buildings give […]

Essex Market Shut Down for Private Maker’s Mark Event, Leaving Locals Confused [Updated]

The following guest post was written by Joshua Cohen, a Lower East Side resident and patron of Essex Market. I think the Essex Market, generally speaking, has been a great model for public-private partnerships. But last night, the Market hosted a private event for Maker’s Mark whiskey, where the local community’s interested were certainly not […]

T-Mobile is Closing its Delancey Street Store

Lots of retail turnover on Delancey Street this month. Earlier this week, we broke news of Rainbow’s imminent departure from the thoroughfare after more than a decade in the neighborhood. Today, it’s the loss of another corporate footprint. Though, one with arguably less utility. The eleven-year-old T-Mobile outpost, essentially an advertising expense for the wireless […]

Speed Cameras Installed on Pike Street

As part of the city’s push to capitalize on pedal-heavy motorists, new speed zones and cameras are proliferating. The latest in the neighborhood is outside Rutgers Houses on Pike Street. The camera box installation appeared within the last couple weeks, affixed to a lamppost between Cherry and Madison Streets. As with other locations, when the […]