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This image has been archived or removed.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

CB2 Cancels Week of In-Person Meetings After Fully Vaccinated Members Test Positive for COVID-19

Community Board 2 canceled all in-person meetings this week due to concerns about the spread of the so-called Delta variant of coronavirus. CB2 announced the news in an email blast, and revealed that two of its fully vaccinated board members who attended the full board meeting on July 26 tested positive for COVID-19. “To ensure […]

Flower Pop Mural on Grand Street for the Benefit of LES Organizations

A bouquet of life for the southerly corner of Grand and Suffolk. This flowery pop of color on the Seward Park Co-op retail complex is courtesy of artist Morgan Everhart. As it were, the mural is a blooming homage to the community’s perseverance through the struggles and hardships of the pandemic. And it directly supports […]

Shah Repositions Sago Hotel as ‘Micro Apartments’ for Macro Rents

The Sago Hotel on Orchard Street is apparently no longer such. In fact, rooms are now rented as apartments on the open market. Landlord Michael Shah purchased the hotel development earlier this spring for $8.5 million. Now it appears the property at 119 Orchard is repositioned as “micro apartments” with flexible leasing (and high pricing). […]

Myplasticheart Decamps for Brooklyn After 15 Years on the LES

Myplasticheart, the eclectic designer toy shop, recently fled its longtime perch on Forsyth Street for the greener pastures of Brooklyn. The small business had spent fifteen years on the block. When asked about the move, ownership told us in an email that the deterioration of conditions in Sara D. Roosevelt Park across the street was […]

‘Ixta’ Eyes Former DBGB Space on the Bowery

The years-vacant storefront at the glassy 299 Bowery, formerly home to DBGB, has a new suitor. Liquor license application materials reveal that restaurateur Akbarali Himani looks to revive the Ixta namesake for a new, full service restaurant serving “Authentic Mexican [cuisine] and specialty drinks.” (Ixta was a similar midtown restaurant in the early aughts.) The […]