Anything but biz as usual

Some employees return to work, other film companies remain closed

NEW YORK — As law enforcement in New York eases its grip on the areas surrounding the World Trade Center, a number of film industry companies in lower Manhattan have initiated attempts to resume business in the wake of Tuesday’s disastrous terrorist attack.

As of Friday afternoon, all streets below Canal Street remained closed to commercial traffic and pedestrians without proper identification. Still, a few companies on the northern end of that area have resumed operations.

Good Machine, located at Canal and Varick streets, and GreeneStreet Films, two blocks south of Canal on Desbrosses Street, are both open for business today. Good Machine co-chairman Ted Hope said that all employees will be paid this week regardless of whether they’re able to make it to work. Hope also said he has encouraged everyone on staff to volunteer for the relief efforts.

GreeneStreet employees have returned to work today even though the phone system remains down. Company president John Penotti, who was one block from the World Trade Center in his Murray Street apartment at the time of the attack, said that employees would use cell phones until land lines are repaired.

Post-production on GreeneStreet teen thriller “swimfan” resumed Friday, putting the film about a week behind schedule. “We were determined to be here Monday morning and return to work as usual,” said Penotti.

Since it is still unclear when the area surrounding the crash site will become accessible, companies with offices farther south will have longer to wait. All offices for Miramax Films, including locations on Greenwich Street, Beach Street and Hudson Street, remain closed indefinitely. Company has set up a temporary facility on 34th Street.

Artisan Entertainment, whose Chambers Street location is only six blocks from the World Trade Center, also remains closed. Paul Pflug, exec veep of national publicity and corporate communication, said that officials have informed Artisan that the structure is intact but it has no electricity. It is not yet clear whether the company will be ever be able to resume operations at that location. Pflug also said that CEO Amir Malin has been conducting business out of his home on Long Island.

The TriBeCa Film Center, which is located in the same building as Miramax at 375 Greenwich St., is closed as well.

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