Published April 18, 2012
A Brooklyn-based filmmaker whose film premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival this week could be facing serious trouble from state authorities over a scene in his post-apocalyptic flick that features the illegal killing of a deer, according to a report from DNAinfo.com.
Director Ben Dickinson recorded the scene as part of a 23-day-shoot for his film, “First Winter,” which follows a group of Brooklyn hipsters who are forced to survive in the wild after an apocalyptic event. The scene was recorded on a private farm in upstate New York last year, according to DNAinfo.com.
The crew reportedly not only killed the deer without a license, but out of deer hunting season as well.
“We are idiots. We didn’t know how to do this stuff,” DNAinfo quoted Dickinson as saying. “There were so many deer weak from the winter and getting eaten by the local dogs we didn’t even think about it.”
The crew was reportedly practicing yoga together on set when someone spotted a herd of deer in a neighboring field, DNAinfo reported. One of the stars of the film, Paul Manza, 34, grabbed a rifle and pulled the trigger.
According to DNAinfo, the bullet hit two deer, killing one and wounding the other. The crew eventually shot the second deer to put it out of its misery. The group then skinned one of the deer, cut it up and cooked it in front of the camera.
“"It was amazing to eat that meat and really feel the spirit of the animal," Manza said. "It gave me a different relationship to eating animals and animal products."
A spokeswoman for the state’s environmental agency said they are investigating the incident and that penalties for hunting without a permit range from a $2,000 fine to imprisonment.