It was just before noon Tuesday when a famous Hollywood actor left his trailer on Torresdale Avenue in Frankford, strutted across Kinsey Street and disappeared inside a factory to shoot scenes for his violent mob thriller.
If Colin Farrell had made a left on Kinsey and walked up a few blocks, a trail of dried blood would have led him to the door of the Kinsey Street Cafe. Inside, he would have heard some real dialogue about violence in the city, the kind that doesn't end when the credits roll.
"They all have guns out there," said bar owner Fran Quinn. "I want to know how all these kids are out there with guns. How does this happen?"
Quinn's surveillance cameras captured some stark footage Monday afternoon — an 18-year-old male full of bullet holes stumbling up onto the sidewalk outside her bar. About 4 p.m., Robert Sneed was hit three times just up the street, near Kinsey and Tackawanna Streets, and collapsed outside the cafe. Sneed died later at Temple University Hospital.
"I gave it all to the police," Quinn said of the surveillance footage. "I was watching it from home on my computer."
Farrell's been shot dead in a movie at least once. In "Minority Report," he smiled a little, then kissed a religious icon around his neck after Max von Sydow shot him. That movie was about predicting murders in the future, about ending violence before it ever began. Farrell is in town with Terrence Howard and Noomi Rapace to shoot "Dead Man Down," a film in which he's out for revenge against a crime syndicate, picking people off one by one on the streets of New York City.
On Monday, the film's co-executive producer Joseph Zolfo told CBS 3 that one of the reasons he liked shooting in Philadelphia was a laxer attitude than New York City about staging gunfights. Zolfo was on the set Tuesday but unavailable for comment. A spokeswoman for the Greater Philadelphia Film Office said she believed that Zolfo was referring to regulations and logistics, not a cultural attitude.
Kimberly Best of Kinsey Street said that crew members were pulling up along Torresdale Avenue shortly after the murder across the street from her home. She said she'd like to see some of the actors say hello and talk with the neighborhood kids.
"The youth is suffering around here," said Best, who was spreading red-white-and-blue bunting across her porch.
Bob Levine, a spokesman for the film, said that the location, Global Dye Works, was chosen because it was a large factory that fit the script. He stressed that none of the film crew, including the actors, was on the set when the murder took place, although other crew members were setting up. Neither Farrell nor Howard will be shooting scenes on the street in Frankford.
"We have security, we'll be inside. That's it," he said. n