Lights, camera, money! NJ brings back Hollywood tax credit
Several years ago New Jersey started giving generous tax credits to TV and film production companies that filmed here.
Then-Gov. Chris Christie put the kibosh on the program, many believe, because he didn’t like the way the reality show “Jersey Shore” and its star Snooki portrayed the Garden State. But Gov. Phil Murphy has reinstated it.
The new law, dubbed the Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act, offers tax credits between 25 and 35 percent for production companies that set up shop in different areas of the state over the next five years.
“It’s going to create an explosion of film and television production work in New Jersey. There is a tremendous appetite within the industry to film in New Jersey,” said Steve Gorelick, the executive director of the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission.
“What we needed to do was just level the playing field and make it financially equivalent to other areas, which we’ve now done.”
He said with word spreading about the program coming back, many production companies are signing up to film here.
“Network television series, the streaming channels, the major motion picture production companies, and it’s independent production companies as well,” he said.
"The productions will start filming in the fall and they’ll go continuously fall, winter, spring and so forth.”
Gorelick said bringing these feature films and television programs into New Jersey will generate economic activity.
“Not only are you creating employment by virtue of the fact that crew members are being hired to work on these productions, also the constant flow of production will create studios and equipment houses, costume shops and more.”
He said production companies from Hollywood love to come here because we have a wonderful selection of varied locations and talent pool.
“In New Jersey you can go from the mountains to the shore to the suburbs to the cities and you’re just traveling minutes.”
Gorelick believes the Jersey talent pool is second to none in the world.
“So you’re not importing people to populate these film crews, they’re here already, and we also have sound studios and other infrastructure so you’re not importing all that stuff.”
He pointed out when people see New Jersey in TV and movies, it whets their appetite to come visit the Garden State.
“The 'Cake Boss' made Carlos Bakery in Hoboken famous and made the Cake Boss famous and it attracted people from around the country and around the world," he said.
He said those people are also visiting other attractions in Hoboken, eating in restaurants and that’s also good for the state economy.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com