NEWARK, NJ - Emerson Junior/Senior High School, Newark and West Orange are just some of the locations used as the backdrop for Chemical Hearts, a new romantic drama starring Lili Reinhart (Riverdale) and Austin Abrams (Euphoria), set to air on Amazon Prime beginning August 21st. This feature film is an adaptation of Krystal Sutherland’s young-adult novel Our Chemical Hearts, which centers on a high school senior falling in love with a new transfer student who hides a heartbreaking secret. Chemical Hearts was written and directed by Richard Tanne (Southside With You) and produced by Jami O’Brien and Reinhart.
Published in 2016, Sutherland’s novel earned acclaim for its unusual story of first love. “This much-buzzed-about debut captures the messy, awkward, all-consuming emotions of a teen’s first love,” wrote Entertainment Weekly. Other cast members include Kara Young (Hair Wolf), Sarah Jones (For All Mankind), Adhir Kalyan (Rules of Engagement), Bruce Altman (Running Scared), and Catherine Curtman (Orange is the New Black).
Many scenes in Chemical Hearts were shot at Emerson Junior/Senior High School in the summer of 2019. Additional filming took place in Glen Ridge, Montclair, Newark, Paterson, and West Orange.
“I am delighted that Amazon Studios chose to film Chemical Hearts in the Garden State, where several communities benefited from crews patronizing many local businesses,” said Secretary of State Tahesha Way. The production company, Big Indie Pictures, reported that 90 production crew members were hired, and more than $8 million was spent in New Jersey for labor, goods and services.
Motion picture and television production in New Jersey has increased dramatically since the Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act took effect in 2018. In 2019, film and television production generated more than $400 million for the state economy and created thousands of jobs. Other major motion pictures filmed here recently include The Many Saints of Newark, Army of the Dead, Beauty, and Trial of the Chicago 7, all scheduled to be released later this year into 2021.
About the New Jersey Motion Picture & Television Commission
The NJMPTVC, which falls under the New Jersey Department of State’s Business Action Center, is staffed by industry professionals and serves as a resource for production companies. The Commission promotes film and television production in New Jersey.