Newark, NJ – The New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission (NJMPTVC), in partnership with the Somerset County Film Commission, announces that Franklin, Hillsborough, South Bound Brook, and Watchung, have completed the multi-step training and certification process and have been designated as Film Ready Communities: ready and prepared to cooperate with movie and television producers. Launched as a pilot in Somerset County in September 2022, the Film Ready New Jersey program is set to extend statewide this spring.
New Jersey has a rich history in entertainment, and the state’s motion picture and television industry is front and center once again, as production in the state has been exploding. Since the revival and enhancement of New Jersey’s tax credit program, which offers eligible production companies up to 35% transferable tax credit on qualified film production expenses, plus an additional 2% or 4% diversity bonus for qualified productions, the state has attracted 175 feature films and television shows, generating close to $1.5 billion in spending. New Jersey has experienced a constant flow of filmmaking across every county from Cape May to Sussex, hastening the demand to prepare municipalities for an influx of film and television production.
“The State of New Jersey offers many advantages to the film and television industry, and cooperation is foremost among them. We are encouraging our cities and towns to welcome filmmakers with open arms, and enjoy the many important benefits to be attained when production crews come into your community, said NJ Motion Picture and Television Commission’s Executive Director Steven Gorelick. “Partnerships with our municipal governments are vital to the state’s success.”
Film Ready New Jersey Program
An initiative of the NJMPTVC, Film Ready New Jersey is a 5-step certification and marketing program that educates municipalities on the basics of motion picture and television production and enables cities and towns to effectively accommodate on location filming and market their communities as filming destinations. The program sets basic standards for attracting filmmaking and positions the state as a top production destination. The “film-ready” designation provides an elevated platform for certified communities to promote themselves as filming destinations and connects film and TV professionals with skilled and knowledgeable liaisons across the state, who can provide local expertise and support to create easier, faster and better access to nearby resources and location information.
“Somerset County is pleased to host New Jersey’s inaugural class of Film Ready Communities, demonstrating the fantastic opportunities our diverse filming locations, local businesses, and proximity to major cities and transportation hubs offer film and television productions,” said Somerset County Commissioner Director Shanel Y. Robinson. “I want to thank each of our municipalities who worked so hard to become Film Ready, and the NJ Motion Picture & Television Commission for choosing Somerset County to kick off this project.”
Municipal governments will be invited to participate in a one-day workshop, the first step towards certification. Representatives will receive training and guidance from industry professionals, local mayors and NJMPTVC Commissioners and staff, and learn about the economic impact of hosting on-location filming, ordinances and permitting, opportunities for small businesses, and the expanding infrastructure. Participants will walk away with a toolkit to attract and welcome productions to their community and learn about the necessary steps required to become a certified Film Ready Community. The day will end with a fireside chat featuring other Mayors and industry professionals who’ve seen success in this industry.
The workshop will also feature Film Ready Police + Fire, designed to educate and train police and fire chiefs in public safety and motion picture and entertainment safety.
“With farms, parks, rivers and canals, rural and urban areas, and people from all walks of life, Franklin Township is a unique microcosm of the great state of New Jersey. We are so proud to work with the Film Ready New Jersey program in order to showcase this to the world, stated Franklin Township’s Special Projects Manager Saffie Kallon.
The Film Ready designation demonstrates to the production industry that New Jersey and its municipalities are enthusiastic about filmmaking and film-ready. Watchung Mayor Ronald Jubin stated, “Lights, Camera, Action! Watchung Borough is proud to have earned the NJ film ready designation and excited to host upcoming film and TV productions offering our bucolic settings and unwavering support."
Hillsborough Township Mayor Shawn Lipani added, "We are excited to be participating in the Film Ready Certification process through NJMPTVC. We are proud of the uniqueness of our community from the bustling center of town to our rolling hills and farmland and look forward to being able to share that beyond Hillsborough.”
Workshops will be offered on a regional basis, by invitation, starting in April. Interested municipalities can learn more about the Film Ready program and upcoming workshops, which will launch on the commission’s website in March. Sign up to receive information on how to prepare for the workshop and certification by registering here.
Click here for photos of film ready locations in Franklin
Click here for photos of film ready locations in Hillsborough
Click here for photos of film ready locations in South Bound Brook
Click here for photos of film ready locations in Watchung
About the New Jersey Motion Picture & Television Commission
The NJMPTC, 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.
About the Somerset County Film Commission
About the Somerset County Film Commission In June of 2021, the Somerset County Commissioners established the Somerset County Film Commission to promote film making within the County. Located midway between New York & Philadelphia, Somerset County offers a variety of locations for filming ranging from working farms to historic homes to vibrant downtowns. The Somerset County Film Commission is ready to assist film, TV, and digital media productions and welcome them to our camera-ready community full of cultural diversity and easily-accessible resources.