Cinelease Studios, Caven Point, is the largest film studio in New Jersey, the first purpose-built facility of its kind in the state — and just what Gov. Phil Murphy and the Legislature had in mind when they reinstated the film tax credit.
On Friday afternoon, Murphy cut the ribbon on the new studio, located in Jersey City, saying it is the type of place that can easily attract the film industry.
“When we reinstated the film tax credit in 2018 and expanded it late last year, this is exactly the type of project we envisioned,” Murphy said.
“New Jersey is where filmmaking began, and we are quickly regaining the reputation as a premier location for both film and television production.”
The studio features 70,000 square feet of stage space, along with workshop and flex space. The ceilings are 40 feet high and there are no columns in the sound stages.
Cinelease anticipates booking two to four major television and film productions a year, putting 200 to 400 film crew technicians to work and supporting ancillary businesses such as catering, lumber, waste removal, equipment rentals, janitorial, security and others.
With the reinstatement of the film and television tax credit and its subsequent expansion last year, New Jersey is quickly growing in status as a shooting location. In 2019, film and television productions in the state resulted in more than $420 million in economic activity.
Cinelease Studios is a unique studio management team that was created as a natural extension of the industrywide recognized Cinelease and Herc Entertainment names. Combining a shared history of serving the film and entertainment industry for 40-plus years, Cinelease Studios has created a pathway to the most exclusive studio experience.
With a host of new movies, television series and commercials, as well as the addition of studios like Cinelease, the state is on track to surpass that number in 2021.
The studio will begin leasing immediately. Gannon Murphy, the general manager of Cinelease, said he can’t wait to get started.
“New Jersey has long been a meaningful and oftentimes striking backdrop for filmmaking, from independents to the modern streamers and blockbusters,” he said. “As Cinelease Studios, Caven Point, opens its doors to film and television, our studio clients, filmmakers and content creators no longer (will) see New Jersey as background.
“We are now the leading character.”
Steven Gorelick, the executive director of the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission, sure hopes so.
“The New Jersey motion picture and television industry has grown exponentially in the last few years, and the arrival of Cinelease, Caven Point, a state-of-the-art studio complex, creates a complete production environment here,” he said.