Action! N.J.’s Film Ready program names 1st communities, gears up to launch statewide


The New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission, in partnership with the Somerset County Film Commission, on Friday said that Franklin, Hillsborough, South Bound Brook and Watchung have completed the multistep 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.

“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,” Somerset County Commissioner Director Shanel Robinson said.

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,” Motion Picture and Television Commission Executive Director Steven Gorelick said. “Partnerships with our municipal governments are vital to the state’s success.”

Film Ready New Jersey is a five-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.

Municipal governments will be invited to participate in a one-day workshop where they can learn about the economic impact of hosting on-location filming, ordinances and permitting, opportunities for small businesses and the expanding infrastructure. The day will end with a fireside chat featuring mayors and industry professionals who’ve seen success in this industry.

The Film Ready designation demonstrates to the production industry that New Jersey and its municipalities are enthusiastic about filmmaking and Film Ready.

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. Click here for more information.