New Jersey’s film industry grows as projects get awards recognition

Hollywood’s awards season gets into full swing next weekend with the Golden Globes. Some of the nominated projects will put a spotlight on New Jersey movie-making.
Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” was mainly filmed in Paterson. Its powerful courtroom scenes were staged at a former church in the city. The film is up for five Golden Globes and is putting New Jersey’s film making industry in the spotlight.
New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission executive director Steven Gorelick says that New Jersey’s film industry gets a boost when projects filmed there get recognition.
“It happened with 'The Sopranos.' When 'The Sopranos' became a huge series, suddenly New Jersey was the place to make movies and television shows,” Gorelick says.
Gorelick says that that New Jersey’s film and television industry generated $420 million in economic activity in 2019, up sharply as productions were lured back through tax credits, following years of decline.
“There are also other benefits and one of them is image benefits. When you have successful movies, TV shows shot here and they are getting awards attention, then the state is getting attention,” Gorelick says.
Motion pictures were invented in New Jersey, but the industry was then lost to Hollywood. Gorelick says that there is some desire to reclaim it for the Garden State.
“I think we do have a chip on our shoulder in that this is the state where the industry was born and we think we should reclaim that industry,” he says.
But to get more projects shot in New Jersey, it will like more studios. Caven Point Studios in Jersey City is under construction and plans to open soon. Palisades Stages opened in Kearny last month. Hulu’s “Wu Tang: An American Saga” is currently filming there.
New Jersey enacted programs earlier this year to encourage long term investment in movie studios the state.