MPAA chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin praised New Jersey’s passage last month of aggressive new film and TV production incentives, saying the new rules have unlocked interest from a range of major producers.
In a statement today, Rivkin saluted New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy for signing the new law creating a tax credit of up to 35% of qualified expenses related to film and TV production. Up to $75 million has been allocated in the state budget for the next five years to support the program.
Proponents of the plan say it will vault the Garden State back into the front ranks of production states after seven years without incentives in place. (Previous administrations, as in some other states, questioned the tradeoff of tax dollars for economic activity after a go-go period in the 2000s.) The result of the pullback was a long stretch when even quintessentially Jersey stories had to shoot in New York — HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, for example, had an ersatz Atlantic City erected in Brooklyn.
“Governor Murphy’s vision to bring the economic and cultural power of storytelling to New Jersey was the catalyst for this strong production incentive program and his leadership was crucial to its enactment,” Rivkin said. “This program will benefit New Jersey’s creative community for years to come by attracting major film and television projects that generate thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic development.”
Steven Gorelick, executive director of the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission, said he is fielding inquiries from major TV and film producers. “My phone has been ringing off the hook in the past month since the New Jersey Legislature passed the incentive bill and the Governor announced that he would sign it,” Gorelick said. “We have been traveling all over the state with a number of producers scouting scores of locations for major productions.”
Gorelick said “at least” 10 film and 15 TV series productions are looking for Jersey locations or are “in planning stages to greenlight projects.” He said Fox, Sony, NBCUniversal, New Line, ABC, CBS, HBO and Warner Bros. (film and TV) have all expressed interest in shooting in the state.