Spending on film and television production exceeds $650 million for 2022

LOS ANGELES – Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission announced today that overall in-state production spending from filmmaking exceeded $650 million in 2022, besting the previous record of $500 million set for 2021. The announcement came at the outset of a series of meetings in California between Governor Murphy and the film, TV, and technology industries.

The record spending followed a busy year that saw a surge in production after Thanksgiving. In addition, motion picture, television and streaming productions in the state created over 8,500 jobs in 2022. That number is expected to grow significantly in the coming years as several major studios finish construction.

“Following my reinstatement of the Film and Digital Media Tax Credit program and game-changing investments in our rapidly expanding film and television industries, production has exploded in the past four years as more people learn what New Jersey has to offer,” said Governor Murphy. “This huge growth has fueled thousands of jobs for New Jersey residents while providing economic benefit to our towns and cities.”

Total production spending in New Jersey has surged since 2018, when Governor Murphy reinstated the Film and Digital Media Tax Credit program. The program, which was expanded in 2021, has made New Jersey a major filming hub on the east coast.

“People all over the state are experiencing the thrill of having the next box office hit or television series filmed in their community. These productions, plus the recent addition of some top-tier studio development projects, will continue to drive economic activity and create many thousands of employment opportunities for New Jerseyans from diverse backgrounds long into the future,” said Secretary of State Tahesha Way. “Governor Murphy’s leadership of the state’s thoughtful, cross-agency approach is preserving New Jersey’s legacy as the birthplace of film and cementing its place in the industry as a nurturing home where creative careers and projects can thrive.”

New Jersey was the backdrop for dozens of feature films over the past year, including Oppenheimer, Inappropriate Behavior, and Maybe I Do. Major television series filmed here included The Walking Dead: Dead City and Harlan Coben’s Shelter.

The surge in production has been accompanied by increased interest from studios looking to set up shop in New Jersey. In 2022, Lionsgate broke ground on a Newark location, and last month Netflix’s bid to purchase property at Fort Monmouth for a major east coast hub was approved by the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority. Projects in Bayonne and Carteret have also made progress as content producers search for space to set up shop.

“From the start, Governor Murphy has been determined not only to increase production, which we’ve done, but also to attract major studios to New Jersey,” said Tim Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. “With the flood of interest from major content producers we could see millions of square feet of studio space become available in the next three years.”

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TRENTON, N.J. (December 21, 2022) The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) today announced the award of the first-ever Studio Partner designation under the Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act.  The designation was awarded to Lions Gate Films Inc., which is set to lease space at the Newark studio currently under construction by Great Point Studios, after approval by the NJEDA Board.

“Awarding this designation is a major step in New Jersey’s evolution as a film and television destination,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “Bringing studios like Lions Gate to New Jersey will allow us to attract more and larger productions to our state and will create good, high-paying jobs for our residents.”

The designation awarded to Lions Gate is one of only three available under the film and digital media tax incentive program and will allow the studio partner to capture additional above-the-line wage and salary costs as qualified expenses.  Above-the-line wages and salary are payments made to highly paid individuals like directors, producers, writers, and performers. The studio partner may include in its application for tax credits above-the-line wages and salary expenses of up to $15 million, $25 million, $40 million, or $60 million depending on the amount of qualified film production expenses involved in the project.  In addition, $100 million of the allocation for film and digital media tax credits is set aside for studio partners.

“This is great news for New Jersey’s flourishing film and television industry,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Lions Gate will be a welcome addition to the film landscape, and we look forward to seeing the ‘Filmed in New Jersey’ logo on Lions Gate films for years to come.”

Great Point Studios Co-Founder Robert Halmi said of today’s announcement, “This is a wonderful development for the many entertainment industry workers and performers in New Jersey and for the state itself. It could not have come about without the help of Governor Phil Murphy, who recognized the importance of this vast project to Newark, the state, and the region.”

Originally created under the Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act, the New Jersey Film and Digital Media Tax Credit Program provides a credit against the corporation business tax and the gross income tax for expenses incurred to produce certain films and digital media content in New Jersey.

The project sits on the former site of the Seth Boyden Housing complex in the South Ward section of Newark. The total planned costs are estimated to exceed $194 million to construct and fit out the 350,000- square-foot studio development.

When complete, the project will include five production stages ranging from 20,000 to 30,000 square feet and will offer a full set of production services on site, including grip and electric, equipment, props, set building, restaurants, location catering, cleaning service and security. Once fully operational, initial projections anticipate over 600 new full-time jobs will be created as a part of the development of this facility. The project site will be developed and operated by Great Point Studios, which operates Lions Gate’s new studio complex in Yonkers, NY.

On September 15, 2022, Great Point Studios entered into a ten-year six-month lease with Lions Gate Films, Inc. for a substantial portion of the Newark studio complex. Pursuant to the lease Lions Gate Films Inc. has committed to occupy 253,000 square feet of the development

Construction work commenced on September 16, 2022, and the studio complex is expected to be completed by September 2024.

Founded in 1998, Lions Gate Films Inc. is a subsidiary of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.  Lions Gate’s film and television subscription and location-based entertainment businesses include a library of over 17,000 titles including many iconic film and television franchises such as Mad Men, Orange is the New Black, The Hunger Games, La La Land, and the Twilight Saga.

About the New Jersey Economic Development Authority

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) serves as the state’s principal agency for driving economic growth. The NJEDA is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to help build strong and dynamic communities, create good jobs for New Jersey residents, and provide pathways to a stronger and fairer economy. Through partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, the NJEDA creates and implements initiatives to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in the state and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness.

To learn more about NJEDA resources for businesses, call NJEDA Customer Care at 844-965-1125 or visit https://www.njeda.com and follow @NewJerseyEDA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

 
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TRENTON, N.J. (April 26, 2022) – The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has released for public feedback a draft rule proposal for the Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Program.

The program, which was first established in 2018, was expanded under the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 (ERA), signed by Governor Phil Murphy in January 2021. The Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act, P.L. 2018, c. 56, (N.J.S.A. 54:10A-5.39b and N.J.S. 54A:4-12b) provides a transferable credit against the corporation business tax and the gross income tax for qualified expenses incurred for the production of certain film and digital media content in New Jersey. The goal of the program is to incentivize production companies to film and create digital media content in New Jersey.

“Like other programs established by the ERA, The Film and Digital Media Tax Credit program is designed to encourage equitable and inclusive development,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The proposed rules establish criteria for the program that will ensure it is administered in a way that will create the economic impact Governor Murphy and the Legislature intended.”

Proposed rule changes include increasing the benefit for productions that submit a diversity hiring plan from two percent to four percent for hiring minority, local, on-screen talent, which will help to make sure opportunities are accessible to qualified individuals from all backgrounds. Additionally, the changes include the availability of new Studio Partner and Film-lease Partner designations which provide extra benefits to production companies who commit to establishing large production facilities in New Jersey.

Members of the public will also be able to submit feedback on the Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Program through the NJEDA’s ERA website (https://www.njeda.com/economicrecoveryact/) between the following dates:

  • PUBLIC FEEDBACK OPEN: April 25, 2022
  • PUBLIC FEEDBACK CLOSES: May 6, 2022

We welcome constructive input on how to ensure new programs created through and amended by the ERA are structured and administered in a manner that drives opportunities for all residents and communities. Members of the public can do that by sending an email to FilmTaxCredit@njeda.com or through the online portal on the NJEDA’s website.

All feedback received through this process will be assessed and considered when preparing the final version of the rule amendments that is proposed by the Authority for Board approval. Following potential Board approval, there will be a 60-day period for formal public comment.

For more information and to provide written input on the design and implementation of ERA programs, visit https://www.njeda.com/economicrecoveryact/.

About the NJEDA

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) serves as the State’s principal agency for driving economic growth. The NJEDA is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to help build strong and dynamic communities, create good jobs for New Jersey residents, and provide pathways to a stronger and fairer economy. Through partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, the NJEDA creates and implements initiatives to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in the State and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness.

To learn more about state resources available to New Jersey entrepreneurs and early-stage companies, visit https://www.njeda.com and follow @NewJerseyEDA on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn.

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Program Will Offer up to $150,000 in grants to NJ Startups

TRENTON, N.J. (November 23, 2021) – The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT) today announced the creation of a $1.5 million Catalyst Seed Research and Development (R&D) Grant Program to help New Jersey-based startups accelerate development of technologies. The funding will help the companies transform new discoveries from the research stage into commercially viable products and services. The application, which opens on December 6, will be available at http://www.njeda.com/csit.

The Catalyst Seed R&D Grant Program will be open to companies conducting R&D or testing technologies in the following areas that were identified as targeted industries in Governor Phil Murphy’s economic development plan, “The State of Innovation: Building a Stronger and Fairer Economy in New Jersey: Advanced Manufacturing, Transportation and Logistics, Film and Digital Media, Life Sciences (including, but not limited to: therapeutic drug development, diagnostics, and medical devices), Non-Retail Food and Beverage, Finance and Professional Services, and Technology.

“The new Catalyst Seed R&D Grant Program will vastly expand the scope of projects and companies that CSIT is able to support,” said CSIT Executive Director Judith Sheft. “Providing seed capital to businesses in high-wage, high growth sectors is both beneficial to the individual entities and important to the strength of our overall innovation economy.”

The program will offer two grant components:

  • Grants of up to $150,000 for projects that are developing life sciences therapeutics. It is anticipated that five awards will be made in this area.
  • Grants of up to $75,000 for other innovation projects – non–life sciences therapeutics drug R&D projects and projects that are not eligible for the Clean Tech Seed Grant. It is anticipated that 10 awards will be made in this area.

Sheft noted that the Catalyst Seed R&D Program is modeled after CSIT’s successful Clean Tech R&D Seed Grant Program, which awarded nearly $750,000 to startups statewide earlier this year. CSIT anticipates opening a second round of its Clean Tech Seed Grant program in early 2022. Therefore, companies that are working on research regarding the avoidance of emissions of, or recapture, greenhouse gases and/or criteria pollutants, or to enable such avoidance or recapture, will not be eligible to participate in the Catalyst Seed R&D Grant Program. 

Applications for the Catalyst Seed R&D Grant Program will open on December 6, 2021. CSIT will host an information webinar on December 7, 2021 at 10:00 a.m., which will include a walk-through of the application. Anyone interested in attending can visit http://tinyurl.com/NJCSIT to register. A recording of the webinar will also be available on CSIT’s website. Entrepreneurs can also get information about this and other programs designed to help their early-stage companies grow during the NJEDA’s November 30 Innovation Economy Programs webinar. Attendees can register for the event at http://tinyurl.com/NJ-Innovation.

“Under Governor Murphy’s leadership, New Jersey is receiving national and international attention as an excellent place to locate and grow a startup,” NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan said. “The Catalyst Seed R&D Grant Program will be an important tool for helping us continue to foster an environment where these startups can succeed and thrive.”

Applicants for the Catalyst Seed R&D Grant Program will be required to demonstrate at least one of the following for their projects in order to be eligible for funding: description of the proof of concept results, published paper outlining results achieved, successful completion of a federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant or contract related to the project, and/or confirmation documentation from a university tech transfer office if the project relates to technology that has been developed at a university. Complete eligibility requirements can be found at http://www.njeda.com/csit.

In support of CSIT’s mission to foster diversity and inclusion, one grant award will be reserved for an applicant meeting the minimum scoring criteria of 70 points that is women-owned as certified by the State of New Jersey and one grant award will be reserved for an applicant meeting the minimum scoring criteria of 70 points that is minority-owned as certified by the State of New Jersey. If there are no applicants that meet these criteria the funds may be allocated to other applicants.

In their roles on the CSIT Board, New Jersey State Senator Robert Singer and Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker have been vocal champions of creating resources such as the Catalyst Seed R&D Program to support New Jersey startups.

“Access to seed capital is among the most vital tools for very young companies that are often too early-stage to attract outside capital,” Senator Singer said. “Giving them that access now will pay dividends for our innovation ecosystem in the future.”

“New Jersey startups already have a tremendous number of assets available to them – including proximity to world-class universities, a top-notch talent pool, and a supportive innovation ecosystem,” Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker said. “Adding the Catalyst Seed R&D Grant Program to the suite of resources that CSIT offers startup companies will further Governor Murphy’s goal vision of making New Jersey the nation’s premier hub for innovative, science-and-technology focused entrepreneurism.”


About CSIT

In August 2018, Governor Murphy signed legislation re-establishing the former New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology as the CSIT. Comprised of representatives from the public and private sectors, as well as academia, the Commission is tasked with leading the way in promoting the state as a home for academic and technological research, development, and commercialization.

To learn more about state resources available to New Jersey entrepreneurs and early-stage companies, visit https://www.njeda.com/csit or follow @NewJerseyEDA on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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