If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Hunterdon County has decided that it has a lot more than a thousand words to say.
County Director of Economic Development Marc Saluk announced the launching of the Hunterdon County Film Commission, an organization committed to promoting filming in Hunterdon, at Friday morning’s Annandale-based County Economic Development Summit.
“We even have a line on our website that describes us as brains and beauty because we’re unbelievably educated and skilled, and this is one of the most gorgeous places in the country. So there’s absolutely no reason that film shoots shouldn’t be a part of that,” Saluk said.
Clinton Mayor and Co-Founder of River Town Film Festival Janice Kovach also serves as a Chairperson of the Film Commission, and revealed that its formation was spurred by Governor Phil Murphy’s revival of the state’s tax credit program.
Through the program, the County can offer up to 32% in tax credits on expenses to production companies.
“This is an opportunity not just to be a part of a new business, but also an opportunity to continue branding our County, and show that we are open for business and that we are open to new opportunities,” Kovach said.
Of various County-based film projects, scenes from the film “As Good as It Gets” were shot in Lebanon Township, portions of the music video for Pat Benataur’s “Love is a Battlefield” were shot in the town of Clinton, and a 2011 Doritos Super Bowl commercial was shot in High Bridge.
Discussing potential upcoming film projects, Kovach said that she recently received a phone call from the New Jersey Motion Picture & Television Commission about shooting a film adaptation of Leif Enger’s bestselling novel ‘Peace Like a River’ in Hunterdon.
“Hunterdon County offers so much … whether it’s a small downtown, or farms, if you go to the beach or go to one of the reservoirs. We have everything you could possibly be looking for to film right here,” Kovach said.
Kovach further revealed that she has already pitched the County as a shooting location to Village Roadshow Pictures, Legendary Entertainment, and to “a couple of producers” at Warner Bros. She added that she will appear at the American Film Market next month to continue the Commission’s promotion efforts.
Saluk, who is also a Chairperson of the Commission, described Hunterdon as “amazing” in emphasizing the County’s utility as a location for popular films, television shows, and commercials.
“When I go to economic development conferences, a lot of economic development directors are saying two things to whoever they talk to: our County is beautiful, and we have the greatest quality of life,” Saluk said. “99% percent of them know that they are lying. I used to be one of those people; however, I am one of the few people who really mean it now.”
Individuals interested in learning more about the Hunterdon Film Commission can visit filmhunterdon.com.