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New Jersey film & television industry prospers following COVID-19 slowdown

News 12 Staff | News 12

The film and television production industry is back on the rise in New Jersey following the COVID-19 slowdown.

A backlog in production has now set the scene for more movies and TV shows to be shot in the Garden State.

“It’s not just that you have a lot of individual productions, but the phenomenon now is they are showing entirely here, so the shooting days are going up tremendously,” says New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission executive director Steven Gorelick.

Gorelick says that 2021 could approach a record-breaking $500 million in economic activity from movie and television shoots.

“A low budget feature, maybe it was a million-dollar feature, and I was looking at the crew list and I was amazed at how many people are being employed in New Jersey by that one small production,” Gorelick says.

He says that there is another factor at play – studios are being built in New Jersey. There is Palisades Stages in Kearny and CineLease in Jersey City, which will open soon.

But the cloud of COVID-19 remains. It forced the temporary shutdown of at least two productions in the United Kingdom in the past week. But Gorelick says that he is confident that industry-wide protocols in the United States will keep sets safe.

“I want to the set of ‘As Sick As They Made Us,’ – Mayim Byalik’s movie in North Jersey. In order to go to the set, I had to several days in advance be COVID-tested before I could even step foot on the set itself and of course I work a mask the entire time,” Gorelick says.He says that 2021 will bring in hundreds of productions to New Jersey.

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