NJ film industry ‘ready for its close-up’ thanks to tax credits, Murphy says

Gov. Phil Murphy showed off the set for NBC’s new spy drama in Cresskill on Friday, to drive home that the state’s film and TV tax credit program was up and running.

Media giant NBCUniversal will spend $50 million for its production of The Enemy Within through the purchase of goods, services, payments to workers and the creation of 300 new jobs, Murphy said. The television series is scheduled to premiere in the spring 2019.

NBCUniversal also has plans to build studio space in the now-vacant Meadowlands IZOD Center, Murphy said.

“We’re here to say today New Jersey is ready for its close-up,” Murphy said Friday morning.

The Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act, which Murphy signed in July, offers up to $75 million for film and television production and $10 million for digital production annually from 2019 to 2023. Gov. Chris Christie discontinued a smaller-scale version of the credits early in his governorship and vetoed several attempts over his term to restart the program.

“Now we have the first concrete proof that our action was the right one to take,” Murphy said.

The program is jointly administered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the state treasury and the New Jersey Motion Picture Television and Film Commission.

The total price tag for the credits is $425 million, but Murphy said the program will result in a massive economic boom through catering, hotels, local businesses and union labor.

Once the program is officially launched in the coming weeks, projects can apply for qualified expenses incurred after July 1, according to EDA spokesperson Rachel Goemaat.

Another ongoing project, the production of Todd Phillips’ film The Joker, recently began filming in a historic Jersey City courthouse.

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