A new soundstage opened its doors this week at Kearny Point in Hudson County for television and film producers, at a time when state officials and business executives are gauging what New Jersey’s film industry will look like post-COVID.
Known as the Palisades Stage, the facility includes 23,000 square feet of office space, 27 feet high with a standard lighting grid, green rooms and loading bays.
Jamie Payne, the studio’s owner, said in the Jan. 28n announcement that the close proximity to New York City, and its location within North Jersey, would make it an attractive alternative to filmmakers weary of commuting to Manhattan and New York City’s outer boroughs.
Executives at Kearny Point, a 130-acre sprawling office space and business center at the site of a former military shipyard, have frequently touted this feature of the complex.
“It’s gotten very busy,” Nick Shears, Kearny Point’s director of leasing and marketing, said in an October interview. “Our site is only four miles from the Holland Tunnel. A lot of people live in New Jersey and they don’t want to go back into New York.”
It is not immediately clear what productions are signed onto the Palisades Stage, as executives there did not immediately return a request for comment.
But Steven Gorelick, executive director of the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission, said in an email that the studio has gotten a considerable number of inquiries.
“I am confident something will be shooting there shortly, everybody’s looking for studio space,” Gorelick continued.
Shears said in October that one potential deal with Hulu would mean a 12-month lease for 83,000 square feet of office and soundstage space.
Meanwhile, the interior of the old Meadowlands Arena – formerly known as the Izod Center and before that Continental Airlines Arena – was retrofitted as an indoor film studio.
A lucrative film tax credit program was signed into law in June 2018 and gradually expanded since then. Prior to the pandemic, the state was buzzing, which many state officials like Gov. Phil Murphy attributed to the tax incentives.
Scenes of the Academy Award-winning 2019 film “Joker” were filmed in Newark and Jersey City. HBO’s “The Many Saints of Newark” – a prequel of sorts to the hit series “The Sopranos” – was filmed in its namesake city. Netflix shot several scenes of “Army of the Dead” in Atlantic City, while scenes of the NBC spy thriller “The Enemy Within’’ were filmed at Bergen Community College of Paramus and Steven Spielberg’s remake of “West Side Story” was filmed in Paterson.
A landmark $14.5 billion economic incentive package includes $2.5 billion towards the expanded film and television tax incentive program over 13 years.