Ocean County Hoping to Attract “High Quality” Film Industry


Unless you’re 8 guidos from Staten Island and North Jersey, Ocean County is hoping to attract filmmakers to take advantage of tax credits made available to producers earlier in July.

While most government entities in Ocean County have blocked the most popular Ocean County production, Jersey Shore from filming in their towns, the freeholders hope this new initiative will attract more “high quality” productions.

In a release, the Freeholders said:


TOMS RIVER – Noting the many benefits Ocean County could derive from promoting and proactively pursuing film industry projects, the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders has created a new film and television advisory commission.

“This industry has proven lucrative for many other states that have consistently offered tax incentives,” said Ocean County Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari, who serves as liaison to Tourism and Business Development. “Ocean County has many attributes to offer the film industry and we are hoping to get its attention. This would provide Ocean County with economic benefits including helping to boost tourism.”

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With the reinstatement of what is now called the Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act, which was signed by Gov. Phil Murphy on July 3, the Freeholders took action on July 19 to replace the Film Advisory Committee established in 1979 with the new advisory commission.

“The Ocean County Film and Television Advisory Commission will advise, serve as liaison and collaborate with the current New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Development Commission to effectively promote and proactively pursue film industry projects to take place in Ocean County,” Vicari said. “This would contribute to economic growth, create job opportunities and elevate the visibility of Ocean County.”

According to the state, the Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act, provides film and television production companies with business tax and gross income tax credits for certain expenses incurred while filming in New Jersey. The legislation will encourage production companies to locate in New Jersey, spurring economic growth and industry development.

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Vicari said the County’s commission will seek feature films, independent films, high quality television, and digital series, which can be a great benefit to the State and the local areas.

“Film crews, producers, and all the staffing that goes with this would fill hotels and restaurants,” he said. “They would tap into and support local services and attractions and elevate the visibility of our tourism destinations.

“This is a great opportunity to present our diverse culture and landscape and showcase our attributes on a county website that is specifically designed to target and attract filmmakers,” he said.

At the request of Freeholder Vicari, the Freeholder Board also approved the appointments of the commission members.

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“They were chosen based on their experience working with film and television crews, their expertise on Ocean County and ability to represent the various areas of the County,” Vicari said. “They are all volunteers.”

Ocean County Commission members are Tim Hart, Ocean County Historian; Toby Wolf, Director of Marketing, Jenkinson’s Boardwalk; Michael Redpath, Executive Director of Seaside Heights Business Improvement District; Liz Santoro, Director of Sales at Mainland Holiday Inn, Manahawkin, and Dana Lancellotti, Division Director, Ocean County Tourism and Business Development.

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