Expanded Film-Making Schedule Approved By Council; Franklin Deemed ‘Film Ready’

ACTION! – The designation of Franklin as a “Film Ready Community” by the state is hoped to bring to the township more movie crews, such as this one filming David Duchovny’s “Bucky F*ing Dent” over several days in September 2022.

Fresh on the heels of Franklin being designated one of the first “Film Ready Communities” in the state, the Township Council on March 14 extended the time period when film crews can work in the Eight Villages.

The Council at the meeting gave final approval to an amendment to the Township’s filming ordinance, allowing for movies and other filmed productions to be shot in residential zones from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. Previously, film shoots were allowed in residential zones from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

The amendment also requires that copies of all filming permits be sent to the Somerset County Film Commission.

Franklin was one of four Somerset County towns – Hillsborough, South Bound Brook and Watchung being the other three – given the “Film Ready Community” status by the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission in a pilot program. The program is expected to be opened to all other state towns this Spring.

The program, Film Ready New Jersey, is “a 5-step certification and marketing program that educates municipalities on the basics of motion picture and television production and enables cities and towns to effectively accommodate on-location filming and market their communities as filming destinations,” according to a press release on the program. “The program sets basic standards for attracting filmmaking and positions the state as a top production destination.”

“The ‘film-ready’ designation provides an elevated platform for certified communities to promote themselves as filming destinations and connects film and TV professionals with skilled and knowledgeable liaisons across the state, who can provide local expertise and support to create easier, faster and better access to nearby resources and location information,” according to the release.

In case you missed it, the Franklin Reporter & Advocate spoke to a crew member of the David Duchovny film, “Bucky F*ing Dent,” which was filming in Franklin in September:

“With farms, parks, rivers and canals, rural and urban areas, and people from all walks of life, Franklin Township is a unique microcosm of the great state of New Jersey,” Saffie Kallon, the township’s Special Projects Manager, said in the release. “We are so proud to work with the Film Ready New Jersey program in order to showcase this to the world.”

“Somerset County is pleased to host New Jersey’s inaugural class of Film Ready Communities, demonstrating the fantastic opportunities our diverse filming locations, local businesses, and proximity to major cities and transportation hubs offer film and television productions,” Somerset County Commissioner Director Shanel Y. Robinson said in the release. “I want to thank each of our municipalities who worked so hard to become Film Ready, and the NJ Motion Picture & Television Commission for choosing Somerset County to kick off this project.”

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