BRIDGEWATER – The Somerset Patriots recently welcomed members of the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission and the newly created Somerset County Film Commission to TD Bank Ballpark.
The event was designed to encourage filming in Somerset County and showcase the ballpark and the surrounding area as potential options for future entertainment projects.
“We created the Somerset County Film Commission to grow the industry locally,” Somerset County Commissioner Director Shanel Y. Robinson said in a news release. “We have incredible talent and resources for the film industry in Somerset County, including beautiful shooting locations like the ballpark of today’s great hosts, the Somerset Patriots.”
Patriots Co-Chairman Jonathan Kalafer hosted both organizations at the ballpark for the June 10 game against the Akron RubberDucks. Kalafer serves on the Somerset County Film Commission.
Among the guests in attendance was Steve Gorelick, the executive director of the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission, who threw out a ceremonial first pitch before the game.
“The New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission spent a memorable evening with the Somerset County Film Commission at beautiful TD Bank Ballpark,” Gorelick saidafter the game. “It was a wonderful night of watching baseball and talking about bringing more film and television production to Somerset County, which offers an abundance of amazing locations. In fact, the ballpark is one of them. Our sincere thanks go out to the SCFC, and most particularly our very gracious host for the evening, Jonathan Kalafer. We had a great time, and you can count me as a Patriots fan for life!”
The commissioners were recognized on the field during the pre-game ceremonies where they enjoyed a clip from New Jersey native and actor Danny Devito on the scoreboard about New Jersey’s connection to the film industry.
The Garden State has a long history in the movie business dating back to 1888 with Thomas Edison’s invention of the first movie camera and film projector. Edison opened the first film production studio in West Orange and the state became the epicenter of the silent film industry with the opening of the Champion Film Company in Fort Lee in 1909.
“Our state has such a rich connection in the creation of two of the most beloved entertainment and sports industries in the world – film and baseball,” Kalafer said in the news release. “Remarkable people from New Jersey had the passion, inventiveness and a true spirit of entrepreneurship to help foster the growth of these multi-billion-dollar a year businesses that bring joy to so many people around the world. It was a special night having everyone together to showcase our beautiful ballpark and community.”
For further details about the Somerset County Film Commission, visit filmsomersetnj.org.