(BRIDGEWATER, NJ) -- The Somerset Patriots, the New York Yankees Double-A affiliate, welcomed members of the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission and the newly created Somerset County Film Commission to TD Bank Ballpark for the team’s home game on Friday, June 10.
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,” said Somerset County Commissioner Director Shanel Y. Robinson. “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, who serves on the Somerset County Film Commission, hosted both organizations at the ballpark for the game against the Akron RubberDucks (Cleveland Guardians).
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,” said Gorelick after 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 beloved New Jersey native and actor/producer/director/writer Danny Devito on the scoreboard about New Jersey’s connection to the film industry.
The gathering included a tour of TD Bank Ballpark, one of the jewels of Somerset County tourism that brought the Yankees to Central New Jersey.
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,” said Patriots Co-Chairman Jonathan Kalafer. “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.”
The Somerset Patriots are the New York Yankees Double-A Affiliate and develop today’s top minor league talent into the pinstriped superstars of tomorrow for MLB’s winningest team. The Patriots compete in the Double-A Northeast League and play their home games at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, NJ, where fans of all ages and levels of baseball fandom get to enjoy the unique experience that is minor league baseball.
Voted one of the most Outstanding Film Commission in the world by the International Location Managers Guild, the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission brings over 45 years of experience in developing this exciting and lucrative industry.
Having worked with productions such as Steve Spielberg’s Oscar-Nominated West Side Story, to Halle Berry’s directorial debut Bruised, the NJMPTVC is skilled at bringing big-budget Hollywood productions to New Jersey’s municipalities.
Somerset County has a rich history of film making dating back to 1915 when Mary Pickford, a Hollywood legend and co-founder of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts & Sciences, filmed Madame Butterfly in Bernardsville and Poor Little Peppina in Peapack in 1916. Throughout the years the area has been featured in films such as I.Q., North, The Stepford Wives, Winter Passing, and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Most recently Somerset County has welcomed Hollywood stars such as Julianne Moore starring in Apply TV+’s Lisey’s Story (2020) and Naomi Watts starring in the upcoming thriller Goodnight Mommy.
The mission of the Somerset County Film Commission is to inspire and facilitate film, television, and digital media production throughout the County to create a positive economic impact through production-related jobs and the many ancillary businesses that benefit from the increased production in Somerset County. The Somerset County Film Commission serves as a resource for film, television, and digital media productions looking to shoot on location a short distance from New York City and benefit from New Jersey’s robust tax credit program.