During its heyday, MGM Studios in Hollywood boasted that it was home to "more stars than there are in heaven." The epigram could certainly apply to New Jersey these days. Since January, seventeen motion pictures have been made in the state according to Joseph Friedman, Executive Director of the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission. These productions feature a veritable slew of the entertainment industry's hottest talents.
Native New Jerseyan Whitney Houston stayed close to home while filming her latest project, "The Preacher's Wife," in Newark, Paterson and Jersey City. Touchstone Films remake of the Cary Grant comedy "The Bishop's Wife" also brought Denzel Washington, Courtney Vance, Gregory Hines and Lionel Richie into the state.
Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford visited Montclair, Newark, Hoboken, Jersey City, Bayonne and Sandy Hook during the shooting of Columbia Pictures' "The Devil's Own." Alan Pakula directs this thriller about an Irish revolutionary and a New York Police officer.
Residents of Clinton recently welcomed Ray Liotta and Lauren Holly, who were in town to film scenes for MGM's "Turbulence." Director Ron Howard chose sites in Haledon and Hoboken for the Touchstone Pictures thriller "Ransom," featuring Mel Gibson, Renee Russo and Gary Sinise. Al Pacino and Johnny Depp are working in Clifton, Newark and Passaic, where a major portion of the Tri-Star Pictures detective drama "Donnie Brasco" is being made. And Barbara Streisand shot a scene from her romantic-comedy "The Mirror Has Two Faces" at Newark Airport.
David Strathairn and Bonnie Bedelia are co-starring in the psychodrama "Ghost In The Machine," filming largely in Norwood. Meanwhile, Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline will be working in East Orange, where a sequence from Ang Lee's "Ice Storm" is scheduled to be completed. And Tim Allen will visit Newark Airport, to appear in a scene from Walt Disney Pictures' "An Indian In The City."
Sylvester Stallone will be paying his second visit to New Jersey this summer and fall, to shoot "Copland," a police drama which marks a change of pace for the action star. Earlier in the year, Stallone spent several days in Jersey City, where large-scale action sequences from Universal Pictures' big-budget adventure "Daylight" were completed.
Over fifty feature films were made in New Jersey last year and, given the current pace of production, Friedman is hopeful of surpassing that figure in 1996. All in all, it's a star-studded year for the New Jersey film industry.