The township of Montclair is a wealthy, liberal, and diverse bedroom community in Essex County encompassing 6.25 square miles. The 2020 census marked the population at 40,894. From the higher elevations in the Township, one can see the skyline of New York City from 12 miles away. The timing of the Montclair-New York commute averages 38 minutes each way on the NJ Transit rail to Penn Station.
Montclair was incorporated as a township in 1868 to enable the building of a second rail line. In 1894, Montclair was reincorporated as a town. However, in the latter part of the 20th century, the citizens protested the inequities of the revenue-sharing system of the Federal government. In 1980, Montclair was reincorporated back into the township of Montclair to take advantage of the larger sharing of Federal aid to municipalities.
The residents of Montclair have the typical lifestyle of an affluent bedroom community with access to the vibrancy of New York City. The Township supports the arts, culture, history, parks, and open public spaces. You should have no trouble finding the perfect film shoot location in Montclair.
Film Shoot Location Options in Montclair
The film shoot locations in Montclair feature traditional and colonial-styled homes and commercial spaces as well as outdoor venues. What is not listed, however, are the public spaces located throughout the township and the county in dedicated parks or the higher elevations in the Watchung Mountains overlooking the township and onto the New York skyline.
The services within this category include equipment rental, set designers, lighting, crews, and technical support. The delivery, set-up, and breakdown of the equipment can be made a part of the rental agreement. The local vendors for equipment rental have local knowledge and can assist in the scouting, and offer suggestions to, a location prior to the final decision.
Of the ancillary support services on a film shoot, the most remembered will be the catering. Food services to an indoor set or to a remote location is a specific form of catering with particular attention to detail and the time schedule. The caterers must understand the flow during the shoot and have flexibility in the menu and serving options.
The municipal clerk’s office issues the permits for filming in either public or private locations. The applications must be filed within five days of shooting, with certain exceptions. If the film shoot location is in a residential area, then filming is limited to weekdays from 7 AM and 9 PM. The project should budget for dedicated, on-site police and an electrician if the municipality deems it necessary.
Film Shoot Location Companies in Montclair
It is beneficial for your Montclair film shoot location to outsource ancillary services to local companies. The products and services will be enhanced by the local knowledge brought to the film shoot. The job creation and the wage investment into the local economy will strengthen the merits of the application to receive the tax credits. Let the local experts help you with all of the little things so you can concentrate on filming.
- The Production HUB
Montclair is served by this clearinghouse-style of referral services of local companies specializing in the support of a film shoot and the end product. All companies sponsored by the HUB have been vetted. The film shoot locations in Montclair can make use of this solution-based referral system to complete the team and equipment package for the set.
- A Bit of Heaven Catering
A Bit of Heaven is a full-service catering company serving Montclair. The food preparation and services are melded with event planning. From corporate to specialty events, from plate service to buffet style to boxed meals, all menu choices are made fresh with natural ingredients.
This LA-based equipment rental company has a satellite location in Brooklyn. Quixote offers equipment for every aspect of a film shoot. The supply lists are in a .pdf format to download from the website for pick-up or delivery. If the time schedule for the shoot is tight, the delivery trucks can be pre-loaded and driven to the set location.
Pros and Cons of Film Shoot Locations in Montclair
When evaluating the pros and cons of anything, one must have an open mind and the patience to make an informed decision. One disadvantage is no more important than any advantage in a big picture scenario. All aspects must be placed into the context of the project and the flexibility of the crew. Make sure you know all the facts before securing your Montclair film shoot location.
- New York City MSA
Any film shoot location in Montclair will have the advantage of the depth of choice within the MSA. It would not be unreasonable or impractical to outsource to vendors based in New York City or its boroughs.
- New Jersey tax Incentives
The New Jersey Film and Digital Media Tax Credit Program can be up to a 30%-35% tax credit, plus a 2% diversity credit, to production companies and filmmakers. An exemption to sales tax for certain purchases and rentals for the shoot is also available.
A typical feature of a bedroom community is the lack of chain stores, and Montclair fits this model. The township takes pride in its historic architecture and the availability of local parks and open spaces.
- Cost of doing business
Montclair is in an expensive zip code and the cost of doing business is high. There are some price categories that, when compared to the national average, are 75% higher when state, local, and sales taxes are in the equation.
Although the Watchung Mountains at the west border block the wind and the clouds and trap the warmer air from the ocean, the winter temperatures will range from 21°F to the upper 30s. Montclair experiences 50” of rainfall annually and 30” of snow.
The generous tax incentive program attracts production and film shoots. Given the shortened time within the year for a non-winter shoot will result in competition, a tight market, and higher prices.
Famous Locations in Montclair
- Van Vleck House and Gardens
The Van Vleck home began as a private 12-acre estate in 1868 to escape New York City life. In 1993, the Van Vleck heirs donated 5.3 acres of the grounds to The Montclair Foundation in support of non-profits within the Township. Today, this historic home is a venue for special events, concerts, and classes. Admission is free and the gardens are open all year.
- Wellmont Theater
The theater opened its doors in Montclair in 1922 as a venue for stage plays and vaudeville. In the decades that followed and after many owners and uses, the theater closed in 2006 for major renovations. The scope of the renovations included the stage and the systems for sound and lighting. Today, this historic building is located in the trendy arts district and is promoted by Live Nations as a concert venue.
- Montclair History Center
The history center was founded in 1965 to save and restore a home built in 1796. In the present day, the history center stewards three such historic homes and is a patron of the Montclair Community Farm Coalition growing produce to feed those in need. The Montclair History Center preserves the Township’s history through artifacts, historic homes, and documents through education and advocacy.