EXCLUSIVE: Independent film and television production company Phiphen Pictures will open Phiphen Studios, a 10,000 square-foot boutique post-production and office space, in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, in 2022.
The project is led by Phiphen Pictures founder Molly Conners to support and grow New Jersey’s film community following the reinstatement of its film and television tax credit, which runs through 2028. It’s a new construction and could eventually expand, including adding sound stages.
Producer Jane Oster Sinisi is CEO of the complex, which will house post-production and office space, a 25-seat 4K theater, executive suites, a conference room, kitchens and an outdoor common area. Edit rooms will be adaptable to DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro, Premiere and Avid Media Composer. The audio department will have two mix rooms outfitted for 5.1 mixing and voice recording and offer full-service sound design, editorial services and mixing including ADR and VO. Other services will range from online editorial to color grading to mastering.
“We are very excited to embark on this expansion of our business, which will allow us to continue to support filmmakers in an even bigger way,” Conners said.
The 30% to 35% tax credit — plus a 2% diversity bonus — was reinstated in 2018 by Governor Phil Murphy and in 2020 was extended through 2028. The governor was out aggressively last spring touting New Jersey to Hollywood as an alternative to Georgia production amid national furor at the Peach State’s restrictive new voting law. At that time, the NJ tax credit had been a bit slow getting off the ground and state officials were attempting to streamline the process, but it had attracted new business. Direct investment by the film and television industry surged to well over half a billion dollars in 2019 from under $70 million two years earlier.
Industry locals note New Jersey has a highly skilled workforce that lives in-state and supports productions in neighboring New York and Philadelphia but would prefer to work in their own backyard.
“We are enjoying a record year for motion picture and television work In New Jersey and the arrival of Phiphen Studios further demonstrates our attractiveness as a production destination,” Murphy said. “The word is out and the people making decisions on where to film are clearly taking notice.”
“We are very excited to welcome Phiphen Pictures to our fast-growing production community,” added Steven Gorelick, executive director of the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission. “A top-flight post-production facility such as this is essential to the critical infrastructure that the state is working to build.”
Phiphen Pictures, currently a producer Nicolas Cage feature Butcher’s Crossing, has several projects in the works to bring to NJ. It will have offices in the new facility and principals are talking with industry contacts to get the word out. “We are excited for the future of independent film in NJ and will look to film as much as we can in state,” said Connors.
Phiphen Pictures produced Netflix’s Like Father starring Kristen Bell and Kelsey Grammer and the streamer’s Emmy-nominated short-form comedy series It’s Bruno. Other recent projects include IFC drama Centigrade, Netflix sci-fi thriller Stowaway and medical drama The God Committee.
There was no word yet on financing partners or cost of the project.