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Local businesses featured in Janet Evanovich film

August 13, 2010

For The Trentonian

The new film “One for the Money,” starring Katherine Heigl and based on Janet Evanovich’s best-selling novel of the same name, is being filmed in Pittsburgh rather than Trenton even though its protagonist hails from the Jersey capital.

Jim Carlucci, community activist and former City Council candidate, said that Trenton missed out on the opportunity to play host to the filming for a handful of reasons.

In response to the state’s budget worries, Governor Christie froze the 20 percent film production tax credit that would otherwise have served as a strong incentive for filming in New Jersey.

Shelton Minor, president of Studio City New Jersey, added that similar tax credits — some higher and some lower — exist in other states as well.

Mr. Carlucci also noted that Pittsburgh has an aggressive film commission that recruits producers to bring their projects to the Steel City. Trenton lacks a similar organization and the New Jersey Motion Picture & Television Commission has only limited funding.

But local efforts, especially as part of the Trenton Downtown Association’s Destination Trenton tourism campaign, have helped to ensure that a few bits of Trenton authenticity will go into the movie filmed in Pittsburgh.

More than two dozen businesses and organizations will be featured in the film including Roma Bank, The Old Barracks, St. Francis Hospital, the Trenton Devils, the Trenton Thunder, the New Jersey Lottery, Thomas Edison State College, and Food Bazaar.

A few local eateries have found their way into the film as well. Papa’s, DeLorenzo’s, Cafe Ole, and Italian People’s Bakery all signed agreements to be included.

Peter Inverso, President of Roma Bank, was enthusiastic about his organization’s involvement in the project. Checks emblazoned with the Roma Bank logo will be used in the film.

“It’s a combination of benefits,” he said. “We are the oldest bank in Mercer County – there is a natural affinity (between Roma Bank and “One for the Money”) in the focus on Trenton.”

A Thunder spokesperson said that the team had been contacted by the production company for “swag.”

“We’re thrilled to have done it,” she added, “and we’re looking forward to seeing Trenton Thunder stuff in the movie.”

While everyone is excited to be involved, the desire for Trenton to represent itself on film seems universal.

“It’s not good for the city,” Minor said. “This is one that shouldn’t have gotten away, but it did.”

“Local businesses benefit from our being here,” he added, referring to both Studio City New Jersey and the entertainment industry in general.

“We would rather they be shooting here – without a doubt,” said Carlucci. “But what we can do is be the best assistants we can to help them recreate Trenton on a smaller scale.”

“Sadly this film, which is set here in our Capital City, won’t be filmed here,” said TDA Executive Director Taneshia Nash Laird. “But I do believe that Trenton will see an indirect economic impact from those that see these great Trenton locales and businesses in the movie and decide they want to visit Trenton to experience them in real life.”

Carlucci added hopefully, “Who knows? Maybe if there’s another film Trenton will get a second look.”

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