‘West Side Story’ Finds Its Rhythm on Location in New Jersey

Kristie Macosko Krieger, one of the producers for Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story,” says there was no way they could have pulled off shooting the 20th Century Studios remake without the aesthetic backdrop and financial incentives that the state of New Jersey provided.

“We looked all around, and Paterson, N.J.

gave a grit and an authenticity to the film that I don’t think we could have gotten anywhere else,” Krieger tells Variety.

“They treated us like family, and that felt important since we were making a movie that was special to them and us.”When it was announced that the two-time Academy Award-winning director of “Schindler’s List” (1993) and “Saving Private Ryan” (1998) would be remaking the classic 1961 best picture winner, the team knew the re-creation of the 1950s Upper West Side neighborhoods, in which the story takes place, couldn’t be done in the Big Apple.

So instead,

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