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Lights, Camera, Action: Dylan Biographical Movie to Include a Scene Filmed in Montgomery Twp

By Barbara A. Preston | Posted May 23, 2024

Hollow Road in Skillman will be closed on Wednesday, May 29, for the filming of a scene from “A Complete Unknown,” which follows Bob Dylan’s decision to switch from acoustic to electric guitar, and the 1960s music scene. The A-list cast includes Timothée Chalamet as Dylan, Benedict Cumberbatch as Pete Seeger, Monica Barbaro as Joan Baez, and Elle Fanning as Sylvie Russo, to name a few.

It is unknown whether any stars will be onsite during the filming. The public is advised to avoid the area of Hollow Road and the western section of Camp Meeting Road, which will be closed off.

Michael Stanziale of Broadside Productions appeared before Montgomery Township Committee on Thursday, seeking a permit to close the road. “We are lucky enough to be filming at the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum [SSAAM]," he said at the public meeting.

“The movie is a feature film that takes place in the 1960s, so part of the [Hollow] road closure is for safety purposes and to be able to park vehicles there,” he said.

“We’ll have some 60s vintage vehicles on site and we will be filming exteriors. So we also can’t have a Prius driving by while we film.”

“We are very excited to film here in Montgomery. I’m not sure if any films have been shot here before, but it’s a great landscape.”


THE MT. ZION AME CHURCH. The Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum (SSAAM) was founded in 2016. SSAAM is located at the church and the adjacent True Farmstead, two historically African American-owned properties in Skillman

SSAAM's Executive Director Donnetta Johnson said that she was not able to comment. 

In fact, every public official contacted by The Montgomery News was unable to comment. So, it is unknown how Broadside Productions found the little African American museum on a rural road in Montgomery Township with the classic one-room AME church.

Montgomery Township Committee passed a resolution authorizing the closure of Hollow Road for a film production to take place at the Stoutsburg African American Museum.


Blawenburg School NJ

The inclusion of a scene in the AME church speaks to the African American influence on American music, including that of Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan. It is widely acknowledged that the roots of jazz and rock-and-roll came from the African American community — from the songs the slaves sang in the fields and from spirituals. 

The film's title comes from Dylan’s 1965 hit "Like a Rolling Stone."  “How does it feel?” Dylan sings. “To be on your own, with no direction home. A complete unknown, like a rolling stone.”

The movie is directed by James Mangold and written by Mangold and Jay Cocks, based on the 2015 book Dylan Goes Electric! by Elijah Wald. The film is about the controversy surrounding Boy Dylan's switch to electrically amplified instrumentation.

Filming stretches across several New Jersey counties, including Hudson, Cape May, and now Montgomery Township in Somerset, transforming locations into 1960s music scenes.

Unfortunately, a concrete release date has yet to be revealed. Perhaps it will be in theaters by early 2025.

Montgomery Township Committee Member Dennis Ahn said at the public meeting: "It is really exciting to have films like this come into Montgomery. We have a lot of historic sites, and interesting places."

The township attorney recommended that the township committee adopt an ordinance specific to making Montgomery Township a "Film Ready" community. Mayor Singh agreed, saying, "We will definitely do it. We may become world famous!"



Congratulations Montgomery

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