Illinois Film Shatters Record, Chicago in Top Five

Illinois Film Shatters Record, Chicago in Top Five

The Illinois Film Office today announced that Illinois’ film industry generated a whopping $499 million in estimated Illinois spending, a 51 percent increase over the same period last year. This adds to the 18 percent increase that was seen in 2015. The office worked with 345 television, commercial and film projects that generated 13,377 non-extra job hires over the course of 2016.

In addition, Chicago, Illinois was just named the #5 best place to live and work as a moviemaker in North America by MovieMaker Magazine. This is the third year in a row that Chicago has made the top-ten list.

"The film industry here in Illinois continues to grow stronger," Illinois FILM Office Director Christine Dudley said. "Our focus on attracting innovative and diverse projects has led to an unprecedented half a billion dollars in qualified Illinois production spending. My hope is that we continue to build upon these last two years of success to show everyone that there is no better place to film than Illinois."

A strong talent pool of cast and crew members, diverse shooting locations and a competitive incentive program attracted a wide variety of projects to film in Illinois in 2016. Primetime hits EMPIRE (FOX), CHICAGO FIRE, CHICAGO PD and CHICAGO MED (NBC) returned to the lineup. NBC also green lit the pilot for the fourth installment in the Chicago franchise, CHICAGO JUSTICE. The series was picked up for a full season which began production filming in September 2016. Online media services also increased their presence in Illinois with the production of original content episodic series: EASY (Netflix), SENSE 8 (Netflix) and PATRIOT (Amazon).

Illinois is the only state in the country to set a diversity standard for production hiring of women and minority crew members. This growing industry is a priority of the Rauner Administration, and by focusing on making it an inclusive and diverse industry, the Illinois FILM Office is creating opportunities for underrepresented groups in every corner of the state.

Mike McNamara is the Co-Founder of The Midwest Independent Film Festival, www.midwestfilm.org. Mike pays his rent as an actor in Chicago in theatre, commercials, television and film. More from Mac at www.findmac.com.