CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today visited the Chicago set of the new blockbuster science fiction movie “Divergent” to announce that Illinois’ film industry generated a record $184 million in spending in 2012, resulting in more than 2,200 full-time equivalent jobs. Today’s announcement is part of the governor’s commitment to create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward. Governor Quinn signed a 10-year extension of the Illinois Film Tax Credit in 2011, which has paved the way for more productions in Illinois.
“Our talented crews, iconic shooting locations and world class sound stages and studios have helped make 2012 a banner year for the Illinois film industry,” Governor Quinn said. “There is no better place to film a movie or a show than right here in Illinois. We will continue to work hard and bring more productions to our state, which will create good jobs and drive more economic growth.”
“Divergent,” a science-fiction action film set in a futuristic dystopia that is based in Chicago, began filming earlier this month at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. Based on the novel by Chicago author and Northwestern graduate Veronica Roth, the film is being directed by Neil Burger and stars Kate Winslet, Aaron Eckhart, Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ray Stevenson and Jai Courtney. The film production is expected to spend more than $30 million in Illinois while creating approximately 1,000 jobs.
“Last year was a record-breaker for Illinois’ film industry. With blockbuster productions like ‘Divergent’ already filming in Illinois, as well as ‘Chicago Fire’ and three more TV pilots, we have the makings of another successful year,” Illinois Film Office Managing Director Betsy Steinberg said. “Our film production tax credits, access to world-class infrastructure and great crews combine to make Illinois a winning destination for production companies.”
Illinois’ film industry saw a record $184 million in spending in 2012, which topped the previous record of $161 million in 2010. A record number of television series contributed to last year’s success, including “Chicago Fire,” “Boss,” “Mob Doctor" and “Underemployed.” The four shows generated a combined $92 million in spending. Many independent films, including Sundance darling Joe Swanberg’s latest work “Drinking Buddies,” and a thriving commercial production industry also helped make 2012 a record year.
Cinespace Chicago Film Studios opened in May 2011 and was built with $5 million from Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program coupled with a large amount of private investment. When complete, the 1.2 million square-foot Cinespace is expected to be the largest soundstage in the United States outside of Hollywood. In addition to “Divergent,” the TV series “Chicago Fire” is also filmed at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios.
With many unique locations, talented crews and ample sound stages, the Illinois Film Office (IFO) actively pursues film projects by promoting Illinois as an ideal location to film. In addition, the IFO administers the Illinois Film Tax Credit, which has been instrumental in spurring the growth of Illinois’ film industry. Illinois offers a 30 percent tax credit to filmmakers for money spent on Illinois goods and services, including wages paid to Illinois residents. Since its inception, the Film Tax Credit has helped bring more than one billion dollars in revenue to the state.