CHICAGO – In another strong indication that Illinois is once again attracting a growing number of important movie and television productions, Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced today that projects filmed throughout the state generated $77 million, which is a 200 percent increase in just one year, and created nearly 15,000 jobs in 2004. Several major motion pictures were filmed throughout the state including The Weather Man (Paramount), Ice Harvest (Universal), Oceans 12 and the latest Batman film (Warner Brothers), Derailed (Miramax) and Roll Bounce (20th Century Fox), as well as several other independent film and television projects.
“We have all of the locations, local talent and expertise that any major Hollywood studio or independent producer needs to turn a great script into something magical on the big or little screen. Thanks to the legislation that we passed a year ago and was recently renewed, we are bringing even more important projects to Illinois that are providing a tremendous boost for the state’s economy. I am confidant that 2005 will be an even greater year as more and more productions are filmed throughout our great state,” Gov. Blagojevich said.
In August of 2003, Gov. Blagojevich signed Senate Bill 785, which created a new tax incentive designed to attract the film industry back to Illinois. The law provides a tax credit equal to 25 percent of the wages paid to Illinois residents working on television and film projects shot in Illinois. In order to qualify, productions of 30 minutes or more will have to spend at least $100,000 on Illinois labor. Other, shorter film productions may also qualify for the incentive, which was renewed for another year last summer.
“There is no doubt that Illinois is back as one of the top locations for all kinds of movie and television projects, and the industry’s economic impact is undeniable. Gov. Blagojevich and I will continue working aggressively to promote our tax incentives ensuring that even more projects will be filmed here this year, which means more revenue and more Illinois jobs. Gov. Blagojevich clearly is a champion of economic development in Illinois,” State Senator Rickey Hendon (D-Chicago) said.
“During these challenging fiscal times, we must continue to take advantage of all of our assets that promote economic growth. Illinois has what it takes to compete for all kinds of movie and television productions now that we have these important economic incentives to offer. These numbers indicate that they are already paying tremendous dividends,” State Senator Kirk Dillard (R-Westmont) said.
“This is a strong indication of how important the film and television industry is for the Illinois economy. By working with these studios, we attracted almost $80 million and created nearly 15,000 jobs here in Illinois last year. I am sure this very impressive trend will continue for years to come,” State Rep. Kenneth Dunkin (D-Chicago) said.
“Our state is the perfect backdrop for any kind of movie or television project, and that is great economic news for Illinois. Even with all of our assets, the assistance our incentives are providing makes Illinois even more appealing. There is no doubt we will continue building on our tremendous success in 2004,” State Rep. Angelo “Skip” Saviano (R-River Grove) said.
“Gov. Blagojevich understands how important the film production industry is for the Illinois economy and the thousands and thousands of hardworking and talented men and women who play integral roles in helping it thrive. The tax incentive legislation is a crucial tool in getting all kinds of movie and television productions to call Illinois home,” Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jack Lavin said
“With several films coming to Illinois and the first television pilot filmed here in five years, Gov. Blagojevich has helped put our state back on Hollywood’s center stage where it belongs,” said Illinois Film Office Managing Director Brenda Sexton. “Since this tax legislation was passed and recently renewed, we have been keeping our talented production and union people working and increasing the dollars spent across our state. The momentum that we built last year will translate into another great year for film in Illinois in 2005.”