CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn announced today that Illinois’s film industry produced a record number of TV series this year, positioning Illinois as an attractive alternative to Hollywood and spurring economic and job growth in the state.
A record four TV drama series filmed in Illinois in 2012: NBC’s Chicago Fire, Fox’s Mob Doctor, Starz’ Boss, and MTV’s Underemployed. The four dramatic series combined are expected to contribute more than $92 million in local spending and create more than 1,200 full-time equivalent Illinois jobs in 2012. Also, a comedy TV pilot—USA Network’s Sirens by Denis Leary— is scheduled to begin shooting later this month, further boosting the economic impact of Illinois’ film industry.
“Our talented crews, iconic shooting locations and world class sound stages have helped make 2012 a banner year for the Illinois television industry,” Governor Pat Quinn said. “We are committed to helping the film and television industry grow in Illinois by attracting more productions that create good jobs.”
In December 2011, Governor Quinn met with NBC executives and encouraged them to bring the entire production of Chicago Fire to Illinois. The TV series, which profiles the lives of the Chicago firefighters, premieres Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 9 p.m. Central Time on NBC. The cast includes Chicago actor Christian Stolte, Naperville native David Eigenberg, Jesse Spencer, Taylor Kinney, Eamonn Walker, and Lauren German.
Chicago Fire, Underemployment and Boss are all filmed at the Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. Sirens recently opened offices there as well. The soundstage opened in May 2011 and was constructed with $5 million in capital funding from the state through the Illinois Jobs Now! program and tens of millions of dollars in private investment. When fully built out at 1.2 million feet, Cinespace is expected to rank as the largest soundstage outside of Hollywood in the U.S.
“We are thrilled that the TV networks recognize what a perfect place Illinois is for series television,” said Betsy Steinberg, Managing Director of the Illinois Film Office. “Our tax credits for film production, access to world-class infrastructure and great crews combine to make Illinois a winning destination for production companies.
In 2011, Illinois’ film industry generated $154 million in spending and created 2,060 full-time equivalent jobs in Illinois with such feature films as Man of Steel, TV series including Boss and Playboy Club, along with a variety of independent films and commercial productions.
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 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 in 2004, the Film Tax Credit has helped generate $971 million in revenue for the state and create the full-time equivalent of more than 10,000 jobs.
“Television shows have a substantial economic impact and provide long term jobs for our state’s highly skilled labor force,” said David Vaught, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. “These shows create jobs for electricians, welders, construction workers, painters, truck drivers, accountants, hair and make-up stylists, actors, extras, caterers, security personnel and office workers.”
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the IFO are dedicated to advancing Illinois’ reputation as a world-class film destination. The IFO promotes and markets the state as an ideal shooting location for films, television shows and commercials. The IFO also promotes and encourages the training and hiring of Illinois residents who represent the diversity of the state’s population.