CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today visited the set of the hit TV series Chicago Fire to announce that the Illinois film industry generated a record estimated $358 million in spending in 2013, resulting in more than 4,200 full-time equivalent jobs. The new record nearly doubled the previous record year of $184 million in 2012 and is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois' economy forward.
"These record-breaking numbers show there is no better place to film than Illinois," Governor Quinn said. “Productions like Chicago Fire are helping grow and strengthen Illinois’ economy by creating thousands of jobs across the state, from actors to painters and carpenters, and the hundreds of small businesses that serve the industry.”
Contributing to the increase were a record six television series such as Chicago Fire and Chicago PD; movies such as Divergent, Jupiter Ascending and Transformers 4; and approximately 150 commercial productions.
Chicago Fire alone spent $58 million in 2013, of which $30 million went directly to Illinois wages. Since production began in 2011, Chicago Fire has spent nearly $111 million in the local economy. Chicago PD, whose production started in September 2013, spent $29 million, of which $21 million went directly to Illinois wages. In 2013, approximately $203 million of all spending went directly to Illinois wages.
“Our film production tax credits, access to world-class infrastructure, and a nationally respected labor pool make Illinois a winning destination for production companies,” Betsy Steinberg, managing director of the Illinois Film Office (IFO) said.
In 2011, Governor Quinn helped open the Cinespace complex, which includes 18 stages and is the largest soundstage in the United States outside of Hollywood. The facility vastly increases Illinois’ capacity to handle major productions. The studio includes 1.2 million square feet and is located on 48.2 acres at the site of the old Ryerson Steel property on the near west side of Chicago.
The IFO actively promotes the state as an ideal location for video productions, citing the unique locations, talented crews and ample sound stages of Illinois. In addition, the IFO administers the Illinois Film Tax Credit, which has been instrumental in spurring growth of the state’s film industry. Governor Quinn signed a 10-year extension of the credit in 2011, which has paved the way for more productions throughout the state. The 30 percent tax credit is awarded to filmmakers for money spent on Illinois goods and services, including wages paid to Illinois residents. Since its inception, the credit has helped bring $1.3 billion in revenue to the state.