The whole concept of the Film Campus for Chicago’s film industry is an attempt to revive the failing film industry in Chicago and restore Chicago’s standing in the film industry. This is a wake-up call for Chicago’s film community. The Film Campus would be an ideal situation if all the ducks lined up. Even if that happened, it would take years before the Film Campus would open. This isn’t an old factory where one throws up a few sheets of dry wall and opens the loading dock door for business. The Film Campus starts fresh, new construction, new state of the art facilities that would grow with the ever changing digital/film industry. The pictures I pulled off of the Internet are to show what could happen if Chicago is willing to change. My thought is Chicago has to present its best to compete with the best and that’s LA and NYC both which have their numbers in the multi-billion dollar range. Chicago with its refurbished industry image has a banner year of $160M and it has the state and the city officials high fiving what a great and prosperous film industry Chicago has. If this is what Chicago wants, it’s there! HOME RUN!
One person isn’t going to change the film industry in Chicago; it has to be the film community united to make a better film industry in Chicago. Until the film community in Chicago recognizes that it is in trouble and that a refurbished factory is only a quick fix to grab a few crumbs of the film industry, the community will fade -- from a contender it once was, to the mediocre film location it is today. A question -- when was the last full length feature completely shot in Chicago? When was the last long running prime time TV series shot in Chicago?
For someone/anyone to say that the film industry in Chicago is doing great and the past few years were banner years and are an indication of the fantastic future of Chicago’s film industry has is smoking the funny stuff.
Look at the statistics (I’ll use the MPAA state by state statistics)-
The film industry is responsible for 191,146 direct jobs and $17.0 billion in wages in California.
The film industry is responsible for 91,608 direct jobs and $8.2 billion in wages in New York.
for 39,140 direct jobs and $1.5 billion in wages in Texas.
for 27,537 direct jobs and $1.3 billion in wages in Florida.
for 22,843 direct jobs and $1.3 billion in wages in Georgia.
for 20,946 direct jobs and $969.2 million in wages in Illinois.
for 16,395 direct jobs and $732.9 million in wages in Pennsylvania.
for 13,729 direct jobs and $643.6 million in wages in Virginia.
If Chicago wants to compete with the best, LA and NYC, it has to offer the best. The Film Campus idea is a start. If Chicago is ready for a big time change, then both the City of Chicago and Chicago’s film community have to work together to make it happen. Good Luck!
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