The Chicago Film Office at the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced yesterday that Chicago has experienced an increase in film production for 2016 of 25% from the previous year with an unprecedented 2339 film production days.
In other words, film production in Chicago is on fire. With NBC’s Chicago Fire franchise a big part of the picture bringing in the most viewers–as many as 10 million per episode
This year’s numbers continue a trend of yearly increases every year since 2011.
Whether Chicago has returned to the heyday of the glamour days of the early 20th century remains to be seen.
But we definitely are making progress, with Chicago recently named the #5 best city to live and work by MovieMaker Magazine.
TV series play a large role in the boom with an unprecedented nine full-time major series filming across the city’s neighborhoods including: NBC’s “Chicago Fire,” ”Chicago PD,” “Chicago Med” and FOX’s “Empire”–all of which have been renewed for additional seasons.
Other shows filming in town include “Chicago Justice,” FOX’s “The Exorcist” and “A.P.B.”
Then there’s “Easy” (Netflix) and “Patriot” (Amazon), two new original series for streaming channels, that were written, produced and directed by Chicago filmmakers Joe Swanberg and Steve Conrad, respectively.
“Shameless” (Showtime) and “Sense8” (Netflix) also returned in 2016, periodically, for several weeks of filming.
Portions of movies filmed in the city last year include: “Office Christmas Party” (Paramount), “Bad Santa 2” (Miramax) and “Death Wish” (MGM) along with a total of 18 independent features.
What does this mean for Chicago?
“Another year of record filming is proof positive that the film and television industries have found a new home in Chicago,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Chicago’s vibrant culture, state-of-the-art transportation systems, and skilled workforce make us a top destination for filming—whether it’s for big studio production or small budget indies. Each of these productions contributes to our neighborhoods and local economy, which is why we are committed to being a good partner to the film industry in an effort to attract more filming and jobs right here in Chicago.”
According to the Illinois Film Office–which awards a 30 percent tax credit to film–“the rise in Chicago filming and commercial production has boosted local spending and job creation, while increasing traffic for a wide range of local businesses generating an estimated $499 million in Illinois spending, a 51 percent increase over the previous year, and employed 13,377 non-extra job hires.”
“Chicago,” says Richard Moskal, Director of the Chicago Film Office, “offers a big, hard working, visually stunning environment. Producers, performers, technicians and a growing population of talented crew people call Chicago home for good reason. The city works.”
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Filed under: Film