Steinberg Leaving IL Film Office
January 15, 2015 by Mike McNamara
"No!" That was my well-crafted immediate reply when my friend and (much more importantly) the exceedingly dedicated director of the Illinois Film Office Betsy Steinberg sent over a note informing me that her last day at the office would be this Friday.
While it's a bad idea for Illinois to let Betsy go, the move was not unexpected, as shakeups in leadership statewide are pretty common when a new governor steps in. Betsy expected it, we were all hoping it wouldn’t happen, but so it goes.
While I could write for days about how tirelessly Betsy fought to bring production to Illinois, we can just let the numbers do the talking. Betsy took office in 2007 and the revenue brought into the state by TV and film in her first year totaled $155 million… which was actually a pretty commendable number at the time. In 2013, that number was north of $350 million. Meanwhile, we have four tremendously successful television shows on the air right now, including the highly coveted series EMPIRE, which just set ratings records for Fox last week.
While Betsy will be missed at the film office, she’s not leaving Chicago and whatever organization picks her up will be tremendously successful. As she replied when I sent her my "No!" text earlier today… “It’s all good :)”
Mike McNamara is the Co-Founder of The Midwest Independent Film Festival, www.midwestfilm.org. Mike pays his rent as an actor in Chicago in theatre, commercials, television and film. More from Mac at www.findmac.com.