Preview for a Busy Summer of TV & Film
May 18, 2017 by Mike McNamara
The Illinois Department of Commerce’s FILM Office this week announced projects that will be filming this summer and fall across Illinois, including big-budget and independent films, and network, cable and streaming television. Illinois continues to attract film, television, non-scripted, digital and commercial production from across the country - remaining a home for a myriad of creative content and production infrastructure.
"It is an exciting time to be in the Illinois film industry," Illinois FILM Office Director Christine Dudley. "Talent and opportunity grows stronger every day as we continue to cultivate a booming film production infrastructure within our state. We remain the number one filming location within the Midwest and steadily within the top six in the country, helping to attract new production, industry and revenue to Illinois year upon year."
As reported in SCREEN, NBC and FOX announced their 2017 fall seasons with the renewal of primetime hits CHICAGO FIRE, CHICAGO PD and CHICAGO MED (NBC), while Season 4 of EMPIRE (FOX) was ordered in January. Off-season pickups include the anthology series ELECTRIC DREAMS (Sony/Amazon) and THE CHI (20th Century Fox/Showtime), which are currently in production through the summer.
Illinois is especially proud of media juggernaut The Onion, which premiered THE AV CLUB WITH JOHN TETI (Fusion), which continues production though Fall 2017, PATRIOT (Amazon) ordered for Season 2 and created by local writer/director/producer Steve Conrad and EASY (Netflix), created by Chicagoan Joe Swanberg, currently in production on Season 2; all written and produced here in Illinois.
“It is increasingly evident that Illinois is becoming a premier destination for film production,” said Illinois Department of Commerce Director Sean McCarthy. “We are proud of the productions that call Illinois home and have put our state on screens across the world, and we will continue to build upon our success to welcome new productions to facilitate growth in this thriving industry.”
Illinois is also hosting some big names in movies. WIDOWS from Oscar-winning Director Steve McQueen and Illinois-based writer Gillian Flynn began filming on Monday. The much-anticipated film stars Viola Davis, André Holland, Robert DuVall, Liam Neeson and Colin Farrell. John Goodman and Vera Farmiga were recently in the Illinois filming the sci-fi thriller CAPTIVE STATE. Additionally, Illinois continues to be a bastion for indie film making, with WHAT THEY HAD, starring Hilary Swank, Blythe Danner and Michael Shannon, which recently wrapped production.
A strong talent pool of cast and crew members, diverse shooting locations and a competitive incentive program keeps Illinois’ film industry growing. In 2016, Illinois’ film industry generated $499 million in estimated Illinois spending, a 51 percent increase over the previous year. The office worked with 345 television, commercial and film projects that generated 13,377 non-extra job hires over the course of the year.
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.