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Film Industry Creating Chicago Media Jobs

Posted on July 30, 2008

The film industry in Illinois not only has a sizable impact statewide, but as of late has particularly created many Chicago media jobs.

In 2007, according to a press release from the State of Illinois, Illinois film productions allowed for more than 26,500 hires statewide, a 110 percent increase from 2006.

Most recently, the new Batman movie The Dark Knight was shot in Chicago, and brought nearly $40 million in revenue to the state’s economy, making it the largest movie filmed in Illinois on record. The film created 4,500 Chicago jobs.

“The Dark Knight is evidence of the success of the Illinois Film Tax Credit,” said Governor Ron R. Blagojevich. “The Film Tax Credit put Illinois back on the film industry’s map and helped Illinois achieve record revenues of $155 million and over 26,000 job hires in 2007. By renewing the tax credit, we have held on to our competitive position and are helping to ensure that filmmakers will continue coming here to make their movies.”

Employees who worked on different aspects of the film received $17.5 million in wages in jobs such as construction, electrical work, makeup and hairstyling, truck driving and acting talent. Also, more than 300 Illinois vendors received about $22 million in sales from the movie, including security providers, hardware stores, cleaning companies and catering services.

In 2000, Illinois suffered a loss in the film industry when other states began using film incentives. By 2003, the Illinois film industry fell to an all-time low at $23 million. In response, Blagojevich created the Illinois Film Tax Credit, which has caused a recent spike in the industry. The state’s 2007 intake of $155 million – an 80 percent increase over 2006 – from the film industry was an all-time high.

“We are always seeking innovative ways to promote Illinois as a place to do business,” said Jack Lavin, Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity director. “Having productions film in the state not only provides an opportunity to showcase all Illinois has to offer, but also brings in much needed revenue and helps provide employment for thousands of people. If you compare revenues from 2007 to 2003, the year before the FTC was enacted, it is evident the tremendous impact the credit has had on the state economy and for Illinois workers.”