ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois has broken film industry records announcing nearly $700 million in expenditures
“The film and television industry is taking of all across Illinois, it’s becoming a world wide industry leader in entertainment,” said Jason Beghe, star of of the television series Chicago P.D.
“We are super excited about the expenditure increase it’s really going to help grow things in the state even more,” said Jerry LaBuy, Academic Chair of Mass Communications at Rock Valley College.
“We’ve gone from 470 million dollars to almost 700 million dollars of production spend in Illinois year over year and that’s huge, that’s huge growth,” said Peter Hawley the Director of the Illinois Film Office.
One of the biggest reasons for the big strides is the focus on securing the film industry pipeline.
“Film infrastructure in Illinois is sound stages and crew based especially entry level crew base and so when I was hired for the job I started this program about getting entry level crew into the industry,” Hawley said.
The Illinois Film Office has teamed with colleges across the state including Rock Valley College which has already opened numerous opportunities.
“This program that the state provides for us through the grant funding allows us to expand upon that. We can train students who maybe can’t afford the college credit or they don’t have the time in the day to do a full college course load. So they can come once or twice a week and take our film and tv set class and just get some basics about how to run and work on a set,” LaBuy said.
Hawley said that Illinois is now in the top ten states in the film industry.
“The Governor and I both want by the end of 20-24 for us to be Illinois to be a billion dollar a year industry in film production,” Hawley said.