Good news for the Illinois production community – from 2021 to 2022, the state saw increases in U.S. Scripted Television series distributed, U.S. Scripted Streaming Television series distributed, and remained even in U.S. Scripted Cable Television series distributed.
FilmLA Research unveiled a groundbreaking report that analyzes U.S.-produced, first-run, English-language scripted projects distributed in the years 2021 and 2022. This report represents an evolution in FilmLA’s tracking methodology and aims to shed light on the locations used for the creation of U.S. scripted content, providing valuable insights into the ever-evolving industry.
“The change our industry has undergone over the past few years is profound,” noted FilmLA President Paul Audley. “Here, in a moment where many predict a reduction in industry output, this study establishes a baseline for us to understand the challenges ahead.”
In previous years, FilmLA issued separate reports on the film and television sectors. This new Scripted Content Study combines an analysis of various categories, including television series (streaming, cable, and broadcast), original made-for-cable movies, first-run feature films in theatrical release, and original feature films made for streaming services. The report covers around 1,000 projects that meet these criteria and are distributed each calendar year.
The report’s findings indicate that Greater Los Angeles remained the top filming location for U.S. scripted content, based on the sheer number of hosted productions. However, it also highlights that the region’s total production capture showed minimal growth (<1 percent) between 2021 and 2022. This is in contrast to the observed four (4) percent growth in total industry output and significant growth in competing jurisdictions.
UK and Georgia posted year-over-year increases ranging from 50 to 200+ percent, with the exception of theatrical release movies, achieving high rates of production capture across multiple production categories.
Illinois Scripted Television Distribution
In 2022, Illinois saw 14 series produced. This was up from 10 series in 2021, representing an increase of 40%. In the overall production chart below, Illinois is ranked number 7.
Illinois Sees Second-Largest Increase in Streaming Production
Illinois streaming saw a whopping 250% increase when it came to streaming series from 2021 to 2022. The state was up from two series to seven. Overall, the state ranked eighth.
Cable Production Remains Even
From 2021 to 2022 there was no change in the amount of U.S. Scripted Cable Production. Two were produced in 2021 and two in 2022. Overall, Illinois ranked eighth, sandwiched between Italy and Massachusetts.
Illinois Broadcast TV Production Down
From 2021 to 2022, the state saw a drop of 17% in U.S. Scripted Broadcast Production as the amount of series dropped from six to five. But Illinois was not alone as Los Angeles saw a .05% drop and even popular British Columbia fell by 14%.
Lack of Major Film Production
The not-so-great news for Illinois Production is the lack of major studio film production in the state. While there are a number of independent films being produced, Illinois is missing out on significant dollars when it comes to major films and effects-driven TV.
A review of the top 10 filming jurisdictions during the study period shows that Los Angeles and New York were the number one and two production centers for theatrical features. However, the number, of features filmed in these two centers declined by -18 and -29 percent, respectively. By comparison, the number rose by 21 percent in the UK and by 17 percent in California outside the Greater Los Angeles region.
When it came to movies made for streaming, Illinois did show up on the chart, but also experienced a 63% drop in production. Streaming film production saw eight films produced in 2021 vs. three in 2022.
At the time of this report’s release, the film and television industry is in a state of substantial change. The era of “Peak TV” is winding down, and challenging labor negotiations and concurrent industry strikes have deeply impacted the 2023 production pipeline.
The impact of overlapping strikes by members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) is significant. Currently, pending resolution of these labor agreements, all episodic television and studio feature films are shut down in Los Angeles, with the exception of some independent feature films and television series that are being made outside the studio system.
The full impact of the strikes will not be known until next year. Moving forward, we will have to ascertain the competitive position of the film and television industry in Illinois vis-à-vis its competitors.
For stage facilities in Illinois, there has only been one major player in the area and that’s Cinespace. Located minutes from downtown Chicago, Cinespace features 36 stages with production office and support spaces across two huge campuses.
Opening in February, 2024 The Fields Studios looks like a beautiful space that includes nine purpose-built soundstages on two lots totaling 132,000 square feet of stage space. They will have over 350,000 square feet of creative and production offices, plus mill and support space, on over 20 acres in Chicago’s Northwest Side. The studio campus will have approximately 150,000 square feet of support and mill space for surface-level base camp areas for production vehicles and support space for production departments, dressing rooms and surrounding land for future back lot construction.
Illinois Tax Incentive
|30%-45% Transferable Tax Credit
|30% (limited to certain positions)
|30% (limited to certain positions)
|15% on salaries of individuals who live in economically disadvantaged areas whose unemployment rate is at least 150% of the State’s annual average.
|Qualified expenditures include tangible, personal property and services purchased from Illinois vendors, and compensation paid to Illinois resident employees.Click here for a list of qualified expenditures.
|$100K ($50K for 30 minutes or less)
|Production must complete and submit the Illinois Film Tax Credit Application at least 5 days before principal photography begins in Illinois. Commercial Advertising Applications must be submitted at least 24 hours prior to start of filming in Illinois.
|Income Tax Withholding
|Individual: Not RequiredLoan-out: Not Required
|December 31, 2032
|Reality TV is approved on a case-by-case basis.Application must include the diversity plan – specific goals for hiring minorities and women
TV shows filming in Illinois
- The Bear
- The Chi
- Chicago Fire
- Chicago Med
- Chicago PD
- Dark Matter
- Deli Boys
- The Killer
- Justified: City Primeval
- Power Book IV: Force
- Somebody Somewhere
Movies filming in Illinois
- 99 Problems
- Heist 88