May 11, 2011
On the heels of a record year for the Illinois film and television industry, labor leaders, legislators and industry officials agree that Chicago’s new, state-of-the-art film studio will keep money — and jobs — flowing into the state.
“This day has been a long time coming after several years of hard work,” said John T. Coli, President of Teamsters Joint Council 25 and Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727, which represents hundreds of workers in the industry. “This facility will provide thousands of jobs for years to come amid an economic climate that has been disastrous for all of labor.”
Coli joined Gov. Pat Quinn and Emmy-winning actor Kelsey Grammer on May 10, 2011, for the official opening of Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, which will become the largest North American soundstage outside of Los Angeles.
The state is investing $5 million in capital funding into the studio. The opening comes as the Illinois Film Office reported a record $161 million in spending for 2010 and more than 8,000 job hires on film and TV projects.
“Illinois is known for its excellent crews, iconic shooting locations and aggressive tax incentives,” Quinn said. “Now with new stage space available, we are the complete package — truly a world class film destination.”
Cinespace is currently playing host to “Boss,” a Starz channel series starring Grammer as a fictional Chicago mayor. About 50 Teamsters are working on the eight-episode production, which began May 2 and is expected to continue through July.
“TV series are especially crucial in creating jobs because they have the potential to shoot many episodes over many seasons,” Coli said. “The possibilities are endless.”
Upon completion, the new studio, which is located on 48.2 acres at the site of the old Ryerson Steel property on Chicago’s near southwest side between Ogden and Western Avenues, will include 1.2 million square feet of space. In addition to “Boss,” film crews for “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and “The Chicago Code” have utilized the space.
Three studio films and five TV pilots shot in Chicago last year. So far in 2011, four TV pilots have come to town. “Superman: Man of Steel” will begin shooting this summer.