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Local Actors Aid In Prison Break

By Julene McCoy in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 30, 2005 6:40PM

Chicagoist was only looking for a beer at Cal's on their way to the White Stripes (review will be forthcoming - don't worry) show Monday evening, but we ran into a premiere party for Prison Break. The new series on Fox is being filmed at the Joliet Correction Center taking advantage of the reality of an actual prison and also the tax incentives passed in 2003 to bring more film productions to the state.

Anthony Fleming
The party was in honor of Anthony Fleming, a local theater actor and bike messenger, who landed a spot as a prisoner in the series. So far Anthony has filmed four episodes and is hoping to appear in more. The tax incentives pay more towards local actors and crew than if the workers are brought in from out of state. So this has been a great opportunity for local actors to get their foot in the door.

About half of the series is filmed at the prison and other locations around our fair city. The series spends about $2 million per episode bringing in $24 million for the season. This series is helping to rebound the film industry that was once thriving in Chicago. From only having $25 million in revenues in 2003, $68 million has been put into our economy by Hollywood the first six months of 2005.

The Prison Break premiere will be reshown on Fox, this Thursday at 7pm for those of us who missed the entire show last night.