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What's Filming In 2006

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 23, 2006 3:38PM

Squeezed in between Adrianne Curry and the newest Miss America (mmmm…), Terry Armour's column offered a sneak peek into movies that will be filming in Chicago in 2006.

2006_01_films.jpgArmour predicts 2006 is going to be a slim year for film and television productions. He notes that Barbershop producers Bob Teitel and George Tillman’s My Ride With Gus is “in limbo.” But this is likely due to new projects both have in the works: an untitled film based on the life of Emmit Till and The Champions, described by director Malcolm D. Lee (Roll Bounce) as a “modern-day Parenthood.” The former project would likely film here.

In addition, Armour mentions the writer of the Chicago-set film The Weather Man will direct his first feature, Quebec. Also in the hopper is a film based on Jim Dent’s book Monster of the Midway about former Chicago Bear Bronko Nagurski. Pre-production has yet to begin on either flick so these are both tentative.

Other states are adopting the same kind of tax breaks that Illinois gives to film productions, which may account for Chicago’s spare slate. According to Reel Chicago, filming on Disney’s Daddy’s Girl moved to Boston from Chicago after Massachusetts passed a tax rebate on all production-related expenses (Illinois offers a rebate on taxes paid on wages only).

Reel Chicago also provides a post-mortem on 2005. Thanks to shows like “Prison Break” and movies like Stranger Than Fiction and The Break-Up, Illinois racked up $90 million in revenues in 2005, up from $77 million in 2004. Nine studio features lensed here in 2005, but Chicago Film Office director Rich Moskal says a television show like “Prison Break” is a bigger boon to local production as it “keeps us on the radar of other studios.” Plus, it increases the likelihood that Chicagoist will “accidentally” run into Robin Tunney downtown and she will finally realize that we’re destined to be together. 4-Eva.

Looking at the Illinois Film Office website gives us a few more clues as to what else is filming in the early part of this year. Winter In Paris, "a noir-ish romance" described as Jim Jarmusch meets In The Mood For Love is seeking headshots and resumes for a spring shoot, a February start date is scheduled for Soul, an urban musical drama, and auditions were held this weekend for Holla If Ya Hear Me, a horror/suspense comedy from 1555 Filmworks.