Several Cook commissioners seek to cut proposed county film office
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Crain's Chicago Business
by Lorene Yue
(Crain’s) — Six Cook County
commissioners want to quash the creation of a county film office,
saying now is not the time to be adding to an already cash-strapped
Tucked within the 2010 Cook County
budget is the allocation of $251,611 to create a three-person film
office. The office’s goal would be similar to those of the Chicago Film
Office and the Illinois Film Office – pave the way for film and
television projects to be shot on location within Cook County.
“The idea is not a bad idea,” Commissioner Gregg Goslin said. “This is not the time to add positions to the budget.”
The proposed budget currently calls for a film office executive
director to be paid $100,000 a year and for two administrative
assistants to be paid a combined $78,361. The remaining $73,250 would
cover transportation, marketing and other office expenses.
Commissioners Forrest Claypool, Bridget Gainer, Tony Peraica,
Tim Schneider and Peter Silvestri also oppose the timing. The six
commissioners want to amend the budget so that it eliminates the Cook County Film Commission. County board members are scheduled to vote on the budget on Nov. 19.
The county film office is the brainchild of Cook County
President Todd Stroger, who created a three-member advisory board last
summer to look into the idea. He hoped to open the office on Jan. 1,
according to a report on Reel Chicago’s Web site, which covers the
city’s film and television industry.
Mr. Stroger was not available for comment.
Richard Moskal, director of the Chicago Film Office, said it would be
helpful to have a point person to funnel requests to shoot at county
facilities, such as the Forest Preserve or criminal courts building.
“There currently does not appear to be a system in place to accommodate
film makers and producers,” Mr. Moskal said. “(Requests) get bounced
around different departments depending on where people want to shoot.”
However, he questions the need to duplicate services that already exist
through the Chicago Film Office and the Illinois Film Office,
particularly as the county faces a budget shortfall.