CFO: 59% drop in ’09 feature shoot days

Increased commercial shoot days were the only growth sign amid an otherwise listless local production industry in 2009, based on figures from the Chicago Film Office.

Studio feature days plummeted 59% last year from 2008: 39 days shot in 2009 for three features, compared with 99 days for nine features in 2008, according to the CFO, which tracks only permitted shooting days within city limits:

“Coming off the tremendous momentum of 2007 and 2008, and considering our new and significantly improved tax credit, expectations were sky high we’d have another strong year,” says CFO director Rich Moskal.

Instead of that, he says, “The failing economy hurt us, as it did every industry. Declining dollars meant producers and studios were greenlighting fewer projects.

“The projects that did get made sought out the biggest incentives and cheapest deals.”