Good news, filmmakers! Tax credit extension bill passes the House — now it’s on to the Sentate

THE TAX EXTENSION IS ON ITS WAY! The Illinois House voted 107-7 to extend Illinois’ generous 20% tax credits. The bill was introduced to the House by speaker Michael Madigan .

From there, the bill goes to the Senate and wends its way through committes and ultimately to the Senate floor for a vote ? assuming all goes according to plan. It’s difficult to say when to pop corks — everyone’s hoping before the end of the month — so stay tuned.

Tax credit applications are stacked up at the IF0 and everyone is raring to go on what could be another record film for movie and spot production in the Land of Lincoln.

Since its inception in 2003, the Illinois Production Alliance has engaged the services of an effective lobbying firm to keep the needs of the film industry before legislative leaders in Springfield. For information about the IPA, call president Sandra Gordon at 312/316-0303.

JOHNNY DEPP stars as ’30s gangster John Dillinger in writer/producer/director Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies,” a blockbuster big-budget project from Universal.

A massive 90-day shooting schedule in “The Third Coast” starts in early March: 45 days in the Chicago area and 35 days in Wisconsin.

The story is about the Feds taking down notorious gangsters ? Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd — during a booming crime wave in the ?30s.

One of the important Wisconsin locations is the original, existing motor lodge of Dillinger’s day in Little Bohemia, where the outlaw fatally shot FBI agents.

Highland Park-native Mann filmed “Ali” in Chicago in 2001.

DENNIS QUAID is in Chicago this entire week, Jan. 7-11, for reshoots of the action/thriller “The Horsemen.”

Principal photography originally took place in Winnipeg. Director is Londoner Jonas Akerlun, also an editor, writer and actor primarily of music videos. Release date is April.

FOCUS FEATURES brings an untitled feature to Chicago for nine weeks in March. The supernatural thriller is directed by David Goyer, who also wrote the script. DP is James Hawkinson.

The story follows an 18-year-girl who realizes she is slowly being possessed and begins to fight back. Rogue Pictures is the production company.

THE RED REVOLUTION arrived at Fletcher Chicago Dec. 31 and Tom Fletcher is as excited as if he received an Academy Award, maybe more so. “This is the biggest technology change yet — increased quality at a reduced cost,” he exults.

Fletcher has the first Red camera between coasts. Only six Red cameras have been delivered so far and a movie shooting in New Mexico is the first to employ it.

Red testing is underway and so far Fletcher confirms “it’s living up to its hype.” Post houses will be included in to the testing. No rental price established as yet. Stay tuned.

AUDIO PRODUCERS GROUP added Peter Erazmus as head sound designer. He’d been a CRC engineer/sound designer for eight years, winning top awards (Cannes Gold Lions, Clios, Andy’s) for his work.

Erazmus joins APG partner/producers Mindy Verson and David Kaplan and sound designer/engineer Lucas Irvine. Among APG’s clients are Hallmark, Heinz, Petsmart, Samsung, Kellogg’s, Wrigley, Coca Cola, Orbitz, McDonald’s and Disney.

FUSION92 is the new name of b|media marketing and expanded space, staff and equipment at a new location at 59 W. Seegers Rd., Arlington Heights. New phone, 847/839-8900.

AN ASC AWARD will be presented Jan. 26 in L.A. to Columbia College film/video student Stephanie Dufford for her 35mm short, “The Fantastic Magnifico.”

She won Honorable Mention in the 2008 Laszlo Kovacs Student Heritage Award for short short, which she created for her Special Studies in Cinematography 2 class.

TOM BUSCH is back in town working as UPM on “Humboldt Park” that starts shooting here for six weeks beginning early next month. Busch has worked on every movie that producers George Tillman Jr.-Bob Teitel have shot in their home town. Busch moved to L.A. two years ago.

Share your news with the Reel’s readers, the most of all film trades between coasts, where nothing gets beyond the Reel. Written by experts, not interns. Email Ruth@Reelchicago.com.

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