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Navigate Chicago’s Video Shooting Locations

Posted by Barb Kittridge on November 30, 2023

Chicago is one of the top destinations in the U.S. The Windy City is a major metropolis between the coasts, a cultural hub with centuries of history and iconic places both old and new. All these traits  — the convenient location, the distinctive sights, the sheer scale and variety on offer — make Chicago an intriguing place to film your next corporate video.

Whether you’re interested in a specific location you’ve seen in Hollywood movies and TV series or you’re more curious about undiscovered local gems, numerous destinations in Chicago can serve as perfect video backdrops or B-roll features. With the help of the right video crew, you can start capitalizing on the Second City’s distinctive charms in your next corporate film shoot.

Why Film Corporate Video in Chicago?

Chicago’s status as a large-scale city with countless green spaces and miles of surrounding suburbs means it can serve many different roles when you’re filming on location. It can be a generic big-city backdrop, double for another city or show off its unique character.

There’s a significant chance your company already has professional connections in the city, where over 30 Fortune 500 companies keep offices. Alternatively, you might be scheduled to come to Chicago for an industry convention or similar gathering. Due to the central location of Chicago, it can represent the easiest place to gather colleagues from both coasts and the Midwest.

In addition to the business case for coming to Chicago, there are also strong filmmaking connections in the area. Over 1,000 feature films have shot footage in the area, along with numerous commercials, TV series and smaller productions. For example, you may have seen Chicago double for Gotham City in the Dark Knight trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan, or noticed it playing itself in The Bear and the Chicago PD, Chicago Med or Chicago Fire TV series.

The Windy City’s legacy as a film destination means you’ll find readymade filmmaking infrastructure. The sound stage and gear rental facilities in the city can help you complete your corporate film shoot on time, no matter how ambitious your plans may be.

See what it’s like to film in Chicago.

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Discover 5 Great Chicago Filming Locations

Some of the most iconic places to host an on-location shoot in Chicago include:

  • Navy Pier: Jutting into Lake Michigan, the pier is home to conventions, events, gatherings and performances of all kinds. It’s also simply a nice place to walk in summer, making it the perfect spot to capture bustling, casual B-roll.
  • Local museums: Chicago’s thriving network of arts museums and galleries make for inspiring filming locations, whether you want to spend some time shooting at out-of-the-way spaces or make like Ferris Bueller and spend a day off admiring Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte at the Art Institute of Chicago.
  • Skyline viewing spots: Whether you’re filming on location on the banks of Lake Michigan or looking up from an outline suburb, it’s hard to miss the imposing Chicago skyline, containing the famous Willis Tower.
  • Stadiums: Chicago is home to numerous sports teams, which means there’s always a field or arena nearby when you need a giant space to act as your next shooting location. Iconic venues include the venerable Wrigley Field and Soldier Field.
  • McCormick Place: Filming at a convention is one of the surest ways to bring your company’s best minds together, and when you’re in Chicago, the heavyweight venue for these events is the 2.6 million-square-foot McCormick Place, located on the lakefront with a skyline view.

When operating on these or other sites around Chicago, it pays to remember that the Chicago film production industry has a strong union presence. To perform on-location shooting in the city, it’s important to go through the proper channels, obtain permits and work within union-approved guidelines.

Learn facts about Chicago video production directly from our crews.

Work with Local Experts to Film Corporate Video in Chicago

Chicago is one of the most versatile cities in the world from a film and video on-location shooting perspective. It’s played host to the Blues Brothers, Batman and Ferris Bueller, and it even played New York City in Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man. (Ironically, it did not appear in Chicago that was Toronto).

To see all Chicago has to offer, without spending too much time worrying about complex logistics, you can team up with locally experienced crews made up of long-tenured video professionals. That’s where Crews Control comes in, matching your production with top contributors who know their area.

These crews can acquire permits, perform shooting location scouting and generally grant your own talent and stakeholders peace of mind while delivering high-quality footage.
Want to know more about the power of a great filming location? Download our eBook.

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