Filming Locations for Rent in Chicago, IL

Up your filmmaking game at one of these locations

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Top Filming Locations in Chicago, IL

Chicago is a movie set within itself, which is why the city was the inspiration for Batman’s Gotham City. Known for its iconic skylines, and Beaux-Arts style architecture, this metropolis has some incredible filming locations ranging from unique buildings to magnificent parks. Planning an indoor or outdoor filming session? You're about to be spoiled. Whether you’re seeking a striking lounge for an ad or a vibrant taqueria for a movie, you’re guaranteed to be pleased with Tagvenue’s indoor and outdoor venue suggestions.

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Filming Locations Rental Guide

What are some popular filming locations in Chicago?

Chi-town attracts thousands of filmmakers and photographers every year due to its upscale venues and stunning landscape. With its amazing beaches and avant-garde skyscrapers, this place has a lot to offer to creative minds. One major thing that has contributed to its popularity is the support of the people, which makes it easy for filmmakers to shoot at a range of venues, from quaint coffee bars to rooftop restaurants gazing over the gorgeous city. To help you pick the right location for your script, we’ve compiled a list of potential filming locations for your next project.

Bars & Pubs 

Bars and pubs are ideal locations for any type of shoot, whether it's at night or during the day. You can always rent such places for the perfect setting if you're shooting a date night or a party. These places are some of those amazing hangout areas with a lot of energy that can be used for anything from filming a special event to having a good time. You'll find everything from speakeasy-style cocktail pubs to quirky cellar bars in Chicago!

Creative spaces

Let your imagination run wild! Creative spaces are frequently utilized for business meetings or as rehearsal rooms. While that is their primary purpose, they may also be used to fuel your creativity. These immersive surroundings will not only help you produce new ideas but will also make it simpler for you to focus on your job, whether you're working with a group of aspiring artists or pros. In addition, you may also benefit from a range of tools and technology available in these spaces.

Studios

While filming on location is an exciting experience and a lot of fun, being at the whim of Mother Nature is not amusing when you're on a tight schedule or have a limited budget. This is where studios come in handy. Studio spaces are perfect for having complete control over your surroundings, which is vital for filmmakers. Working at a location with everything you need, from top-notch technology to extra rooms for your actors to rehearse their lines or anything else is super practical. Another perk of renting a studio space is that you’ll come across a lot of like-minded people and this might help you to get a few more gigs!

Hotels

Hotels are one of those locations that appear in nearly every film, but they don't have to be limited to that. Because they frequently include elegant pubs and restaurants that are ideal for your backdrop for many situations. They can be used for holiday commercials or even corporate ads. You also don't have to rent out the entire venue just to film a restaurant scene or a scene by the pool; all you have to do is contact the venue manager to rent out the desired area.

Theaters

Wondering if you can rent a theater for filming a performance or simply for adding a dramatic setting to a one-man show? With more than 250 theaters in the city, you can pick anything from grandiose historic theaters with beautiful chandeliers and seats to more laid-back ones with a minimalistic layout. When theaters are not hosting shows, many of them are available for your projects. With such splendid backdrops at hand, your work will look like a Broadway show in no time. 

Parks

You’re probably familiar with the famous Grant Park that was used in one of the scenes in About Last Night. Parks are perfect if you’re planning to shoot anything ranging from a picnic scene or simply filming an outfit of the day video for your YouTube channel. Since parks in Chicago are versatile and extremely accommodating, you won’t have to worry about passersby ruining your scene. If you want to be outdoors but still have the comfort of the indoors, you could simply rent out a cafe or a bar with a patio that overlooks the parks for the ultimate spring or summer vibe!

How to pick the locations for my script?

Okay so you’ve got the script and storyboard, now is the time for you to select some locations. Since it’s impossible to visit every location to find out what works best for your scene, you will need to visualize the scene and think about how the locations would fit in. While you may always use public spaces for filming, it’s good to know that you will need to inform the authorities first, and this usually comes at a fee. You can always write down a list of locations for every scene and go through venues on online marketplaces like Tagvenue; it’s a lot more efficient and less time-consuming. For instance, if you’re planning a scene where two friends are catching up, you could simply shoot it at a book cafe or a pub. You can link your locations to your storyboard, write them down or make a simple illustration. Some popular locations to consider in Chicago are Skydeck bars, museums, theaters, cocktail lounges, hotels, restaurants, airports, and historic sites such as the Willis Tower, amongst others. 

 

FAQs about Filming Locations in Chicago, IL

Do I have to pay for filming in public spaces?

Generally, a fee of $250 per day/per location is charged for filming on the streets or in other public spaces. Filmmakers have to get their permits from the City of Chicago. However, if you’re an independent filmmaker or student, you’ll only be charged $25 per day/per location upon verification. 

Do I need permission to film in a public place?

Not in Chicago. You are free to film and photograph as you like in public spaces in the city. However, you might be asked a few questions by the police personnel as to why are you filming but a few answers will suffice for you to carry on with your work.

Can I film on private property in Chicago?

If you’re filming on so-called public property, for instance, shopping malls or markets, it’s best to get the consent of the legal owner of the filming location if you’re including a cafe or a restaurant since these are private properties within a public space. Unless you’re renting a venue and the venue manager is taking care of the legal aspects of filming, you should also get approval from the person in charge of the property before filming.

Where can I find movie studios in Chi-town?

Anywhere from Lincoln Park to West Rogers Parks. You can rent numerous studios in practically any neighborhood for photoshoots, ad shoots, movies, and anything in between. Don’t be afraid to explore further north or south for some hidden gems. Since Chicago is a popular location for movies, this place knows no shortage of impressive studios.

How do I get in touch with the event manager of a filming location?

So you know where you want to shoot but don’t know how to proceed? With Tagvenue, you can easily find your favorite venue and connect with the host to discuss your options and ask for further details. Moreover, you don’t have to pay before contacting the venue manager. You can make sure that you’re hiring the right venue by discussing all details, then move on with the payment and other details to ensure that your plan goes smoothly.

Guest Reviews of Filming Locations on Tagvenue

J
Jonathan T.
Booked Ravenswood Loft Photo Studio at Tightrope Recording
Filmed here for a short film. Beautiful, lots of of space, could probably film several different scenes here. Owner was very accommodating, fast responses and helpful attitude. Would rent again
A
Andrey M.
Booked Chi 1 at FD Photo Studio - Chicago
The size of the studio was excellent for my needs and it really served the goal I rented the studio for. I love the way it turned out in the final video edit. Service was great as well, i was never disturbed or distracted. It will be worth your money.

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