Bottle Rocket Media was founded in Chicago, and we love this city! From deep-dish pizza to the robust music scene, a substantial arts culture, and some kick-ass sports teams (sometimes…), we could go on and on about why this is one of the greatest cities in the world. Chicago appears to have it all. So we aren’t surprised that so many others have made Chicago home for their film sets, television series, and video production projects.

The Chicago Video History

The inaugural June 1907 issue of the Chicago-based trade magazine Show World proclaimed that “Chicago leads the world in the rental of moving picture films and in the general patronage of the motion view.” The city of Chicago and surrounding suburbs were bustling with filmmakers making their presence known even before 1907. As early as 1897, a former magician and troupe manager, William Selig, was making and exhibiting films in the city. From Irving Park Blvd and Western Ave to the infamous Argyle Street in Uptown, the likes of Gloria Swanson and Charlie Chaplin were both working at the Essanay studio in beloved Chicago. 

Companies run by African Americans producing silent films got their start in the grit that is Chicago as well. No matter the distribution changes and the desire for more of a west coast vibe, Chicago remained a place to create, produce, and elevate film and video. From the 80s to now, the Windy City is still listed as third or fourth for money spent on scenes for films. The place is timeless, credible, and the history is undeniable. 

The Chicago Video Production Industry

And the extent to which Chicago is represented in the motion picture industry is jaw-dropping.  Once acknowledged as the home of The Oprah Winfrey Show and Gotham City’s stunt double on the set of The Dark Knight, the list of Chicago-based productions is endless.  Here is just a small taste of television and films that were shot in Chicago  – Call it our top 25, in no particular order.


  1. The Blues Brothers
  2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  3. Untouchables
  4. Risky Business
  5. The Fugitive
  6. The Breakfast Club
  7. When Harry Met Sally
  8. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
  9. High Fidelity
  10. Transformers
  11. Divergent
  12. Wayne’s World
  13. Candyman
  14. The Dark Knight
  15. The Breakup
  16. Home Alone
  17. Public Enemies
  18. My Best Friend’s Wedding
  19. Hoop Dreams
  20. Road to Perdition


  1. Shameless
  2. The Chi
  3. Married With Children
  4. ER
  5. Bob Newhart Show
  6. Hill Street Blues
  7. Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Chicago PD
  8. South Side
  9. The Good Wife
  10. Boss
  11. Shake It Up
  12. The Oprah Winfrey Show
  13. Good Times
  14. Empire
  15. Family Matters
  16. Fargo
  17. The Phil Donahue Show
  18. Lovecraft Country
  19. The Bernie Mac Show
  20. Mike and Molly

The point is, Chicago “Isn’t new to this, it is true to this.” Innovative visionaries have settled themselves in the Midwest city to build even more recognition within the video world. With video production teams in the market specializing in a variety of skill sets, the endeavor to stand out from the rest of the competition is tremendous. It is inevitable though, as Chicago video production companies are creeping up left and right, the attempt to garner more prospective client attention will occur, and you will be the target audience. 

Content Marketing and Chicago Video Production 

As a brand, a marketer, or entrepreneur, video content marketing is exceptionally important to the growth and success of your business. And with all the talented options Chicago has to offer you will, no doubt, find the right group of people to fit your needs.  It is through content that a desire is created within your intended consumer. Your responsibility is to maintain relevance. According to Hubspot, video isn’t going anywhere, but it is always expanding, changing, and evolving to fit new consumer needs and new platforms. We suggest you stay on top of the trends and continue to build business momentum through your video content. Whether you decide to share video content on your website, through email campaigns, or on social media there has to be a decision to be made on what type of video you need, and what video production team you prefer to work with. With several Chicago video production teams to choose from, select one that understands the film industry and storytelling industry, one that makes the process seamless, enjoyable, and creates an experience that you will be eager to replicate. 

From concept to delivery we love the video life and can talk about it all day long. To learn more about Bottle Rocket Media’s video production services and one of Clutch’s Top 10 Chicago video production companies, connect with us to get your project started

Keep us in mind, and in the loop when you find your next favorite movie or show filmed in this great midwest city filled with so much history.