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During Sunday’s casting call for extras for the untitled Ramin Bahrani film currently filming in DeKalb County, Nicole Liddle half-joked that it would be exciting to see the back of her head in the movie.

“This doesn’t really happen in DeKalb,” she said of Sunday’s filming and casting call at the Egyptian Theatre. “I definitely think for the area it’s unique.”

DeKalb County has received its share of exposure recently, from filming for the Bahrani movie – which stars Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron – in various DeKalb County locations, to last week’s filming of scenes for the new NBC show “The Playboy Club” at the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore.

Debbie Armstrong, executive director of the DeKalb County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said she began working with Bahrani and his film crew in April as they scouted the area for farmland and downtown areas suitable for filming. Producers were looking for a Midwestern, small-town area, “and we fit that perfectly,” she said.

For filmmakers, tax credits in the state offer an attractive deal, said Betsy Steinberg, managing director of the Illinois Film Office. If a director hires Illinois residents to work on a project, he gets a 30 percent tax credit on those wages. Additionally, the state gives a 30 percent tax credit on money spent locally on equipment and other items needed for film production, which helps the state’s economy, Steinberg said.

“In order to lure people here and get them interested in doing that, we give them the tax credit,” she said.

In the current economic climate, film crews make decisions on where to film based on tax credits in different states, Steinberg said. The economic impact brought to an area where filming occurs is, first and foremost, the benefit. Plus, it can present an opportunity to spur tourism, she said. [Source]

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