Create Without Compromise…

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Located in Rockford, Illinois, City Stage Studios is one of the largest and most well equipped sound stages in the midwest outside the Chicago area. An hour’s drive from O’hare airport – and a similarly easy drive from Milwaukee, Madison, and the Quad Cites – Rockford is a film-friendly town with resources nearby for any scale of production. 

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Production companies, marketing agencies, and filmmakers alike all love filming in Rockford! At City Stage, our goal is to make the production process as hassle-free as possible. Not only do we strive to provide the best experience during your time at the studio, we’re also happy to connect you with local and regional resources for the specific needs of your project.

Browse our Resources tab, or give us a call!

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"You get big city resources, without the
big city hassle..."

With over a decade of experience in the production industry, our founder, Josiah Sjöström, knows first-hand the frustrations of filming in large metros. From unpredictable parking and traffic, to permitting, fees, and general costs of operating – it’s no surprise that major productions continue to decentralize from large cities. 

Close enough, but far enough;  big enough, but small enough; Rockford makes a refreshing alternative. 

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City Stage is also home to some of the best creative professionals in the Rockford area.

From production freelancers, photographers, and content creators, to graphic designers, musicians, web developers and beyond – many of the resources you may be looking for are right across the hall!



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Given that City Stage Studios is located in Illinois, productions filming in our facility can take advantage of the state’s generous tax incentives. 

  • 30% of the qualified Illinois Production Spending.
  • 30% credit on Illinois salaries up to $500,000 per worker.
  • 30% of non-resident labor up to $500,000 per worker in the following positions: Director, Writer, Director of Photography, Production Designer, Costume Designer, Production Accountant, VFX Supervisor, Editor, Composer, Actor for work performed in Illinois. For qualified productions spending $25,000,000 or less, no more than 2 non-resident actors qualify. For qualified productions spending $25,000,000+, no more than 4 non-resident actors qualify. For a television series, qualifying non-resident wages are limited to the entire season.
  • Tax credit can be carried forward 5 years from when originally issued by Illinois Film Office/Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. 
  • The Illinois Film Tax Credit is currently scheduled for legislative renewal in 2026.
  • 15% additional credit- applicants will receive an additional 15% tax credit on salaries of individuals (making at least $1,000 in total wages) who live in economically disadvantaged areas whose unemployment rate is at least 150% of the State’s annual average.
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Social in the City

@_djbriggs live at Citystage. #citystagestudios #rockfordstudios #briggs ...

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New floor finish in the photo studio! Look at how much more light it brings in and that marbling 🔥🔥🔥👌🏾👌🏾 #citystagestudios #rockfordphotostudio #815studios #rockfordphotographystudio ...

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Recent ARticles

On set with Bonza Media

The Origin Story Of City Stage Studios

Creating Without Compromise:
I’ve known Josiah Sjöström my entire life. We met as kids in the early 90’s…
Over a decade into Bonza Media, Josiah shared with me his vision to invest in our home town of Rockford, IL. 

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