Written by on Aug 20, 2014. Posted in On Location

Meg Ryan creates California valley town in Virginia with Tom Hanks filming Ithaca

Meg Ryan is doubling Virginia for California’s San Joaquin Valley filming for her family drama Ithaca. Ryan is directing and also starring with Tom Hanks. The feature is the latest high-profile production to come to Virginia following the Revolutionary War TV drama Turn.

Ithaca is based on William Saroyan’s 1943 novel The Human Comedy and is filming partly in Petersburg in the east of the state. Only minor changes needed to be made in terms of set design to create the story’s 1940s setting, which was important given the film’s low budget.

“We always have to do certain basic cosmetic things but a lot of the store fronts and structures themselves are correct,” Location Manager Tom Trigo told the Progress-Index: “We have so many locations all within the downtown area minutes apart.”

Several city blocks were dressed for the period setting so that the camera could turn 360 degrees without straying from the world of the movie. This also helped the actors focus on their performances.

“We can walk around and shoot at any angle at that location, that's really a luxury. The locations were so perfect,” Trigo added to the outlet.

Virginia offers producers a base 15% filming incentive which has attracted the historical Revolutionary War TV drama Turn, as well as the recently-announced pilot for the Civil War series Point of Honor.

Tom Hanks and filmmaker Paul Greengrass shot in the state for the true-life modern piracy drama Captain Phillips. The production was assisted by Norfolk Naval Base to recreate the movie’s stand-off between Somali pirates and the US Navy.

(Turn photos: Frank Ockenfels III/Antony Platt/AMC)

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