Filming in Filming on location in Virginia
Virginia lies on the East Coast of the US and is a popular filming location for features, TV shows, commercials and documentaries, especially historic productions focussing on the presidency of Abraham Lincoln and the long campaign to abolish slavery. Steven Spielberg’s award-winning feature Lincoln, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, is among those to have visited.
Offering history dating back to the early days of the United States, Virginia has extensive examples of evocative architecture. Locations like the state capitol and House of Representative Chambers are often used as convenient doubles for the iconic buildings of Washington, DC – where filming is much trickier - while historic plantation mansions are also available.
A multitude of historic back lot sets is available to filmmakers just outside the state capital of Richmond. The sets span some 3,000 acres on the James River and offer battlefields, a period farm and a wharf, as well as replicas of a period sailing ship and a paddle wheeler. No location fees are charged for filming here.
Northern Virginia is one of the state’s production centres due to its connections to Maryland and Washington, DC. This region is particularly popular for features and documentaries focussing on government institutions. Clint Eastwood’s J Edgar and Ben Affleck’s Argo both filmed scenes here.
The Hampton Roads area offers beach communities and military towns, and was used as a location by Paul Greengrass’ Captain Phillips, the true story of a ship’s captain rescued from Somali pirates after offering himself as a hostage. Fort Monroe is a Civil War-era military base now decommissioned and available for filming, with a blend of historic and modern facilities.
Virginia offers a 15% filming tax credit and assistance throughout the state is available from the Virginia Film Office.
(Photos: Virginia Tourism Corporation)