Virginia Movie Woes

By: Shane Symolon Email
By: Shane Symolon Email

Movie producers that used to come to Virginia are starting to look elsewhere to shoot their films. A Virginia Production Alliance report says that the state has lost almost $350 million in movie revenues to other states.

It’s a blow to the Valley, which has hosted film crews for movies like "Gods and Generals," "Evan Almighty," and "War of the Worlds." During the filming of "Evan Almighty," Cycle Recycle manager Warner Berger saw a ton of business.

"Basically from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. they were in here getting fitted for bikes, selecting accessories, finding what kind of bike they'd like to ride," says Berger. "All together we sold 428 bicycles."

His wasn't the only business that benefited. A Virginia Commonwealth University study shows that every dollar the state spends bringing a movie in, brings a return of $1,400 back.

Waynesboro resident David Foster, who's been working in movies for years, has a list showing Virginia is losing bids to other places.

"The problem is other states. They're dangling a couple million dollars in front of a producer's face," says Foster.

To get those producers to return, Foster says Virginia has to provide producers incentive and get them money back for working here.

"When a movie comes, they fulfill certain criteria: you have to employ so many people from Virginia, you have to buy goods and services," says Foster. "At the end of the production, its audited and if they fulfill that criteria. In essence, they get a rebate."

To start that process, Foster says the state needs to allocate more dollars to appeal to the producers.

"We need to be proactive. The films are slipping away. We need to keep up with the other states," says Foster.

Foster says you can make a difference by writing a letter or making a call to the Governor's Office or your state legislator. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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