Filmakers frequently shoot on location to capture a specific sense of place, making the location a sort of character in and of itself. Location sites of Sex and the City are the subject of New York City tours. In New Zealand, Lord of the Rings fans visit the stand-in locations for Middle Earth. And closer to home, Mountain Lake Hotel (“The real Kellerman’s Resort”) has hosted Dirty Dancing getaways in Giles County for those still having the time of their lives remembering the 1987 box office hit filmed there.
This phenomenon may prove itself again in Big Stone Gap. Already a destination for fans of Adriana Trigiani’s bestselling series of novels, the Wise County town will, if all goes smoothly, be introduced to filmgoers as well. A Richmond Times-Dispatch article recently updated progress on the production’s planning, which is being led by the author herself. Roseanne Cash and Ashley Judd have committed to participate, but it’s all still in the planning stages, so fans have a wait ahead of them.
Film viewers will sooner have a glimpse of historic downtown Culpepper in the upcoming release, “Life Fine Tuned,” due out in the summer of 2011. Other Virginia downtown districts caught on film include Gate City in The River (1984) and Charlottesville in Four Seasons (1981).
For more information, including a year-by-year list of Virginia’s film and television locations, visit the website of the Virginia Film Office.