With a city population close to 200,000, Richmond is no hamlet. Equal parts Southern charm and East Coast refinement, a quick day trip can land you on the beach, in the mountains or in the rolling countryside. Episodic production is bustling, with AMC’s Turn: Washington’s Spies and PBS’ Mercy Street among the series made here in 2016.
Richmond is home to vibrant public art projects, a burgeoning gastronomic scene as well as independent movie theatres like the Bijou Film Center and The Byrd Theatre—“an architectural jewel built in 1928,” notes Peg Crowder, executive assistant at the Virginia Production Alliance. And as with many of the cities listed here, it’s got a wealth of top educational programs for film, including three at Virgnia Commonwealth University College of the Arts, the top-ranked public university arts and design program in the country.
The result, says Crowder, is “a measured rush of filmmaking over the years, inspiring local support for filmmakers without creating the burned-out feeling larger cities radiate.”
Below, check out an immersive experience as a Civil War soldier at Mansion House Hospital after the Second Battle of Bull Run with Mercy Street’s “A Letter Home” in 360°, shot entirely at Laburnum House in Richmond.