The Virginia Film Office was founded in 1980, at the forefront of a new era in film production. The state of Virginia has numerous types of media production, from documentaries and television to short and feature film. The office is a part of the Virginia Tourism Corporation, whose goal is “supporting, maintaining and expanding … the tourism and motion picture production industries in order to increase visitor expenditures, tax revenues and employment.” Filmmakers have chosen Virginia as a desirable spot due to its wide range of shooting locations. These locations have drawn many films to Virginia, including Dirty Dancing,What About Bob,Hannibal,Lassie,Evan Almighty, and the HBO Miniseries John Adams.
Virginia’s incentive package is based on two different funds: The Governor’s Motion Picture Opportunity Fund and the Virginia Motion Picture Production Tax Credit. The Governor’s fund provides a grant or rebate to qualified projects, while the Production Tax Credit is available to many different filmmakers, with a maximum funding level of $2.5 million.
The Virginia Film Office has a staff of 6, headed by Film Office Director, Andy Edmunds. Other staff members include Deputy Director, Mary Nelson, Senior Marketing Assistant, Mary Kathryn Severin, and Locations Manager, Dawn Blacksten.