Video Producer’s Guide to Shooting in Richmond, VA

richmondva
Everything you ever wanted to know about About Shooting VIDEO in Richmond, VA
Shawn Moffatt • Operations Manager • Richmond, Virginia • Go To Team
A Producer’s Guide to Shooting in Richmond, VA   

Prior to arriving in a new city, every producer needs the lay of the land. This guide explores everything about Richmond, VA that producers need to know.

Richmond, the capital city of Virginia, is known as the “River City” and is often described as “the city of monuments.”  Richmond has many statues on both Monument Avenue and the Capitol grounds.  There are six monuments on Richmond’s world famous Monument Avenue, five of which are dedicated to military and civil war leaders.  Other monuments of interest in the city include the A.P. Hill monument, the Bill “Bojangles” Robinson monument, the Christopher Columbus monument, and the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument.

Richmond is steeped in history from settlement, to Revolutionary and Civil Wars to Reconstruction.  As the former Capital of the Confederate States of America, Richmond is home to many museums and battlefields of the American Civil War. The Museum of the Confederacy, features a wide variety of objects and material from the era. Near the riverfront are the Tredegar Iron Works and Civil War Battlefields National Park Visitors Center. The Virginia War Memorial is also located near the riverfront, and is a monument to Virginians who died in battle in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Persian Gulf War.  Located near Byrd Park is the famous World War I Memorial Carillon, a 56 bell carillon tower.

Beyond Richmond’s storied history, visitors find beautiful architecture and gardens in addition to interesting neighborhoods and friendly people.  Richmond is home to nine Fortune 500 companies, including electric utility Dominion Resources; consumer electronics retailer Circuit City, used car retailer CarMaxPerformance Food Group; LandAmerica Financial Group, Owens & Minor; Brink’s Company, a security services company; Genworth Financial, and the recently relocated MeadWestvaco.

Richmond offers a year-round schedule of musical, theatrical, artistic and dance performances.  The Richmond Ballet, Richmond Symphony and Virginia Opera, perform annually in the region.  Richmond is home to many local theater groups including: the Firehouse Theater Project and Barksdale Theater.  Outdoor concerts and dozens of art galleries round out the many arts and entertainment options Richmond has to offer.

For large conventions and meetings there is the Greater Richmond Convention Center.  The enormous facility is 700,000 square feet sitting on 5 and 1/2 city blocks in the heart of Virginia’s capital city.

The Richmond area has many major institutions of higher education, including the University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University , Virginia State University is located about 20 miles south of Richmond, and Randolph-Macon College located about 15 miles north of Richmond.

Welcome sports fans! Richmond offers a variety of minor league sports.   The city’s AAA professional baseball team the Richmond Braves, the Richmond Lions, Richmond Kickers,.

Once you’ve decided to shoot in Richmond, Virginia there’s plenty you should know:
Where to stay?
Are you familiar with your locations and drive times?
Do you need transportation?
How will the weather affect your shoot?
Do you know the production guidelines for the Charlotte area?
Who are the Chamber of Commerce / Visitor’s Bureau?
Have you booked the right crew?

Lodging
There are two major areas to consider when selecting a hotel in Richmond – downtown or the West End.  Downtown is centrally located to the airport, West End, Carytown, Short Pump and Stony Point, Shockoe Slip and Shockoe Bottom, and the James River.  Downtown area hotels such as the Crowne Plaza or Omni will put you in the heart of the action and within walking distance of numerous restaurants, theaters, museums, historic landmarks and other tourist attractions..  The West End provides less expensive alternatives including The Courtyard Marriott and Holiday InnThe Richmond International Airport is the gateway to central Virginia.  Located seven miles southeast of Richmond, an hour drive of historic Williamsburg and a two hour drive from Washington, D.C., the Blue Ridge Mountains, and Virginia Beach, Richmond International Airport is your hub to tourist attractions in Virginia.

Locations and Drive Times
As mentioned in the Lodging section of this guide, the airport is located in Sandston, Virginia. Printing directions from Google Maps or using a GPS is highly recommended.  Low cost carriers such as Jet Blue and Air Tran make traveling to Richmond inexpensive and easy.

Transportation
If you are from New York or Los Angeles and have not traveled to the South, you may not know that we don’t have reliable mass transportation. You will have to rely on a taxi, rent a car, or perhaps ask the crew for transportation. Few camera crews would have difficulty providing transportation, just be sure to communicate your needs with your crew as you set up the shoot. Once you arrive at your location, allow time to park. It seems simple, but parking in downtown can be very difficult.  Crews will always appreciate pre-arranged parking, as it simplifies the load-in and avoids the risk of parking violations, although areas outside of downtown are rarely a problem.

Weather
Richmond has an average annual temperature of about 69 degrees Fahrenheit with four distinct seasons.  There is an occasional snow in the winter.  Although the winter is often very short, the high’s can occasionally dip into the 30’s in December, January, and February.  Summer is usually VERY HOT and HUMID.  Temperatures can soar well over 90 degrees during the day and heat advisories are often issued during the peak of the summer season.  If possible it is often best to schedule interviews and other indoor shooting during the middle of the day and leave the outdoor shoots for earlier in the morning and mid to late afternoon during this time of the year.  Be prepared to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and be sure to dress in light, cool clothing.  In the end it’s best to check the weather reports just before your visit in order to be prepared for any anomalies in the seasonal weather.  See the weather.com search to see the current 10-day forecast for Richmond, VA.

Production Guidelines
Crews across the country have a set of guidelines by which they conduct business. And as different as each city is from another, so are those guidelines. Every producer should have a basic understanding of each city’s standards. Shoots in Richmond are based on a ten hour day and the crew is on the clock at the specified crew call. Overtime at a rate of time and a half begins after ten hours. If your shoot takes the crew to a distant location, travel time can be expected, which is normally billed into the shoot day unless overnight travel is planned for.

Chamber of Commerce / Visitor’s Bureau

If you have additional questions about Richmond, like lodging, transportation, or locations, you can always contact the city’s Chamber or the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

Richmond Chamber of Commerce

600 Main Street, Suite 700, Richmond VA 23219

804.648.1234

www.grcc.com

Richmond Convention and Visitors Bureau

401 N 3rd Street

Richmond, VA 23219

804.782.2777

On the web at: http://www.visit.richmond.com

Booking the Right Crew

But even with the perfect location, the best laid plans, and great weather, so much depends on the right crew. Booking the right crew means finding a crew that not only gets the job done, but does whatever it takes to insure you have the best shoot. Are you conducting a series of interviews that require dramatic lighting? Are you going to be “Run and Gun” around the city? Is your shoot going to require any specific equipment? Finding a crew that can handle every one of your needs is just as important as lining up all of the interviews and creating your shot list.

For more information on booking your camera crew see: “Everything you ever wanted to know about booking a video crew.”

This article was written by Shawn Moffatt, Operations Manager for Go To Team. Go To Team is a leading provider of video production resources throughout the southeast including video camera crews. See their home page for more information.

Copying this information to other sites is allowed only in its entirety, with credit and web link to Go To Team.