News Column

Filming to start Tuesday for "Killing Kennedy"

June 8, 2013


June 08--Not pausing to bask in the glory of providing locations for Steven Spielberg's acclaimed film, "Lincoln," the Virginia Film Office continues to lure production companies to the state.

Crews will be in the Richmond area and start filming Tuesday on the made-for-television movie, "Killing Kennedy." The schedule calls for a wrap in early July.

When "Lincoln" was filmed here in 2011, there was a steady buzz about sightings of stars Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field.

Will there be similar interest in Rob Lowe, who will play John F. Kennedy, and Ginnifer Goodwin, playing Jackie Kennedy?

On Friday, Rita D. McClenny, president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corp., which oversees the Virginia Film Office, spoke at the Retail Merchants Association's First Friday Forum about the movie industry's impact on state tourism. The meeting was held at the Westin Richmond hotel in Henrico County.

McClenny noted that the "Lincoln" locations have become an important draw for tourists. "Virginia was such a character in the film," she said. "People want to see it. They want to touch it. They want to see where it happened."

She also pointed out that film crews have an immediate economic impact, eating at restaurants, staying at hotels and apartments, renting office space, buying props and furniture, purchasing building materials, hiring caterers, security, police, drivers and construction workers.

And, of course, they hire extras -- as will be the case for "Killing Kennedy" throughout the filming. Instructions on how to be considered as an extra are on casting director Erica Arvold's website at

She is looking for Caucasian and Hispanic extras (there's a scene to be filmed here that's set in Mexico City). She's also seeking babies, toddlers and 3-year-olds that resemble Caroline Kennedy and John Kennedy Jr.

"Hiring twins for the infant roles as well as the 14-month-old roles really helps us with filming," Arvold said in a release, "but we do consider singles if they look like the real characters that this story is based on."

Pay for extras will be $75 per day.

The Virginia Film Office lists 31 productions shot in the state in 2012 -- feature films, shows for television networks and cable channels, documentaries and commercials.

Among those productions was another film about Abraham Lincoln, the made-for-TV, "Killing Lincoln." The National Geographic production was based on a book by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard.

"Killing Lincoln," seen in 170 countries, includes a 15-second commercial promoting Virginia tourism that plays every time the movie is seen, McClenny said.

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