Monday, October 14, 2013

AMC to film TV series in Virginia about George Washington's spies

More good news for Virginia's film industry was announced Friday by Governor Bob McDonnell and American Movie Classics (AMC):
Governor Bob McDonnell and AMC announced today that Turn (working title), a new series for AMC being produced by AMC Studios, will be filming in Central Virginia.

The pilot for the film was shot in the Richmond area earlier this year and AMC recently reported that it has ordered a ten-episode season of the show to premiere on AMC in 2014.

Turn is based on the nonfiction book "Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring" by Alexander Rose. The story is centered on a band of young soldiers and civilians who were part of a top-secret spy ring that assisted George Washington and helped America to win the Revolutionary War.
The Governor's office reported that Turn's first season would begin filming this fall and run through spring. Indeed, a crew call went out Friday from the Virginia Film Office confirming filming to take place from mid-December into March. The area for filming mentioned only central Virginia but no specific location.

Turn is the latest in a series of films shot in Virginia, a key part of McDonnell's economic development and job creation for the Commonwealth.

The History Channel has information about the spy ring, noting:
British forces occupied New York in August 1776, and the city would remain a British stronghold and a major naval base for the duration of the Revolutionary War. Though getting information from New York on British troop movements and other plans was critical to General George Washington, commander of the Continental Army, there was simply no reliable intelligence network that existed on the Patriot side at that time. That changed in 1778, when a young cavalry officer named Benjamin Tallmadge established a small group of trustworthy men and women from his hometown of Setauket, Long Island. Known as the Culper Spy Ring, Tallmadge's homegrown network would become the most effective of any intelligence-gathering operation on either side during the Revolutionary War.
The star of the new TV series will be Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot, The Adventures of Tintin), and the series is being written by Craig Silverstein (Nikita) who will also be executive producer along with Barry Josephson (Bones).

AMC Networks Inc. owns cable channels AMC, IFC, WE tv, and Sundance Channel. Some of its cable TV series include Mad Men, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad (created by Virginia native Vince Gilligan), and others.

Governor McDonnell commented on the new adventure:
"I am pleased to welcome AMC and Turn back to the Commonwealth to film this series. Our administration has been committed to putting in place policies that help the private sector create good jobs for Virginians, and one way we have successfully achieved this is through encouraging and facilitating the production of more films and television shows in the state."
Filming a potentially-long lasting TV series provides jobs, as noted by Virginia Film Office Director Andy Edmunds who noted:
"Landing an original television series is an important milestone for our industry. Long-term job opportunities for cast, crew and other related businesses will be a major catalyst towards growing a sustainable and thriving production industry in Virginia. AMC simply produces some of the best content in the business, and we are proud to be partnering with them on this outstanding series."
Indeed. Stefan Reinhardt, senior vice president of finance and studio operations for AMC, was happy:
"Virginia is obviously the perfect setting for a Revolutionary War drama. While other states were seriously considered due to very aggressive financial incentives, we are glad we were able to work so productively with Governor McDonnell and the Virginia Film Office to bring Turn to an ideal production location that shares significant history with the events we are depicting on screen."
Turn will be eligible for Virginia incentives based on actual expenditures in the Commonwealth, and other added-value deliverables including Virginia Tourism advertising. The economic impact of Turn shooting in Virginia is estimated to be $45 million per season.

The film industry in Virginia plays a significant role in the state's economy. In 2011, total economic impact of the film and television industry in Virginia was $394.4 million, a 14.5 percent increase over 2010. In addition, 3,817 jobs were attributed to the film industry in 2011, up from 2,651 jobs in 2010.

For more information about Virginia's film industry, visit the Virginia Film Office website at

No comments: