Virginia has always been a beautiful place to make a movie, and now it’s offering great opportunities for Cinema students to work on bonafide Hollywood productions. The Cinema program, which this year marks its tenth anniversary, has twenty-three alumni and current students working on Showtime’s Homeland, filming now in Richmond.
Over the past decade, Cinema students have gained professional experience on film sets across the country. In the last few years major Hollywood projects have landed in the Commonwealth—with Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln filming in Richmond in 2011 and AMC’s Turn: Washington’s Spies following in 2013. Both times, the Cinema program called on its students, faculty and alumni to serve as production talent, with Homeland being the latest project to hire help from VCUarts.
“There might have been film productions pre-‘Lincoln,’ but basically, since ‘Lincoln,’ cinema students have been on set while they are undergraduates continually on every major production that has come to town,” Chapman said.
One of those students, Adriel Velazquez, is a production assistant on the latest significant project to film in Richmond: season seven of Showtime’s “Homeland.” A third-year cinema student, Velazquez has already worked on the pilot, “Home on the Strange,” created by Mike Henry of “The Cleveland Show” fame, and the aforementioned “Turn.”
“A big part of getting into the movie business is who you know,” Velazquez said. “I was actually recommended by some friends of mine for each big production I’ve worked on. Once I get to know the higher ups on set, I’m then asked back for more days, but there isn’t really a typical application and interview process.”
Read more about VCUarts and Homeland in VCU News.
Image: A production crew — including several VCU alumni — prepares to shoot a scene for “Homeland” season seven at the Compass on VCU’s Monroe Park Campus. Photo by Kevin Morley, University Marketing. Credit via VCU News.