VMI ready for close up as movie begins filming in Lexington - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

VMI ready for close up as movie begins filming in Lexington

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VMI is ready for its close up.  This week, a major film called "Field of Lost Shoes" is shooting in Lexington.

What began as a conversation with his business partner ultimately led screenwriter, producer, and Virginia native Dave Kennedy to VMI.

"My fellow producer Tom Farrell came to me years ago and told me [the Battle of New Market] is a great story about Virginia and the Civil War," said Kennedy.  "And I took a look at it, did the research -- and it has all those elements of a great story."

"Field of Lost Shoes" turns back the clock to 1864 and follows the lives of a group of VMI cadets who ultimately march into battle in the Shenandoah Valley.  Kennedy says although the story is set during the Civil War, he doesn't look at the film as strictly a Civil War movie.

"You know, it is set in the Civil War but it could be set at any time," said Kennedy.  "It's the same timeless story of people coming together as a team."

Because it's about a real event in history, Kennedy says it was critical to shoot the film where that event took place.  So, for the entire week, they'll be calling Lexington home.

"There's just nothing like it," said Kennedy.  "I mean look at these sets.  VMI has been tremendously supportive of this effort.  And it adds a level of authenticity and that level of awareness that we wouldn't have had anywhere else."

"This is a tremendous opportunity for VMI," said VMI spokesperson Stewart MacInnis.  "This is telling the story of the Battle of New Market and the cadets marching up there.  That is so central to what VMI is today and we're just thrilled that they're here."

Kennedy says he's just as thrilled to have the team at VMI working with him.  Several cadets are working as extras in the film.  They gave that cast and crew a personal tour of the real New Market battlefield.  And they've helped mold the actors into authentic cadets.

"We helped train them with drill and ceremonies, how to handle a weapon, and some basic drilling from 1864 from the drill manual they used then," said MacInnis.

From the sets and the training, to the story and the actors, and everything in between Kennedy says he's convinced he has all the makings of a great movie.

"It should be a fun movie," said Kennedy.  "It should be exciting.  It should be a blast."

Shooting wraps up at VMI on Friday -- then over the next four weeks, the crew will film at different locations across Virginia.

Kennedy says the goal is to get "Field of Lost Shoes" in theaters by November.  He also tells us he'd like to have some kind of premiere event in Lexington.

Several big names are acting in the movie including David Arquette, Lauren Holly (Dumb and Dumber, Motive), Nolan Gould (Modern Family), Tom Skerritt (Top Gun), and Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter, The Patriot).

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