The rolling foothills of Virginia don't look much like the backlots of Hollywood, but the Commonwealth is proud of its growing movie business.
The Virginia Film Office announced recently that gross revenue related to film production in the state in 1990 rose to a record $21.5 million, up from $18.5 million in 1989.
As far as movies go, that's not a whole lot of money -- the Motion Picture Association of America estimated that the average cost of producing a single feature was $23.5 million in 1989, the last year for which figures are available. Still, the state office said, "We are especially pleased that during a downturn in the national and state economy the film production industry continues to grow in Virginia."
In 1990, the office said, eight major productions were filmed in the state, for a total of 470 days of production. Since none of them are Oscar contenders yet, the titles probably wouldn't be familiar, but the names of some stars are. Among them: Michelle Pfeiffer in "Love Field," shot in Richmond and Powhatan County; Lou Gossett Jr. in "Toy Soldiers," shot in Albemarle County; and Richard Dreyfuss and Bill Murray in "What About Bob," shot in Roanoke, Bedford, Moneta and at Smith Mountain Lake.