Spielberg Lincoln Movie filming in Petersburg
Posted in the Hopewell Forum
#1 Dec 19, 2011
I understand the significance of filming the Spielberg Lincoln Movie in Petersburg; but, REALLY Ö. Isnít City Point the actual historical site of Father Abrahams visit with General Grant; did the President not stay on a federal steam ship out in City Pointe harbor? Was said harbor not blown to shreds by a rebel spy? Are you telling me that our elected officials screwed this up to? Does anyone have any info they can share on this topic? Inquiring minds are asking. Our city could have benefited greatly. Think of the revenue and local jobs that it could have generated ; not to mention the foot traffic ..has anyone else been down to Old Towne Petersburg and checked out all the activity?
#2 Dec 19, 2011
Issues that have to be taken into consideration:
What locations does the script call for? Primarily, Petersburg and Richmond aren't being used for their historical significance to Lincoln as much as these are the two areas that still retain areas that *look* like Washington DC circa 1861-65. If there isn't a scene where they're meeting with Grant at the cabin, there's little reason to use that area.
The points about being on a steam ship would not even necessarily involve using the harbor (which has it's own issues which I'll come to in a moment). They could film exclusively on a set designed to look like a steam ship, once more depending on what the locations of the script called for. This hypothetical scene may not involve Lincoln ever leaving his room on the ship. Additionally, the problem with the harbor is that the production team would have to spend a significant amount of time to build a new harbor, likely not even at the location in Hopewell (given existing constructions in the area, such as the pier and asphalt storage near the site)
Sadly, unless they have a scene specifically taking place at the manor or Grant's Cabin, it just doesn't work to shoot in City Point. This doesn't even touch on the issues that would arise from City Point being primarily a suburban community. Filming would have to contend with the needs of people just living at home and having to deal with a large film shoot right on their doorsteps.
If you'd like to support more film activity in Hopewell, however, tell City Council to market Hopewell as a place friendly to filmmaking. There are several production houses in the Metro Richmond area, and several colleges in the region including John Tyler and VCU have film courses where students are learning the craft and definitely need locations that will let them shoot for little to no cost.
#3 Dec 20, 2011
Now Abe can see what he did.......
#4 Dec 21, 2011
Thank you for the excellent and intelligent feedback...
#5 Dec 21, 2011
You are very welcome.
Since: Oct 11
#6 Mar 12, 2012
Lincoln did arrive aboard the River Queen at City Point in 1865, weeks before his death. He met with top Union generals in City Point to make key military decisions and began planning for after the war. He had his psycho wife with him briefly before she left. His famous dream where he foresaw his own death occurred at City Point. He commanded the Union war effort for several weeks from the grounds of City Point, often waiting anxiously outside of the telegraph office in present day Hopewell for dispatches from the front lines. City point was one of the busiest seaports on the planet when Lincoln walked its grounds. I believe he also received word of Lee's escape while in the City Point area. The Appomattox plantation is still there, just as it was, when Lincoln walked it. On the grounds of present day John Randolph hospital, there were many Union hopitals, and Linoln himself went there to meet with wounded soldiers, Union and Confederate. There is a documented case of a madman attempting to gain access to Lincoln while at City Point, so very likely there was a failed assassination attempt on him while he was here. Lincoln also toured nearby Petersburg, on route 36, and also Chester, near the Bermuda Hundred area and Enon.
I have also wondered why the city of HopeSmell doesn't capitalize on this extremely unique history. How many US cities can boast "Lincoln slept here" just days before his death. A truly great man, right in our backyard, and many of us don't even realize it.
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