When Adrianna Trigiani wrote her best-selling novel Big Stone Gap and its three sequels, she wanted to shoot a movie of the same name in her hometown.
Now a host of big-name movie makers and stars like Ashley Judd and Patrick Wilson are making their way into the region to make her dream come true.
A beautiful mountain valley and a quiet Southern Appalachian town full of characters -- a perfect setting for a novel. That's what Adriana Trigiani thought when she published Big Stone Gap back in 2000.
With a rousing welcome home, the hometown girl announced her plans for shooting a movie of the same name.
She told us how important it is to shoot it here. "It's really important to us to make this movie here. Every frame is being shot in Southwest Virginia, East Tennessee and a little bit in Kentucky. Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee; it's all there because that was my dream, to film at home," Trigiani said.
But it's taken that dream over a decade to become a reality.
With help from the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Virginia Tobacco Commission, money was made available to begin shooting. "We're filming it here because of the people and maybe for the people, but really because of them. This is the inspiration of the art. It ain't going to get any better than these vistas, it doesn't and I hope I'm the first of many who come and make movies," the author says.
That's what many who came to hear her talk are hoping. For two of the locals who will appear in the movie, it's been a long wait. "She has given us a gift that we had better take advantage of. She has given this region its day in the sun," Big Stone Gap native Jack McClanahan said.
"When she indicated that she was coming down, that it was going to happen here, she reached out to Jack Mac and me. She said, 'We'd like you guys to be in the movie.' I can't tell you how flattered I am to do that," former economic planner Ron Flanary added.
And do that the whole town will do, with filming set to begin this Saturday.
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