Earlier this month, I was in Martinsville, Virginia for our PR3D scan of the New College Institute's Building on Baldwin. Having heard amazing things about the building, I was still blown away when I saw it in person. The Building on Baldwin, I thought, would make such a fabulous film location. Note to self: must feature it in our next blog. This gem of a location will not be a well-kept secret much longer.
From the outside, the three-level red-brick building looks like a typical handsome college campus building with generous seating areas in the front plaza for student gatherings, large enough to easily accommodate 1,000 people.
Three collaborative amphitheater spaces are also on the plaza, fully wired for electricity, an added feature all productions love and appreciate. The school's parking lot is spacious enough to house production trailers, equipment trucks and any other vehicles the cast and crew may have.
Once inside, I was even more impressed. The interior sports a clean, contemporary design and is brightly-lit with plenty of natural light streaming through the large doors and windows.
As modern as the Building on Baldwin is, it is also historic in many ways. The main reception desk is made from reclaimed wood and brick from the former Bassett Furniture Superior Lines factory. The brick walls throughout the facility include bricks recovered from "the block" believed to be a part of Dr. Baldwin's pharmacy ("the Baldwin Block"), which once stood where the Building on Baldwin is now.
The orange living history wall in the reception area represents Martinsville's past and future with rotating exhibits highlighting the historical significance of the Baldwin Block to the Martinsville-Henry County community.
The first floor of Building on Baldwin is also where the Martinsville-Henry County Visitor's Center is located, operated by the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation. If your production needs a shop or store setting, the visitor's center provides a perfect film set for one.
To maximize all the space, the main floor hallway leading up to the lecture hall/grand hall has many seating areas lining the corridor, each facing a flat screen television mounted on the opposite wall.
Possibly one of the world's most modern educational facilities, the three-story, 52,000-square-foot New College Institute’s Building on Baldwin has huge floor-to-ceiling windows and doors bringing it lots of natural light, a big plus for indie filmmakers who prefer to shoot with minimal light set-up to stay under their budget.
The giant 10,000-square-foot lecture hall/grand hall on the first level features state-of-the-art technology and visual and acoustic design, such as four projectors and descending screens. It also has room dividers that gracefully descend from the high ceiling to separate the space into three smaller areas when needed.
Behind the grand hall is a professional warming kitchen to accommodate catering activities. A service corridor is conveniently located in between so that the wait staff can easily access the event space when room dividers are in use.
The second floor of the Building on Baldwin houses 12 high-tech classrooms. These are definitely not the classrooms I remember from my college days . Each room is designed with the latest technologies for today's students, including video conferencing facilities that allow lessons to be broadcast around the world.
The largest of the second floor classroom overlooks the Advanced Manufacturing High Bay on the first floor where students get hands-on, innovative technical training.
The third floor of the Building on Baldwin houses the administrative offices of New College Institute and the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation, including the film office division. The reception lobby on the third floor has the same historic reclaimed materials featured in the main floor reception area.
Also on the third floor is an ultra-modern executive board room overlooking the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.
The technology features of this conference room are impressive and include an "Eagle Eye" camera and two 80" screens.
The board room's conference table and the table in the break area were both designed by a local artisan. They're made of local materials including historic reclaimed wood, titanium from RTI International-Martinsville, and glass from Virginia Mirror. (See below two photos.)
Each of the offices on the third floor is beautifully designed with modern furniture and large windows. I can literally imagine an entire television series such as Mad Men, The Good Wife and Suits being filmed here. Production designers can't ask for a more cinematic office setting.
Lucky for filmmakers worldwide, New College Institute's Building On Baldwin is film-friendly as much as it is film-ready. Its various facilities - classrooms, grand hall, state-of-the-art kitchens, modern offices and conference rooms - would make a perfect one-stop shop film location, an unusual production-ready feature seldom found in one location.
Now that you've had an overview of the Building on Baldwin, it's time to see it in 3D, the next best thing to being there in person. Head over to our featured PR3D page of New College Institute's Building on Baldwin where you can start planning camera angles and lighting placement almost immediately.
For more information on filming at this gorgeous location, contact us today.