All this week, the VMI is serving as the backdrop for a major film set during the Civil War era.
What began as a conversation with his business partner led screenwriter, producer, and Virginia native Dave Kennedy here this week.
"My fellow producer Tom Farrell came to me years ago and told me, 'This is a great story about Virginia, the Civil War.,'" Kennedy said. "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 tells the story of a group of young VMI cadets who ultimately march into battle at New Market.
"You know, it is set in the Civil War, but it could be set at any time," Kennedy said. "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 important to him and his creative team to shoot the film where that event really happened.
So for this whole week, they're calling Lexington home.
"There's just nothing like it," Kennedy said. "I mean, look at these sets. VMI has been tremendously supportive of this effort. And it adds that level of authenticity and that level of awareness that we wouldn't have had anywhere else."
"This is a tremendous opportunity for VMI," said Col. Stewart MacInnis with VMI. "This is telling the story of the Battle of New Market, cadets marching up there. That is so central to what VMI is today, so we're just thrilled that they're here."
Kennedy says he's just as thrilled to have the folks at VMI with them.
Several cadets are working as extras in the film. They gave the crew a personal tour of the actual battlefield in New Market, and they've helped mold the cast 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," MacInnis said.
Between the sets, the training, the story, the actors, and everything in between, Kennedy's convinced he has all the makings of a great movie.
"It should a fun movie," he said. "It should be exciting, it should be a blast."