A couple of years ago, Richmond native Hunter Davis moved back to his home city after spending time in places like Asheville and elsewhere. Davis is a filmmaker — his work has been featured on RichmondOutside.com before — and he’s been compiling footage from his and his friends’ adventures on the James for a while now.
Yesterday he released a trailer for a movie he hopes to will be complete sometime in September called Homes on the James — Ode to Richmond.
“It’s basically a documentary,” Davis said, of the 20-30-minute film. “One of things I hope to focus on is the watershed and where the water comes from and kind of the geology of the Falls of the James, some of the history of paddling here.”
Davis said it won’t be an environmental film, per se. But more of a celebration of the urban whitewater Richmond offers that may be overlooked by many East Coast kayakers.
“I talk to a lot of paddlers in the East Coast and, if they’re going north or south, they drive right past it,” he said. “They don’t even realize that there’s good whitewater here. This may show people that you can pull off I-95 and go paddling.”
The film will feature local paddlers enjoying — and sometimes battling — the James at low, medium and very high water levels.
“I love the upper James…but what’s unique about the James is that the majority of the gradient is downtown,” Davis added. “It’s kind of surreal to be paddling some big water with the buildings downtown.”