POINT PLEASANT — If viewers are paying attention to at least one political commercial on television these days, they will see Point Pleasant used as a backdrop.
The campaign ad is for Delegate Doug Reynolds (D-Cabell), who is challenging West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) in the November general election.
Reynolds’ campaign confirmed many of the scenes in the commercial were shot in the city, with others filmed in Huntington. Viewers familiar with Point Pleasant can spot the post office, businesses and homes along Main Street, dilapidated property on First Street, an abandoned shopping cart as well as a dramatized drug deal going down, all under the Bartow Jones Bridge.
It would be hard to deny those dramatized sights (flattering and not so flattering) don’t reflect real issues in Point Pleasant at the moment. However, it has begged the question, of all the towns in the state where the Reynolds’ campaign could have filmed, why here?
Patrick Hensley, with the Reynolds campaign, confirmed part of the commercial was filmed in Point Pleasant and that the location was chosen for its proximity to Huntington, as well as a “picturesque Main Street setting in a small town in West Virginia.” Also, the campaign wanted a change of scenery, as most of its previous commercials were shot in Cabell County.
“With both mine and Doug’s knowledge of Mason County, we decided Point Pleasant was a good location because it had a great main street setting where we shot three or four of the scenes,” Hensley said. “The river setting at Tu-Endie-Wei Park was also an ideal river setting, and we used footage from that setting in other commercials and mail pieces. However, many scenes from that commercial were stock footage or were pulled from other sources.”
Hensley confirmed the campaign did shoot the scene with the dramatized drug deal under the Bartow Jones Bridge but: “Only because we were pressed for time and only had the film crew for a finite amount of time that day. It is not supposed to be apparent in the scene that we filmed it in Point Pleasant, as it is supposed to represent any town in West Virginia. In the bridge scene, only the picnic table and bridge wall are visible, and we made sure to not include any clear landmarks that would give away that it was shot in Point Pleasant.”
Hensley said he apologized if anyone in Point Pleasant was offended by some of the scenes. He added, the city was chosen to represent “Any Town, West Virginia” in the commercial, not a specific location.
“So to sum up, we chose Point Pleasant because it was close to Huntington and had multiple ideal settings for many of our scenes … great parks, ideal river setting, picturesque main street,” Hensley explained.
According to the Reynolds campaign, the candidate was born in Huntington, where he now resides with his wife and their four children. He’s a graduate of Wayne High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Duke University. A graduate of the West Virginia University College of Law, he was admitted to the West Virginia State Bar in 2002.
Reynolds currently serves as chief executive officer of Energy Services of America, a Huntington-based regional engineering and construction company that has more than 600 employees. He is the prior president of the United Way of the River Cities and currently serves on the boards of the Marshall University Foundation, Cabell Huntington Foundation and the Boys and Girls Club of Huntington.
Reach Beth Sergent at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.