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EDA awards Middlesex filmmaker a $3,000 grant

by Tom Chillemi

It’s not often that a graduating college student chooses to launch a new business back in his small hometown, but that’s what Vaughan Crittenden did in July 2016. He’s named it Riverdale 24 Productions.

Among those who believe in him is the Middlesex Economic Development Authority (EDA), which recently awarded him a $3,000 grant.

Gordon White, who chairs the EDA, said Crittenden’s application was quite specific. “We thought it was well thought-out, especially since he has taken out a bank line of credit that he and his family are responsible for re-paying, so he has significant ‘skin in the game.’

“As far as we can determine he will not be competing with any established Middlesex business,” White added.

“We have tried to find new or growing businesses we can help to establish themselves in the county, but have had very few applications,” said White. (The EDA has awarded a $10,000 grant to Latell Sailmakers in Deltaville to help it expand. A story on this will appear in a future Sentinel.)

In his first months in business, Crittenden has garnered his first government contract with the Virginia River Realm, an entity that is promoting Middlesex and Lancaster counties. Other local businesses are signing on to have Riverdale 24 Productions promote them.

Crittenden graduated from James Madison University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in media arts and design with a concentration in digital video and cinema and a minor in sports communication. While at JMU, he worked for the athletic department shooting and developing sports video content such as sports video, public relations pieces, and the hype videos used on the “jumbotron” screen at football games.

Crittenden worked as a photojournalist for WHSV, a local television station in Harrisonburg. Crittenden had been freelancing throughout his college career, most notably as the communication director for Langley Speedway and the videographer for the regional fundraiser held in Urbanna, RE Strong. He began to get more work in Middlesex and found himself coming home on the weekends to do it. With trends in video growing with an expected 80% of all internet traffic coming from video by 2018, it soon became apparent that now was the time to make the leap to go fulltime into video, he explained.

Crittenden, 25, has years of experience. When he was just 18 years old he began a 3-year stint as director of communications for Langley Speedway and was responsible for video content online, all social media, race filming and development of script and shooting television commercials. He’s created content related to NASCAR events and also does graphic design and website development for Joe Moore of Motor Racing Network.

He’s also done quite a bit of work in the small business world, creating promotional videos to be used in various online formats and now adds to the list experience in tourism related videos. His eyes are set locally on taking real estate videography to the next level with his state-of-the-art equipment and new Phantom 4 drone. “It takes a spectacular image and creates that cinematic feel you want the viewer to not just see, but to feel like they are really in the video,” said Crittenden. “Coupled with the investment I have made in the most innovative equipment in our industry, I’ve got the technology that all clients should require and ask for.”

He has a few weddings on the books too. “I am a natural-born storyteller, just ask my mom. I could weave a good story as a kid.”

Crittenden grew up on Riverdale Farm in Hardyville where his dad owns and operates a 30-year-old produce operation that ships to the East Coast and Midwest. Crittenden has worked on that produce farm his whole life.

He is the son of Tommy and Jenny Crittenden.

To contact Crittenden and to view his work, call 804-832-5201 or visit

posted 09.21.2016

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