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By George! Crew films some of movie in county

November 30, 1999

A Hollywood production company has filmed part of a multi-million dollar movie in Washington County.

The movie, being made for the new $95-million Visitors Center at Mount Vernon, is to depict the life of George Washington. The film will include scenes from the French and Indian War and Revolutionary War.

According to filmmakers, the scenes filmed here included a re-enactment of George Washington's encampment and the "Crossing of the Delaware" segment.

Some scenes were filmed in the C&O Canal Historical Park and some on the Rev. Bernie Hillenbrand's farm, Tom Riford, president of the county Convention and Visitors Bureau said.

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Other scenes are being filmed near the county, but Fairfax Films, LLC based its operations in Hagerstown.

Fairfax Films Producer Seth Isler said that working in Washington County was a welcome experience.

"The people here have been great to work with, from the staff of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, to the Washington County Commissioners, the emergency services personnel, the management team of the C&O Canal National Historic Park, private landowners and local business people ? virtually everyone has been helpful and welcomed us with open arms," Isler said.

The crew worked in the county for more than a month.

The cast and crew number more than 125 people during this portion of the filming. The director is the Emmy Award-winning Kees Van Oostrum.

"Fairfax Films has been providing significant support for the production, as well," Riford said.

Filming will also take place at several locations throughout Virginia, including at Mount Vernon.

"How appropriate that America's first Washington County has a part to play in the movie about the man called the Father of Our Country," Riford said.

"The project has brought a lot of excitement to Washington County, and the Four Points by Sheraton has been an excellent host as the base hotel, and offices for the movie company."

Riford said that with more than 75 historical re-enactors participating, other hotels in Hagerstown are also being utilized.

"This movie project has been in the works for our county for several months, and we're very excited to help tell this story. We understand that the movie will eventually be seen by millions of people at the new Visitors Center," Riford said.

He said three movies and nine separate network television episodes have been filmed in the county the past two years.

"Washington County was officially named and organized in 1776, when George Washington was named as the commander of the Continental Army. Everyone here is bursting with pride that the film-makers choose America's first Washington County to have the honor of having scenes filmed in our communities," Riford said.

The new Ford Orientation Center and Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center is expected to offically open in October. It is anticipated that the movie will premier at that time.

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