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Civil war movie loan extended

April 25, 2001

Civil war movie loan extended



By SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

Loans amounting to $300,000 for the movie "Gods and Generals" will be repaid within 90 days, Washington County's assistant county attorney told the Washington County Commissioners Tuesday.

Representatives of the movie will soon make an announcement about permanent financing and distribution arrangements, Assistant County Attorney John Martirano said.

The County Commissioners agreed Tuesday to extend for six months loan guarantees for the producers of the movie based on the Civil War novel "Gods and Generals."

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In a separate meeting Tuesday, the Hagerstown City Council also unanimously agreed to extend loan guarantees for six months.

In 1997, the county and the city agreed to back Antietam Filmworks' loan from Farmers & Merchants Bank and Trust. The county has guaranteed $250,000 and the city is backing $50,000 of the film company's loan.

About $370,000 in loans, including some from private backers, has been spent, Martirano said.

"Things are happening," Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said.

"Gods and Generals" is to go into production this summer or fall, according to its official Internet site at www.godsandgenerals.com.

It took filmmaker Ron Maxwell 13 years to make the movie "Gettysburg," based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Michael Shaara.

"Gods and Generals," based on a book written by Michael Shaara's son, Jeff Shaara, details events leading up to the 1863 battle.

As part of the loan agreement, 60 percent of the principal filming must be done in Washington County.

According to the Internet site, the movie will be filmed in and around Sharpsburg, and at historic locations in Virginia and West Virginia.

Some casting announcements have been made public and are listed on the site, while the casting for other roles has not been listed.

Some of the actors from the movie "Gettysburg" will recreate their roles in the new film. Returning actors include Jeff Daniels, C. Thomas Howell, and Kevin Conway. Others in the movie include Bo Brinkman and Bruce Boxleitner.

Local Civil War historian Dennis Frye is listed as being a member of the movie crew. Frye is in charge of military and civilian activities.

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