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'West Wing' crew shooting episodes near Camp David

The television series, about the workings of a fictional White House, on Tuesday began filming portions of episodes in the Thurm

The television series, about the workings of a fictional White House, on Tuesday began filming portions of episodes in the Thurm

May 14, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

For the next week, there will be two presidential retreats in the mountains of Frederick County.

"The West Wing," the popular, Emmy-winning television series about the workings of a fictional White House, on Tuesday began filming portions of episodes for next season in the Thurmont area, not far from the Camp David presidential retreat.

Filming will continue through May 20 or May 21, said Neal Ahern, the show's line producer.

Ahern said the crew and cast, including Martin Sheen, who portrays President Josiah Bartlet, and John Spencer, who portrays Bartlet's chief of staff, spent most of the past week at ThorpeWood shooting scenes. ThorpeWood, a property of Thorpe Foundation, is an environmental education center.

Ahern said they will be shooting scenes at nearby Trout Run and the Maple Run Golf Course in Thurmont also.

"We came out to Thurmont to recreate Camp David," Ahern said. "Trout Run and Thorpewood have some of the same beautiful foliage and trees."

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Both are in Frederick County's Catoctin Mountains, just a few miles from Camp David.

In the episodes being filmed in the area, the president is holding a series of meetings about the building tensions in the Middle East, including the murders of high-ranking U.S. officials, and to discuss some of the happenings that unfold in the show's season finale on May 31, Ahern said.

He declined to give additional details.

"If I tell you any more than that, it'll ruin the show," Ahern said. "It'd totally blow the finale."

Plans to shoot scenes at the Cozy Inn and Restaurant were scrapped, he said.

"We couldn't fit it into the story. There's only so much you can fit into a one-hour episode," he said.

Vicki Grinder, general manager of Cozy Inc., said Tuesday that the show's producers had contacted her three months ago about filming but was vague about exact plans.

Grinder said the show's producers had tables and pictures removed from the restaurant within the last week to prepare for shooting. Still, Grinder was unsure when and if the crew, who had previously reserved rooms for the week, and actors would be filming because the plans changed several times.

"It's one of those things where we don't know what they're doing," Grinder said. "One week they're coming, one week they're not."

Grinder said it was an honor that the restaurant was considered for the filming.

"It's been like a see-saw," she said.

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