Two historical films to be filmed near Boonsboro

June 30, 2004

The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau and Historical Entertainment LLC have announced that Washington County has been chosen as the location for two upcoming history film projects.

According to CVB president Tom Riford, "Hagerstown and Washington County have been the site for several movie and video production efforts. We're very pleased that two historical films will be starting production next month, with the majority of the filming to take place near Boonsboro."

Riford said that the CVB is providing assistance to Historical Entertainment, the production company for both films.

Historical Entertainment's CEO Russ Richards said, "Washington County provides a variety of great filming locations, and the local business and civic communities have been very welcoming to the film industry in the past. We hope our involvement here will help further the trend set by Warner Brothers, who helped bring the county significant fame with its production of "Gods and Generals."


Historical Entertainment is headquartered in Washington County. The company is producing a Civil War film and a World War II drama, both scheduled to be filmed in July. According to Richards, "The two films are "No Retreat From Destiny" and "The Pain Within."

'No Retreat from Destiny'

"No Retreat From Destiny" will be a Civil War documentary, done in feature film style, similar to "Band of Brothers." It is being directed by Kevin Hershberger, whose award-winning Civil War drama, "Wicked Spring" is now in national distribution. Hershberger's company, LionHeart Filmworks, is co-producing the film with Historical Entertainment.

The film is about the 1864 Battle of Monocacy. According to Richards, "The importance of this battle is little understood by non-Civil War buffs and the film will help correct that."

The Confederates, under Gen. Jubal Early reach the very gates of Washington, where at Fort Stevens Abraham Lincoln becomes the first American president to come under fire in a battle. While the Confederates are victorious at Monocacy, the defense mounted by Union Gen. Lew Wallace buys the Federal forces the time they need to secure Washington against a Confederate invasion. Gen. Wallace went on to achieve fame as the author of "Ben-Hur."

According to the documentary's producers "No Retreat From Destiny" will be much more than a typical Civil War documentary. As well as showing the battle itself, it will show the historical context in which the battle took place - the political conditions in Washington and Richmond, and the impact of the war on the general population -- and provide insights into the characters of the key figures involved.

The battle scenes will be shot from July 14-19 in Boonsboro, in tandem with the Battle of Monocacy re-enactment being sponsored by the Western Maryland Heritage Foundation. On July 17-18, spectators at the re-enactment are also invited to watch the filming.

"No Retreat from Destiny" is a self-funding independent film, which will be released to the direct home DVD sales market. More than 60 percent of the funding has already been obtained although, according to Richards, additional investors would be welcomed. The production company will handle distribution to the Civil War and history buff market in the first year. For the following year, a broader general public release has been agreed with a major distribution company. Advance DVD sales will launch when filming begins. For more information, visit the film's Web site at

'The Pain Within'

"The Pain Within" is a drama set during World War II, about the inner conflicts faced by a soldier in the fabled 10th Mountain Division in Italy. It is a fictionalized account based on a number of real individuals.

It stars Aaron Jackson, whose film credits include "Lorenzo's Oil" with Nick Nolte; and also stars Silas Gaither, who was in both of the "Survivor: Africa" reality shows. Director Gary Hubb also wrote the script. Hubb was an assistant director on the History Channel's "Civil War Combat" series, and is working in TV production in Los Angeles.

The film is being produced as a short independent feature for the film festival market, with the planning that it will be picked up by a distributor for expansion into a full-length feature. Donors and investors are still being sought. It is being filmed July 8-12 on a site near Boonsboro. It is a closed set, but according to producers, those who donate $25 or more are invited to watch the filming. For more information, visit the film's Web site at

Historical Entertainment, LLC provides history-related services to the film and television industries. Past and current clients have included a variety of projects for The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, A&E, National Geographic and PBS, as well as a number of feature films.

The company was founded by re-enactors and living historians involved in film work and covers a wide variety of eras.

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