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Maxwell's first full measure

July 20, 2006|by TARA REILLY

HAGERSTOWN - Director Ron Maxwell has made a first payment on the $300,000 he owes Washington County after being unable to begin production of the Civil War movie "The Last Full Measure," Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said Tuesday.

Snook said Maxwell's first payment was made two or three weeks ago and was just less than $20,000, part of a series of payments he is to make over the next five years.

Commissioners Vice President William J. Wivell prompted the discussion at Tuesday's County Commissioners meeting by questioning whether Maxwell had begun paying back the money.

The previous board of commissioners agreed by a 4-1 vote in October 2002 to lend the money to Maxwell to shoot much of "The Last Full Measure" in the county. The money was to be used for screenwriting and other preproduction costs. The commissioners used money generated by the hotel/motel tax for the loan.

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Snook and Wivell were on the board at the time of the vote. Snook voted for the loan. Wivell voted against it.

According to the promissory note between Maxwell and the commissioners, Maxwell had until December 2005 to begin production of the movie or he would have to pay back the money.

The agreement states Maxwell will pay back the $300,000 at 4 percent interest in quarterly payments over five years.

Snook said Tuesday that Maxwell still hopes to produce "The Last Full Measure."

The movie would be based on the third book in a trilogy of Civil War novels by Michael Shaara and his son, Jeff Shaara.

The other novels, "The Killer Angels," and "Gods and Generals" have been made into movies. The film version of "The Killer Angels" was "Gettysburg."

"Gods and Generals" was filmed largely in Washington County. The movie tanked at the box office.

Jeff Shaara states on his Web site that the poor box office results caused media mogul Ted Turner to drop plans to finance filming "The Last Full Measure."

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