History Channel program filmed in Williamsport

March 07, 2007

A California film and production company has wrapped up filming in Washington County. The Santa Monica, Calif.-based company has been filming a History Channel episode about John Wilkes Booth and his escape from Washington, D.C., following the assassination of President Lincoln.

More than 20 cast and crew members filmed in Williamsport, using a wooden bridge in the C&O Canal National Historic Park as the backdrop for a fleeing Booth.

Tom Jennings Productions said that Williamsport was chosen because Washington County was film-friendly, and that the site was perfect for the network television project.

"We have had a fantastic experience in Washington County," said Tom Jennings on the set. "Everyone has been great to work with. This is the historical look we needed."


Jennings said that the episode is scheduled to premiere on The History Channel on Dec. 23.

Tom Riford, president and CEO of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said his organization welcomed the production.

"We helped coordinate hotel rooms, permit discussions with the national park, and also other needs. We always welcome film and television projects to our county. These bring positive economic impact, plus help promote our county in the film industry." Riford mentioned that another film had wrapped up production the week before, and that a network music video was also filmed at The Maryland Theatre.

The cast and crew utilized the Four Points by Sheraton as the host hotel. Washington County-based Historical Entertainment provided production assistance, extras, and also coordination with the C&O Canal National Historical Park, the Town of Williamsport, and the Convention and Visitors Bureau. "We've been working on this project for a number of months, and actually did additional filming in nearby locations, while calling Washington County our hub for filming operations," said Russ Richards of Historical Entertainment.

Staff members of the C&O Canal National Historical Park stayed at the Williamsport site, providing assistance during filming.

While visiting the set, Williamsport Mayor Jim McLeaf welcomed the network television production, "Williamsport has rolled out the welcome mat for this network television project. It's great that a History Channel production used our town, and we hope to see more filming here in the future. It's an exciting time for Williamsport."

Actor Jean-Pierre Parent portrayed John Wilkes Booth, the man who assassinated President Lincoln. His horse was provided by Jodi Nolan. The horse's name is "Richmond," and is an old hand to acting, having appeared in more than 20 films and network television episodes, including "The Amazing Race."

The History Channel project is one of more than 12 network television projects that have been completed in Washington County during the past three years. Three movies were filmed in Washington County during the same time period, including "Fields of Freedom," "We Fight to Be Free," and "No Retreat From Destiny."

The Herald-Mail Articles