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Episode for Discovery Channel series shot at Fort Frederick

November 19, 2007

The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau announced that a network television episode was completed in Washington County the weekend of Nov. 9 and 10. Much of the filming was done at Fort Frederick State Park, and included local participating organizations and individuals.

"This project has been in the works for several weeks," said Convention and Visitors Bureau President Tom Riford. "We welcome film and television projects to our county. Our organization helped coordinate the location site, the hotel rooms, local fire and emergency services, the production company's need for animals, hay and straw, and several other items. It was a fun effort, and we look forward to the finished episode's premiere in January."

Halfyard Productions is a Maryland-based network television production company and has done a myriad of projects for The Learning Channel and for the Discovery Channel.

"Weapon Masters" is a new hour-long series airing on the Discovery Channel. Each episode explores the technology and history of a different ancient or antique weapon. The filming in Washington County included the historical exploration and evolution of rockets. According to "Weapon Masters" host Chad Houseknecht, "We rebuild and update ancient weapons using modern technology and techniques. This project is a 10-part series, and the Washington County episode will premiere after the first of the year."

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The Washington County filming included demonstrations of Chinese rockets, Indian rockets, Congreve Rockets and a cannon challenge against the Hale Rocket (said to be used by the U.S. Army in the Mexican War, and also later by the Confederate States Army). A cannon crew from South Mountain Battlefield State Park provided Napoleon Cannon demonstrations by firing live rounds in the safe confines of the Fort Frederick State Park's range.

A local Maryland farmer provided a horse and a donkey, the Clear Spring Fire Department provided stand-by assistance, and local straw and hay was purchased by the television crew.

Television and movie projects bring positive economic impact and publicity for Washington County. According to the Convention and Visitors Bureau, four motion pictures have been filmed in Washington County recently, and more than 14 network television episodes have completed projects during the past four years.

Recent films shot in the county:

· "Gods and Generals" (2001)

· "No Retreat from Destiny" (2004)

· "Fields of Freedom" (2005)

· "We Fight to be Free" (2006)

Television productions include several History Channel episodes (including two two-hour specials), Discovery Channel episodes, Public Television episodes, a Showtime feature and an ABC television network episode. Two History Channel episodes shot in Washington County will premiere in December.

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