A cautionary tale for local government entities thinking about investing in Civil War movies:
Nine years after borrowing $300,000 from Washington County [MD], director Ron Maxwell still owes about $263,000 in principal and interest.
Maxwell borrowed the money in 2002, after making the Civil War film “Gods and Generals” in the Tri-State area, including Washington County.
The loan agreement gave Maxwell until 2005 to start working on another Civil War film, based on Jeff Shaara’s book “The Last Full Measure,” and to produce at least half of it in Washington County. Otherwise, Maxwell would have to repay the money, with interest, by 2010.
Records show that Maxwell last made a payment more than three years ago.
Maybe it’s time to chalk it up as a loss, which is what I did with the money I paid to see Gods and Generals. Come to think of it, having seen Gods and Generals, I’d give Maxwell $300,000 to not make Last Full Measure.