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Producers seek funding for ‘Blennerhassetts’ documentary

Updated: May 25, 2021

Charleston-based MotionMasters, which produced West Virginia-centric documentaries on the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd and the oil and gas industry, has completed most production work, with an interview with Campus Martius historian Bill Reynolds slated for Monday. As they move into the post-production phase, they’re seeking an additional $115,000 to complete the hour-long project, which is expected to air on West Virginia public television, said Diana Sole Walko, MotionMasters founder and writer/executive producer on “The Blennerhassetts.”

The Blennerhassetts’ ties to Aaron Burr, who was tried and acquitted of treason in 1807, expand the scope of the story beyond the region, she said.

“The story is very interesting, of course, in American history, which is why I think it has a broadcast appeal outside the state of West Virginia,” Sole Walko said. “This story is when this young nation defined what treason was.”

Post-production needs include hiring a narrator, voice actors, editing the project, commissioning an original music track and securing rights to historical documents and images.

Contributors to the production already include the Blennerhassett Historical Foundation, Bernard McDonough Foundation, United Bank and the Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. Commissioners said they would like to contribute as well and plan to make a decision on that at Thursday’s meeting. Couch said he hopes the documentary will spur interest in people visiting the area.

“I think there’s no question it will be an economic driver because it’s going to be broadcast multiple times a year,” Sole Walko said.

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