ONTARIO — From original scenes and filming at Heritage Square Museum to the "big screen" final movie cut, members and guests of the Ontario Historical and Landmark Preservation Society premiered the film written and produced by NYS Film & TV production students last April at their general meeting on Nov. 13 at the town hall/library in Ontario.
Several of the buildings at Heritage Square Museum were settings in the film, "The Prophet of the Western Welkin", during the month long filming event. The premiere was the first time the society viewed the final work, with sound and script that included the Warner House, the jail/lock-up, exterior shots and the woods for the "hanging noose" scene. Three society members were actors in the movie - Katie McNally, Jean Johnson and George Mandery - and were recognized for their efforts.
Patrick Wightman, of Macedon, and his classmates from several states and cities, who created, wrote and filmed the movie as their senior thesis at NYU's Manhattan campus, received a "A" for their work. The 18-minute film centered around the fictional character Ashley Stafford, who created his own religion during the second "Great Awakening" in upstate New York in the early 1840s.
Heritage Square Museum was the site for props, costume shop, staging, film takes and final scenes for several weeks in April 2013. It joins a list of films and movies based at the local museum, according to society president Jim Switzer.
The film presentation, presented with the assistance of adult services director Ann Tobin at Ontario Public Library, was followed by a general business meeting of the historical and landmark society. Meetings of the society's board of directors and several working committees continue throughout the winter months in planning for events, displays, exhibits, guide service, school tours and weekend visitors for 2014. The society is also participating in the mural mania program throughout the county to bring historical scenes and events to life in local communities.