See Mormon Film: Key Films of the Second Wave
This was both the Church's chief cinematic production for the 1947 Utah Centennial (celebrating the arrival of the pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley) and the first large project undertaken at the Church's nascent filmmaking entity Deseret Film Productions, thus named because it was a branch of Deseret Book. The entire film was created by British convert Frank Wise and his young American associate LaMar Williams and was released in January of 1947 to launch the year's festivities.
President Smith was an avid Scout, camper, and outdoorsman, and the others in the group--besides the filmmakers--came from the Utah Pioneer Trails Association and the This is the Place Monument Committee.
Deseret Film Productions was soon preempted by the Motion Picture Department at BYU (founded January 1953), but this and other films of the late 1940s were directly responsible for the Motion Picture Department's birth. In a 1980 interview Frank Wise resolutely stated that there would have been no films at BYU if not for Hamer Reiser (the head of Deseret Book in the 1940s) and his vision of creating motion pictures for the Church; this specific film was entirely Reiser's idea. Where the Saints Have Trod
, as one of their most important films, remains an unknown diamond in the history of LDS cinema.