LEWISTON, Maine — A low-budget movie production plans to haunt a 130-year-old farmhouse in Hanover, trucking lights, cameras and actors into the small town for a spooky, character-driven story.
The film is titled “The Hanover House.”
Filming is set to begin Thursday in Portland before moving Sunday to Hanover, where the majority of the 11-day shooting schedule will be spent in the title house.
“Our house is almost alive,” said director Corey Norman, who wrote the 65-page screenplay with his wife, Haley, who serves as a producer on the project.
“It’s the longest fictional piece I’ve done,” Norman said. He has worked on a variety of TV projects and serves as chairman of Southern Maine Community College’s department of communications and new media. Norman’s credits include PBS’ show “Nova” and shows on cable’s History and Discovery channels.
“I’ve done about 80 or 90 hours of television,” said Norman, of South Portland. He also directed a horror short called, “The Barn,” which was shown at several festivals, including the Lewiston Auburn Film Festival.
For the new project, Norman has cast a variety of Maine and regional actors, including former Oddfellow Theater regular Casey Turner, and California actress Anne Bobby, who had roles in several well-known movies and TV shows such as Oliver Stone’s “Born on the Fourth of July” and “Law and Order.”
The cast will support a kind of throw-back story that has more in common with 1960s and ’70s movies such as “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Amityville Horror” than modern movies such as “Paranormal Activity” or “Saw.”
It’s the story of a man who gets into a car accident on the way home from his father’s funeral, Norman said. A young girl is hurt, so he seeks help in a nearby house.
“Unlike a lot of horror films, we’ve really tried to develop our characters so anything horrific doesn’t even start happening for the first 35 minutes or so,” he said.
Norman contends that the real house has a history of haunting its occupants.
Promotional materials for the film, which earned more than $5,000 in donations from the Internet site Kickstarter, say tenants in the building talked of moving objects and ghosts.
All of it should make for a good story when the film is finished next year.
The production is expected to cost about $15,000, but in-kind donations, including the rental of a state-of-the-art digital camera, push the film’s production value well over $100,000, he said.
Norman plans to follow the shooting with about six months of editing and other post-production work. He hopes to enter the film into festivals and get a distributor who can put the film into theaters nationwide.