Warning: Spoilers for both the original and the new “Pet Sematary” films are in this story.
Mainers have a different way of doing things. Case in point: the way one Mainer, hired to work on the set of the original “Pet Sematary” when it filmed in Maine in 1988, treated a particular problem during filming.
A scene called for a number of shots of trees being felled, and the Hollywood people working on set lamented the fact that they would have to shell out major cash for a pulley system to get the desired effect. Carlene Hirsch, a longtime teacher at Bangor High School who was hired as lead coordinator for exterior sets (a greensman, in film crew lingo), said they would do no such thing.
Hirsch did a very Maine thing: She called a local pulp truck driver and hired him to move the trees around, at a fraction of the cost.
“I think, in general, Mainers are a little more pragmatic and methodical than a Hollywood film crew,” Hirsch said. “I think that’s one of the things that made ‘Pet Sematery’ so special. You had these Hollywood people, and then you had a bunch of Mainers. It made the whole experience totally unique.”
The original film was released in April 1989. Exactly 30 years later, another film based on Stephen King’s 1983 book of the same name is set to come out. The 2019 “Pet Sematary,” directed by Kevin Kolsch and Denis Widmeyr, hits cinemas nationwide this Friday.
Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.
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