Orange (or is it Castle Rock?) gets $3,500

  • One of the two brick buildings belonging to Gary H. Moise, owner of the Orange Trading Co. on South Main Street, was a site of filming for “Castle Rock,” an upcoming Hulu series based on the works of horror writer Stephen King. FILE PHOTO BY DOMENIC POLI

For The Athol Daily News
Friday, March 02, 2018

ORANGE — Transforming Orange into Castle Rock to film a suspense/thriller series was not without inconveniences for the town. Now, the production team is saying thank you.

Many were excited about the show, “Castle Rock,” named after the fictional town in many of Stephen King’s most famous works, but issues such as added traffic did not go unnoticed. In a grateful gesture, the show has donated $3,500 to the town.

“Was it expected? No. Is it appreciated? Absolutely,” said Selectboard Clerk James Cornwell.

The Orange Fire Department has received $2,500 for helping facilitate production, and the Trustees of Soldiers’ Memorial will receive another $1,000.

“The amount will go into a gift account, and that is normally used for anything the Fire Department deems essential for operations that wasn’t included in their budget,” Cornwell said.

According to Cornwell, who is also a member of the Trustees of Soldiers’ Memorial, the trustees are also putting the money into a gift account. He said the donation will go toward maintenance and upkeep on all the memorial stones in the town cemeteries and Memorial Park in the center of town.

“They were kind enough to give $1,000,” Cornwell said. “They shot a lot of scenes around Memorial Park and in the center of Orange.”

“Castle Rock” is an original series by Hulu, a subscription video-on-demand service, set in one of the most prominent locations in the Stephen King mythos. The town of Castle Rock is featured in the horror author’s books “Cujo,” “The Dark Half,” “The Dead Zone” and is mentioned in many of King’s other works.

The show, produced by Warner Bros. Television and starring Sissy Spacek, Melanie Lynskey and André Holland, had crews in Orange periodically from the beginning of August 2017 until January.

Downtown streets were occasionally closed and storefronts temporarily remodeled for the production.

Robin Sweet, one of the project’s producers, previously said filming in the town “could have been a real challenge, and I think it’s just all gone very smoothly.”

Sweet, having lived in New York City, could relate to residents’ frustrations toward slowed traffic and sections of town being closed off. However, she got “the sense the community as a whole is pleased with our presence.”

There is still no premiere date for “Castle Rock,” but Sweet has said it would probably be this spring. She also expressed a desire for the series to be renewed for at least a second season, which would keep “Castle Rock” crews coming back to Orange and boost the local economy, she said.

For now, the town has a $3,500 thank you card from the project.

“This is over and above anything that was expected,” Cornwell said.

A teaser for the series can be viewed online at hulu.tv/2rBi7hF.

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