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Are these props haunted? A sneak peek of ‘Castle Rock’ set at New England Studios


DEVENS — A covered wagon straight from the pages of a “Little House on the Prairie” book. A plastic children’s riding horse.

They are clues to life in the fictional New England town people are waiting to see unfold in the upcoming Stephen King television thriller “Castle Rock.”

Business leaders from the Nashoba Valley got an inside look at the remnants of the set at New England Studios in Devens. The Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted a breakfast March 7 that attracted more than 50 attendees who toured the studios and learned more about its projects.

“Castle Rock” wrapped up production a few weeks ago said Gary Crossen, general manager of the studio who led the tour. The series is set to premier on online streaming site Hulu in the summer.

The tour passed through the two sound stages where parts of the “Castle Rock” set, props, and costumes were being stored. Attendees were not allowed to take pictures, since details about the highly anticipated series have been kept under wraps.

Parts of an older looking house with a front porch was one of the structures in the studio. Another was the inside of a bar with several booths, a counter, and signs of New England brews like Narragansett and Allagash hanging on the walls.

Various props wrapped in plastic wrap sat on metal shelves that nearly reached the ceiling. Pieces of the set — a single window or door framed by wallpaper — were propped up around the sound stage.

“Castle Rock” also filmed around Lancaster, Tewksbury, and Orange.

During the tour, Crossen talked about how the state’s film tax credit has helped bring work to the studio.

Filmmakers who spend more than $50,000 on a project in the state can receive a 25 percent tax credit for payroll and production costs and exemption from sales tax, according to the Massachusetts Film Office.

Many of the people hired by the studio are from New England, Crossen said. Having a television series means stable work — while a movie may shoot for a couple of months, a series keeps the studio busy for nine months, and returns if successful. “Castle Rock” could bring business to the region for years.

He added that the studio has economic impact in the region.

As part of the tour, attendees were invited to climb up a set up stairs to the area where members of the production crew work. A wooden pathway traces the perimeter of the sound stage.

Some crew members signed their name and the project they worked on on one of the heating ducts. The 2015 romantic comedy “Tumbledown” was listed by several names.

New England Studios, which opened in 2014, has been the home of various commercials and movies.

“Central Intelligence,” a 2016 film starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, had a chase scene filmed on the sound stage where attendees met for breakfast. The studio also worked on “Daddy’s Home 2” starring Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell, Mel Gibson and John Lithgow.

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