I got the chance to interview John Campopiano, one half of the team that will bring us “Unearthed & Untold: The Path To Pet Sematary”, here’s that interview.
Q1: So what made you want to make a documentary on “Pet Semetary”?
It really happened organically. Justin and I were travelling in Maine checking out the filming locations from the film and, after a while, realized that Maine residents had not just stories to share but also photos and other relics from the production. On the (long) drive back home we toyed with the idea of putting together a little video about the locations, you know, just something fun for YouTube or Vimeo. Once we started the project, however, we realized it had the potential to be much more than a short piece. Thus, the concept was born. But, as I say, the idea wasn’t birthed in a single moment. It happened over many weeks of realizing just how much material is out there and how many stories had gone untold.
Q2: What was it like digging into the history of the film?
It has been fun and challenging at the same time. Of course the biggest challenge is finding certain people. But, once you find them, they aren’t always keen on taking part OR, the classic scenario, they don’t think they have much to offer the film. Like any film project there have been hurdles, major triumphs, plenty of frustrations, but overall it has been a great learning experience and seriously fun getting to know cast and crew members from the film. After all, who wouldn’t want to meet and get to know stars of one of their favourite horror films?
Q3: How was it meeting up with people involved in the film?
Well, like I said above, it’s been great fun. The cast and crew have been extremely generous with their time and have helped out in more ways than just giving us an interview. Getting to know them has also been helpful because we have had (and continue to have) questions that pop up about little details. It’s great to have them in our back pockets, so to speak, when these things come up.
Q4: What was your favourite experience whilst making the documentary?
I can’t speak for Justin on this, nor can I isolate just 1 favourite moment. I can, however, pick 2. The first was doing our very first interview for the film with Susan Blommaert “Missy Dandridge” and the second was finally getting an interview with the Berdahl twins (who played “Ellie Creed”).
Q5: Why “Pet Semetary”? Why not any other of the Stephen King classics?
The answer to that comes down to “why not?” There is so little information on the making of “Pet Sematary”, nor are there many behind-the-scenes photos or interviews with cast and crew. So many of the classic horror films (“FT13”, “Halloween”, etc) have had numerous retrospectives and documentaries. We wanted to create something unique and fresh and give this oft-overlooked film a chance to have its story told – and it’s an interesting one! It’s local New England oral history meets Hollywood horror.
Q6: Have you got anything exciting lined up?
Yes — a finished film!!
Q7: What’s your views on the current state of the Horror genre?
I think there are some interesting things happening (I loved “The Conjuring”) but overall I feel the current state of horror (at least mainstream horror) is underwhelming. Studios don’t seem to take the risks they once did, nor are there enough small and independent production companies left to give us the weird, oddball stuff that ran rampant in the 60’s-80’s (and the 90’s to a certain extent). With me and horror, I tend to go backwards in time. There’s so much left to be discovered and watched.
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