Last November, we published a blog titled “Lobster in Pop Culture: How Lobsters Are Portrayed in Movies.”

Well, once again, Maine and lobsters are the prominent third character in a new lobstering movie, “The Ghost Trap,” which was partially filmed on the Festival grounds back in 2022! The film is set to premiere at the Maine International Film Festival in Waterville on July 17 & 20, 2024.

The novel of the same name by Maine author K. Stephens was published in 2009 by the Massachusetts-based publisher Leapfrog Press. It’s the story of Jamie Eugley, a young lobsterman from the fictional town of Petit Point (set between Friendship and Tenants Harbor) who is forced to choose between right and wrong when his girlfriend suffers a traumatic head injury and a rival lobstering family sabotages his gear, sparking a deadly trap war.

Stephens, who lives in the Midcoast, wrote several scenes in the book about Jamie and his best friend, Thongchai, a Thai lobsterman, wandering through the Maine Lobster Festival as they observe the International Great Crate Races, the carnival atmosphere and the food tents.

“I first moved here 30 years ago and used to go to the Festival every year,” she said. “Those happy moments of the crowds roaring when kids ran the lobster crates and fell off always stuck with me.”

The book was discovered by the producers of Khanlarian Entertainment, based in North Carolina, with an office in Los Angeles. As it happened, one of the producers, Peter Couture, who has family ties from Waterville, was back in Maine visiting in the summer of 2018, when he happened to pick up a copy of “The Ghost Trap” at Beyond The Sea, an aptly named bookshop in Lincolnville. After reading it, he contacted Stephens to option the book, telling her it had all the elements they were looking for to produce and direct their first feature film.

Stephens was hired to adapt her novel into a screenplay and worked with the producers to scout locations, as well as consult on cast selection, costumes and set design. She was also the liaison between her lobstermen friends and the production team.

Local lobstermen Ryan Post; Cheri Savage; Dan Merriam; Kurt Winters (who appears in the film as a sternman); John and Lynn Post; and Charlie, Amy and Drew Philips all provided their boats for pivotal scenes, with crew boat assistance from Aaron Crossman. These lobstermen took off many valuable days in the height of summer fishing to provide their boats, as well as access to wharves, boathouses and other iconic locations. They also served as script, dialogue and set consultants so that the film would be as authentic as possible.

What could be more authentic than actual footage from the Maine Lobster Festival? In the film, there are about three minutes of footage that Director James Khanlarian and Director of Photography Michael Tedford shot with the full blessing of The Maine Lobster Festival.

In one scene, they have a clear shot of a boy running the lobster crates toward Board of Directors member Shannon Kinney. The backstory to this scene is pretty wild. They would have shot more footage on that August day, but a massive lightning storm was barreling toward the Rockland coast. With a $150,000 camera to protect, Tedford and Khanlarian quickly got their shots and covered the equipment, dashing out of there before the deluge.

As films often need to shoot out of sequence to conserve time, another scene from the Maine Lobster Festival had to be recreated long after the five-day event was over. The production got permission to film in Gilbert and Adams Central Park next to the Rockland Police Department and spent the entire day there, with locals patiently filling the role of extras – sitting at picnic tables and pretending to eat lobster. Thanks to the Mac Attack food truck, they also got a giant inflatable lobster for this scene!

Other notable Rockland scenes in the film were shot near the Rockland Yacht Club, the Rockland Public Landing, J&J Lobster, O’Hara Lobster Bait, and part of the Dry Dock Restaurant’s boardwalk. See behind-the-scenes photos.

“The Ghost Trap” will not only premiere at MIFF this summer, but additionally at Vermont Film Festival on July 26, the Maine Outdoor Film Festival in Portland on July 28, and Vacationland Film Festival in Biddeford on Aug. 8. Freestyle Digital Media has acquired the North American rights to distribute the film, which will be released nationally in theaters along with video-on-demand on Nov. 1, 2024.

K. Stephens will be on hand to sign copies of “The Ghost Trap” and chat about the making of the film at the Maine Lobster Festival on Thursday, Aug. 1 in the Marine Tent from 11 am to 3 pm.

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Did you know there will be many talented local Maine authors and artists at the Maine Lobster Festival this year? Come every day to The Marine Tent and Arts & Crafts Tent to meet the creative people who are inspired by this beautiful state. The Festival, from July 31 to Aug. 4, has FREE ADMISSION every day! Visit