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She played in Sammy Bates’ The Reaper’s Image as Nancy Spangler.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Rae Hunt: My name is Rae Hunt and I am an actor, model, & published poetry writer.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actress?

Rae Hunt: I took a theatre class in college as an elective and was hooked.

SKSM: How did you become involved in The Reaper’s Image Dollar Baby film?

Rae Hunt: I have worked with the Bates brothers on other projects and was asked if I would like to work on The Reaper’s Image.

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Rae Hunt: Stephen King has such an amazing way of capturing the horror imagination and allowing adaptations for Indy artists.

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Rae Hunt: I did not audition and was asked to do the role of Nancy Spangler. I had worked on another project in the past.

SKSM: You worked with Sammy Bates on this film, how was that?

Rae Hunt: Sammy and Kenny Bates are both incredibly kind and creative. They have a clear vision of what they want but also allowed me the freedom to develop my character as I saw fit.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Rae Hunt: The slap scene was real! The actor that played my “husband” wanted the real thing and not to hold back so I obliged. After the scene was over I quickly apologized 🙂

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Rae Hunt: I stay in contact via social media with other cast members and crew.

Twitter: @sh_author
Instagram: @rae.s.hunt
Facebook: Rae Hunt

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Rae Hunt: I have two projects coming out. Unconditional hits Amazon Prime on May 11, 2018 and The Curse of the Nun comes out late summer.

IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4890943/

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Rae Hunt: I am a huge Stephen King fan! I have even been to Bangor, ME where he is from and inspiration for many of stories such as It, Pet Cemetery, etc.

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Rae Hunt: I am an adrenaline junkie and have gone parasailing, cliff diving, bungee jumping, rode coasters all over the world, and am going skydiving soon! I am also an international published poetry writer.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Rae Hunt: I appreciate all those who support independent film projects!

 

 

He played in Sean A. Skinner‘s Dollar Baby Rest Area as Lee.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Brandon Van Vliet: My name is Brandon Van Vliet. I’ve been producing and acting in independent films since 2004. I started a indie film label/production Company called Restraining Hollywood years ago that has consumed most of my life. I moved to L.A. new years eve 2014 and have been working in film/TV here ever since but I do love to come back to Minnesota to work on projects.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor? 

Brandon Van Vliet: When I was like 7 years old watching ‘Saturday Night’ live with my parents and that old show ‘Taxi’. I love Andy Kaufman and Danny DeVito.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Rest Area Dollar Baby film?

Brandon Van Vliet: I’ve been working with Sean Skinner on projects since 2013. He asked me nicely and I couldn’t  say no.

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Brandon Van Vliet: It’s dark, mysterious and capitvating. Who doesn’t like that sorta stuff?

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Brandon Van Vliet: No, I didn’t have to audition.

SKSM: You worked with Sean A. Skinner on this film, how was that?

Brandon Van Vliet: It was just like any other time working with Sean. Fun!

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Brandon Van Vliet: Shooting in a public rest stop during working hours was pretty funny but having actor Jimmy Keebs on set with us made it special.

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Brandon Van Vliet: Sure. Sean, Jimmy Keebs an actor and Briana Lee Rose the AD.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Brandon Van Vliet: A film I starred in and produced called ‘Play Dirty’ just got picked up for distribution. I’m the music supervisor and busy finding songs for scenes for a film I co-produced and co-starred in called ‘Rise Against The Fall’. I was a production manager for a horror thriller feature film we made in Minnesota called ‘The Dawn’. I have a couple auditions for some bigger roles in feature films coming up and the crew I made ‘Play Dirty’ with are shooting another film this August in Minnesota when I’m back there from L.A.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Brandon Van Vliet: Of course. I saw Creepshow and The Shining at a tender age and have been a fan ever since.

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Brandon Van Vliet: I look dirty but I’m very neat, clean and organized.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Brandon Van Vliet: Thanks for taking an interest in our Project.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Brandon Van Vliet: Not much. Just wanted to thank you for the interview and working with independent films artists. It means a lot to us.

 

 

She played in Mark Howarth‘s Dollar Baby The Words Of The Prophets as Louise.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Georgia Pounsford: I’m a graduate of English Literature and Theatre Studies from the University of Sheffield.  I moved to London last summer and since then I have been gaining work experience within creative agencies.  That pretty much sums up what I’ve done so far, but what I want to do in the future defines me better: I want to travel more and experience as many cultures as possible, I definately want to do something which requires imagination, but ultimately I also want to work very closely with others – I’m obsessed with behaviour and I want to understand everything I can about people.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actress?

Georgia Pounsford: I don’t want to be an actress.  For one thing I’m not good enough, but I also wouldn’t have the right temperament.  You have to be extremely comfortable with uncertainty, and it can become a very consuming line of work.  That being said, I love acting and I find it fascinating, which is partly why I studied Theatre alongside Literature.  I like losing myself in fantasy, but I also think that the ability to act is one of the most powerful skills.  To be a good actor you must understand your character to the point that, even if you are playing the most well known person in history, you will still be able to surprise your audience.  You have to connect with a vulnerability that you would never understand from just reading about someone.  That is incredibly difficult and requires a great deal of imagination.  The ability to compeltely put yourself in someone else’s shoes is such a beneficial skill in many different lines of business.  If you can truly comprehend people’s thoughts, feelings, intentions and expectations, it  allows you to understand how they will respond to your work.

SKSM: How did you become involved in The words of the prophets Dollar Baby film?

Georgia Pounsford: James Turner who wrote the script approached me about the part.  I had previously acted with someone who knew him, and he told James I might be interested.

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Georgia Pounsford: Like many of his other works, it is the element of suspence and fantasy that attracts people.  He’s also very good at creating magical realism, which allows people to understand the worlds in his books but to also see them in a different way.  Another theme in this story is the power of randomness, and people love trying to make sense of what they can’t understand.  This film is actually an adaptation of King’s short story ‘All that you love will be carried away’, which is esentially about a man trying to make sense out of graffiti until it drives him insane.

SKSM: You worked with Mark Howarth on this film, how was that?

Georgia Pounsford: Both Mark and James were great to work with.  We didn’t know each other at all before we started filming, but James sent me the script really early on so I could read through it, and they were both good at keeping me in the loop.  It was clear that James was a big Stephen King fan and Mark knew a lot about filmmaking, so i learnt quite a bit from both of them.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Georgia Pounsford: In one scene I got to play a dead girl.  I had to cover myself in blood, and the protagonist (who was my boyfriend in the film) kept seeing me in mirrors.  It was pretty fun getting to play the scary character.

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Georgia Pounsford: Not since we finished filming.  I think they’re both still at university but I live in London now.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Georgia Pounsford: I’m not currently working on any other films.  At the moment I want to work in advertising and marketing, so am doing internships in London.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Georgia Pounsford: I’ve read a lot of his works and he’s got a really amazing mind, especially for the horror genre.  However, my favourite is his ‘Different Seasons’ collection from 1982, which actually consists of less horror than his other books.  This is actually where the story of the Shawshank Redemption comes from, which of course went on to be a great movie.  He’s one of those people I would love to meet and talk to for hours about random stuff, because he would probably give you a really unique perspective.  He also has a knack for creating very complex and compelling characters.  If an actor can get it right, that makes good film.

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Georgia Pounsford: One of my biggest desires is to hug a sloth.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Georgia Pounsford: I definately don’t have fans, but if anyone has read this article it will most likely be because they have an interest in Stephen King, so I would reccomend reading ‘Different Seasons’ if they haven’t already.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Georgia Pounsford: Thank you!

 

He played in Loyd Elmore‘s The Things They Left Behind as Jimmy Eagleton.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Tim Avers: I’m a Nashville native and a father of two daughters ages 20 and 16. I graduated from university in the early 1990s with a degree in political science and communications and a minor in philosophy. I have a 9-5 office job at a small company and for the past five years I have volunteered with a national organization called CASA for Children, which helps young people in the foster care system.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?

Tim Avers: My creative energies are really focused on writing although I have worked both with Loyd Elmore on the Dollar Baby and on AMC’s “Nashville” television program which was later broadcast on the CMT Network. In both cases I worked background.

SKSM: How did you become involved in The Things They Left Behind Dollar Baby film?

Tim Avers: I knew Loyd and Melissa Zimmerman through a girlfriend and I was happy to be asked to participate.

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Tim Avers: “The Things They Left Behind” is simply a solid short story and although it’s connected to the events of September 11, 2001 in New York City it’s a universal story about grief and survival.

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Tim Avers: For Loyd’s adaptation of “The Things They Left Behind” I provided notes on the script, contributed camerawork, and suggested shots.

SKSM: You worked with Loyd Elmore on this film, how was that?

Tim Avers: Working with Loyd and Robert Gilmer, who did camera and set work, was a great deal of fun. Loyd is just a natural storyteller and the whole process was enjoyable.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Tim Avers: As Loyd mentioned when speaking with you, we did much of the filming on May 1, 2010 which was the first of two days of torrential rain in Nashville that resulted in what the meteorologists call a “Thousand Year Flood.” The Cumberland River cuts through Nashville’s business and residential centers in the downtown areas and the river crested at almost 52 feet. This flooded the stadium of the Tennessee Titans, an American football team, the lower levels of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, and numerous other buildings at a loss of about 2 billion US dollars. The flood also cost 21 people their lives.
So needless to say, it was a really strange and tragic event to have happen while trying to shoot a film! I’d actually left the baseball bat prop, on which my friend Roger Stewart did wood burning art and painting, in the trunk of my Mazda RX-8. Later that day both the car and I were nearly washed off the road by a rising creek. I only got out of the flood by wading to the safety of a passerby’s truck and ultimately the car engine was ruined and the vehicle totaled.

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Tim Avers: Naturally I keep up with Loyd who has a great blog and Nashville is the sort of town where you often run into friends you’re not expecting to see. Melissa and her family are just some of my favorite people.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Tim Avers: From time to time I pound out a comic book script but most of my writing is political – recently about civil liberties and the gun issues that we are trying to address here in the US.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Tim Avers: Like a lot of people my age I find King to be a marvelous storyteller – but in my case I mean that quite literally. I got the opportunity to see Stephen King during his tour supporting independent booksellers and promoting the novel “Insomnia” in the 1990s.
There is absolutely nothing like hearing King read his own fiction. I also stumbled across a copy of a book on tape of Kind reading “The Dark Tower” and it’s something I could listen to on a monthly basis and still enjoy immensely. My favorite horror writer, though, is Richard Matheson, and I also enjoy Clive Barker and Cormac McCarthy, although his works are generally not considered horror.

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Tim Avers: Oh… there’s nothing all that surprising about me.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Tim Avers: Even if you are a casual fan I strongly recommend seeing Stephen Kind live if you have the opportunity. He’s a terrific entertainer. His “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” is also essential.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Tim Avers: King is only asking for a dollar US to adapt these stories and I strongly recommend filmmakers of any skill level take him up on the deal! It’s a terrific experience.

 

He is the man behind Rest Stop Dollar Baby Film.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Stephen Dean: My name is Stephen Dean. I am a native to Northeast Georgia, U.S.A. I am the creator/director/producer of Dean Film Works LLC. For over five years I was a law enforcement officer but eventually decided to go back to college and do a career change as the challenges of the profession neverquite fit my personality type nor the goals I set for myself in life. I ended up going to college and getting a Bachelor’s of Sciene degree in Business Administration/Marketing. Approximately 5 and a half years ago, I began working within the film industry in Atlanta, Georgia. I started as an extra and worked my way into being a full time stand-in on various big buget television shows and films. During the eariler years of this amazing adventure, I began training as an actor and taking film (on-camera) acting classes at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta, Georgia. Shortly after that I was signed by my first talent agent. I have been extremely lucky enough to be cast in several principal roles over the years in film and commercial projects! Aside from acting, my true love in all of this is directing, producing, and filmmaking in general. I love challenges! I use to be an endurance athlete (road cycling and mountain biking) and this has been the most difficult set of challenges I have attempted to date. It is an all consuming and grueling process. I enjoy thinking around the challenges associated with micro budget filmmaking. Like all filmmakers, I hope my budgets, as well as fan base, grow over time. There is just something so humbling about working so very hard and bringing good people together in the process. The task of finding ways for everyone involved to benefit when you have limited resources is a growing and learning experience. It has been life changing for me, and in a very good way! I am am very blessed and honored to be able to attempt the things I get to do with film production!

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker?

Stephen Dean: It is strange to me how this materialized into me being a filmmaker. Growing up in rural parts of North Georgia, I would often times dream of going to Los Angeles and becoming an actor but I lived in such a small world back then. Everything about my daily life told me it would never happen and that it was ridculous to even consider it. I felt a million miles away from filmmaking/acting/etc. I guess I was close minded and too young to understand that you can do anything you want in life. Then one day the world completely changed for me! A significant part of “Hollywood” just up and moved to Atlanta, Georgia! How?!? I’m still scratching my head about that honestly. That was when I knew I could try and be an actor. Through the process of acting and trying to make the auditioning process as cost effective as possible, I started buying my own home studio equipment to film auditions. Just some softbox lighting, a DSLR camera, and some other essentials tools.  I begin to teach myself basic video editing so I could save time and money and edit my own auditions. One day I just thought to myself, “Hey! You know how to make a movie, you’re already doing it! So make it official!” So I did my own original film noir web series called “Memoirs of a Godfather”. I went the extra mile and went through the process of getting it sanctioned under SAG-AFTRA New Media contract and attached a few union actors to the project. So it was an extremely gradual process over the course of two and a half years to me becoming a filmmaker. One thing I can say in absolution, it would never have happened if I didn’t have some of the best people in the world helping me make it all happen.

SKSM: When did you make Rest stop? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?

Stephen Dean: I got permission from Stephen King’s representatives to begin the project around mid October 2017. We begin principal photography in November 2017 and completed filming in late February 2018. Post production was completed in late March 2018. We worked on a “shoestring budget” of $1350. Admittedly, with all aspects of our film productions, fundraising has not been my strong suit and often times I am spread thin with numerous pre-production task ranging from casting, locations scouting, and administration work. Our cast and crew were all volunteers and the bulk of the tiny budget went to renting box trucks for two of the five prinicpal photography days, food/crafty, a hotel for one night of filming for cast to have a “green room”, and location rental fees. I spent an additional five days of production doing “B roll” footage, sound design, and drone shots. Post production took place gradually as we were filming and ramped up after we completed principal photography.

SKSM: How come you picked Rest stop to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?

Stephen Dean: That is a great question! I researched all options that were available and I knew that I would have a finite budget. While I was hopeful for a larger budget, I knew that no matter what, I was going to get it done. With that said, I wanted it to be as good as possible and some of the other short stories available, at least to me, called for a stage or an out-of-town location.
I also knew my version of Mr. King’s short film would have to be strictly “on location”. There were a few that could have worked well enough, but I wanted the story to fit the geography of North Georia and Rest Stop seemed to do just that! Rest Stop also spoke to me quite a bit. As a former Deputy Sheriff I dealt with many domestic violence situations. I was there breathing it in. The physical abuse against women and children. I swear I met real life variations of Lee and Ellen and I knew I could bring a certain amount of realism to the dynamics of that part of the story. I had five potentail stories picked out and I kept going back to Rest Stop. It just made sense to me. At the time, I hadn’t realized that Georgia had actually closed down all the highway rest stops around my area. I fell locations in stories are often some of the biggest characters of certain scenes, so I spent some time finding a place that I thought would fit well for our rest stop. It had to be dated, grimy, and feel relatively remote. I was extremely happy when a local University allowed me to film on their campus as they had a perfect fieldhouse that I abosolutely fell in love with! Luckily it all worked out!

SKSM: How did you find out that King sold the movie rights to some of his stories for just $1? Was it just a wild guess or did you know it before you sent him the check?

Stephen Dean: I actually had a close friend of mine mention it to me and they encouraged me to submit a request. That same friend came across the information online while researching various Hollywood directors. I sent in a detailed letter to Stephen King’s representatives proposing what I would like to do and how I plan to film rest stop and luckily heard back very quickly! It is such a great opportunity to bring a well developed short story to life!

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Stephen Dean: Oh yes! Many moments that were funny because of the challenges and shear bad luck at times! For instance: On the night we filmed the actual rest stop scene, it was in the low 30 F degree temps and we had so much equipment that storage containers were scattered all over the ground and covered with thick frost. The camera would have to periodcially be taken inside the bathrooms to warm back up to be operational. We had mishap after mishap. Our largest generator had a faulty voltage regulator and was putting out way too many volts so it fried out our largest spot lights and the largest fog machine. We spent so much time getting ready for special effects fog that never happend but you know, that is when you learn to roll with the punches. My Dad and my brother in-law put the fog machine in the back of our production box truck and tried to repair it, but it was a goner. Fried to a crisp! We had so much to do in so little time in most cases! C’est la vie! That’s film and television production by nature isn’t it?!
Another built-in obstacle was that the production schedule stretched through the major Chrismas and New Year’s holidays and beyond. With a volunteer cast and crew, we were relegated to weekends for shooting but the most special thing was that no matter the hurdles they were always there. The cast and crew were there the day after a severe snow storm when we shot a large mystery writer’s scene in the Buckhead, Georgia area. Some came from rural areas and did long drives to make it. The cast and crew were there on the all night shoot for the rest stop in freezing temperatures. They wanted to make this happen as bad as I did and we hadn’t the budget for reshoots. Do or die. That’s they only reason this worked. We had each other, and that is pretty damn special within itself.

SKSM: How does it feel that all the King fans out there can’t see your movie? Do you think that will change in the future? Maybe a internet/dvd release would be possible?

Stephen Dean: I’m not sure what to think about the controlled access as it pertains to these short films as I know Stephen King fans are a VERY devote and passionate group of fans as so am I and my cast and crew. On the other hand, I would hate for a King fan to see our film and absolutely hate it and it tarnish their original impression of “Rest Stop” by association. Film is such an influential medium that it has been accused of ruining books for viewers in the past, or at least that’s what I have read. I guess motion pictures stay with us, for better or for worse.
I am partially sadden as I would like to believe many King fans would enjoy our version of Rest Stop, but on the other hand I am thankful to the exclusive nature of film festival screenings only. As far as the public accessibility restriction, I do NOT think it will change in all honesty as this has existed this way for a long time. With Youtube/Vimeo/etc. and other online streaming services I am sure open accessbility could help emerging filmmakers draw a larger fan base and exposure. However, I sincerely respect the fact that Mr. King want’s to prevent monetary gain from his copywritten material as these short stories and the use of such content remains non-exclusive in nature. I truly beleive that the restriction is also in place to protect future investments related to the stories that may involve networks or studios. I don’t see a DVD release being allowed at any point as it is so easily self-distributable and pirated. I respect Mr. King’s copyright protection and his intellectual property.

SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?

Stephen Dean: It is early in the process at this time. I have received some good reviews from the initial  trailer but I am awaiting many responses from the film festivals we have entered very recently. Hopefully we will have some measure of luck on the festival circuit(s).

SKSM: Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?

Stephen Dean: I am hoping we get a few screenings at some of the local Atlanta film festivals as this film was made entirely using local Atlanta cast and crew! I also am keeping my fingers crossed that we may get a selection into a few of the Los Angeles short film festivals this year. At this time we have not heard of any selections, but the film was just submitted to the first of ten film festivals approximately two days ago at the time of this interview. We hope to target between 30-50 festivals around the world including Raindance (London), L.A. Shorts International Film Festival (Los Angeles), The Atlanta Film Festival (Atlanta, GA), The Macon Film Festival (Atlanta, GA), The Marietta International Film Festival (Atlanta, GA), and the Hollyshorts Film Festival (Los Angeles) to name a few!

SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?

Stephen Dean: Yes! I love many stories by Stephen King! I actually love The Green Mile although it makes me incredibly sad to read or watch. I first fell in love with Stephen King’s stories when I watched Maximum Overdrive as a young adolescent. Who could forget the killer ice cream truck!! Brilliant!!

SKSM: Did you have any personal contact with King during the making of the movie? Has he seen it (and if so, what did he think about it)?

Stephen Dean: I have only worked through his representative via email and that was limited to initial permission and outlining the specifics of the contract. I had an initial plan and vision for the film and sent it in to his office and just moved forward. While I would have LOVED to have spoken to Mr. King, natrually, I never expected that to happen and it did not to date. I sent him a copy of the film middle of last week at the time of this writing and have not heard back at this time but they have likely only recently received the package. I am not sure what he or his representatives think of the project. I certainly hope they like it, of course! At the end of the day I think we collectively accomplished a lot on very little funding. I am extremely proud of our team’s overall work, and I look forward to the future! This film project has made me grow as a filmmaker and taught me quite a few things that will help me become better in the future.

SKSM: Do you have any plans for making more movies based on Stephen King’s stories? If you could pick -at least- one story to shoot, which one would it be and why?

Stephen Dean: I wish I had a shot at bringing one of Mr. King’s BIG stories/movies to life as a feature film! I know we live in a world of film and television remakes, but hands-down, I would want to remake Maximum Overdrive! I have always been a fan of that film. It was one of the creepiest movies of my childhood. Something about the goblin faced semi truck stuck with me in my childhood nightmares! Emilio Estevez was increible but I think with the new technology in cinema today that a remake could introduce a whole new generation to this wonderfully creepy story in a new and somewhat original format! Would the ice cream truck reappear in my new version? Are you kidding me?! Hell YES-! All in good humor! 😉

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Stephen Dean: I am currently finishing up a few details related to our Rest Stop project (festival submissions, networking, etc.). My team are working on growing our commercial and industrial base for Dean Film Works LLC and gaining more local clients in the Atlanta area. As far as narrative/theatrical film works, I am taking a short break until sometime midsummer. I would ideally like to do a series of ultra short film projects that will likely fall into the comedy genre. That’s if something else doesn’t come up sooner than that.

SKSM: What one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Stephen Dean: That’s a tough questions for me. I feel as though I live my life as a “mostly” open book. I maintain a measured degree of privacy as most people do and should, but the people who know me best would say I am very open, silly, and outgoing. Truth is, that is partly a misconception. I love and adore good people! I also enjoy my alone time and I don’t feel lonely because of it. I spend many many hours alone working. Some of my friends tell me I live an interesting life. I really don’t, but it’s cool they think so! LOL! I keep my head down on the computer editing, creating, and working extremely hard to make something “out of the dirt”. I have done many 22-32+ hour film editing and creation runs with minimal breaks. I know long hours and quick turn arounds are common place for many video editors, but it takes it toil and recharging becomes essential at some point. I expect great things to come from hardwork, not by chance. My closest friends know this about me. I often times tell them that doing anything great in life will be a cage match, a knock-out, drag-out, cage match. Nothing comes by chance and no one is giving hand-outs. I think strangers would meet me and not realize how competitive and focused I am but I enjoy having fun and momentarily forgetting about life goals and pressures to succeed. I am intense when I want to get something done and I have no issue putting the work in to make it happen. I think that surprises people that don’t know me. Just how far and how hard I will work if it’s something I really want but at the end of the day I believe that the people around have to be cared for and priortized too.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Stephen Dean: Absolutely! Thank you for taking the time to interview me! I truly enjoyed it!Thanks to the King fans for reading this interview and for your interest and support of our version of Rest Stop! We were so blessed and honored to be able to bring one of Mr. King’s stories to life! This whole experience has helped me and my team grow and learn! If nothing else, that makes the journey worthwhile! I hope all of your journeys are good one’s and that there are a few pleasant plot twist along the way!

SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?

Stephen Dean: If you would like to know more about Dean Film Works LLC, please check us out at Dean Film Works LLC on Facebook or go to www.deanfilmworks.com! We truly appreciate all of you taking the time to learn more about us and our film adaptation of Rest Stop! We want to also thank Stephen King for allowing us this great opportunity to bring an intense and interesting short story to life through motion picture art! Thanks again everyone!

 

She is the producer of Dean Werner’s The Reaper’s Image Dollar Baby Film.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Nichole Aurora: Hello my name is Nichole Aurora and I am Creative Producer. For me Producing is were I found my niche. For me producing is such a gratifying work. Your job is to support the artista (the director). You gather the paing, the canvas and the muses. And then just allow them to work.

SKSM: When did you make The reaper’s image? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?

Nichole Aurora: The reaper’s image was shot back in 2012, it was the first short I had work done with Dean Werner. He was the first director at worked with who was ego crazed and didn’t push me into Makeup and costuming. He was about having a diverse cast and crew. For him it didn’t matter what color we were or our sex. He wanted the best team and wasn’t going to be closeminded to anyone. It was wonderful. It was a complete team effort. I read the script and was excited to work on it. I found us a 18 century home with full Antique of Antique furniture. I showed it to Dean and our production designer who rearranged a couple of things and really created a haunting space. It was perfect and we got really lucky to I found it.

SKSM: How come you picked The reaper’s image to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?

Nichole Aurora: The biggest draw for me, was Dean’s writing. He had created a beautiful haunting and interesting script. I was hooked and excited right away.

SKSM: How did you find out that King sold the movie rights to some of his stories for just $1? Was it just a wild guess or did you know it before you sent him the check?

Nichole Aurora: For me as far as finding out about the Dollar Baby program with Stephen King, I hadn’t Heard about it until Reading Dean’s script. And was completely thrilled and wanted to do more stories after that.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Nichole Aurora: We have some many stories on that shoot that we’re both hilarious and very mysterious. The first day of shooting Dean was actually graduating with honors from Redland University which is the very prestigious School here in California. It took me in the entire crew to convince him to attend his ceremony and that we had everything covered they’re on set until he got done. That morning, I got a call from the pólice in the city that somebody tried to break in to the house taht we were shooting in. I rushed down to the house and met with the cinematographer and production manager to go over and make sure nothing has been taken. Meanwhile we’re going over inventory and making reports, Dean is texting us to see how setup is going and asking questions and knowing how hands on he is we were all answering and telling eachother  not to tell him cause he would get from his seat at graduation and just walk out if he knew. We didn’t telle him til days later. We were able to laugh about it cause nothing was taken but the hardest part was keeping Dean in the dark till after his graduation.

SKSM: How does it feel that all the King fans out there can’t see your movie? Do you think that will change in the future? Maybe a internet/dvd release would be possible?

Nichole Aurora: It makes me a little sad and disappointed. The Dollar Baby program is such a great community. And I wish there was a festival and a you know DVD you could be a part of because your script was chosen that year. I am hoping in the future that we can have a stronger more visual platform to showcase not only are film but other incredible Stephen King shorts that are out there as well.

SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?

Nichole Aurora: Good refuses the direction, Dean is a actor’s director. He’s incredibly patient and kind and supportive when it comes to helping and guiding are actors to be able to give a performance they are proud of. Also the house gets a lot of attention.

SKSM: Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?

Nichole Aurora: Right now we’re always looking for the right place to submitte it to. The festival world is sometimes a hard place for genre films.

SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?

Nichole Aurora: I am a Stephen King fan. I love Misery (Film too) and The Shining (Film too).

SKSM: Did you have any personal contact with King during the making of the movie? Has he seen it (and if so, what did he think about it)?

Nichole Aurora: I believe we were given his approval, and that he had received our film. I’m so sorry I believe most of that correspondent was with Dean.

SKSM: Do you have any plans for making more movies based on Stephen King’s stories? If you could pick -at least- one story to shoot, which one would it be and why?

Nichole Aurora: I’d love to shoot more Stephen King stories. For me it’s all about the writing though. If the scripts are good and I can get people excited about it and I am completeley game to do another one.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Nichole Aurora: I’m working on my first feature we are in development right now. And my job as producer is getting people excited about it and locking down our financing.

SKSM: What one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Nichole Aurora: People would be surprised to know that I love love love getting people excited about my projects and getting them to give us financing. For most producers it is a hard job and it is forme too. But I love the challenge and sometimes the win.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Nichole Aurora: Thank you for your love and support on our film. Lots of time energy and a lot of love went into it. Find the director who believes in you the way you believe in them and their work.

SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?

Nichole Aurora: Thank you so much for taking this time with me I truly appreciate it and hope we can do it again son maybe next time in person. Thank you again for the opportunity.

 

 

She played in Ian Wolfley‘s Dollar Baby Big Driver as Tess.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Valerie Weak: I’m an actor and teaching artist based in San Francisco.  I work in live theater, as well as indie film (like Big Driver), commercials, voiceover, and my bread and butter work is what I call high-stakes role play.  Basically, these are emotionally charged, semi-improvised scenarios designed to let professionals practice their communication skills – I play crime victims for pólice officer training, patients getting difficult news for doctors in training, etc

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actress?

Valerie Weak: I can’t pinpoint a specific moment – I started doing amateur theater as a kid, and it snowballed from there.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Big Driver Dollar Baby film?

Valerie Weak: I auditioned and got cast – not a very exciting story…

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Valerie Weak: I think Stephen King is a really great writer – the suspense in this piece, as she pieces it all together and realices she was set up, it’s really terrific.

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Valerie Weak: Nope, I auditioned

SKSM: You worked with Ian Wolfley on this film, how was that?

Valerie Weak: Great! This was a super organized project, and a really well put together shoot.  Ian was open to collaboration, and sharing ideas.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Valerie Weak: The day we shot with the cat was a funny day – there were some tricky shots, including the one where I throw up the breakfast in the sink, the cat is there, and then I threw the bowl – it was a wide shot and difficult to get the cat to be where he needed to be.  I remember also a very cute dog – he actually belonged to the owners of the property we shot at, and got ‘cast’ in the film while they were location scouting!

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Valerie Weak: It’s mostly via social media at this point – some folks have moved away from SF, but we check in there.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Valerie Weak: I start rehearsals for a play in a few days – a new play called ‘You Are My Sunshine’ playing the sister of a man who has just been released from prison after 20 years.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Valerie Weak: What I’ve read, I’ve enjoyed.  I really like the story Big Driver and some of the other stories in that collection.  The Shining, both book and the film are amazing.

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Valerie Weak: I think I’m actually pretty even-keeled and not that surprising, unfortunately.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Valerie Weak: Don’t know that I’ve got many ‘fans’ out there.  I guess I’d say thank you, and thank you to you Oscar for reaching out to interview me, as well as for maintaining this website and this project.

 

He played in Simon Pearce‘s I Am The Doorway as Arthur.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Simon Merrells: Hi I’m Simon Merrells, a London born actor currently living in beautiful Europe!

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?

Simon Merrells: I suppose I knew from an early age I wanted to act- our parents had sent my brother Jason and I , who is also and actor, to kids evening classes and Id always been entranced by the way great films and TV could transport you. I felt I knew the difference , and I also fell in love with the magic of theatre as a young audience member. But I suppose it wasn’t until I did my first school play  ,’A Man for all Seasons’, playing Cardinal Wolsey in a flash of inspirational casting by our English teacher/director that I realised I was serious about it – I was 13 and I remember studying footage of Churchill to see how an old statesman would sound, move, carry himself. And as soon as I stepped on stage I was bitten for life, so thanks Mr Downey!

SKSM: How did you become involved in I Am The Doorway Dollar Baby film?

Simon Merrells: I became involved in ‘Doorway’ because Ive worked with Simon Pierce before, on his first horror feature a few years back, and he approached me with the prospect of doing ‘ Doorway’. I had recently finished shooting a series in Prague (and was currently performing a Pinter play) after which I was  free), so I was happy to do something so different. From armour clad warrior to wheelchair bound ex astronaut! How could I refuse…?

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Simon Merrells: I think Stephen King has such a wide fan base spanning generations- and people interested in horror, science-fiction, suspense, or just bloody well told stories are all drawn to his work and film adaptations of it- and  the familiar theme of alien invasion ,either of our planet or of the body itself still fascinates us. And of course in Doorway the idea of a hateful intelligent parasite growing within you and opening murderous eyes in the hosts flesh doesn’t need too much explanation as to its allure!

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Simon Merrells: I didn’t exactly audition as I said, but Simon did come and tape me doing a speech or two , which I suspect made its way to the producer for final confirmation, which I guess worked out ok.

SKSM: You worked with Simon Pearce on this film, how was that?

Simon Merrells: Like I said, I’d worked with Simon before , so I knew we were in safe hands. He’s young, but has an awful lot of experience, growing up around cameras and sets through his DOP father, and doing his own stuff from an early age. He’s knowledgable, calm and very good at running a set without any fuss or stress so it was a pleasure and I can’t wait to see the results!

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Simon Merrells: Special moments? Well apart from those times when you feel something is really working and you’re in symbiosis with character and the story, I suppose having my hands covered in protective gel then accelerant and thrusting them into a fire to ignite and watching them burn was a new one for me! Our stunt guy Peter Pedero said as soon as it gets uncomfortable give me a signal and we extinguish immediately. And when it did I let him know in no uncertain terms! But I think it should look pretty stunning in the final cut.

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Simon Merrells: Im still in touch with Simon obviously , as I have been over the years. My co star , Grant Masters like me has been pretty busy since so we haven’t had the chance to hook up, but I hope we’ll see each other at the London Sci-fi festival Premiere in early May, along with the rest of the crew. Looking forward!

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Simon Merrells: At the moment, I have just finished a recurring stint on Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens, a marvellous project that should be out in 2019 sometime, and am waiting for the green light on Season 2 of Knightfall, the History/A&E studios show about the last years of the Templar Knights, shooting in Prague .

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Simon Merrells: As a child I was always a horror fan, and Stephen King featured heavily from early on. I remember Salems lot on the TV with James Mason, devouring The Stand, Christine, and all those wonderful short stories of which ‘ I am the Doorway’ was one! I loved Poe, Lovecraft, M.R. James, Bradbury, Ballard and many more so King was an obvious inclusion.

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Simon Merrells: A surprising thing about me? Err, if I hadn’t been an actor I would have wanted to be an artist…I went to Mexico travelling for a year when I was 23 or so, and by pure fluke ended up being a Male model for magazines and fashion shows that paid for us to stay longer and travel extensively.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Simon Merrells: I hope everyone enjoys ” I am the Doorway’ when its available, and stay tuned for news of  Knightfall Season 2!

 

 

She played in Sammy Bates’ The Reaper’s Image as The Duches.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Melanie Boyd: I am a lover of theater and animals, have three cats, and am pursing an associates in Veterinary Technology to become a Licensed Veterinary Technician. I received a BA in acting from Christopher Newport University and have been involved in several theatrical productions, my favorite of which was the “Red Velvet Cake Wars” series in which myself and two of my girl friends got into all kinds of crazy predicaments in the shows. Never have I ever had so many costume changes! It was loads of fun!

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actress?

Melanie Boyd: I believe it was in high school where I found my love for it. There was a touring company putting on “Hamlet” at our school and I remember thinking I wanted to be able to make people feel the way that group of actors did when I saw them perform. There’s something really amazing about being able to step into another character’s shoes and experience life from their perspective. And if you are watching a production (film or on stage) you get to escape life for a while and enter that world as a sort of fly on the wall.

SKSM: How did you become involved in The reaper’s image Dollar Baby film?

Melanie Boyd: I had only been in Kentucky for a short while, but was missing being in stage productions and thought I would give film a try. I found the posting through social media and thought, why not?

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Melanie Boyd: People always seem to have an interest in the supernatural, in things that aren’t tangable and we can only speculate on how they work. In “The Reaper’s Image”, you wonder if the mirror is really cursed or if it’s just some story made up by a curator to generate a bigger sale later.

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Melanie Boyd: I auditioned, with some others, at a local coffee shop. It was a very informal table reading of some of the scenes for the production.

SKSM: You worked with Sammy Bates on this film, how was that?

Melanie Boyd: Sammy and Kenny were both very pleasant to work with, and didn’t seem to mind my inexperience with film acting at all. Acting on film is definitely different than acting on a stage. On stage, you don’t get any re-do’s or someone saying, “cut”. If someone messes up or forgets a line, you have to keep going and cover the flub. It really keeps you on your toes.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Melanie Boyd: There were some jokes about not getting enough sleep and how my husband must’ve really made me mad when people saw me in the post curse mirror makeup. It was quite zombie-like. Also, the house we were filming in was near a road and train tracks, so every so often we’d have to pause filiming because our scenes didn’t take place in that time period.

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Melanie Boyd: I am still Facebook Friends with some of the cast and crew. Social media is great for keeping in touch despite distance.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Melanie Boyd: I changed gears and am pursuing my other love, working with animals. I am on track to graduate in May of this year and will be a Licensed Veterinary Technician, though I always have theater and acting in the back of my mind. Perhaps I will be able to do both someday.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Melanie Boyd: Surprisingly, no. That is to say, I’m not a fan of anything horror. Scary movies and I don’t get along (hello nightmares), so I don’t even know what many of them are.

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Melanie Boyd: I really enjoy stage combat, especially rapier, and played one of the Cardinal’s guard in a production of “The Three Musketeers”. Someday I also hope to ride a horse in a film. I always wonder when I see a film if it’s the actor or a stunt double doing the riding.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Melanie Boyd: Thank you for being a fan. Having people who take an interest in small independent projects keeps them going. Thank you for supporting the arts.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Melanie Boyd: It’s never too late to change careers or pursue another path that grabbed your interest. And no life experience is ever wasted. Enjoy the detours on the way to your destination. If anyone wants to see some photos from my stage life, check out https://www.facebook.com/actressmelanieboyd/ Thank you!

 

She played in Ian Wolfley‘s Dollar Baby Big Driver as Doreen.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Heidi Wolff: I’m an actress currently living in Los Angeles.  I started out mostly doing theater work and later began acting in some film projects.  Film was something I avoided for a long time, since the experience seemed so cold and technical compared with being in front of an audience and running through a play from beginning to end each night.  It was delightful to find that acting in front of a camera can be as satisfying as acting in front of an audience, though the process is so different.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actress?

Heidi Wolff: I knew I wanted to be an actress as soon as I was aware it was something you could be, though I wasn’t really able to get started until high school when I began auditioning for plays and musicals.  I went to school for acting, but money and other issues forced me to focus my energies elsewhere for a while.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Big Driver Dollar Baby film?

Heidi Wolff: I had worked with Ian and Derek on a short film previous to Big Driver and was very excited to work with them again.  Both films I did with them were horror and it’s a genre I find really compelling.

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Heidi Wolff: The story is suspenseful, but also has a lot of humor.  For me humor in a horror story has a way of tricking you into letting your guard down and making the horror much more upsetting and horrific.  I think the revenge story is made much more relatable by the Tess’s imaginative projections coaching her through the crisis.

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Heidi Wolff: I don’t think the part was written for me, but I was suggested for Doreen during the casting process as I had worked previously with Ian and Derek on a film where I played a troubled psychic. I read the script and the role was exactly the one I wanted to play, so it was a pretty easy decision for me.

SKSM: You worked with Ian Wolfley on this film, how was that?

Heidi Wolff: I’ve really enjoyed working with Ian on this project.  I thought his script was a very thoughtful and clever adaptation of the story.  As a director, he has a very clear idea of the story, but is very collaborative in the way he works with actors to develop their characters.  He’s always willing to take the time to talk through scenes with an actor and will really take the time to create a scene.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Heidi Wolff: There was a scene where my character lets out a scream.  We rehearsed it quite a few times where the actress playing Tess and I would walk into the room and I would scream.  One of the crew upstairs became really worried that someone in one of the nearby houses was in trouble and wanted to call the police.

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Heidi Wolff: I moved down to Los Angeles fairly recently, so other than the occasional social media contacts, not really.  Both cast and crew were really great to work with, though.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Heidi Wolff: I took a little time off because of the move, but am now ready to begin auditioning again.  I act in both theater and film, so am just hoping for an interesting project.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Heidi Wolff: I was a constant reader of Stephen King’s early work and have been an occasional reader of his current work.  When I was in high school, I was the odd person in my class, so Carrie certainly spoke to me pretty directly.

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Heidi Wolff: I left acting for about ten years to pursue an undergraduate and graduate degree in Creative Writing.  I had a number of stories published and still do some occasional freelance editing work.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Heidi Wolff: Keep watching independent films.  It helps new voices to be heard and develop.

 

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