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He is the filmmaker of Morning Deliveries Dollar Baby film.

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

Robert Smith: My name is Robbie Smith and I am a film director. And stuff.

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

Robert Smith: My grandma used to expose me to whatever she had rented on the weekend I’d stay with her. A lot of the time it’d fucking terrify me to tears, then she’d explain the whole process… the swell of the music and the way people moved. I wanted to be a part of that. Hellraiser III was my first Hellraiser, it was unfortunate.

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

Robert Smith: We made Morning Deliveries in early March of 2020. We shot in Taft, Ca, where a crystallized version of the American dream still exists. We shot it for just about $7,500 (which we raised primarily through indiegogo) and we spent 3 days getting it all shot.

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

Robert Smith: When I first encountered the story Morning Deliveries, it perplexed me. I didn’t get it. I was pretty young at the time and always looked to King for spectacle ala The Stand and reading something as minor as Morning Deliveries just kinda rung my bell. This 3 page short story seemingly about nothing had wormed its way in my head and it never left. I’d revisited Skeleton Crew once or twice on trips and there are so many cool stories there.

I still think about Spike every other day when seeing service workers.

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?

Robert Smith: I had heard about the Dollar Baby program through stories from greats like Frank Darabont and had decided to give it a try. To be honest, I didn’t think it’d be that easy! Then when I had received word back I got to adapting and just kinda thrust myself into it. It’s really a genius little program. I’d love to see the more of them. (Dollar baby alumni please send me your links!!)

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

Robert Smith: We prepared for this thing big time with location scouting and permits, but ended up doing 75% of it off the cuff and in places where we didn’t have permits/unscouted locations. A lot of really cool moments presented themselves and we took advantage of them. It was such a remarkable shoot in that it all went so beautifully.

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?

Robert Smith: I knew what I was getting into when I signed up for it. It does bum me out that we can’t have a public link of the short film, but that’s motivated me to get into film festivals and I’ve sent private links to various producers who seem interested in funding future projects based on the work with Morning Deliveries. I do hope it changes. I think we’ve certainly made the best Morning Deliveries short film and I always want to recommend it to Constant Readers. I’d love to just hear from SK! We finished and sent it out when COVID was just starting and I think it just kind of fell by the wayside.

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

Robert Smith: We haven’t received much of either. Most of the people that have seen it were involved with it or had funded it, so they’re biased and usually give it a generous review. That’s another bummer about not having it publicly available, I’d love to receive negative reviews that might result in some constructive criticism.

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

Robert Smith: I’ve submitted it to several. Been rejected from 3 now. We just got selected to be shown at A Night of Misfit Films in Phoenix, AZ on 11/28/20! Very stoked on that. Waiting on word back from the rest.

The festival thing is expensive and rather heartbreaking! It’s a valuable feeling.

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

Robert Smith: I am a huge Stephen King fan. My favorite works are the Dark Tower series. I am truly obsessed with DT and the SK multiverse. I actually brought some of Dark Tower into Morning Deliveries with how Spike goes into Todash to do his dirty work in the milk van. Lots of rose imagery.

Favorite film adaptations are The Mist, Dr Sleep, Gerald’s Game and Cujo. Do you know what I’d give to see that Dark Tower pilot Glen Mazarra orchestrated?

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)?

Robert Smith: I have not been in contact with anyone other than Margaret Morehouse, who I assume is his assistant. I would love nothing more than for SK to see it and to remark upon it, good or bad. I think he’d be proud.

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?

Robert Smith: I don’t have any plans to adapt more Stephen King at the moment. After doing Morning Deliveries and being restricted with its release, I decided to concentrate on original material and to start working on a feature length film. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to work in that universe! But with the popularity I doubt an independent filmmaker like myself might get a chance.

If I could pick? The Gunslinger or Drawing of the Three. If I couldn’t play in the Dark Tower sandbox? Insomnia. (But that’s cheating ‘cause we’re still in the DT universe!)

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Robert Smith: I am working on a feature film to be shot in the Fall of 2021. It’s a snowy, melancholic ghost picture with a few surprises I’ve never seen on screen. Working on securing the last bit of funding for that now while we finish pre-production. I’ll be working with almost everyone from the production of Morning Deliveries, including Paris Peterson (Spike), in the main role.

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

Robert Smith: I was a cheerleader in my junior year of high school. I joined for my girlfriend. I could back handspring and back tuck. I didn’t last long, as I’m not a supremely peppy human, but I look back on my time with it fondly. I never played sports, so it was an interesting middle ground.

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

Robert Smith: Shit, if you want to see Morning Deliveries, email me at rob@robbiesmith.org! Ideally I’d like to show it to people who might be able to provide funding down the line for future projects, but if you’re a big SK fan and you’re interested in what I’ve done, then I’d love for you to see it! And this goes without saying, but if anyone would like to fund a film, please reach out! Also, please visit my website at robbiesmith.org to see my past work. Thanks!

SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?

Robert Smith: Long days & pleasant nights.

He is the Producer of Joshua Lozano‘s Rest Stop Dollar Baby film.

SKSM: May you introduce yourself to our readers?

Adam Lopez: Of course! Hello everyone, I am Adam Lopez, I am a student and a local filmmaker in my community in El Paso, Texas.

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

Adam Lopez: Wanting to become a producer was a sudden thing that happened right before Joshua Lozano introduced me to his idea for Rest Stop back in 2018. I knew a great idea when I saw one and I couldn’t allow him to struggle and waste this awesome project just because he couldn’t afford the things he needed. That wasn’t an option to me. It was during production when I realized that although being a producer can be very stressful, it was something that I wanted to become.

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

Adam Lopez: While Joshua Lozano and I were working on another project (in which I was his assistant director) he pulled me to the side and talked to me about Rest Stop. The idea of it and the potential it had was so great, we decided to leave the company we were working for and make it ourselves to allow us to have full reigns and no limits!

SKSM: Can you tell us about your work in the film?

Adam Lopez: Besides being the producer for Rest Stop, I was also Joshua’s Assistant Director and Foley Artist. Being on a low budget film crew, a lot of us, including myself, had to fill in positions like boom operator or gapher because we were so understaffed at some points in production. We all did a little of everything to make this project work, that’s why I’m so proud of the team I had, they really tried their hardest and it definitely showed in the end.

SKSM: What was it like to work with Joshua Lozano on this film?

Adam Lopez: Working with Joshua was such a pleasure and a great experience. Josh made it really easy to understand what he wanted in terms of image for the film, that’s what made it work so well. Josh never wanted to give up and I never allowed him to. It was all fun on set and Josh was a great friend to work with. I hope we work again in the future, Josh!

SKSM: Was there any funny things that happened while filming (Bloopers, etc)?

Adam Lopez: I do remember a time when we were filming what would be the book writing montage scene in John Dykstra’s small apartment. We needed to film Brad, who played the main role of John, writing a story for the scene. After a while of filming Brad got a little too carried away in writing that fake story and ended up writing an actual story, putting a lot of effort into it. In the end, his story was something of a trashy crime novel and his main character sounded like he was straight out of Sin City. Another funny thing that happened was filming the actual Rest Stop scene at the end of the movie. While on set there was a car that pulled up into the parking lot and started blasting music unbelievably loud. We all got annoyed by this and as he got closer to the vehicle to ask them to lower the volume it started rocking back and forth furiously. We all knew what was going on and couldn’t help but laugh at the situation we were in.

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

Adam Lopez: Absolutely! Growing up reading his stories and watching the movies adapted from his stories really shaped me into the person I am today. It also opened up my mind to all the possible worlds that I can create in my head and put into screenplays.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Adam Lopez: I’ve been writing a lot of story ideas since after Rest Stop. My most focused one is a western horror fantasy that I think will be a great short film to make after this pandemic is over. I don’t want to risk anyone’s health by creating a crew for this project so I’ll be perfecting it until then. Stay tuned!

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Something you’d like to tell our readers?

Adam Lopez: However big your dreams are, there’s nothing that can truly stop you from making them come true. No matter what anyone says, you have the full power in your hands to make them happen, it just takes heart and courage and everyone has that. You just have to find it in yourself. That being said, please support your local artists, they have that heart and courage and are trying to make their dreams come true.

He is the author of Stephen King Dollar Baby: The Book

SKSM: Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

Anthony Northrup: Hello there! And thank you for having me. I am Anthony Northrup. I have been a contributor to our local newspaper, the Tri County Sun for 8yrs, a contributor to Through the Black Hole web page for 8yrs writing celebrity interviews, film & book reviews, and promoting.  I have won two North Dakota Writer’s Awards. I have covered the Crypticon Horror Con in Minnesota for 3yrs. I hosted two Stephen King Dollar Baby Film fests at Crypticon MN 2014 and 2015. I am also the creator and head writer of All Things King – the Stephen King fan page on Facebook for 9yrs. with over 5100 members. And now, I just finished my first book being published, STEPHEN KING DOLLAR BABY: The Book.

SKSM: You have written Stephen King Dollar Baby: The Book. When will the release date be?

Anthony Northrup: As of right now, the release is scheduled for January 19th, 2021. That’s the plan.

SKSM: Will there be a pre-Order release date?

Anthony Northrup: It’s coming soon and you’ll be the first to know as soon as we have a specific date.

SKSM: Will it be possible to buy the book world wide?

Anthony Northrup: YES!  The book will be available for everyone around the world to enjoy! And that is very exciting in itself.

SKSM: What were some of the challenges with writing your book?

Anthony Northrup: Well, I have been doing interviews with Dollar Baby filmmakers and reviewing their films since 2013.  When I earned their trust and word got around the Dollar Baby community, it got easier to get the interviews with the filmmakers. However, it took a lot of work, a lot of time, and it’s not easy getting in touch with some of them. Also, I started the book back in February 2020, right when the Covid-19 pandemic began and it was a little difficult to work around the challenges we’ve gone through this year.

SKSM: Why were you attracted to the Dollar Baby films?

Anthony Northrup: That is a very good question. I have been a Stephen King fan for over 40yrs. I saw The Shining in 1980 when I was 9yrs. I watched Stephen King films when I was a kid growing up in the 80’s and I didn’t buy my first book until 1986 which was Different Seasons because it had ‘The Body’ in it and that was the same year Stand By Me came out. It really touched me personally. In 1989, I bought Pet Sematary and to this day, it is the only book to ever scare me! Since then, I started buying King books, movies, collectibles, and opened my Stephen King fan page on social media, All Things King in 2012. During all of this, I went from fanboy to Stephen King scholar. I started studying King’s works not just reading & collecting them. I have author, Stephen Spignesi to thank for that. As I studied, it was in Spignesi’s monstrosity sized book, Stephen King Encyclopedia that I first read about something called, “Stephen King Dollar Baby” program. When I first read this, I was like, ‘Dollar Baby… what’s that!?’ I read all about the history of the program, Why King started it, and then found out there are short films out there based on King’s short stories by independent filmmakers. I was beyond interested and excited to learn more about this program and hopefully see these rare films. It was Dollar Baby, Billy Hanson (director of Dollar Baby, Survivor Type) who gave me my first interview and the rest, as they say, is history. The Dollar Baby films themselves are just pure amazing! These are some of the best, talented, most entertaining short films I have ever seen. The men and woman who took a Stephen King story and brought their vision to the big screen, are just so talented it truly is a joy and honor that I had such a great opportunity to be involved with this wonderful group of filmmakers.

SKSM: Talk about some of the contributor to your book. Who all did you choose?

Anthony Northrup: Other than the 55 Dollar Baby filmmakers themselves, I have a wide verity of contributors to the book. Most are connected to Stephen King in the sense of films, books, and other things. I have famous directors such as, Mick Garris, Tommy McLoughlin, artist Glenn Chadbourne and Paul Michael Kane, authors such as; Stephen Spignesi, Richard Chizmar, Andrew Rausch, Lee Gambin, Kevin Quigley, and David Tocher. I also have actors who starred in a Dollar Baby film such as, Peter Holland (Uncle Otto’s Truck) and Tonya Ivey (Paranoid: A Chant). I have web page writers such as, Hans Ake Lilja and you, Oscar. And lastly, it wouldn’t be a book about Stephen King without hearing from the most important people of all: the fans! I have a lot of Constant Readers in the book from around the world in special chapters in the book.

SKSM: Was it difficult for you to convince them to contribute an essay for your book?

Anthony Northrup: For those who contributed the essay’s, for the most part, No. I have known everyone involved with the book for a long time, they are great friends, and I have interviewed and promoted their projects in the past, so everyone was very excited and ready to be a part of this wonderful book right away, so it didn’t take much to convince them.

SKSM: Have you written before about Stephen King’s work?

Anthony Northrup: The only thing I have ever written in regards to Stephen King is, film reviews and book reviews which were published in our local newspaper and the web pages I write for.  I’ve also written a few Stephen King retrospects as well and interviewed actors and directors of King’s films.

SKSM: Did you get any feedback from King’s company about your book project?

Anthony Northrup: I did reach out for a quote by King for the book, but as we all know, he keeps a very busy schedule. So, I didn’t expect to hear back, but it would’ve been amazing if I had.

SKSM: If you could write another book dedicated to King’s work, would you? Why?

Anthony Northrup: Absolutely! I have a lot of ideas roaming around right now so we’ll have to wait and see, but YOU and the readers will be the first to know.

SKSM: What’s the next for you?

Anthony Northrup: A lot of REST! (*laughs). Seriously, I will continue to write for Tri County Sun and Through the Black Hole with celebrity interviews and reviews. As far as book wise, I think I just want to enjoy the ride, so to speak, and help promote the book for most of 2021. If opportunity comes my way for a second book, we’ll see at that time what happens.  I would love to write another book, but for now I’m just enjoying the moment.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Do you like to add anything else?

Anthony Northrup: Yes. First off, I wrote this book for the fans. I wanted Stephen King fans around the world to look behind the curtain and see a part of the Stephen King universe that very, very few will ever see or even know about. I wanted to share this wonderful world known as, the Dollar Babies and let fans know there is some great talent out there. If we ever have film fests again, hopefully fans will be able to get out and see some of these films. Based on my experience of being part of the Dollar Baby world for 8yrs now, I highly recommend that all fans go beyond King’s books and learn as much as you can about the greatest writer of our generation. I wrote STEPHEN KING DOLLAR BABY: The Book as a “love letter” to the Dollar Babies and to all fans around the world. This one is for you!  I want to also Thank YOU Oscar for having me here today for this interview. It was my first one and I’m very honored. Thank you for all your support and for all you do for the Dollar Baby community. Keep up the great work my friend.  Enjoy the book Constant Readers! Long Days Pleasant Nights.

 

Here are the names of all in the book:

DOLLAR BABY FILMMAKERS

Billy Hanson, James B. Cox, Dean Werner, Maria Ivanova, Rodney Altman, Damon Vinyard, Jay Holben, Ranjeet S. Marwa, James Cole, James Gonis, Pablo Macho Maysonet IV, Robert Cochrane, Doveed Linder, Jeff Schiro, Mando Franco, James Renner, J.P. Scott, Tony Pomfret, Patrick Abernethy, Drew Newman, Corey Norman, Matthias Greving, Shawn S. Lealos, Peter Szabo, Justin Zimmerman, Maxwell Heesch, Warren Ray, Dave Brock, Jacob Sanders, Joe Kowalski, Vanessa Ionta Wright, James Douglas, Selina Sondermann, Stephen Tramontana, Jackie Perez, Bryan Higby, Jennifer Trudrung, A.J. Gribble, Jon Leo, Dan Sellers, Hendrik Harms, Mark Zimmerman, Brian Johnson, Nicole Jones-Dion, Marie D. Jones, Rob Darren Newberger, Joseph Horning, Mark Hensley, Maciej Barczewski, Nick Smith, William Roberts, Red Clark, Jenny Januszewski, Patrick Haischberger, Nathan Gathergood.

CONTRIBUTORS

Stephen Spignesi, Paul Michael Kane, Richard Chizmar, Glenn Chadbourne, Andrew Rausch, David Tocher, Hans-ake Lilja, Kevin Quigley, Tommy McLoughlin, Mick Garris, Bryan Higby, Óscar Garrido, James Cole, Lee Gambin, Robin Furth, Tonya Ivey, Peter Holland, James Douglas, Billy Hanson, Jay Holben, Nicole Jones-Dion, Tina Rooker, Monica Woodall, Nathan Monsour, Nick Kaufman, Tifaine L. Lafrance, Curt Destler, Amber Pace, Hans von Wirth, Greg Buchner, Brooklyn Ann, Karen Steinley Beaudrie, Tina Navarro, Frank Lewis, Amy Baker, Sara Kinney, LaWanda Odom, Terri Nielsen.

He is the screenwriter of Tod Gorman’s The Jaunt Dollar Baby film.

SKSM: Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

Nick Smith: My name is Nick Smith. I’m 42 years old and live in Wilmington, NC. I’m a writer, director, sometimes actor, and my current and most important role, father to an adorable 3-year-old.

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

Nick Smith: I’ve always loved telling stories. From my earliest years, I’d conjure these epic, sweeping tales with my Transformers, Legos, and G.I. Joe toys. As I got older I realized that it was just something I was good at, and that people enjoyed. It’s not so much that I am a screenwriter, though I’ve certainly written a few of those. I just consider myself a storyteller, whatever the medium might be.

SKSM: How do you communicate with a director to design a screenwriter strategy for a film?

Nick Smith: The funny thing is we didn’t really have that on this film. The film was made for a 16mm filmmaking class at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. 16 students are in the class – you have to apply to get in – and they spend the entire semester making a movie. So in the first couple of class sessions, students who had scripts ready pitched them to the class, and the class voted on which one to do.

Well, I didn’t have a script. I’d only learned about the Dollar Baby program about a month before, and I had done my research to find if The Jaunt was available. I pitched it solely on the basis of how cool it would be to do a legit Stephen King film. I wrote a treatment, and used that for the pitch, and thankfully the students voted for it on the merits of the concept.

So then I had to hurriedly bust out the script, all the while in class people were making presentations for what roles they wanted to take on. So I literally finished the screenplay before we even knew who the director would be. Tod and I both went for director; Tod won out. Which, in retrospect, is probably for the best. I know this is going to sound hilarious, but I’m not that big a horror fan! So Tod was able to connect to that aspect of the story in his directing.

SKSM: You worked in a Dollar Baby based on a Stephen King short story. It was your most challenging film?

Nick Smith: It definitely had its unique challenges. The biggest thing for us was our resources. With it being a student production, we obviously had access to the school’s equipment, cameras, and a certain amount of film; but beyond that, we only were able to pool together about $1700 for the production. So we had to get really creative with production design and costuming.

We lucked out with the production design. The school had just opened two new buildings… a computer sciences building and an education building… that worked great as locations. We also had a friend that had a shed in their backyard that we used as Carune’s lab; our production designer scrounged down every piece of old tech he could find to decorate it.

For costumes, we decided that one way we could convey this was in the future was to show the continued progression of moving beyond the “binary” when it comes to gender and dress. So you see men wearing skirts, using makeup, women dressing very utilitarian, a good mix of thing; but that mix was mostly retro clothing, so it was kind of a “back to the future” concept.

As for the visual effects – luckily there are some very talented students at UNCW.

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

Nick Smith: The entire hook of the story is that curiosity is an inherent, vital human trait… but it’s also a dangerous trait. I think we’ve all been there. We’ve all gotten into trouble, whether mild or major, because we let our curiosity get the better of us. Like the Stranger says, “we have to know more.” So we, as a species, will always take that chance. And here’s the thing – yes, the kid’s curiosity ruins (and possibly ends) his life, but it’s Carune’s curiosity that leads to this world-saving technology in the first place. So I think the story shows the dangers of curiosity, but also its importance to our advancement as a species, and I think that’s very relatable.

I mean, even reading the short story the first time, I found myself wondering… “what IS it like in there?”

SKSM: Can you tell us about the filming steps? Funny things that happened so far (Bloopers, etc).

Nick Smith: We initially shot over about three weeks in November 2007. However, we had some serious issues with the ending; our production design didn’t convey things well, it didn’t have the look we needed, and the location just didn’t line up with the other things we established. So we went back and did reshoots the following May, this time using a local nightclub whose décor was very sci-fi. We had to make some adjustments considering the time that had passed – for instance, we didn’t have access to the original costumes anymore, which is why people are fitted into “clean robes” for their jaunt.

It’s not a blooper, per se, but I remember the first time we scouted the shed that we were going to use for Carune’s lab. Tod and I said at the exact same time “does the fan work?” We knew shooting a light through that would look great. It didn’t, but we put a crewmember on the floor with a c-stand arm attached to the fan so he could turn it manually and get us the same effect.

We were filming in an abandoned bank building for the line of people walking into the jaunt chamber, through the big safe door. It was an escalator, not stairs, that they come walking down. You know how escalators have those smooth central areas between the up and the down track? Cast and crew members quickly decided to turn that into a slide for fun between takes and setups.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Nick Smith: Aside from the aforementioned three-year-old, I’m working on my first novel. It’s an expansion of a short story I wrote a long time ago, and I finally figured out how to make it work as a full-length tale. I’m normally doing something with the stage; unfortunately, with the pandemic going on the normally bustling theater community here in town has been understandably silenced. With hope and luck we’ll all be back on the boards before long.

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

Nick Smith: I’m really not that big of a horror fan. Never have been. It’s funny I always wind up getting involved in horror projects (my first stage play was an adaptation of Night of the Living Dead). But I love his non-horror stuff. Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Stand, The Body… those are the thing I relate to more. He’s one of the best storytellers ever, and it doesn’t matter what kind of story it is.

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

Nick Smith: I am a gigantic roller coaster geek! I’ve travelled all around the country to different amusement parks, and all told, I’ve ridden 226 individual coasters in my time. There’s nothing I love more than riding the rails.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Something you’d like to tell our readers?

Nick Smith: I’m a bit of a feedback nut, so if it works out that you’re ever able to see The Jaunt (and even as long as it’s been, I’d like to get it out there more), then please let me know what you think! It was a real labor of love and knowing that people connect to it and enjoy it makes that labor worth it.

 

He is the Composer of Mike Johnston‘s Here There be Tygers Dollar Baby film.

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

Blake Matthew: My name is Blake Matthew, I’m a film composer, trailer composer and electronic music artist from Vancouver, Canada. I have been writing music for 18 years, I have played in multiple bands, DJ’ed in the Vancouver club scene for 3 years and then transitioned to film scoring in 2014.

SKSM: How did you become involved with Here There be Tygers?

Blake Matthew: I was asked to score Here There be Tygers by longtime collaborator and filmmaker Mike Johnston. At the time of this film, I had known Mike for 2-3 years and have since gone on to work with him on 7 projects.

SKSM: How did you get started as a composer and what do you do on production?

Blake Matthew: I started writing music at the age of 13 focusing on rock, punk, metal, indie rock, blues and then electronic music. I began writing music for film after studying Music Tech in 2013/2014 at Douglas College. I had an amazing teaching and mentor Vince Mai that taught the Film Scoring program in college and it changed my focus of music within the first 5 minutes of that class. Since then, I never looked back and just kept pushing forward scoring music for motion picture.

SKSM: How did you get started to wrote the Soundtrack for Here There be Tygers?

Blake Matthew: I had a meeting with Mike to discuss the style of music, which was quite different than other projects we worked on together. Mike had the idea to use more orchestral instruments with dark textures mixed with some synths to create atmosphere. Collaborating with Mike is always such a great experience because he always has fantastic ideas for how to approach the music and how it will help shape the story, but he is very openminded and allows me to explore my instincts, even if they aren’t part of our initial conversation. It was really fun using brass and string textures to help amplify the tension. I also used a waterphone which you hear in alot of horror scores but it was my first time getting to experiment with those sounds.

SKSM: Is this your most challenging audio so far?

Blake Matthew: At that time, it was very challenging as I had never written in that style. It’s always challenging though, no matter what, and that’s what I love so much about writing music for film. I generally always go into a Project with the same thought – being excited to score the film, then when I actually start and I’m staring at a blank screen, the anxiety kicks in because I have no idea how I’m going to pull it off, and the not knowing is what is really exciting to me.

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

Blake Matthew: When I think back to the time of writing this music, I remember feeling the big challenge ahead of me because the style was different than anything I had worked on before. I remember Mike being so thrilled and supportive of all of the ideas I was sending him and that positive encouragement is a feeling I will never forget!

SKSM: After Here There be Tygers did you write more music? If so what?

Blake Matthew: I have worked on alot of films since Here There be Tygers. Over the last 6 years I have scored over 70 films, including feature films Infeccion and Funhouse. Infeccion premiered at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood in September 2019 and Funhouse premiered in theatres throughout Sweden in October 2020.

SKSM: What are you working nowadays?

Blake Matthew: I recently finished scoring Mistress of Bones which is being played on CryptTV’s Youtube and Facebook channel. I’m also getting prepared to start scoring a feature film in early 2021 but am not able to disclose anymore information about it as it’s just about to hit production. I recently purchased a new guitar and am looking at buying an analog synth, so I will be experimenting and practicing alot in between projects!

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

Blake Matthew: I grew up on The Shining and it has been a huge influence on my love for dark horror and psychological films. I think I probably watched The Shining when I was a little bit too young though, haha!

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

Blake Matthew: I used to play in a band for 8 years and absolutely hated performing, so when I found film scoring, I felt it was the perfect fit for me as my favourite part of music is the actual writing and creation of it. When I’m working on films, most of the process is being in solitude, creating, getting lost in my experimentation and imagination and I seem to really thrive in that sort of environment.

SKSM: What advice would you give to those people who want to be musicians?

Blake Matthew: Don’t be afraid to ask people for help, to ask questions, to reach out to people that are doing things that you are interested in doing. Fear of sharing your music is also a big hurdle alot of people need to overcome and the best thing you can do, is get your music out there because once you break down that wall, it becomes easier and you will progress so much faster. Don’t be afraid to have your own voice, you don’t need to sound like what’s “popular” out there, do your own thing.

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

Blake Matthew: That’s all!

SKSM: Do you like something to add?

Blake Matthew: Thanks for taking the time to read this, I appreciate you!

He played in Ben Woods‘ Rest Stop as The Driver.

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

Justin Harreman: I’m an actor here in Australia, but my teaching work is what pays the bills. I teach Drama and Film and TV. I like to play guitar and golf when my kids aren’t jumping all over me. However, as of late, I have begun my own production Company ‘AuMa Films’ – look for us! We start shooting our first full-length feature film in December ‘Catching Noonan’ be sure to look out for that when it gets released!

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

Justin Harreman: I grew up watching my parents perform on stage and loved performing everytime I did it for drama club or school plays…and then eventually in film later in life.

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

Justin Harreman: I had worked with the director on a previous film and he asked me if I could do his next project. I immediately said yes.

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

Justin Harreman: I think the tension that is built within a short space of time is what attracts people to engage into the storyline. King does this well with most of his narratives.

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

Justin Harreman: I auditioned somewhat, it wasn’t an oficial audition, I basically caught up with Ben and discussed the role…he got me to read a few lines on the university campus. I think because I had worked with Ben before, he knew what I could do.

SKSM: You worked with Ben Woods on this film, how was that?

Justin Harreman: Great, at the time I was only really known for theatre acting performances, so it was Ben that help kickstart my film acting career. It was great of him to select me because it was evident there were certain actors that the university lecturers/tutors liked for the students to choose for their 3rd year films… but Ben was adament to get me onboard, I feel going against advice and trusting his own judgement.

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

Justin Harreman: I think the special moment for me was playing the lead in a film that was written by Stephen King. That’s not to say I’m a huge fan…the genre is too intense for me, but my wife is…and that impressed her (we weren’t married at the time)…it may have helped get me impress her to continue dating me…maybe I should ask her?

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

Justin Harreman: Through social media, yes – but not as often as we should…they are great people. Everyone has moved onto different places within Australia too, so it makes it hard to catch up.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Justin Harreman: As mentioned, I have written a film called Catching Noonan, it has taken up most of my time lately – so excited to start shooting

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

Justin Harreman: Truthfully, I’m not, it is isn’t my preferred genre. I like Bernard Cornwall and other medieval type stories.

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

Justin Harreman: I love the arts but I also love my sport… I’m a fanatic – the two worlds of connected social groups don’t mix all that well.

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

Justin Harreman: No, thanks for the interview, so sorry it has taken so long to get back to you – very busy guy. Also, big thanks to all the Stephen King fans out there, without you and the popularity of King’s work, I wouldn’t have had the chance to play such an exciting role.

She played in Stephen Tramontana’s Dollar Baby A Very Tight Place as Ginny Grunwald.

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

Joette Waters: I am an actor and an acting coach. I enjoy coaching performers to bring out the best in them and helping them express themselves on and off the stage and screen.

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

Joette Waters: I fell in love with theater when I was in High School. I was a very shy kid and acting brought me out of my shell. Although it frightened me, when I was asked to play bold, self-assured people for roles, I discovered that ultimately became bolder and more confident in life as well.

SKSM: How did you become involved in A Very Tight Place Dollar Baby film?

Joette Waters: I had worked with Stephen Tramontanna and Angry Mule Prods. in two other films. Whenever they call I`m in! I love working with this group, we are like a family.

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

Joette Waters: I think audiences love a good story of revenge. Especially one with suspense and humor! The characters involved are loveably despicable. You may find you are not sure who`s side you`re on.

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

Joette Waters: I am fortunate that the role was written with me in mind. I had such a good time playing my dark side!

SKSM: You worked with Stephen Tramontana on this film, how was that?

Joette Waters: What I enjoy most about working with Stephen is that he is what you might call an “actor`s director”. When an actor is working with him we get his total attention. He makes sure that communication is clear and that we are on the same page as far as what direction the scene needs to go. In rehearsal he steps back and lets the actor “play “to see what we come up with and then we adjust form there. He creates a very safe environment on set for maximum creativity. Aside from that, he`s a cool human.

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

Joette Waters: Seeing our fabulous makeup artist and prop master Catherine Woods continually “freshen up” Danny with Poop. Funny stuff!

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

Joette Waters: Stephen, Jen and I keep in touch as well as actor Ron Beecher who is an old friend. Danny I had planned to hang out sometime but then COVID hit. Unfortunately, socializing is a bit slowed down right now.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Joette Waters: I am so grateful to be working during these difficult times. I just finished shooting a web series on Zoom. I am also directing a short Zoom film. I am acting in a couple of short films and scheduled to shoot a heartwarming feature film in Michigan next fall. Things are starting to pick up in the commercial world as well.

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

Joette Waters: Yes, very much so. I especially enjoyed the book 11/22/63 being a fan of time travel stories.

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

Joette Waters: I sang in a Swing Band for 25 years.

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

Joette Waters: I`d like to thank the fans for all their support and I hope that they enjoyed watching  “A Very Tight Place” as much as we have enjoyed working on it!

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Joette Waters: Thanks for inviting me.

He is the screenwriter of Alexander Bruckner‘s The Passenger Dollar Baby film.

SKSM: Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

Tab Murphy: My name is Tab Murphy. I’m a screenwriter/director and have been working in Hollywood since the early 80’s. In 1988, I received an Academy Award nomination for writing ‘Gorillas in the Mist’, the story of Dian Fossey.  In the 90’s, I wrote several Disney animated movies including, Tarzan, Atlantis: the Lost Empire and Hunchback of Notre Dame. I also wrote and directed ‘Last of the Dogmen’, a western fantasy that starred Tom Berenger and Barbra Hershey. I have written several DC animated movies including ‘Batman: Year One’ and ‘Batman/Superman: Apocalypse’.  My latest Project is a remake of ‘The Changeling’, a cult ghost story scheduled to film in Ireland in the spring of 2021.

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

Tab Murphy: I transferred to USC film school in my sophmore year of college.  During my first semester, I took a screenwriting course. I had always liked creative writing and had grown up going to and loving movies. That screenwriting course is where everything came together and I realized that screenwriting was a way into the director’s chair.

SKSM: How do you communicate with a director to design a screenwriter strategy for a film? 

Tab Murphy: With regard to ‘The Passenger’, I read the short story (Rest Stop) and discussed with Alexander some of the filmic challenges. In the short story, the lead character has a dual personality and much of the dialogue he has with his ‘other’ personality is in his head. Obviously, that would have been difficult to film. I suggested creating a separate character out of the dual personality so that the audience wouldn’t realize both characters are the SAME character until the end of the film.

SKSM: You worked in a Dollar Baby based on a Stephen King short story. It was your most challenging film? 

Tab Murphy: No. I would say it was my most fun script in quite awhile. And it was an honor to adapt a story by the great Mr. King.  😉

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

Tab Murphy: I think a lot of men wrestle with the idea of masculinity and how they define it in their own lives. This was a story about a character who was timid and weak but yearned for courage and strength, much like Edward Norton’s character in ‘Fight Club’.

SKSM: Can you tell us about the filming steps? Funny things that happened so far (Bloopers, etc). 

Tab Murphy: I was only on set for about an hour of filming.  I’m sure Alexander has plenty of those stories.  😉

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays? 

Tab Murphy: I just finished writing a script for a remake of ‘The Changeling’, a cult ghost story scheduled to shoot in Ireland next spring.

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

Tab Murphy: Yes, particularly his early work. The Stand, The Shining, The Mist, Carrie, etc etc. Huge fan.

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

Tab Murphy: I have 6 children.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Something you’d like to tell our readers? 

Tab Murphy: If they are fans of my Disney films, particularly Atlantis: the Lost Empire, there is a HUGE resurgence of interest in those movies, one that I was frankly unaware of until a few months ago. Visit the Facebook fan page ‘Atlantis – the lost empireposting’ for a sample of some fun things I’ve been posting from the movie!  😊

He played in Tyna Ezenma‘s Dedication Dollar Baby film as Johnny.

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

Bryan Keith: Sure. I’m Bryan Keith. I’m an actor, theatre director. I grew up in the midwest. From St. Louis. I live in Los Angeles now.

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

Bryan Keith: I spoke about wanting to be an actor when I was 5 yrs. old. But I didn’t know I could do it until my second year of college really. After long thinking I might go into sports medicine, going away to University I became more undecided on what I wanted to do. I came back home, did some freelance modeling but really wanted more. I decided to take an acting class to see if I’d like it at the suggestion of one of my dads colleagues. From that moment I was hooked. It became my life, my passion.

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

Bryan Keith: A good friend of mine Cameo Sherrell who plays Young Martha in the film, introduced me to AD/Producer Kerry Ann-Ellington. Cameo and I worked together as bartenders. One night she mentioned this project she was working on, that she was excited about, and I was interested in getting involved. We had talked about working together creatively and this was an opportunity for that to happen. I was thrilled.

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

Bryan Keith: Stephen Kings’ stories and movies… well we’ve all grown up reading and watching them. We’ve been drawn to them, scared by them. Then there is Dedication, one that hadn’t been done. A challenging story involving voodoo. Tyna met that challenge as she said and was perfect to pull it off. The larger picture of that is you can get the rights for a Dollar. Nobody offers their work like that. Its a pretty cool thing!

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

Bryan Keith: It wasn’t written for me and I’m not sure as to whom Tyna had in mind initially, but I came to the project as a referral by Cameo. I think I sent them a reel of some my other work, but Tyna and the Kerry trusted her word, and with all of that, they cast me. I have her to thank for putting my name in the hat, so to speak.

SKSM: You worked with Tyna Ezenma on this film, how was that?

Bryan Keith: Tyna knows what she wants. She works fast and brilliantly. She’s an absolute joy to work with. We have developed a pretty tight working relationship. We worked together soon after this project. She’s someone I would work with in a heartbeat.

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

Bryan Keith: Not really anything funny because on the day I worked we were shooting a very violent, emotional scene. So it was pretty serious. But there was a special moment. I think my birthday was either the day before or after, so they got me a little cake and sang happy birthday. It was a cool, sweet moment.

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

Bryan Keith: Yes. As I was saying earlier, Cameo and I are good friends. I call Tyna a friend as well. We stay in touch. I think she’s currently directing something now in Nigeria. Some of the others we see each other on social media.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Bryan Keith: I just finished directing a play for the Art of Acting Studios in Los AngelesArt of Acting Studios in Los AngelesArt of Acting Studios in Los Angeles. We created it all virtually, rehearsals to performance because of the pandemic and it not being safe to do live theatre. I’d never done anything like that before. New medium, and uniquely different challenges, but we made it work and people tuned in to see it. I feel proud that we were able to finish what we had begun, still create, and even chart a new course. Where there is a will, there is a way.

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

Bryan Keith: Absolutely. Stephen King is an icon of the genre. I’ve enjoyed his work for many years. I hope to be cast in something of his again. That would be awesome to bring more of his words to life.

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

Bryan Keith: I’d say…hmmm…that I’m a bonsai practitioner/artist. Most are surprised when they find that out.

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

Bryan Keith: Thanks for taking your time reading this. Thank you for the support.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Bryan Keith: Let’s link up, & create. IG is @thebryankeith    Stay safe, stay healthy. One love

He played in Alexander Bruckner‘s The Passenger Dollar Baby film as The Driver.

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

Andrew Garrett: Yeah, Hi. My name is Andrew Garrett. I’m an actor born and raised in Los Angeles, California.

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

Andrew Garrett: I suppose I have wanted to do it since I was a child, I had a fascination with story telling at a young age, especially stories told on film. The acting was the most tangible part of that for me. After high school I started acting school and auditioning in los Angeles haven’t really looked back since.

SKSM: How did you become involved in The Passenger Dollar Baby film?

Andrew Garrett: I graduated from The Stella Adler Academy of Acting in Hollywood. I was lucky enough to be given a job at the school after graduating. From time to time, film makers will send out casting notices through the school. I saw the notice for the passenger and sent an email and they got back to me. Just kind of worked out.

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

Andrew Garrett: I think that people have kind of a fascination with perversion, or giving in to the darker, dirtier, or even, more dangerous sides of themselves. I feel the movie is a kind of fantasy of letting that side of yourself out. Weather people admit it or not I think there’s a little part of everyone who wants to just once, let go of holding that back.

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

Andrew Garrett: I auditioned. I put myself on tape first. After that I met with Alexander Bruckner (director) for an in person audition or two. I forget.

SKSM: You worked with Alexander Bruckner on this film, how was that?

Andrew Garrett: Alexander is a very smart and talented man. What I really loved about working with him, was once we were on set shooting, he really knew how to confidently get what he wanted, from both the actors and the crew. He has an ability to get those results without being overbearing or condescending in any way. Makes the set a very comfortable place. On lower budget films there is not always time for that!!

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

Andrew Garrett: It’s hard to pinpoint exact special moments, I really liked my fellow cast members on this Project. Getting to know them was special to me. But on one night of shooting, the screen writer Tab Murphy, who wrote The Passenger, came to the set. Tab is and Oscar nominated writer and has done a lot of notable work over the years. It was very cool to meet him.

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

Andrew Garrett: Through the magic of social media it’s fairly easy to stay in contact people. We don’t talk all the time, but I’ve spoken with Alexander a few times, as well as my co-stars,  Gael Gillis, Randy Henandez, and Ben Dalhaus. We were also all able to get together for premiere screening of the film.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Andrew Garrett: With the pandemic everything is sort of halted this year. But, but me and my writing partner Eric L Thompson are in preproduction for a film we wrote, called The Picture in the House. Based on an H.P. Lovecraft story. Right in line with Stephen King. I’ll be acting in that as well. Hopefully production will start early next year.

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

Andrew Garrett: A massive fan, it’s hard to put into words how much his work has meant to me over the years. But its safe to say my creative sensibilities have been altered since I first picked up Pet Sematary when I was 14.

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

Andrew Garrett: I have no problem not listening to the Temptations, which is weird.

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

Andrew Garrett: Thanks for taking the time to read this. I really hope it encourages peaple to check out the film we made!

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Andrew Garrett: Just thanks again!

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