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She played in Polly Schattel’s Dollar Baby Here There Be Tygers as Susie.

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

Selah Atwood: My name is Selah Atwood. I am an actor and a competitive gymnast. I have four siblings and ten pets.

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

Selah Atwood: When I got the part in Three Billboards. I wasn’t an actor then, but now, thanks to my little sister who got me the part, I have now acted in several films.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Here There Be Tygers Dollar Baby film?

Selah Atwood: I have known Jennifer and Penny for years, and Jennifer asked me to audition.

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

Selah Atwood: It is very relatable, everyone has been afraid of something, or been bullied in some way.

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

Selah Atwood: I auditioned for this part, and had a lot of fun working with Penny.

SKSM: You worked with Polly Schattel on this film, how was that?

Selah Atwood: I loved working with her. She had a great sense of humor, and made this project very fun. I would love to work with her again in the future.

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

Selah Atwood: I enjoyed every minute on set. It was super cool to see everything come together.

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

Selah Atwood: I still hang out with penny, and one of the girls goes to my gymnastics.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Selah Atwood: I am continuing to audition for films. I am also doing a summer Shakespeare program where we will be performing a youth production of King Lear.

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

Selah Atwood: I love the premise of Here There be Tygers, but I haven’t read a lot of his work.

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

Selah Atwood: I play guitar and have a band with my older sister. We have written three or four songs.

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

Selah Atwood: Thank you to Jennifer and Polly for making this possible. It was an amazing experience.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Selah Atwood: The cast and crew were super fun to work with. I am glad that I had the chance to participate in the project. Susie was super fun to play.

 

 

She played in Polly Schattel’s Dollar Baby Here There Be Tygers as Charlie.

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

Penny Munroe: My name is Penny Munroe. I am a musician, actor, and I’m going into 7th grade. I have been acting since I was five years old and I have been a part of many of my Mom’s horror films.

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

Penny Munroe: I think I was influenced by my Mom since I saw her acting and I thought it looked like a lot of fun. Eventually I just started and I really enjoyed it. My first acting gig was a commercial for Purina One where I got to act with my family and my dog.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Here There Be Tygers Dollar Baby film?

Penny Munroe: My Mom wrote the adaptation with me in mind as the main lead. It was a super fun character for me to play.

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

Penny Munroe: I think bullying is a very important topic that needs to be talked about more. This story is about a girl who is treated badly but through she it all she finds her power and learns to respect herself.

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

Penny Munroe: My Mom wrote the part with me in mind.

SKSM: You worked with Polly Schattel on this film, how was that?

Penny Munroe: Polly Schattel was a great director. She was super fun and she pushed and the other actors to do our best. And overall the outcome was awesome.

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

Penny Munroe: My costar Selah Atwood and I are friends outside of acting and it was a really fun experience to work with her. We were asked to do graffiti on the mirror in the bathroom which is an easter egg for Stephen King fans and we kept doing it over and over because we were being perfectionists. Also, the scene where Selah had to be so mean to me was very funny to film because Selah is such a nice person. I teased her about her ability to be so mean.

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

Penny Munroe: Yes, I do. I know a lot of the kids that worked in the classroom, along with Selah, and I had worked with a lot of the crew before. I worked with Greg Hudgins before on another horror film called “Ghost Image” so it was cool to work with him again.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Penny Munroe: I’m currently signed with Carla Hough at Bold Talent and I do auditions for different shows. And I’m working on some new projects coming out soon including another short horror film “The Ebbing.”

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

Penny Munroe: My Mom thinks I’m too young to read his books but she’s a very serious fan of his work. She was super excited to do this short film and we literally have all his books.

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

Penny Munroe: That I like to mountain bike and that I have been playing an instrument and singing since I was six years old. Also, I am a lead singer in a band.

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

Penny Munroe: I hope everyone enjoys “Here There Be Tygers” and I think it will do very well. I think that it’s a story that people can relate to and enjoy.

 

She played in Polly Schattel’s Dollar Baby Here There Be Tygers as Miss Bird.

SKSM: May you introduce yourself to our readers?

Jennifer Trudrung: Hello! My name is Jennifer Trudrung and I am an actor, writer, runner, reader and most importantly a Mom. I have a production company called Night Frizz Productions and I have been writing and producing short horror films for about five years now.

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

Jennifer Trudrung: I started off in this industry as an actor. I love acting but it can feel like you are giving up a lot of your power because so much of the industry is do your best work and then wait and see. And sometimes you hear about projects you would just love to work on but you perhaps don’t even get an opportunity to audition for the show. I found that through writing and producing my own work I could express myself and give myself the roles and opportunities that I wanted as a creative person. And I get to work with my children, fellow amazing acting friends, and filmmakers that I admire and trust.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Here There Be Tygers Dollar Baby film?

Jennifer Trudrung: I have always loved Stephen King. I started reading his books while in middle school and I just could escape and thrive in his worlds. I love his characters and stories and obviously I love being scared. I love horror. Quite a few of Stephen King’s books have been adapted and filmed in the South East region of the United States where I live. I had several opportunities to audition for speaking roles in some of his shows but so far have never been cast. After attending several film festivals where my own films were screening I got to see several Stephen King Dollar Baby’s. At first I was intimidated at the idea of adapting one of his short stories but I was also inspired to try. It is on my bucket list to work on one of the shows based on his works so I thought, “here is my opportunity to do it myself and do it my way.”

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

Jennifer Trudrung: I wrote the screenplay adaptation of the short story “Here There Be Tygers”, helped in casting the film, produced the film, and starred in it as Ms. Bird.

SKSM: What was it like to work with Polly Schattel on this film?

Jennifer Trudrung: I was thrilled when Polly Schattel met with me and expressed her desire to work with me on “Here There Be Tygers”. I had worked with Polly before as an actor in the beautiful Ben Lovett music video called “Black Curtain” and had admired her other films. She is one of the nicest people I know also besides being incredibly talented. I told her of my initial idea for the screenplay and she pushed me to make it darker and more profound. I had had an idea in the back of my mind of where I could go with the story but was afraid to change the original story so much. But when I saw her enthusiasm and had her full support we went full force ahead. She was supportive and fully invested from the get go and her work on this film is amazing. I am very grateful.

SKSM: In addition to playing the role of Miss Bird you were the producer and the screenwriter of the film. What was more difficult to do?

Jennifer Trudrung: Honestly, the producing part was the most stressful because of putting all the pieces together, hiring the crew, finding the locations, doing all the communication, and getting the cast in place but I am surrounded by an incredible creative and supportive film family where I live. I had so many people step up and express interest in being part of this project. Everyone worked at a reduced rate but gave me 100% effort and investment. However, when I was on set the hardest part was letting go of the ‘producing’ part and finding the character of Miss Bird. I would forget I was going to have act and then boom it was my turn. This was where Polly really stepped up. She led me to a great place for the character of Miss Bird. And boy did I love playing her.

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

Jennifer Trudrung: The funniest part of making this film was that I played the evil Miss Bird and my daughter Penny Munroe played Charlie who I just got to be so nasty and vicious with. We literally were playing characters who despised each other. And we had so much fun with it. I think having such a tight familial bond full of love made the creative part of truly ‘bringing it’ for the characters easier. It was a safe place for all of us. Even Selah Atwood who plays Susie who is the main bully in the film is one of Penny’s best friends. They were cracking up between takes. It felt like a true family affair and was really fun.

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

Jennifer Trudrung: I LOVE Stephen King. My favorite books by him are “The Shining” and “The Stand.” But I literally own all his books. And I admire him hugely as an political advocate and an ally for decency and human rights. I LOVE his twitter page. I would love to meet him and just say “Thank you.” He is an inspiration in so many ways.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Jennifer Trudrung: I am actually working on two feature length horror screenplays. One of them called “The Bewailing” might be produced by a local film company which I’m super excited about. I’m currently working with them on revising the screenplay. The other one is called “Spectrum” and I have submitted it to numerous screenplay competitions and film festivals and I’m hoping for the best. “Spectrum” has already been a quarter-finalist in the We Screenplay Feature Screenplay Competition and the ScreenCraft Feature Screenplay Competition.

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

Jennifer Trudrung: I’m a former National Park Service Park Ranger. I’ve worked out in the Needle’s District of Canyonlands National Park, White Sands National Monument, and the Curecanti National Recreational Area. I also am ridiculously shy which I have had to really work on overcoming. And honestly having children, especially daughters, has forced me to learn to speak up and stand up.

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

Jennifer Trudrung: I think the thing I would like to share is that if you find something you love then go for it. I’ve learned that everything takes time and a lot of hard work. And that sometimes it can be depressing and you will want to give up. Being creative is full of rejection. But keep going. Take those baby steps. Do those little things that make you feel better and plug ahead. But also let yourself breathe and mourn when you need too. I feel like I’m making progress by literally scrambling up a hill but it’s working. And be kind and supportive to others. This industry is all about net working. So be the best person you can be and others will want to work with you and support you.

 

She played in Tyna Ezenma’s Dollar Baby Dedication as Darcy.

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

Paula Lauzon: As a child, I’d always enjoyed appearing in school plays. Even though life had many different twists and turns for me, I was eventually able to get back to my first love, acting, and returned to the stage via Community Theater.

I began my relationship with the Little Theatre of Fall River (LTFR) company, by being part of the ensemble cast of Jesus Christ Superstar and Titanic-The Musical. After some time, I eventually became well known for my role as “Aunt Eller” at the Little Theatre of Fall River’s October 2013, production of R&H’s Oklahoma. Myself, along with the entire cast, received rave reviews by Tony Annicone of Don Gillis’, Little Rhody Theatre.  Joined by my son, my final stint with the LTFR was in the production of Monty Python’s Spamalot. It was during this final production that I began doing “extra” work for a variety films and commercials.

Eventually, I broke into both nationally and internationally known music videos such as, The Portuguese KidsThrift Shop ParodyKing Lil G’s Cold Christmas, and most recently, Franz Ferdinand’s, Feel the Love.  I can be seen in a variety of national ads from Lyrica (print ad), as well as TV/video ads.  My face has become quite familiar in Ring’s, ‘Secure Mani/Pedi’ Commercial, Jardience, Glucerna, and Chase.

I have had roles in student films and short films, all of which have been submitted and won various awards at Film Festivals around the Country.  I’ve also had roles in Unusual Suspects, Murder Book Mystery, VETTv, Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall, and can be seen in many more various television shows and movies.

My journey of moving out to Los Angeles is good one: Armed with a dream and a vivacious personality, I’d done something most middle-aged adults would find frightening, even crazy, but had proven that taking chances is not just for 20-somethings.  While still living back East, I’d attended master classes with Steve Blackwood, former Bart Biederbecke, of Days of Our Lives.  After approximately a year’s worth of classes, he told me that there was nothing more he could teach me that I didn’t know and I should head to LA.  With my son’s blessing, I followed his advice. I sold or gave away what I could, packed what little was left over, into my car, and drove myself across the Country.  I arrived in Los Angeles with $40 in my pocket, and with the help of some very close friends, I’ve been able to accomplish my dream of becoming a working actress.

I’d taken classes to hone my acting skills by attending classes with Sara Wallace at Jodie Lynn Panek’s Studio, Acting Up Network, located in Burbank, CA.  Prior to being taught by Sara, I’d had been tutored by the well-regarded Brionne Davis of the same Studio.  I enjoy archery, weaponry, photography, swimming, tennis, volleyball, dancing, singing, floral arranging, and I do have hosting on-camera and teleprompter experience.  My dialects include (but are not limited to) Boston, New York, Rhode Island, Maine, Brit, Aussie, South African, Irish, and Mid Western.

I was born Maria Paula Lauzon, in Fall River, MA.  My mother is the late Maria A. Lauzon, born in Relva, St. Michael, Azorean Islands (Homemaker/Seamstress) and my father is the late Paul M. Lauzon, born in Fall River MA, a former U.S. Postal Worker. With the knowledge and love of old Hollywood stars and musicals, westerns and History, it was my parents, who forged the acting path for me. I am also the proud mother of an adult son, who is the joy of my life

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

Paula Lauzon: Gosh, I was SO young;  elementary school young;  I would dream about it, watching the old movies with my parents, especially my father.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Dedication film?

Paula Lauzon: I became involved in this film, by being approached by Tyna Ezenma, who saw my Profile on the Backstage Platform.

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

Paula Lauzon: “Dedication” is the story of a maid working in a hotel who uses a black magic spell in the hopes of harnessing the talent of one of the hotel’s frequent guests-an eccentric writer-and passing it on to her unborn son.  I’m sure that the use of black magic is something that might attract people to this story as well as the fact that it’s an original book by Stephen King.

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

Paula Lauzon: Neither;  my work, my resume’, and headshots are on various Social Media Platforms, and Tyna, doing her research, came across my work on the Backstage Platform and was impressed with what she saw.

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

Paula Lauzon: I found Tyna to be an extremely Seasoned Professional, even though she’s new to this field.  She’s an award-winning photographer and film maker who has won 3 International Photography awards and is passionate about the Creative Arts.  She’d reached out to Stephen King directly to ask about his book and I find that she is a go-getter in a field that has been dominated by men for many, many years.  She’s extremely patient and articulate in what she’s looking for, when directing a scene and I really liked working with her.

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

Paula Lauzon: Well, we had some good laughs on-set and those would be what I would determine as ‘location or you had to be there jokes’.  Special moments for me, would be when we were doing less than 3 takes to get a shot.  As an actor, from my point of view, I understand what my Director is looking for and work with them, to get both our points across when telling a story.  She was very happy to get the shots in as little takes as posible.

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

Paula Lauzon: Only Tyna, from time to time, especially when she’s letting us know where the film is being seen at a Festival and any awards or nominations for the same may be given.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Paula Lauzon: I’ve actually got my plate just a bit full, which is not a bad thing;  I’ve recently returned from a trip to Boston, to attend my son’s graduation from Bridgewater State University where he graduated Summa Cum Laude;  I’m SO proud of his accomplishments in that respect.  I’m also coordinating our move back East, to North Carolina, where I’m signed with another Agency who is representing me from NYC to the SE Corridor, (Atlanta) and has been submitting me and I’ve been auditioning for, via video auditions.  I’m still auditioning here, in LA weekly, and booking work monthly as well.  I’m also a Judge for the Burbank International Film Festival, and have been reviewing short films, student films and screenplays for the Festival.  As well,  I am a Member of the Television Academy and have been attending events through the Academy.  I’ll be returning to LA, on an as-needed basis, to audition and book work and, I’ll be returning in the Fall, to attend the Burbank International Film Festival as well as the Academy Awards Ceremony.

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

Paula Lauzon: I am a SUCH a fan of his work.  I began reading his books, at a very young age, probably 11 or 12, when I picked up one of his books at the Public Library; ‘Pet Semetary’.  I don’t know what I was thinking but, I read it in a weekend, because I was so immersed in it and could see his entire story, unfold in my mind.  All I could think to myself was, who is this crazed man, that could write such a thing?  But I just couldn’t put it down!  Needless to say, I was scared the entire time I read that first book, but, I continued on to acquire more of his books from the Library, because I loved how he wrote his stories.  The second one I read from his was, ‘Christine’.  With that book, I was still many years shy of getting my driver’s permit, but, I was sure that any car I got near, after reading that book, was going to come to life!

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

Paula Lauzon: Hmnnnn, this is a good one and you’d probably need to ask people that know me, but, I’ve been told, that, I give ‘Off the Chart Hugs’, I train SuperHeros and I embrace my Heritage, specifically, my Portuguese Heritage.

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

Paula Lauzon: I would love to thank our entire team for the hard work and effort that was put into making this film, to Stephen King for writing ANOTHER awesome book, Tyna for adapting it into a screenplay and, of course, our fans for supporting our entire team’s visión.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Paula Lauzon: Keep an eye out for more great work by Tyna Ezenma as well as myself.

We’re both here for the duration and have a lot to offer our fans!

 

She is the woman behind In the Deathroom Dollar Baby Film.

SKSM: May you introduce yourself to our readers? Who are you and what do you do?

Nicole Jones-Dion: I am an LA-based filmmaker who specializes in genre films. I started out as a screenwriter on films such as DRACULA – THE DARK PRINCE (starring Academy Award- winner Jon Voight), TEKKEN 2 – KAZUYA’S REVENGE (based on the video games), and THEY FOUND HELL for the SyFy Channel. I directed my first feature, a YA sci-fi film called STASIS in 2017 that is currently available on Amazon and iTunes.

SKSM: How would you decide that shoot movies was your mission?

Nicole Jones-Dion: As a screenwriter, you have very little control over the finished film. You basically hand off your script to the producer and director, and then they can do whatever they want with it. I realized that if I wanted to ensure that the end result matched my vision for the film, I was going to have to direct it myself.

SKSM: Could you tell our readers the status of In the Deathroom or some updates?

Nicole Jones-Dion: We are currently in post-production. Right now, we’re about halfway through the initial assembly edit.

SKSM: Who would be involved into this project?

Nicole Jones-Dion: This is a true indie, nearly everyone who worked on it wore multiple hats. I wrote, directed, and produced. I had a lot of help from my co-producers: Suzi Owen Scott, James Moorer, Jane Hare, Karen Vasquez, and Lenox Knight (who is also one of the stars of the film).

We were really fortunate to assemble such an amazing cast. In addition to Lenox, the film stars Scott Bailey (TIMELESS), Mario Rocha (ASSASSIN X), Andrew Bering (COUNTERPART), and Michael Anthony Perez (CHANCE). Viewers might also recognize Crystal Mantecon (DRAGON EYES) and Lauren Elyse Buckley (BILL NYE SAVES THE WORLD).

Mario Rocha who plays “Escobar” was also our stunt coordinator. Our production designer, Mark Fenlason, was also our 1st AD. Our DP, Rachel Dunn, is also our colorist. I think the only person who only has one job to do is our composer, Harry Manfredini (FRIDAY THE 13TH).

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

Nicole Jones-Dion: From a story standpoint, I liked that IN THE DEATHROOM isn’t your “typical” Stephen King story. It’s grounded in reality — no ghosts, nothing supernatural. In fact, the monsters in this film are the people, and we see what horrible things they are capable of doing to each other, like in MISERY. But like any good Stephen King tale, there are rich, layered characters and unexpected twists and turns along the way.

SKSM: I guess it’s very soon to asking this question but… where the premiere will be? Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?

Nicole Jones-Dion: Too soon to tell just yet. Hopefully it will be ready to screen in time for Halloween.

SKSM: Did you know that this story has already been filmed as Dollar Baby? Have you seen any of these adaptations? If so, what do you think about it?

Nicole Jones-Dion: I was aware that other adaptations of the story existed but I haven’t watched any of them. I wanted this to be my own unique take on the story, without any outside influence. I think ours is the only version with a donkey, but I could be wrong?

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

Nicole Jones-Dion: Yes! I grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina where they filmed most of the Stephen King movies back in the 80s. As a kid, I remember when they were filming FIRESTARTER, SILVER BULLET, and MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE. It seemed like everyone in my school had Stephen King fever. It left a huge impression on me growing up.

FIRESTARTER is probably one of my favorite stories, and I’ve been very fortunate to work with the director of FIRESTARTER on other projects since then.

SKSM: How did you find out that King sold the movie rights to some of his stories for just $1?

Nicole Jones-Dion: I forget how I first learned about the Dollar Baby program… it was like a rumor that you hear and immediately dismiss because it sounds too good to be true. But it’s real. And I’m very grateful to Mr. King for making his stories available to us. It’s been such an amazing honor to adapt his material, even if it’s just short form.

SKSM: What are you working nowadays?

Nicole Jones-Dion:Nicole Jones-Dion: I just finished adapting a true-life poltergeist story into a TV pilot that we’re currently shopping around town. It’s one of the most insane haunted house stories I’ve ever heard… and it actually happened.

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

Nicole Jones-Dion: I grew up in a haunted house but I was the only one in my family who never actually saw the ghost. Everyone else had some sort of an encounter with it (even the cat!). After we moved out, the new owner had a brain aneurysm and died in his 30s. I think that house might actually be cursed… there were a lot of deaths there.

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

Nicole Jones-Dion: Don’t wait for permission. No one else will care about your career as much as you. If you want to be a filmmaker, don’t wait for the perfect opportunity — it will never come. You just have to get out there and do it… and do it… and keep on doing it until they can’t ignore you anymore.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to our readers?

Nicole Jones-Dion: Stephen King fans are the best fans in the world. Look for IN THE DEATHROOM when it hits festivals soon!

SKSM: Would you like to add something else to this interview?

Nicole Jones-Dion: Here’s a fun little factoid from the shoot:

That canyon where we filmed the rebel camp was haunted. According to the the property owner, back in the early 1800s, there was a large settlement along that river (80-90 people). One year, there was a strong rain and a 30-foot wall of water came rushing into the canyon and instantly washed out the entire community – men, women, and children.

While we were shooting the scene with the nuns and the soldiers, one of our crew members (who is very psychic) could feel children tugging on his clothes and hear them screaming, “Make the bad men stop! Make the bad men stop!”

I thought that was super creepy and appropriate for a Stephen King film.

 

He is the man behind Popsy Dollar Baby Film.

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

Jon Mann: I grew up in Fredericton, New Brunswick, which is about 200 miles from King’ childhood home. I was always obsessed with movies and started to take them more seriously during my undergraduate degree. After my undergrad I studied screenwriting at the New York Film Academy New York Film Academy and have been writing and making movies ever since.

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

Jon Mann: Pretty young, but without realizing. I can remember begging my parents for a video camera at a young age, and editing movies in middle school, but not knowing that my obsession was about filmmaking. I watched movies and television constantly growing up, but it was not until university that I realized I had a constant whisper in my ear that wasn’t going to go away if I just ignored it.

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

Jon Mann: My mom introduced me to Stephen King, and I can remember her always talking about a short story with a twist ending, and a kid yelling “Popsy!” She got a huge kick out of the ending. That always stuck with me. When I saw that Popsy was available, I knew it would translate well into a short film. It was a no-brainer.

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?

Jon Mann: Honestly, I thought it was an urban legend. I had heard about them before but never took it seriously. It seemed too good to be true. On a whim, I applied with the script for Popsy, and fortunately they liked what I offered, and we were accepted.

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

Jon Mann: So far, so good! Someone recently called it a a “terrifying fairytale,” which is a huge compliment. I think it speaks to all the hard work that was put into the film – especially the crew. I had a vision, but without them I would not have been able to execute. Fortunately we have had nothing but positive feedback for the film.

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

Jon Mann: He’s my literary idol. I feel like I’m cheating by saying this, but The Shining is a masterpiece of a movie. Arguably, it is the greatest director of all-time’s greatest movie. I say that knowing the animosity between Mr. King and Mr. Kubrick. Stand By Me is my sister’s favourite movie, and my family had a huge influence on my movie appreciation. Shawshank cuts me up, too. “Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best thing.” So good.

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)?

Jon Mann: I received a very nice letter from Mr. King early on in the process. I hope he gets to see the film. It means a lot to receive the author’s good graces for an adaptation.

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?

Jon Mann: I’d love to. I always wanted to make ‘Salem’s Lot, but sounds like I am too late. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon would make for an amazing movie if it were done correctly. Actually, wait. Fair Extension. There is something about that story that stuck with me. It’s themes could translate well to film — especially in 2019.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Jon Mann: I have a television show that was optioned, and I am always working on new material. I have a short film Missy that was purchased for distribution through the Canadian Broadcast Company, and I’d love to develop that into a feature.  I have a new idea for a short that I am particularly excited about that I am going to try and shoot this summer.

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

Jon Mann: Ahh. I think I’m a pretty open book? It’s not overly-interesting, but I was born on Halloween. Some people like to make the connection between horror and me being born on October 31st. I don’t even love Halloween, per se. More of a Christmas guy, myself.

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

Jon Mann: Trump lost the popular vote in 2016.

 

He is the man behind Death Room Dollar Baby Film.

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

Gregory T. Fugate: Of course, my name is Gregory Fugate. I have a passion for movies and books. From that passion I have become a screenwriter and novelist, filmmaker, actor, and graphic artista. I shot my first feature film in 2013, along with a handful of short films. I broke my back in 2015 and spent most of 2016 in rehab and therapy. I am currently in college working on my bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in human resources. I am currently working in the human resource department for Volunteers of America and my goal is to take my experience in human resources and apply it to the film industry as a talent agent, while continuing to pursue my writing.

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

Gregory T. Fugate: I realized I wanted to be involved in the film industry in high school. I went to college to learn graphic design and animation, then discovered my love of writing. Then, in 2009, I had an opportunity to work with a local community theater where I met a lot of really awesome, talented, individuals who were also on the same journey as myself. This provided a launch pad for my filmmaking.

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

Gregory T. Fugate: We started it in fall of 2014 as we were wrapping up a feature film. The production met with a lot of challenges. Several recasts, scheduling issues with locations, and several revisions to the script as those obstacles presented themselves. The Budget was very low, unfortunately, which was a major contributor to many of the production woes. I think, in all, I spent about $1,000. It took about six months to film it once all of the recasting and locations issues were dealt with, All in all, about a year.

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

Gregory T. Fugate: We had just finished a movie with a large cast and many locations and I was looking to do something that wasn’t quite so demanding when it came to schedules. A small cast with limited locations, I felt, was the change of pace I needed. I really liked that the story was very adaptable to just about any age. I updated the story to reflect more current events and issues. There was even one versión of the script that took place in the Star Trek universe.

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?

Gregory T. Fugate: I actually learned about it by talking to my friends and fellow filmmakers Harley Morris and Warren Ray. After I got home that night, I quickly jumped online and did a search. I discovered the website, scoured the list of available stories, and brushed up on my King.

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

Gregory T. Fugate: One day filming a scene with a drone. It didn’t feel like work. We were having fun, still getting things done, but just really enjoying everything about the process. When you love what you do so much that work doesn’t feel like work – that’s special.

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?

Gregory T. Fugate: It doesn’t bother me that no one can see it. I was not happy with the finished versión and opted not to reléase it. In the future, I have decided that I will revisit In the Deathroom. As for a reléase, I am thinking of a limited run DVD reléase with two other King shorts.

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

Gregory T. Fugate: Only a small select group of people have seen it, so there are no real reviews.

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

Gregory T. Fugate: I do plan on screening the movie when I reshoot it. As for any particular festival, I haven’t settled on one… yet.

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

Gregory T. Fugate: I am a fan of his. I think the Dark Tower was his best work, but I really like most of his older stuff from the 80’s.

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)?

Gregory T. Fugate: I have not and no he has not.

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?

Gregory T. Fugate: As I mentioned before I am going to redo In the Deathroom. After that, I have considered doing a couple more. I have thought about maybe finding a few that can play off each other and make a trilogy of shorts.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Gregory T. Fugate: Right now, we are currently working on a documentary about the opioid epidemic. We’re expecting to wrap that in Dec, 2019 and I am finishing up a new novel this summer.

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

Gregory T. Fugate: Not much, actually. I’m a pretty open book.

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

Gregory T. Fugate: Yes. I want to do the story, Mr. King, and myself justice. I want to make a quality film that everyone involved can be proud of and I’m not going to rush it again.

SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?

Gregory T. Fugate: If you haven’t already seen it, check out Mom and Dad starring Nicholas Cage and Selma Blair. I show up in there right around the 34 minute mark.

 

 

He played in Calvin Jung & Fabricio Cerioni’s Dollar Baby Ayana as Bob.

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

Kevin E. West: Well, I… am a GOOFBALL. That’s commonly one of my opening lines when I speak in public. I was born in Phx, Arizona but grew up in very rural Nashville, TN in the late 60s through the mid-80s, long before it is the city it is today. I started my performing career in Atlanta, GA. I played golf in College and High School, have been a six-time participant in the Men’s Senior Baseball World Series starting at the age of 30, play deadly serious Texas Hold-em at Commerce Casino in L.A. and have run the L.A. Marathon, four times.

Professionally you can find my 50 Guest Star television credits and my film history here on IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0922184/?ref_=nv_sr_2?ref_=nv_sr_2

I also spent my first two years in L.A. as a Stand-up Comic and Improv artist. I’m the Founder of The Actors’ Network, which became the most recognized, trusted, and industry endorsed actor’s business organization in the United States. The Actors’ Network holds consecutive (2006/2007) Backstage West “Reader’s Choice” awards, has been featured on Entertainment Tonight three times, and CNBC twice. It’s many successful alumni include Golden Globe & Emmy Nominee Masi Oka (Heroes), and Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs) of the Golden Globe Award winning cast of Ugly Betty and Maggie Grace (Taken).

As a public speaker on the business of show business I’m widely recognized as the top industry opinion leader and expert on the business education, speaking at Screen Actors Guild, ShowBiz Expo (NYC), UCLA, SAG Conservatory, Chapman University, Cal State Fullerton, and talent conventions across the US from Dallas to Florida and the Writers Guild of America.

Additionally I have Co-Authored the 2-hour CD “The Actor’s Guide to Getting the Job” with LA’s top commercial instructor, Carolyne Barry: www.gettingthejob.com, as well as created the Industry Professional interview series, ActorBizGuru.com which was voted the #1 Online Actor’s Education resource by BackStageWest.com.

Upon the death of a very dear friend, I created and executive produced for 10 years the of the annual Hack n’ Smack, Kerry Daveline Memorial, Celebrity Golf Tournament in Southern California benefiting Melanoma. www.HacknSmack.org. The Hack n’ Smack had celebrity players such as: Joe Pesci, Joe Mantegna, Ron Perlman and Michael Chiklis. The event was voted one of the top 10 celebrity golf events in Southern California by Southland Golf magazine. He has lent his considerable talents as writer, producer, host and director to numerous charitable events including “Together We Can, Together We Will” in the wake of the L.A. riots, and the teen runaway benefit “Runnin’ on Empty” both of which included top Celebrities such as Jason Alexander.

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

Kevin E. West: Well, I didn’t, as I’d spent my whole life from 7-21 wanting to be a professional athlete. There were several circumstances in my home life which are far too detailed to go into here, which sort of put the writing on the wall, that trying to be a professional athlete (based on the level of time and support you need) probably wasn’t going to happen. Met a guy, some conversations, a few things happened and I decided to attend a class in Nashville at the time which eventually led to me going to a huge event/competition at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York and I WON the 17- over category for Commercials. By the way, I wrote and created the entire commercial, myself. Basically that’s what led to a change in career, the prospect of a game plan, moving to Atlanta for two years and then eventually driving to Los Angeles.

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

Kevin E. West: My agent, at the time, also represented Mr. Jung… and he referred me.

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

Kevin E. West: Be it death, religion, the afterlife, Gods, spirits, the underworld or any other form of supernatural power, immortality or other such entity – a very high percentage of humans want to see “something” beyond this mortal coil so it’s pretty natural. Very similar to UFO’s, the movie E.T., or the massive success of Star Wars. It all points to a strong appetite for – what’s next?

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

Kevin E. West: Audition only.

SKSM: You worked with Calvin Jung & Fabricio Cerioni on this film, how was that?

Kevin E. West: The experience was, as I would say after all of my years of being on a set, perfectly normal. That encompasses a lot when you consider the number of people, size of budget, type of project etc., but ultimately, an experience being “normal” is a really good thing. Sometimes performers kinda secretly desire for their to be set drama, or contentiousness, or whatever. For me, nope, don’t like it and don’t engage in it. I’m there to work, have it be a nice work – art day, and go home. J

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

Kevin E. West: Well, the lead gal was a Yoga instructor, and at that time one of my good friends was a Yogi and I had begun to consider delving into Yoga for my physical health so we had some fun conversations and a few “poor attempts” on my part to get “into a position.” Some of the other actors were like – what the hell are they doing over there?

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

Kevin E. West: For a long while I was in communication with Fabricio but sadly not for some time now.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Kevin E. West: Actors of all types n’ levels are typically always busy doing something creative. For me, while I just finished reading for an ABC Show with Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington as the stars, I’m also in the middle of writing my 3rd, 4th and 5th books as well as editing/producing a Podcast of a life-story that I have the rights to…and hope to sell / produce as a Studio Feature film. I’m always busy doing something…in the sandbox. J

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

Kevin E. West: I am, love the guy, and for 3 ½ years I lived with my sister back in the lat 80s and she was so obsessed with Stephen King she would basically read one of his massive books in two weekends and remain passed out on the couch after finsihing. Pretty hysterical but I couldn’t blame her because he’s a tremendous storyteller.

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

Kevin E. West: Well, if that question were based either on my pure Resume and/or a brief encounter with me it might surprise a lot of people how sensitive and introspective I am. It’s the basic difference between Personality and Character. When around a small or large group I can have a pretty big personality as a former Stand-up Comic, Improv artist and all around class clown back in High School…but at the end of the day, if you really get to know me, you see a lot more of the quiet, singular, creative Pisces come out who loves to talk Philosophy and Psychology. Yes, I’m the Hollywood Redneck, and a walking contradiction in many many ways.

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

Kevin E. West: Well, if you’re a performer, I thank you for taking the risk to delve into yourself. If you’re a fan, thank you for watching and caring. Allow either one’s performance or your own performance, carry you into a place (regardless of material) that entertains and/or is a healthy escape.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Kevin E. West: Well, I always want performers to know about my book on the business of showbusiness after all of these years, and I want the fans out there to know about my other ‘Gift Book’ which is purely for fun and related to life itself. So here they are:

‘Life…in a Word’: https://www.amazon.com/Life-Word-Kevin-West/dp/099935745X/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_pdt_img_top?ie=UTF8#customerReviews

‘7 Deadly Sins – The Actor Overcomes: https://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Sins-Overcomes-BusinessInsight/dp/1483571270/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=7+deadly+sins+the+actor+overcomes&qid=1555908607&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

 

He played in Stephen Tramontana’s Dollar Baby A Very Tight Place as Curtis Johnson.

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

Danny Houk: Sure, my name is Danny Houk and I’m an actor and comedian in Chicago who’s originally from the DC area.

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

Danny Houk: Before moving to Chicago (which was 6 years ago) I had no performance experience. Then my first week in the city I saw the improv set at Second City and I remember going “Ohhh, I want to do that.” So I started with improv and then it snowballed in a fun way into more acting and standup.

SKSM: How did you become involved in A very tight place Dollar Baby film?

Danny Houk: I’d auditioned for Stephen and the Angry Mule team for a different project they did called Eyelash (which is a great film if you haven’t checked it out). They decided to go with someone else for that role unfortunately but then I was lucky and had Stephen reach out about A Very Tight Place and ask if I’d like to audition.

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

Danny Houk: That’s a great question. I mean it’s a story that has it all. Revenge, warring neighbors, porta potty entrapment, what more do you need? I think a lot of folks have used a porta potty (if not you’re not missing out) and I know I’ve always had a moment of fear inside where I think “what if I couldn’t get out of here?” I think this story lets people see that at a safe distance.

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

Danny Houk: I did have to audition. I filmed a video audition and then came in to do a callback with Joette Waters who plays Ginny in the film.

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

Danny Houk: Amazing and not just because I got to hang out with his dog on set J. He was great to work with though, Stephen does a really good job of communicating what he’s looking for in the shot which makes my job easy. Plus all the people they had work on this movie were incrediblely kind and funny people. It made for a very fun set. I didn’t think I’d have that much fun being trapped in a porta potty and covered in fake turds, but life surprises you.

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

Danny Houk: One of my favorite ones was when we were shooting the exteriors which was done in one of the oldest housing projects in Chicago. And Catherine Woods (who is incredibly talented and did all the makeup and effects) was covering me in gunk to prepare for when the audience sees me coming out of the porta potty. I just remember all these people opening their doors and having this “what the hell is going on” look on their faces. Because there I am, standing on a tarp having wet dirt put all over me. That was fun a moment.

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

Danny Houk: I do! I actually live not far from Stephen and his wife Sara so I’m lucky and get to see them around the neighborhood.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Danny Houk: I just did a guest spot on a political thriller webseries called City in a Jar which I think will come out later this year and we just started filming on a different webseries called Movie Night. Besides that I’m just bouncing around doing standup at different spots around Chicago.

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

Danny Houk: I am. I tend to read more sci-fi books but I’ve read a few of his short story collections and then others like The Shining and Cujo. I’m in awe of how his brain works in such a delightfully scary way.

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

Danny Houk: I am terrified of scary movies. I won’t watch them. Ernest Scared Stupid was too much for me. Fun fact though, when you’re in a scary movie it’s not nearly as scary.

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

Danny Houk: Thank you for interviewing me! I hope that they enjoy the movie and that they think we did right by the book. We tried our best.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Danny Houk: If you want to follow the film I’d say follow @AngryMule on Facebook and updates will be posted there.

 

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?

Patrick Abernethy: I’m Patrick Abernethy and I currently work as a video editor for a well known YouTube channel called FGTeeV

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

Patrick Abernethy: I started editing videos for my younger brothers 19 years ago, and instantly fell in love with the process. They were filming stunts and such, similar to the show Jackass and CKY videos, and needed my help to turn it into something watchable.

Later I realized that what I was really passionate about was original content that I could direct myself, and I knew I wanted to shoot and direct and write.

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?

Patrick Abernethy: We shot it over 3 days in 2014 and the edit was finished in 2015. We raised around $2200 for production costs.

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

Patrick Abernethy: Our writer/adapter Mike Hill initially chose the story and chose me to direct. He is a HUGE King fan and picked the story somewhat on a whim. He loves all of King’s work so he basically had to just roll the dice to pick which short story to produce, knowing that he’d love it no matter what.

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?

Patrick Abernethy: Mike knew about the dollar baby program through being such a huge fan of Stephen King, so once he knew about the program, he knew he had to pick a story and run with it!

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

Patrick Abernethy: We finished up day 3 (which were night scenes) literally minutes before the sun came up. Had the sun came up before we wrapped, I don’t know if the movie could have been completed because we traveled to that location and everyone had places to be that next day. So it was awesome to complete it so close like that!

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?

Patrick Abernethy: This is all up to our good pal Mr. King.  Festivals are great to get it out there, but a devoted website or something similar to Netflix strictly for Dollar Baby films would be amazing.

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

Patrick Abernethy: The worst reviews have come from myself and from our writer Mike Hill. Not from a story standpoint or even a production standpoint, but more from a “we could have done this or that better” standpoint, because we are both perfectionists.

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

Patrick Abernethy: We have entered it in some, but at this point we currently have no plans to enter it into more. We are currently focusing on original works.

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

Patrick Abernethy: Before this I had not read much of Mr. King’s works, but I was a huge Shawshank Redemption and Green Mile movie fan. Since then I have come to absolutely love The Stand and Mr. Mercedes, and plan to read much more of his work!

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)?

Patrick Abernethy: Haha, I wish. And I hope one day I find out the answers to these questions as well.

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?

Patrick Abernethy: I’d love to work on the new adaptation of The Stand. I think it’s in production now and can’t wait to see it.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Patrick Abernethy: YouTube, YouTube, and more YouTube. We are kept very busy with work (our writer Mike Hill is a coworker and also great editor) but we have lots of script ideas nearing production.

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

Patrick Abernethy: It wasn’t me. They said they caught me on camera, but, it wasn’t me. Shaggy.

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

Patrick Abernethy: Keep on keepin on. Life’s a garden. Dig it.

SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?

Patrick Abernethy: Get out there and film! Anything and everything, the world wants and needs to see whatever you make!

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