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She played in Dave Brock’s Dollar Baby The Woman In The Room as Mother & Grandmother.

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

Laura K. McKenzie: I am currently a stay at home mom. I have four boys, ages 17, 15, 13 and 11. I live in Morgantown, West Virginia. My husband is a doctor of mechanical engineering. I went to West Virginia University on an acting scholarship. I occasionally do acting projects that interest me as I have time available. Until my children finish high school I plan to be with them as much as possible.

SKSM: How did you become involved in The woman in the room Dollar Baby film?

Laura K. McKenzie: Another actress that I know from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania told me about the audition posting in the WV Film website. I decided to read the short story to see if I would be interested. Once I had done some research, and decided I would like to audition I drove to Charleston to participate in the auditions. It was very exciting as this was the first time in a long time I felt on top of my game. It was a wonderful auditioning experience, and fortunately I was given the part.

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

Laura K. McKenzie: I think that we all struggle with the different realities between life and death. The main character is given the power to choose what is best for his mother, with whom I, as the actress playing his mom, interpreted as having an extremely strong yet unspoken emotional connection, one that surpassed the traditional mother-child relationship. He has to agonize over what would be the best to do for everyone involved as he is now the caretaker. I think there is a fear in all of us as to what we would choose if faced with the same set of circumstances and that conflict is compelling to watch but will also hopefully give us insight as to what another human being would do under those circumstances.

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

Laura K. McKenzie: I auditioned. It was a wonderful auditioning experience!!

SKSM: You worked with Dave Brock on this film, how was that?

Laura K. McKenzie: I actually think that Dave Brock my be my very favorite director to work with. He is friendly, open, and direct. A very supportive director who does not give idle praise. One of our rehearsals is still in my mind as one of the very best acting experiences I have ever had. I only hope he writes more so that I can work with him again.

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

Laura K. McKenzie: Well, apparently while we were filming a scene while I was in bed resting I fell asleep for real. I believe they actually caught me snoring on camera.

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

Laura K. McKenzie: I am Facebook friends with Dave Brock, and we email. I’m also Facebook friends with our make-up artist. We spent a lot of time together. I feel the closest to them- but I would gladly work with any person from that film again. I wish I had had time to get th know Rodger Echols better. I have enjoyed following his filming of a project hecworked on after The Woman in the Room.

SKSM: What are you working nowadays?

Laura K. McKenzie: Well, I’m currently only doing projects I have been asked to do. My four boys are 17, 15, 13, and 11. I’m not ready for my oldest to leave for college.

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

Laura K. McKenzie: I actually scare very easy, and therefore cannot read much of his work, however I did research on Stephen King the person when I was working on the film and was very excited to find out what a great man he is. I tried twice to get tickets to hear him speak when he went on tour for his last book, but was unable to get tickets. The thought that he will watch The Woman in the Room is thrilling beyond belief.

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

Laura K. McKenzie: I think people are surprised, and also actually don’t believe me when they find out I only wanted Boy children. We started out just wanting children, and it didn’t matter either way. But with my last pregnancy I actually prayed the baby would be a boy. People find it hard to believe I didn’t want a little girl to dress up and so on. Personally I can dress up, or dress down and I’m good either way- minus high heels, but boys are so very much fun. I love my family.

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?

Laura K. McKenzie: Well, it’s nice to think that people will be reading your article including me. That’s very flattering. I spend a lot of time doing for others, so it’s kind of novel to me.

SKSM: Do you like something to add?

Laura K. McKenzie: I would just like to add that it was an honor to be asked to be interviewed and I hope I didn’t wait too long to get back to you. Thank you!!

 

He played in Sara Werner’s Dollar Baby The Things They Left Behind as Ken Hargrave.

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

Terrance Murphy: Sure, I’d love to, although I always feel a bit uncomfortable talking about myself; my name is Terrance Murphy, and I play the role of Ken in “The Things They Left Behind”. I’m an actor, model, musician, fine artist, and writer. I moved to NYC shortly after filming to attend Acting Conservatory.

SKSM: How did you become involved in The things they left behind Dollar Baby film?

Terrance Murphy: Well, I’m a little cloudy on the particulars, but I believe that Cherry (Xinyue) sent me an email about the casting. I had done a short film for her the year before and I guess she remembered me as someone who didn’t screw up too badly.

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

Terrance Murphy: Its amazing story telling with the backdrop of the 911 tragedy in NYC. Everyone over high school age can remember exactly what they were doing that day and it changed their lives forever. That backdrop immediately creates a commonality for every viewer. Life is about relationships, and Mister King loaded up the story beautifully with three very different love stories.

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

Terrance Murphy: I auditioned for a smaller role that never made it into the final script. Most times when I audition for films, there is maybe two or three people at the most in the room. I remember walking into the audition room and there were about 15 people waiting! So many faces staring back at me was a little different to say the least! I remember leaving the room not feeling like I did my best, so I was happily surprised when I was contacted to come in for a table read for a different role. I thought to myself, “Does this mean I’m in the film?” I still didn’t know if I had the part after the table read either, and I didn’t ask; it seemed a bit awkward, you know? I kept looking at Duba, trying to read her face, “Yes or no, did I get the part?” I think we had another table read the next week; I felt a bit embarrassed to say anything and thought to myself, “Well, as long as they keep contacting me, that’s good!”

SKSM: You worked with Sara Werner on this film, how was that?

Terrance Murphy: Sara is wonderful! She is not only one of the sweetest person you could ever know, but a smart, sensitive and generous director. She is so caring with each of the actors to explore and delve into the characters we were portraying. At least that is what I saw and experienced first hand. I always felt like I was in a safe place, and for an actor, that’s golden.

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

Terrance Murphy: There were some moments that were already talked about in other interviews that were given, like when we had to evacuate, so I won’t rehash those. I do remember a funny (and maybe a little scary?) moment after we finished filming. Duba had a wrap party at her house for the cast and crew. She lives right on Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida. It was a beautiful evening, the sun was setting over the bay and after a lot of food and drinks, some of us decided it would be a good idea to go in the water. A few jumped in and a few others took some of the family paddle boards out. I think I was the only one who actually ever used one before (haha). There was a pretty strong current that night, and not long after getting into the water, we all ended up quite a few yards downstream, laughing and goofing around. The current started getting stronger and it was getting difficult to swim back so I started ferrying the ones back that didn’t have any boards. I probably made three trips and I think we eventually all did get back, but come to think of it, I never actually did a head count. I’m just an actor; I think that job falls under the PA’s jurisdiction.

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

Terrance Murphy: Since I moved to New York City, I don’t see the people from Miami as much anymore. I am a social media stalker though. I keep up with a lot of the others and click “like” or “❤” so they know I’m still stalking them. I live vicariously through their successes. I did get to see Duba, Sara, Jonathon, Maria, Missy and Michael again at the Shreikfest NY Horror Film Festival when it played here in NYC where it won another “Best Short Film” award! It was fantastic to see them again and under such wonderful circumstances!

SKSM: What are you working nowadays?

Terrance Murphy: Currently, I’m turning a screenplay I wrote called “Prophet” into a novel. We shot a 20 minute short film from it, and it won “Best Short Film” at the International New York Film Festival last winter. I’ll be releasing it for rent or sale in the next few weeks hopefully. It’s a suspense thriller; I’m attracted to these kinds of stories. I’m also going on casting’s, working away.

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

Terrance Murphy: Yeah, I’m a big fan. When I was young, I read every Alfred Hitchcock story, watched the Twilight Zone and Outer Limits, so I’m drawn to Stephen King’s work naturally. I had a lot of vivid nightmares as a kid, and actually still do. I just don’t go running into my parents bedroom screaming anymore…

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

Terrance Murphy: One thing? Hmmmm… I can clap with one hand and yes, it looks as weird as it sounds.

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?

Terrance Murphy: Sure, no problem, it’s truly been my pleasure!

SKSM: Do you like something to add?

Terrance Murphy: I want to say thank you to all of you who have seen the film or who want to see it, and have supported the film and continue to do so. You are the reason we do what we do, and you give us the passion and love to tell these stories. We as actors are changed by the stories we tell, the characters we play; we are changed by the people we meet through these stories, and hopefully, if we get out of the way, you too will be moved by these beautiful stories too.

 


He is the man behind Survivor Type Dollar Baby Film.

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

Chris Ethridge: I am film director and producer. In addition to Survivor Type, I have directed several short films and a feature called The Morningside Monster. I am currently in post on my next feature film, Haven’s End. I have also produced some shorts for other filmmakers, most recently a 5 minute piece called Teaser from Director Dayna Noffke.

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

Chris Ethridge: My producing partner, Stacey Palmer, and I shot the film in late 2010. It cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $10,000 for the 30 minute short. We shot over 9 days in the Atlanta area and at Anastasia State Park in Florida.

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

Chris Ethridge: It’s just such a dark but powerful story. It has stayed with me since I read it, and when Stacey and I were trying to decide which story to make, that was the one that I really felt drawn towards.

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

Chris Ethridge: I had read a few articles that mentioned the program. When I met Stacey and discovered we were both filmmakers and huge Stephen King fans, it just made sense to try and make a Dollar Baby together.

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

Chris Ethridge: We shot the island footage at Anastasia State Park, which is down in St. Augustine, FL. Overnight between the first and second day, someone stole our raft, and we had to find a replacement raft or we were going to not be able to finish the film. We did manage to find a replacement, and somehow completed the movie in the limited time we had remaining on the beach, but there were some dark moments where we thought we were not going to finish.

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?

Chris Ethridge: I guess it is frustrating to a lot of filmmakers, but for me, it was always part of the deal. When I signed the agreement with Mr. King, I knew it was going to have a limited audience, so I’ve never really dwelled on that. We used the movie exactly the way I believe he intended, to get our work in front of other people and then use that to make the next project, which we did. I don’t think it will change, it’s a legal issue, but if Mr. King did give the go ahead, we would absolutely release it online.

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

Chris Ethridge: We received mostly positive reviews, with a lot of support for our lead actor, Jens Rasmussen and his powerful portrayal of Richard Pine.

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

Chris Ethridge: We did our festival run several years ago, premiering at the Buried Alive Film Festival 2011 in Atlanta, and we were accepted and played at several other well-known festivals, such as the New York City Horror Film Festival and the Action on Film International Film Festival.

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

Chris Ethridge: Oh, yes, I am a huge fan. I’ve been reading his bookd since I was eleven years old. My favorite works include IT, Bag of Bones, The Eyes of the Dragon, and of his more recent work, I really enjoyed all three of the books in the Bill Hodges Trilogy.

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)?

Chris Ethridge: No, we did not have any contact with him during the process. We did send a copy to him when the movie was finished, and I like to think he watches all of the Dollar Babies, but I really don’t know if he has seen it.

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?

Chris Ethridge: No plans right now, I don’t think I’ll be making another Dollar Baby. If I were to adapt a novel into a feature, I would love to try a different take on Bag of Bones. I like the Mick Garris miniseries, but I would love to make a theatrical R-rated versión.

SKSM: What are you working nowadays?

Chris Ethridge: I’m in post-production on my next feature film, working again with Stacey Palmer and Writer/Producer Michael H. Harper. It’s called Haven’s End and you can read more about it right here:
http://bloody-disgusting.com/images/3420651/first-look-vhs-star-hannah-fierman-havens-end/

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

Chris Ethridge: In addition to making films, I help other independent filmmakers get their films in front of audiences. I co-own a company called HorrorPack, which is a horror movie subscription service, and we send a new independent feature (along with three other films) each month to our subscribers. It’s a great way to support the same kind of filmmaker who takes on the challenge of making a Dollar Baby.
www.horrorpack.com

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

Chris Ethridge: Thanks for your continued support of my work and all of the Dollar Baby filmmakers!

 


He played in Mike Johnston’s Here There Be Tygers as Charles.

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

Logan Oung: Ok well, my name is Logan Oung Garneau I’m eleven years old, I’m a double black stripe in Taekwondo, I love acting, and I love superheroes movies and books, I love gaming, and that’s how I actually bonded with Mike the director.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Here there be tygers Dollar Baby film?

Logan Oung: At the moment I had just started to sign on with City Talent Management. My agent Diane had just got an audition for Here There Be Tigers, and then I got it.

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

Logan Oung: I think that the fact it was a Stephen King movie attracted lots of people. Also the fact that there is a tiger in the washroom is awesome!

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

Logan Oung: I originally went for the role of Kenny, and I was also asked to read the role of Charles, luckily I knew the script for both Charles and Kenny. A couple weeks later I got a call saying I got the role of Charles.

SKSM: You worked with Mike Johnston on this film, how was that?

Logan Oung: Working with Mike was awesome, he took me under his wings, and we had a lot in common. Everyone made me feel welcome especially Mike. Mike understood me more than many people do, which made the job easier.

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

Logan Oung: Yes, in the scene were I/Charles asked to go to the bathroom Miss Bird asks “Do you have TO URINATE” it took us 5 or 6 tries to not laugh every time she said it.

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

Logan Oung: Yes I follow Mike, Here There Be Tigers, and Bronwyn.

SKSM: What are you working nowadays?

Logan Oung: Well, I’ve been doing auditions here and there, but for awhile it’s been slow.

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

Logan Oung: Yes I’m definitely a fan of Stephen King’s work, I also love reading his books.

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

Logan Oung: Everyone thinks that I’m Filipino but I’m actually half Cambodian and Caucasian and that I’m almost a belt black in Taekwondo, I’ve been doing since I was 4 years old.

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?

Logan Oung: Thank you for taking the time to read all of this. Everyone has a little actor inside themselves but they just don’t know how to express themselves, luckily I found that in acting.

 

He is the man behind Night Surf  Dollar Baby Film.

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

Tony Pomfret: I am Tony Pomfret and as it turns out I tend towards doing a little bit of everything. I’ve just bought a lovely mountain bike and I am always trying to expand my movie and vinyl collection.

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

Tony Pomfret: We shot Night Surf in 2013 but actually it was about a decade in the making. David Ridley, Night Surf’s producer, first made me aware of Dollar Babies in 2001 after I had shown him a first draft of the script I had written based on the short story. We applied for the rights but were rejected at that time as, we were told, Night Surf was being optioned for a movie which was to be a pilot for a series. I still have that rejection letter framed on the wall of my living room, it’s a good conversation piece. Cut to ten years later and David tells me that the rights have become available again with the idea of resubmitting the screenplay. I figured why not? It might be nice to have a second framed rejection letter – make up a set. This time we were granted the exclusive rights for one calendar year to develop the project as we saw fit. As one of the stipulations of the contract was that the film was not allowed to be exploited for financial gain getting funds proved difficult so we self financed to the tune of about £8000. We pulled together a great cast and crew, not least being our DP Sashi Kissoon who, as well as having a great eye, managed to get a RED camera for us to shoot on 5K. The filming itself was four night shoots on a deserted beach in Druridge Bay, Northumberland.

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

Tony Pomfret: I had always liked Night Surf, actually more than I liked The Stand. I was struck with the visual of an apocalypse that had already occurred with survivors that didn’t know what was happening or who was left and I felt a sense of realism in that if a small group was surviving after the world had gone that, rather than the fantasies we may have of living in the lap of luxury that had been left behind, it would all get very dull very quickly. Ultimately we would just be like teenagers hanging out in bus shelters on a Saturday night.

SKSM: Has the film won any awards or had any nominations?

Tony Pomfret: It has shown in two festivals so far but, to be honest, David and I had spent so long wanting to get it made and imagining what it would be like, we were both really happy to have it finally completed and the BluRay in our hands to watch whenever we wanted.

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

Tony Pomfret: As I mentioned earlier, David had all that covered. He had done all my research for me.

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

Tony Pomfret: After making the, in hindsight, frankly ridiculous choice of filming night shoots on location we found a beautifully desolate mile long stretch of beach in Druridge Bay, Northumberland. The only accomodation we could find was in a family holiday park about a mile away so we rented four caravans for cast and crew which meant that all the holidaying families were watching us leave with all our equipment as they were going to bed and coming back at sunrise as they were all waking up to carry on with their vacations. Not only did we find that the last hour of each night’s shooting saw us being chased up the beach by the tide but the entire shoot had extreme weather warnings issued by the Met Office. David and I knew that to miss a single night’s shooting meant that the whole project was sunk so I was considering at one point whether we would be able to save the project by rewriting the whole thing in a day and just shooting in one of the caravans; five people sitting around a table talking about setting a guy on fire on a beach the night before. Luckily each night was clear until the very last shot at about 5am on the last day when we were trying to get the only pick up we wanted and the heavens opened up.

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?

Tony Pomfret: That’s up to Mr. King and his representatives. There are Dollar Baby screenings that take place in festivals, Tony Northrup has been very good in curating screenings at the Crypticon in Minneapolis, so there is opportunity. I understand why the decision has been made to limit their exposure, after all, there are a lot made by young amateur or semi-professional filmmakers so there are varying degrees of success in terms of quality. Having said that, I think that a central online repository of these films with a very clear introduction as to the purpose of the Dollar Baby concept would be a good idea. At the moment all we have are lists of titles and dates appearing in various places online.

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

Tony Pomfret: Reviews have been good, mainly in terms of tone and mood, although there is a Spanish user review that seemed to take exception to the low key tone that we were going for and was wanting a lot more action. My Spanish is not very good and none of the online translation services helped much either but the reviewer does admit that they haven’t read the original story and then said something about zombies. I’m not sure whether they thought it should have zombies in it or if they assumed it would have zombies in it and they didn’t like that idea. I would suggest they do themselves a favour and read the original.

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

Tony Pomfret: I feel its run is complete, although if there are any Dollar Baby festivals that would like to screen it I am perfectly happy to send a copy along to them.

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

Tony Pomfret: I am very much a Stephen King fan – I have all his works on my bookshelves. I have such fond memories of discovering his early works as a child, so I would always tend towards those as my favourites, although I loved 11.22.63. My favourite adaptation has to be Tobe Hooper’s take on Salem’s Lot. I remember the absolute excitement in the schoolyard the day after the first installment when the miniseries was first broadcast in the UK in 1981.

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)?

Tony Pomfret: I didn’t have any contact with Mr. King. The contract was agreed with his representatives and part of the agreement was that he would have no involvement in the project, which I think is fair and I can understand his perspective in that. After all, the whole Dollar Baby initiative is ultimately an altruistic enterprise to benefit filmmakers at the very start of their careers and given the sheer number of Dollar Baby projects that have been done that would amount to a hell of a lot of eager-beavers desperate to bend his ear and make friends because at the heart of anybody taking on a Dollar Baby is a Stephen King fan that would dream to have the kind of relationship that someone like Darabont has had.

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?

Tony Pomfret: I don’t have any plans for more adaptation as of yet but if I was to choose another it would be The Long Walk (I’m assuming that picking Bachman isn’t cheating) as it struck a chord in me the first time I read it as I felt it’s tone to be superficially low-key and unassuming but simultaneously terrifying in its sense of normalcy, much like Night Surf was for me. I also like the idea of filming Crouch End in Crouch End – I’m in London, why not give it a go?

SKSM: What are you working nowadays?

Tony Pomfret: At the moment I am focusing on writing and have two features that I am working on. One is a sci-fi drama (think Ken Loach in space), while the other is playing with Lovecraftian ideas and is designed to be an anthology spanning a hundred years of a cult bringing about the end of the world.

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

Tony Pomfret: If you’ve got specific music DVD documentaries you can hear me talking to you through your television.

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

Tony Pomfret: I wouldn’t assume to have any fans, but you are very welcome. Thank you for getting in contact with me.

SKSM: Would you like to add something?

Tony Pomfret: In the words of Chris Hardwick: Don’t text and drive.

 

He is the man behind The Doctor’s Case Dollar Baby Film.

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

James Douglas: Sure. My name is James Douglas, and I am currently employed as Manager of Visitor Experiences and Public Relations at Barkerville Historic Town & Park (the largest heritage site in Western North America). I originally received acting training at the University of Victoria and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. As a performer I have appeared in stage plays across North America, taken principal roles in a number of independent films and shorts, as well as written and performed for a variety of Canadian sketch comedy troupes.
In 2000 I was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Victoria, and in 2004 completed one year of graduate coursework at the university’s Theatre department before embarking on an internship with renowned avant-garde theatre director Charles Marowitz during his historic production of Vaclav Havel’s Pokoŭsení [English: Temptation] at the National Theatre of the Czech Republic.
In 2005 I traveled to the Netherlands to write, produce, and direct documentary short film about the enduring post-WWII friendship between the Canadian and Dutch peoples, called The Tulip & the Maple Leaf. I was the on-air host of Shaw TV’s BC150 Years series of documentary shorts in 2008, and from 2010-12 co-produced a broadcast television documentary about British Columbia’s past and current gold rushes called Wilds to Riches. The film was nominated for a 2014 Leo Award for Best Documentary Screenplay, and for my role as co-producer I received the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association’s “Best Marketing Initiative” award.
Over the past two decades I have produced or co-produced a number of noteworthy theatre projects, and my onstage directing credits include The Saints of British Rock, The Bride of Barkerville, Lady Overlander, The Great Love of Queen Victoria, The Sinister Secret of Hatley Castle, Fangs for the Memories, and Das Love Boot. I’ve also worked as dramaturge on critically-lauded productions of Andrew Hamilton’s Kaliban, Sally Clark’s Wanted, and Anne Carson’s contemporary translation of Sophocles’ Electra.
Most recently I wrote the screenplay for, produced, and directed a Dollar Baby film adaptation of The Doctor’s Case, based on the short story by Stephen King (but I think you already knew that).

SKSM: Could you tell our readers the status of The Doctor’s Case or some updates?

James Douglas: I am happy to report that we’ve entered the final two weeks of post-production on The Doctor’s Case. VFX and colour-correction are almost finished, and our sound design and surround mix will be complete next week. We’ve made a couple of work-in-progress submissions to some prominent film festivals already, and once the film is complete we will submit to a series of international festivals that will hopefully allow as many people as possible a chance to see the movie throughout 2018. We will also send a 4K print of the film to Stephen King in mid-November of this year (2017) on the one year anniversary of me receiving permission to adapt The Doctor’s Case.

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

James Douglas: I’ve always loved Stephen King, Sherlock Holmes, and movies. I mean really loved them. And at exactly the same moment less than 12 months ago these three lifelong obsessions serendipitously smashed together and presented themselves as an opportunity to make something very cool. I could have selected any number of Stephen King short stories from the list of available Dollar Babies, and would have been happy to do so, but it was The Doctor’s Case that led me to apply in the first place, so once I discovered it was an eligible story, there was no way I was going to let my first foray into narrative filmmaking be anything else. The story’s 19th-century setting is perfect for my current surroundings and professional experience, Sherlock Holmes is the closest thing to a Victorian superhero I could hope for (I like superhero movies, too) and the skill with which King blends his own “everyman” narrative voice with Arthur Conan Doyle’s sophisticate style has been pleasantly haunting me since I first read Nightmares & Dreamscapes during my senior year of high school. I love the multiple twists and turns the story provides, as well as the truly charming way it plays with the relationships between Holmes, Watson and Inspector Lestrade.

SKSM: You have played roles in a number of independent movies and shorts. You have wrote screenplays and you have been a theatre producer. Is this your debut as a director?

James Douglas: Yes, this is my debut as a narrative feature director. I did write and direct a 20-minute documentary short called The Tulip & the Maple Leaf back in 2005, but at 65-minutes The Doctor’s Case is my first stab (pun intended) at a longer and more complex work of fiction.

SKSM: I’ve seen the trailer and I can say is looks very promising. Your Dollar Baby film is one of the most expected by the audience. Is this a responsibility, an honor or both of them?

James Douglas: Wow. Thank you. I am very pleased to hear you liked our teaser trailer, and feel very honoured (and maybe a little nervous) to hear that there is already an expectant audience for The Doctor’s Case. To be honest, I didn’t really know about the latter until you mentioned it (we’ve been focusing pretty hard on simply getting the film made) but it’s exciting to realize that people are interested in what we’ve been up to and are looking forward to watching the film. I do feel a responsibility to our audience – many of whom will be lovers of Stephen King, Sherlock Holmes, and/or movies in general – and while I suppose I can’t expect everyone to like everything we’ve done, I believe there is enough in The Doctor’s Case to surprise and delight casual observers and diehard fans alike.

SKSM: You have an incredible cast and crew involved in this project. How did you convince them to play in The Doctor’s Case?

James Douglas: I don’t want this to sound silly or overly simplistic, but to be perfectly honest: I asked. I should probably mention that 90% of the cast and crew were people that I already knew, either through work on previous projects or simply as friends. I have been blessed with the opportunity to get to know a lot of truly amazing and dedicated professionals throughout my life, and when this crazy, incredible Dollar Baby project presented itself it wasn’t difficult to convince the right ones to climb aboard.
That said there has also been a ton of serendipity at play (you’ll notice I use that word a lot: serendipity). A month after I’d first heard about the Dollar Babies I brought my old friend Michael Coleman (who plays Happy the dwarf on ABC’s Once Upon a Time) to Prince George as a guest of Northern FanCon, a successful fan expo produced by my business partner in Barker Street Cinema, Norm Coyne. While at FanCon I pitched Michael my fledgling idea for The Doctor’s Case, and asked if he’d be willing to play Watson. He was, and agreed to co-produce on the spot. We didn’t talk about it again for months, but when once I finally secured permission to adapt the story Michael cleared his schedule for our proposed shooting dates and the rest of the cast fell into place rather quickly.
I had met Denise Crosby (Pet Sematary, Star Trek: TNG) in 2013, in Barkerville of all places! We’d exchanged a few emails in the following years, but when I discovered shortly after submitting to the Dollar Babies program that she and my mother share the same November birthday I felt compelled to contact her about The Doctor’s Case. There were a few scenes I wanted to write into the story involving a conversation between an 87-year old Doctor Watson and some as-yet-unnamed person that would act as a framing device for the main story taking place 50 years earlier and aid the overall narrative structure of the film. I thought Denise would bring a lot to those scenes, and asked if she would allow me to write an original character (now called Captain Norton) specifically for her. Denise is a very generous person by nature, and was immediately supportive of the idea.
Once Denise was on board I knew I had to find someone of equal caliber to play opposite her as the older Watson, and through a friend of a friend wound up speaking with William B. Davis’s agent. To my absolute delight Mr. Davis (The X-Files, The Dead Zone, Stephen King’s IT) was impressed enough with the first draft of our script to agree to come shoot with us in the spring.
The rest of the cast is made up of people I have worked with before, and in some cases continue to work with on a daily basis in Barkerville, and although they are perhaps not as well known as the three I previously mentioned, I couldn’t have asked for a more talented and enthusiastic group to support me through my first full-blown film project. There isn’t a false note among them, in my opinion, and casting The Doctor’s Case was an opportunity to cherry pick from an orchard of multi-faceted artists. Actors doubled as designers, producers, animal handlers, and dolly drips… and seemed equally as comfortable in a variety of roles, despite some of them having never stepped foot on a film set before.
It was the rest of the crew, of course, that made this transition possible. For every onset newbie we had, there was someone else teeming with experience and willing to share knowledge. From my co-director Len Pearl (Historical Film Studios) and supervising producer Pat Curling (Wilds to Riches), to our music supervisor Ken ‘Hiwatt’ Marshall (who is currently on tour with Depeche Mode) and sound designer Jennifer Lewis (a 35-year veteran of the Vancouver film and video game industries) we’ve been gifted a chance to work alongside established industry folks with a passion for cinematic storytelling who just happen to be as excited about a Sherlock Holmes project written by Stephen King as the rest of us are. We couldn’t have been more fortunate.

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?

James Douglas: I had never even heard of the Dollar Babies program until April of 2016, nearly two years after I first started thinking that adapting The Doctor’s Case would be an exciting (and seemingly impossible) thing to try to do. I’d first read the short story back in the ‘90s, and because it so expertly blended my twin loves of Stephen King and Sherlock Holmes the tale stuck with me for a long time. After years of working in Barkerville (a restored 19th-century gold rush town) I thought it would be fun to attempt a film adaptation of The Doctor’s Case. I ultimately decided against it at the time because I couldn’t figure out how to make the film work without the author’s express permission to adapt his work.
Serendipity stuck with me, however, and in April of 2016 a chance conversation with another old friend alerted me to the Dollar Babies program. Although I was too cautious to apply immediately, things had changed somewhat by the following November. While uploading some promotional video I shot in Barkerville one afternoon with my colleague (and full-time Barkerville actor) JP Winslow, I started to think that I had found the right fellow to play Sherlock in my fantasy version of The Doctor’s Case. I decided to try and turn fantasy into reality by applying to the Dollar Babies program that very day. I submitted my idea, received word that it would take four to eight weeks for a response, and resolved to wait a month or two before seriously considering what would happen if King’s team agreed to let me move forward. You can imagine my surprise, then, when I received a confirmation email only three days later.

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 an internet/dvd release would be possible?

James Douglas: While it’s too bad that more people won’t be able to see The Doctor’s Case right away (or, perhaps ever) it is completely understandable. Stephen King has been extremely generous with his work by simply allowing films like The Doctor’s Case to get made, but that charity has to have limits. The idea behind the Dollar Babies program is to provide emerging filmmakers an opportunity to work with some fabulous source material, and hopefully learn enough along the way to create something that everyone involved – including Mr. King – can be proud of. We shouldn’t expect the right to widely distribute the resulting film, however, if doing so would negatively impact the author’s ability to profit from granting the exclusive license of its source material to someone else. If The Doctor’s Case is good enough to prompt discussion of further distribution, then of course we would be happy to have that discussion. As a first-time filmmaker, my sincere desire is to make a great movie that lots of people get a chance to see. If, however, we are simply allowed to show it at festivals and some not-for-profit public screenings, and use it as something to show privately as a means of perhaps securing support for some other project, then I am perfectly happy with that. Diehard fans will find a way to get to a screening, I hope… and knowing that Stephen King will likely watch the first film I ever made is a pretty good feeling all on its own.

SKSM: Where will the premiere be? Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?

James Douglas: We’ve made a “Hail Mary” submission to the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, for consideration in the International Feature competition (almost everyone involved with The Doctor’s Case is Canadian). It’s a long shot, we know, but we are also very proud of what we’ve managed to accomplish on an extremely limited budget, and figure we might as well shoot for the stars. If we do get selected for Sundance, then our world premiere will be in Utah in January of 2018. Once way or the other, we plan to submit to a slew of other festivals over the next year or so, and will hopefully be able to host complimentary screenings of our own in several locations throughout North America.

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

James Douglas: I am a huge Stephen King fan. I haven’t read everything he’s ever written, but I’ve read a lot of it, and am always hungry for more. I love the horror genre in general, but there is something about the way King writes – regardless of genre – that I find incredibly compelling. I would choose to read a Stephen King book over almost any other book in my collection (and I have an English Lit degree!). That probably says as much about me as it does the quality of King’s writing, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. King’s non-fiction writing about writing is also some of the best instruction on the creative process I have ever encountered, and his candid conversation with the “constant reader” has been a source of storytelling inspiration to me over the years.
My favourite novels are IT, The Stand, The Shining, Salem’s Lot, Lisey’s Story, and The Eyes of the Dragon (not a complete list, and not necessarily in that order). As much as I love the novels though (and I do love the novels) I believe King’s short stories are where his superpowers show no bounds.

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?

James Douglas: Although it would be presumptuous of me to have concrete plans to make more Stephen King movies, I would jump at the chance to do so. I could probably be happy for the rest of my life making nothing but Stephen King movies. Seriously. If I had to pick just one, and the budget was sufficient to do it properly, then I would have to say my dream project would be an adaptation of his 1987 novel, The Eyes of the Dragon.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

James Douglas: We’re still working through post-production on The Doctor’s Case, so other than a few live stage shows I’ve presented in Victoria, BC this month and my daily work at Barkerville, I’ve been pretty focused on that. There are a couple of other projects bubbling away in the background, and once we’ve completed The Doctor’s Case I look forward to some development time on those. One of the projects is a proposed reboot of a classic but long-forgotten science fiction television series that deserves the kind of reimagining Battlestar Galactica enjoyed several years ago, and I would love to be part of the team that brings it back to the small screen. I hope I can tell you more about it some other time.

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

James Douglas: I have a tattoo of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s lightsaber on my right forearm, with an invisible blade that “ignites” under black light thanks to UV reflecting ink. The blade travels up my arm, through a second tattoo of Darth Vader’s helmet on my right shoulder, and Vader’s skull glows through his mask. I am a total geek.

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

James Douglas: Don’t panic. Learn from everyone. Don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t know something, and don’t feel ashamed to ask advice from someone who does.

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

James Douglas: If there are indeed fans of my work out there, then thank you. Thank you for taking the time to have a look at what we’re doing, and for supporting our efforts. I hope I will have lots of opportunities to hold your interest. And I really hope you get to see The Doctor’s Case.

SKSM: Would you like to add something?

James Douglas: I just want to say what a pleasure it’s been to meet you. I’ve enjoyed getting to know so many people through this Dollar Babies process, and the world of Stephen King fandom that has opened up to me over the past year has been welcoming and intensely interesting. I feel very honoured to be interviewed about The Doctor’s Case, and look forward to reading about and seeing as many fellow Dollar Babies as I can in the years to come.

He is the composer of Dave Brock’s The Woman In The Room Film.

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

Stephen Kaminski: I have been composing and performing since I was only 12 years old. All through high school I played saxophone in a band with my brother until attending Berklee College of Music. I graduated with a degree in film scoring and have been composing music for short films, television, games and advertising ever since.

SKSM: How did you become involved with The woman in the room?

Stephen Kaminski: I first met director David Brock when he was a graduate student in Ohio. I was offering my services as a composer to film students, mostly to stay in practice as well as help students with there grad school film projects. We worked on his rendition of Stephen King’s The Road Virus Heads North. It was such a good working experience that we always stayed in touch. David contacted me once The Woman In The Room came to be. I was thrilled to be able to compose creepy music again and work once more with David.

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

Stephen Kaminski: I was blessed with good teachers growing up. In middle school I wanted to try writing a song for my 7th grade jazz band. My teacher encouraged me to write it for the whole band and then he played through it at a rehearsal. It sounded good enough for my teacher to include my song in the next jazz band concert. One concert was for my class peers. When the song had finished, the applause was so fantastic that I can hear it still today. I was hooked. I never stopped composing.

SKSM: How did you get started to wrote about thirty minutes of original music for The woman in the room?

Stephen Kaminski: I had an initial meeting with David Brock and Roger Echols to “spot” the film and talk about the music. They gave me a starting point by giving me a sample piece of music of mostly piano with a cello as a lead instrument. After that it was a matter of talking through where the music should go, how the music needed to reflect the emotion and situations, and I got to work. For me, it’s all about the pallet of instrumentation. An English Horn for instance inherently has a haunting sound and yet can be very mournful. I went about gathering the right pallet of instruments and started composing the themes.

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

Stephen Kaminski: I am still in contact with David and Roger and we hope to work again very soon.

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

Stephen Kaminski: Our music spotting meeting was such a great meeting. We all seemed to be reading each others thoughts and it was pretty clear we were all on the same page from day one. In this business, it is so rare to find directors and producers that give composers the freedom to compose without too much alternate direction.

SKSM: After The woman in the room did you write more music? If so what?

Stephen Kaminski: I am always composing. I recently released a CD of orchestral “Western” themes for the Premier Production Music Library. I also produced a CD by a talented artist by the name of Bryan Hansen. His latest CD is called “When You Stop Pulling Back” and I got to not only arrange the strings and horns, but I got to mix the CD as well.

SKSM: What are you working nowadays?

Stephen Kaminski: I arranged all the on-screen band music for Jack Black’s new film coming out soon on Netflix. The movie is called “The Polka King”. The film is based on a true story and Jack plays my friend Jan Lewan in the film. I was Jan’s music director in real life. The film producers contacted me to work on the soundtrack and I got to spend two days in the recording studio with Jack Black. It was such a thrill! Check out the movie!

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

Stephen Kaminski: My favorites are the less creepy stories like The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. Two of my all-time favorite movies.

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

Stephen Kaminski: I was one of a dozen composers who wrote the score to the FOX animated series The Shaman King. Writing for a cartoon was probably the most difficult composing I have ever had to do. And one of Jan Lewan’s CDs back in the 90’s was nominated for a Grammy award that I wrote and produced.

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?

Stephen Kaminski: I would love to hear comments on my music score from people after they have watched The Woman In The Room. Feel free to email me at Stephen@StephenKaminskiMusic.com

SKSM: Do you like something to add?

Stephen Kaminski: Thank you so much for your interest and for asking these great questions! Enjoy the film and the music!

 

She played in Guillaume Heulard & Stéphane Valette’s Dollar Baby The Things They Left Behind as Janice.

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

Aza Declercq: I am a professional actress and since 2015 also a filmmaker. I am currently working on my third short film “Orfanello”, a tv serie “Maffia Princess” and my first feature “Sweet dreams, my love”. All of them I wrote, I direct and I play the lead role. Quite a job but fun. I always compare myself with a border collie : when I don’t have a task I get annoyed and bored. I love new challenges and to work hard.

SKSM: How did you become involved in The things they left behind Dollar Baby film?

Aza Declercq: I found the casting notice on cinéaste.org and wrote to the directors Guillaume Heulard and Stéphane Vallet. They responded very short after my letter. They sent me the script and I immediately loved the story. I knew the part of Janice was “my” part. What a great character to play! And having the luxury to act with the great actor Paul Bandey was quite a gift.

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

Aza Declercq: The fact that it is not only kind of a creepy story, but it is a very sad story as well. There are so many layers in there. When watching the film you won’t be “thinking about the dishes” .. (I love this quote from Mae West : “Never let the audience think about the dishes).

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

Aza Declercq: Yes, I auditioned via a self taped video. Immediately I loved to play the part of Janice, it’s a very vulnerable character. The sadness and the way she is so lost because of her memories of her dead husband, about the last time she saw her husband.. It’s a gift to play such kind of roles. I love to play dramatic roles, and for this one, I had to cry a lot. Frankly, I have the capability in my acting technique to cry easily, so that was a plus for Guillaume and Stéphane to cast me for this part.

SKSM: You worked with Guillaume Heulard and Stéphane Valette on this film, how was that?

Aza Declercq: They are great and talented young directors. I liked working with them.. It’s always nice when there’s a good communication between an actor and a director, and they handle their cast and crew in a very honest and respectful way, with enough space for some fun on the set. They took great care of me when we were shooting this film in Paris.

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

Aza Declercq: After the runner had picked me up at my hotel in Paris we drove to the house of the actor Paul Bandey and me and Paul immediately had a connection. I remember me and Paul sitting outside on the terrace of the shooting location, chatting, smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee.. and I had so much fun with Paul, he told me some great stories about some well known actors in the business.. but I guess they are a bit too private to tell you (haha).

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

Aza Declercq: Through Facebook I still follow Guillaume Heulard and Stéphane Vallet. Paul Bandey and I often respond to each others posts. Three years ago, “The things they left behind” was nominated for the filmfestival “Courts Devant” in Paris, and Paul and I hang out all night and had (lots) of drinks in Paris. Paris will never be the same again. We had so much fun. A year later we met up for a drink after I had an audition in Paris and I would love to see him again..even better : work with him again.

SKSM: What are you working nowadays?

Aza Declercq: I recently played the part of MARIA in the feature film PATSER (GANGSTA), a film directed by the well known directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (the makers of “BLACK) and I’m working on my third short film “Orfanello”, a tv series “Maffia Princess” and my first feature “Sweet dreams, my love”. All of them I direct, I wrote the scenario and I’m acting in them as well. Challenging ! The good thing is, you can play the roles you have always wanted to play. And I still hope I can play more parts worldwide and work with great directors. I love playing abroad as I love to travel and meet new people. I also find it, when I’m working in foreign countries, there’s a lot of respect towards me (by production, directors, crew,..)

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

Aza Declercq: Stephen King is a genius! Although I am actually easily scared when watching horror films, I am a big fan of “Carrie”, “The Shining”, “Dolores Clairborne”, “Christine”, “The Green mile”,…
I also read some books of Stephen King. The latest book I read was “The Gunslinger”. Stephen King is a master : his writing is so colorful.. immediately you get sucked in the story… You can almost feel and smell the characters he describes, the settings, the moods,…When I was younger I even read “Pet Sematary”.. so scary !

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

Aza Declercq: A lot of people see me as “the glamourous” type, and I often get casted in these kind of roles, but deep inside I can be a bit of a tomboy : I love fast cars, I love to work with my bare hands, to construct things and I am addicted to horse riding. Years ago, I started out to ride “English style”, but for almost three years now, I have a new great teacher who taught me “Western-riding”. Makes me feel like a cowgirl.. I love that “yeeehaa”-feeling..Horse riding is pure freedom. I would love to play the role of a princess, but one that can be quite a rebel. I also love costume dramas and film noir.. Or a part where I could play a distinguished woman while riding a horse and holding a gun (laughs).
I guess there’s a lot in me, on one hand I am very vulnerable but I’m also a strong woman.. I never give up. I love to have fun and party but when it comes to my profession, I am extremely disciplined.

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?

Aza Declercq: Well.. you know where to find me when you’re searching for that “rebel princess” actress.

 

Title: In the deathroom (2017) Bandera de Canadá
Runtime: 12′
Director: Ashley Good
Script: Ashley Good
Cast: Alex Biddiscombe, Ross Ogilvie, Mariah Dupuy, Jennifer Smythe, Trent Peek, Anselm Meyer, Cory Rivard
Trailer
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Title: Zornit (?) Bandera de Brasil
Runtime: 26′
Director: Marcello Trigo
Script: Marcello Trigo
Cast: Carlinhos Duarte, Surete Martins, Emilia Marques
Trailer
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