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He is the filmmaker of One for the Road Dollar Baby film.

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

Jacob Sanders: My name is Jacob Sanders, but I work professionally as Jacob Norlin. I was born in Manitowoc Wisconsin I am the son of music educator Paul Sanders and theatrical actress and director Edie Norlin. I lived around theater my whole life. My mother has been acting since she was a child and, when we relocated to Ohio, she acted semi-professionally in Columbus. My mother and her side of the family are big movie buffs covering virtually the history of American cinema. Knowing the names of actors, directors and producers in my parent’s house is a form of currency. I attended the Ohio State University and graduated with B.A. in Film Studies.

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

Jacob Sanders: When I was in my senior year of high school I opted to take a “study hall’ class which was not actually a class but a supervised period where one could work on assignments from another class. The teacher for the period, in an unusual decision, allowed students to play movies they brought from home during class. In retrospect it was quite unusual and surprising she got away with it. It was in this class that I realized all of the people involved in the production process and I began to see filmmaking as the industry it is.

I attended the Ohio State University and graduated with a B.A. in Film Studies. Unfortunately, at the time, OSU did not have a competitive film production program. Film Studies is a discipline where you watch and study movies and then write essays about them.

What I learned about actually making movies I learned from a modest but present filmmaking/commercial production industry in Columbus Ohio. In virtually every major city in the United States there are at least a few working professionals in the film/video industry. These communities are often small and cliquish. When a major motion picture roles into town for one reason or another they’re the ones who get the call before anyone even knows its happened.

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

Jacob Sanders: Preproduction for One for the Road lasted a long time. I wrote it back in 2013 and it wasn’t shot until 2016. It was my second short film and my first short to be shot on a digital camera. We shot it with the RED Scarlet. I wanted to be accurate to the short story and it was important for me to shoot while there was snow on the ground. I raised money mostly from my family through Indiegogo and later partnered with Fractured Atlas. Fractured Atlas is a non-profit organization that accepts artistic projects under its umbrella which allow the project to be tax-exempt and those who contribute to it financially can deduct the money they gave from their taxes.

One for the Road was an ambitious project. It may have been beyond my abilities at the time to handles, but it excited me. Attempting to recreate a snowstorm on camera was no easy feat. Not only did we shoot at night in freezing temperatures but I also set up fans blowing potato flakes at the actors. I approached the short from a serious film perspective. I spent an entire night shooting the dialogue inside the car. That car was loaded up on a trailer and pulled up and down a rural cul-de-sac all night. I even hired a police officer to be present so we could do that legally. Because we shot at night and out in a rural area it wasn’t obvious the car was raised about 3 feet higher than it would be if it was on the ground. In professional films they use a process trailer which is a special car trailer that is much lower to the ground than a regular car trailer. I don’t think process trailers are street legal. We made do with what we had.

One for the Road was virtually entirely storyboarded long before we ever shot it. I had a strong vision for what I wanted and was fortunate to get what I wanted most of the time. We shot in an historic bar in London Ohio. The bar sits on an historically significant highway called the National Road. The National Road was built in the early 1800’s and several presidents used the road as well as stayed at the site of this particular bar that once served as a hotel.

The process of finding actors for the short was a long process that lasted over a couple years. I had at least one actor who was onboard from when I first asked him. The short had two different cinematographers who never actually met during production. All post-production was handled by me. The short cost about $9,000 USD.

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

Jacob Sanders: I selected One for the Road because it was an earlier Stephen King short story, from his Night shift collection. Although King has written short stories his entire career their tone changes as he ages. King’s earlier shorts fit more decidedly into a genre (often horror). I felt if I was going to adapt a King short story it better have something explicity supernatural in it.

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?

Jacob Sanders: During college I took a screenwriting class and it was mentioned a couple times by students and the instructor that King offered the rights to some of his stories for one dollar.

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

Jacob Sanders: When I finished shooting and was working in post I realized I needed footage of a snowstorm. I found a man’s website in Rhode Island who had shot exactly what I was looking for. He set up a large green screen outside and shot a snowstorm falling in front of it. However, I couldn’t afford what he was charging for the stock footage. So I reached out to him and explained what I was doing. He responded that he was a Stephen King fan and because I was shooting a Stephen King short he gave me access to his footage for free. I am indebted to him for this contribution.

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?

Jacob Sanders: After I made the short it has come to bother me a lot that the rest of the world can’t see it. Before I released One for the Road I found another production of it that the filmmaker had allowed to be completed online on IMDB.com. I reached out to King’s rep to see if something had changed and if I could put my entire short online. I was told in no uncertain terms that that was forbidden.

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

Jacob Sanders: The greatest reception of One for the Road came from Anthony Northrup. I was somewhat surprised to learn, after I finished the short, how little many people knew about King and his work. It felt as though some people I showed the short to had no idea what to expect. Almost like they had never heard of King, but of course they had. Anthony is a true King fan and he immediately appreciated the level of seriousness I took with the project. I wish that all King fans could see it because it’s really for them.

No matter how hard you work on something, people will have their opinions. It is by no means perfect, but I am proud of it. Of all the adaptations I’ve seen of One for the Road it seems pretty good.

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

Jacob Sanders: It screened at the Nightmare Film Festival in Columbus Ohio which has become an exciting rising film festival in the horror scene.

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

Jacob Sanders: Although I’ve read some of King I wouldn’t call myself a King fan in the way more serious fans are. I have a great deal of respect for him and I read articles about him frequently, but I don’t read his new books when they come out.

My personal favorite King story is The Langoliers in Four Past Midnight.

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)?

Jacob Sanders: Unfortunately, I had no contact with King. I did, as per the agreement, send him a copy of the short. I have no idea if he watched 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?

Jacob Sanders: I have no desire to shoot another dollar baby. Although I have great respect for King and his stories, I’d much rather shoot something that I could release online.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Jacob Sanders: I live in Nashville Tennessee and work at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. After One for the Road I shot a speculative T.V. pilot called Players about a dysfunctional community theater in middle America. I now work in Theater and Performing Arts administration.

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

Jacob Sanders: I don’t think there’s anything particularly surprising about me or my life.

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

Jacob Sanders: I really appreciate your interest and the questions. I would love to share this short with your readers because it is for them. The fans of King the world over deserve to see it because it is they who can really appreciate it.

 

He is the Composer of Massimo Volta‘s Nona Dollar Baby film.

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

Henoel Grech: My name is Henoel and I’m a musician/composer of soundtracks, mostly for films and commercials.

SKSM: How did you become involved with Nona?

Henoel Grech: Nona started from an idea of a director good friend of mine, Massimo Volta, with whom I already worked in the past in advertisement. Since we have a lot of affinity and we worked always with pleasure he involved me in this project for the very beginning. We know each other very well and he kenw I was the right person for an unique project like this one!

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

Henoel Grech: I have been making music for as long as I can remember, from my childhood. I had a band for years when I was in my teens. We used to play a very different kind of music compared to what I do today: progressive metal. We even managed to make an album, produced by a label from Rome and we did a tour around Europe. After a few years I begun a soloist career and I had my first collaboration with Italian state television, RAI. But the real turning point has been my hymn for the Turin Winter Olympics in 2006.

SKSM: How did you get started to wrote the Soundtrack for Nona?

Henoel Grech: First of all I read Stephen King’s short story and after Massimo, the director, started to show me pre-edits of the scenes as long as he was filming. After, as I usually do, I begun to create my music trusting my imagination and feelings, and we listened together at those early concepts with the director, usually enjoing a glass of good whiskey. I like very much this process since from those meetings I can shape better my ideas and find new inspirations. After that I seclude myself in my studio and, through a process of interiorization, I shape my ideas and create my music.

SKSM: Is this your most challenging audio so far?

Henoel Grech: I wouldn’t say it has been difficult. Different for sure, since it was my first time into a genere so peculiar like the horror/thriller. I worked in very different fields (sports, advertisement, institutionals…) and I have been very excited to be able to test myself in a world completely new for me.

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

Henoel Grech: I remeber how surprised the director was when he discovere that for a 40 minutes film I created almost 2 hours of music. I was so excited and inspired that in less then 10 days I have been able to create a specific music for every single scene, with variations: therefore a lot of those music is still unpublished.

SKSM: After Nona did you write more music? If so what?

Henoel Grech: I made some music for a Pupi Avati film and for many tv commercials. I’m also working to a personal project in collaboration with Thales Alenia Space and ESA, the European Space Agency, about a very important mission: ExoMars 2022.

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

Henoel Grech: I read some of his books and I love his ability to shape absolutely believable characters, he has a very unique talent in this!

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

Henoel Grech: I love animals, mostly small dogs. I’m the proud “father” of 6 chihuahuas!

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

Henoel Grech: Be patient and never give up. Listen to a lot of different music but stay faithful to yourself trusting your inspiratin and feelings.

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?

Henoel Grech:

Stephen King Dollar Baby: The Book coming Spring 2021! Anthony Northrup (the author) has been doing Dollar Baby interview/film reviews since 2013 and hosted two Stephen King Dollar Baby Film fests since then.

The first section of the book is full of contributor essays, fun facts, and a lot of surprises with an introduction by Stephen Spignesi and Preface by Richard Chizmar, art by Glenn Chadbourne, and graphic book cover design by Paul Michael Kane. Here are all 55 Dollar Babies who made it in the book!

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

The second section of the book will be the interviews/reviews and other features. Here is the final list of contribuitors!

James Cole, Andrew J. Rausch, David Tocher, Hans-aka Lilja, Kevin Quigley, Tommy McLoughlin, Bryan Higby, Óscar Garrido, Robin Furth, Tonya Ivey, Peter Holland, James Douglas, Billy Hanson, Jay Holben, Nicole Jones-Dion, Tina Rooker, Hans von Wirth, Amber Pace, Brooklyn Ann, Nathan Monsour, Nick Kaufman, Curt Destler, Karen Steinley Beaudrie, Frank Lewis, Tina Navarro, Amy Baker, Sara Kinney, Terri Nielsen, LaWanda Odom, Monica Wooddall, Tifaine L Lafrance, Greg Buchner.

She is the Producer of Hendrik HarmsAll That You Love Will Be Carried Away Dollar Baby film.

SKSM: May you introduce yourself to our readers?

Chloe Brown: Hi, I’m Chloe Brown and I’m a producer proudly from the Midlands, UK.

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

Chloe Brown: I actually come from a background in art department. I’ve wanted to work in film since I was a young teenager, so I went to Bournemouth Film School at 18 and ended up training primarily in production design, with some roles in production. When I graduated I worked on several indie films and a television series in various art departments but I felt like I was missing being involved in the parts of the filmmaking process and decided to go back to production. All That You Love Will Be Carried Away was my debut as a producer.

SKSM: How did you become involved in ‘All That You Love Will be Carried Away‘ Dollar Baby film?

Chloe Brown: I knew Hendrik through our art director and poster designer, Kirstie Gregory, and he had adapted the script already when he approached me about collaborating on this project.

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

Chloe Brown: Well, due to budget constraints I actually ended up doing more roles than just producing. I was also in the art department and 1st assistant director which was incredibly stressful at times as these are all such preproduction-heavy roles. Everyone thought I was mad for being 1st AD when I was already producer but in some ways they meshed really well as dual roles. I also think a lot of the public don’t realise what producers do, and we aren’t just investors and people to fill out paperwork. We actually play a pivotal role in the narrative and creative development of the overall project.

SKSM: What was it like to work with Hendrik Harms on this film?

Chloe Brown: It was honestly great. Obviously we clashed sometimes but I think we work really well as a creative team. We are more often than not on the same page about the vision for the overall project. There’s a lot of trust there, which is imperative to a good director-producer relationship, and I feel very lucky to have found a solid collaborator so early in my career. We have since released another short film, Wild Hunt, and are developing several other projects together. We are also business partners in a non-profit film initiative which aims to inspire underrepresented groups to get into film.

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

Chloe Brown: There were so many. The cast and crew honestly had the best time shooting this, we really gelled as a team. Even at 2am in a forest, the actors were dancing or when we were all crammed into the hottest hotel room of all time, our spirits didn’t drop. I feel really strongly about workspaces being inclusive, welcoming and fun. Film sets can be incredibly stressful but I pride myself on trying to create a positive and memorable experience for everyone we employ on our shoots. A personal highlight for me were the laughs I shared with director of photography, Elliot Wallis, and gaffer, Jamie Abel, during the bathroom scenes.

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

Chloe Brown: Absolutely, I’ve had a bit of a thing for horror for some years now. I’m endlessly fascinated by the ways in which horror can encapsulate societal fears. I adore Carrie because it explores feminine themes I feel strongly about as well as being incredibly creepy. And I love body horror in films.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Chloe Brown: I’m working on my first documentary at the moment, actually. We were supposed to shoot the rest of the interviews last month but the coronavirus situation has halted that for the time being. I’m also in development on several other film projects including a gritty, social realist piece, a coming-of-age story exploring Britpop culture and a satirical, feminist period drama – quite a variety. Also our non-profit organisation with Hendrik as I mentioned earlier, and Worcester Film Festival. Hendrik and I are also making Isolation Shorts to raise money for NHS Charities Together. Check out the Harms Way Studios Youtube Channel to get involved!

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

Chloe Brown: I’d like to draw attention to the many injustices going on in the world right now. We are still fighting very hard for equality and a lot of that can be influenced by the media, which is why I feel so strongly about increasing representation for the LGBTQIA+ community, women, non-cisgendered people, non-white people, disabled people and those from a poorer socio-economic background. To that end, I encourage anyone from any of these backgrounds who are drawn to the film industry to please get involved! The industry is improving, but still sadly lacking in this area and I promise you the arts are for everyone. If you’d like to talk about getting into film, bounce ideas or get involved in future projects please feel free to get in touch!

 

She is the Composer of Joshua Lozano‘s 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?

Anessa Hernandez: My name is Annessa Hernandez! Currently, I am a senior music major at Schreiner University. I started playing the piano at age 8 and been doing it ever since. I went through various phases of thinking that music wasn’t for me (even though I was still in piano clases) but eventually in high school, I realized this is where I needed to be and this is what I needed to be doing. Besides music, I enjoy getting to cosplay! Mostly as Star Wars characters!

SKSM: How did you become involved with Rest Stop?

Anessa Hernandez: I became involved with Rest Stop through our director, Joshua. I had just gotten a job at a local movie theatre by my house and we had an orientation day. When we were going around the room introducing ourselves, Joshua stated he was a filmmaker. Being an aspiring film composer, I immedietly approached him saying that if he ever needed help with the score for any of his films, to let me know! He said he was working on a new movie and might need help with the music. He then emailed me the script for Rest Stop that same night!

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

Anessa Hernandez: I would say I got started as a composer my freshman year of college. Thats when I realized I wanted to make my own music. “Performing is cool” I thought, but I began to venture into the possibility of writing and making my own music because of how much it helped/helps me. I would think that “if it helped me this much, maybe  I could in return help others with it.”

SKSM: How did you get started to wrote the Soundtrack for Rest Stop?

Anessa Hernandez: I first read the script. After that I read it again with my keyboard in front of me. I would mess with the different sounds and see which one fit the mood. I just went on from there!

SKSM: Is this your most challenging audio so far?

Anessa Hernandez: I wouldn’t say it’s the most challenging but it definetly had its moments. I would struggle to see if this tune really fit a certain mood or was I using the right instrumentation.

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

Anessa Hernandez: I would say the most special moment I had, was when the music for the montage scene was finally done. Everything seemed to fit together great! I didn’t think I was capable of doing that, especially with my first film but when I heard it all together for the first time, I was pretty shocked (in a good way).

SKSM: After Rest Stop did you write more music? If so what?

Anessa Hernandez: I sure have! I wrote a trio for brass instruments, some themes for some other future film projects, and will be starting on a euphonium lyrical solo. In between this I had to write some Singer/songwriter type of songs.

SKSM: What are you working nowadays?

Anessa Hernandez: Now, I am currently out of a job, but still work at the same movie theatre when I come back into town. I’m also a music work-study at my school. In between school and work, I always try and make time to write music.

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

Anessa Hernandez: I most certainly am! I love IT and Carrie and Christine, the list goes on!

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

Anessa Hernandez: That I was set to go into a part-time cosmetology school in high school because I wanted to do stage make-up for musical theatre.

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

Anessa Hernandez: To anyone who wants to be musicians, I would say to believe in yourself and your work. You are unique and so are the gifts and talents you’ve been given. You have them for a reason! Don’t be afraid to express yourself and try something new! Remember that it’s never too late to start. I thought I was so late to the composing área, but I wasn’t. When it comes to music, you can start anywhere, you just have to take that first step!

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?

Anessa Hernandez: Of course! I totally enjoyed it Oscar! I just want to say thank you so much for your support. It means more to us than you could ever know!

SKSM: Do you like something to add?

Anessa Hernandez: To take care and be safe!

He is the Cinematographer of Joshua Lozano‘s 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?

Luis Moreno: My name is Luis Moreno Ramirez, I’m from the City of Juarez, Mexico and I have always had a fascination for storytelling! Apart from considering myself a director of photography, I also deem myself an editor, as well as a director, and on good days, a writer too!

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

Luis Moreno: I can’t identify the point in my life when I decided I wanted to become a cinematographer, instead it just feels like something I’ve been doing for as long as I’ve been a filmmaker. Like with many aspiring artists, my earlier work consisted of me directing, shooting and editing whatever I was creating. So as I’ve continued to explore the different aspects that compose a film, I have also become increasingly comfortable with expressing my personal style through various cinematic tools.

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

Luis Moreno: The director and I will discuss the screenplay very early into the pre-production process of the film. We’ll discuss how to properly translate aspects of the script onto the screen, as well how to give the photography a unique aesthetic that also remains faithful to the tone and direction of the movie.

SKSM: You worked with Joshua Lozano on this film, what do you think the relationship between a director and a dp should be?

Luis Moreno: I believe the relationship between the director and cinematographer should be one of trust! Film sets can often be hectic, so it is very important to have someone by your side whose artistic direction you trust.

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

Luis Moreno: I definitely think that it has been the most challenging movie Josh and I have ever set out to make. Most of the issues arose from our inexperience as independent filmmakers, but because of it we completed the movie having learned important lessons about the process that is filmmaking.

SKSM: When you’re going to shoot, what are your favorite lenses? formats?

Luis Moreno: Due to my limited sources I haven’t been able to experiment much with different lenses! However, because of Rest Stop I was able to shoot with a Nikkor 18-300mm lens which I really liked because of its versatility. In terms of aspect ratios, I’ll often work with whatever the director may suggest, and as for my own projects, I’ll choose according to what I believe is fitting for the overall film. For instance, because of my upcoming project I’ve grown an interest in variants of the 4:3 aspect ratio.

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

Luis Moreno: A moment that stands out to me from production was when crew and cast members decided to go to a diner after an exhausting, night shoot. We had rigorously prepared for the scene and were quite nervous approaching it, so celebrating after a successful night of filming was almost necessary! We all decided to stay up a couple more hours after eating and drove up to high terrain to watch the sunrise as we listened to music! Overall, it was a wonderful experience.

SKSM: Who are some of your influences (favorite dps/films)?

Luis Moreno: For Rest Stop, Josh and I thought the movie would benefit from Roger Deakins’ cinematography in “No Country for Old Men” and “Sicario” so we strived to portray a level of realism and grittiness within the aesthetic of the movie. Personally, my influences vary depending on what sort of film I may be making.

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

Luis Moreno: I haven’t had the chance to dive deep into his body of work, although I recognize the immense amount of influence his writing has had on film and literature. I have enjoyed most mainstream adaptations of his work though, such as classics like Brian de Palma’s “Carrie”, Frank Darabont’s “The Shawshank Redemption” or recent adaptations like Mike Flanagan’s “Doctor Sleep”

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Luis Moreno: I’m currently in the pre-production phase for my upcoming film “Thelem”, which I’m very excited for as it will be my return to the director’s chair! In preparation for the upcoming project I’ve made an effort to study films that have inspired aspects of the movie, such as Paweł Pawlikowski’s “Ida” and Denis Villeneuve’s “Arrival”.

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

Luis Moreno: I’ve gotten many comments of people thinking I’m older than I actually am!

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

Luis Moreno: Of course, I really appreciate the opportunity! I want to thank every single person that has supported Rest Stop, the cast and crew highly appreciate the words of encouragement we have received from you all.

 

He is the filmmaker of 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?

Joshua Lozano: My name is Joshua Gasca Lozano, a 21 year old man in El Paso, Texas.  I love writing, films, and YouTube video editing and creation. Any sort of writing, I try to do it. Especially films and comics!

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

Joshua Lozano: I remember it vividly: I had always wanted to be involved in filmmaking, but at a young age, it was as an actor. Seeing Mark Hamill, Jim Carrey, and Jackie Chan just gave me this passion of wanting to be in the movies. Then one day when I was 12, I was sick as a dog, and my folks gave me some VHS tapes to watch while I stayed in bed.  A lot of them were movies I had already watched but hadn’t seen in years (I.E: Shanghai Noon, Toy Story, The Mask), but there was one movie that they let me watch that I was always curious about. It was Pulp Fiction. After the credits rolled and seeing that one man wrote and directed the whole thing — it was mindblowing! One man basically came up with this whole scenario, all these characters? It was absolutely game-changing for me, and I had already had good feedback on my writing up until that point through school. So I started writing screenplays and learning as much as I could about filmmaking, and… here we are!

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?

Joshua Lozano: Oh man, how much time do you got? Basically, what happened was I was involved with a local production company in town. I had made a film with them, but I lamented the fact that there were so many issues all throughout production for it that I started to worry about my future. While I was still there, I found out about the Dollar Babies, and when I got the rights, I bought Just After Sunset and learned the story from beginning to end, even going so far as to write it down in a separate text document to send it to my crew.  I got the rights back in October of 2018, and things just took off from there.

It was an absolute nightmare, from start to finish. When I started pre-production, I left the production company, but then my mom dislocated her ankle. I ended up taking two jobs while I was trying (and failing) to get pre-production finished so we could start filming. Then I had to quit them because it was overwhelming, and the other job almost got me killed. I ended up working at a movie theater where I met my composer Annessa Hernandez, which had so many perks, but it barely paid anything. Meanwhile, the actor we originally got for the main role, he did not have a good schedule for what we were aiming for. Up until the 11th hour, we were recasting and casting random roles, and still hadn’t secured locations. Then on August 4th, I was kicked out by my parents, and had to end up staying with my girlfriend and her dad. So while I was set to start shooting a mere five or so days after the fact, I was also looking for a fulltime job.

We started filming in August, and didn’t finish filming until October. My director of photography, Luis Moreno Ramirez, and my producer, Adam Lopez, were such troopers for holding up fort the way they did. There were certainly points where we came to blows, mostly because with my situation, I felt disconnected from the whole project and just had to sink or swim. But with Adam putting up over $3,000 for this film, it felt like I needed to power through — someone wouldn’t invest this much into an idea I had unless they believed in me, right?

It was a race against time, because I found out Rest Stop was purchased by Alex Perry Ross to be turned into a feature, and that meant there would be no extensions for production.  In addition to that, on September, our actor had school and a job, so shooting slowed to a crawl! I was freaking out every second, and the lowest point was shooting a scene at a bar, and we had to deal with a heckling bar patron who was harassing our actress. It felt like every victory was cut-short, and we had very little time.

Pre, pro, and post production done in ONE year.  Comparatively, it was more like 8 months. It was absolutely laborious, but we finally got it done… by some miracle, we were able to get it done!

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

Joshua Lozano: You know… it’s interesting, when I looked at the whole list of available stories to adapt, I had to tell myself to hold off and look at the stories carefully. That said, when I saw Rest Stop’s title, it already intrigued me — it was as if the title was calling to me, and very vivid images started entering my mind. Then I looked into what the story was, and I was completely in love with the storytelling potential. I didn’t see a horror movie, but the idea of a character — an author, even — being torn apart and losing every sense of his identity until he just kinda falls into his pseudonym through dark, violent thoughts, it showed me that there’s a real character study here that was just so damn fun and interesting to get into! As a writer myself, it made me excited to work on a story that shows how emotional this can be. You know, there’s so many discussions about method actors and how they carry their characters with them, but writers carry the entire story with them, the tone and the dialogue and characters, and it can really mentally get to you. I wanted to explore that through this.

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?

Joshua Lozano: Funnily enough, I found out about it from my Grandma. Before things went south, she always sent me articles to help me out with my filmmaking. A few years ago, she sent me an article about King, and I just kinda forgot about it until I thought about it and realized “Well… this really could help me out! This could be a lot of fun!”

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

Joshua Lozano: There was actually one really special moment that I had on set with the crew and the actors. It was the second to last day in August we were shooting, and we were shooting the climactic scene in the rest stop bathroom. This was the biggest thing in the whole film — it was basically the whole of the story written by King! We went to a park bathroom nearby my parent’s house, and my producer Adam Lopez got up and removed the fluorescent lights so that we could light the set as dingy as I wanted it to. We shot from 9 PM, I believe, all the way until 1PM, and we managed to get every single set-up I wanted in that area. Everyone went home except for me, my cinematographer Luis, my make-up artists Adilene Villarreal, and one of the actors there, Paola Dubrule. Rather than go home, we were all still really jazzed up and decided to go to Ihop and get some food in our system. We stayed in that restaurant for… god — it must’ve been hours? We stayed there until the clouds started to brighten, and either Luis or Paola must’ve had the bright idea to go somewhere to watch the sunrise.  So we got in my truck I was borrowing, courtesy of my father-in-law, and we drove out nearby Luis’ house to a construction site, and parked by an empty lot as the sun blossomed out from the horizon. Then, Luis — he must’ve been completely hyper because of the lack of sleep — started really getting excited about getting doughnuts. So we started driving to Krispy Kreme, all the while blasting on “Young, Dumb and Broke” by Khalid.

We felt invincible… it was a huge challenge pulling everything off, and we all were able to do it. We were a family. Are a family.

We still talk about how – after the COVID-19 pandemic eases up – we should meet up and do it all again, another all night adventure/celebration.

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?

Joshua Lozano: It feels more upsetting, because we poured a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into it, and it’s something we are unbelievably proud of. When you struggle so much on a project, the ability to see how others react to it is what makes it worthwhile.

I hope against hope that we are able to show it to more people, hopefully with an internet release, given the state of the world. I’ve been trying to see what can be done.

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

Joshua Lozano: Everyone has been overwhelmingly positive with the film! We were hoping to make something in El Paso that didn’t feel like it was good for an El Paso film, but good as a film in general. The cinematography by Luis was widely praised, the music by my fantastic composer Annessa was praised all around, the acting has been a highlight for my lead star Brad Lee Thomason, who is just a dynamite talent. Even the pacing was something I was worried about, but people have enjoyed how it passes by, but feels as slow enough to rest with everyone.

If there’s one thing that people have complained about, it’s the spotty sound, which we could only do so much with given our short time to get it done. Though I wish that we could’ve done it proper, like given a second chance to do some parts right.

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

Joshua Lozano: Actually, we are! It’s won a few awards at a couple of festivals (Los Angeles Motion Picture Festival, Pinnacle Awards), and I submitted it to the Mindfield Film Festival in Alberquerque, New Mexico, the New Orleans Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Cannes Short Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, Torino Underground Film Fest, Raindance Film Festival, and once I get a little extra money, I even plan on submitting it to Sundance.

In addition to this, I also plan on submitting it to the El Paso Plaza Classic Film Festival, with the hope that the city will be open by then to have it screen in my hometown. It would be so rewarding to be able to have this film premiere here.

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

Joshua Lozano: Oh I absolutely love him! Oddly enough, I love his more experimental, non-horror stories like The Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption (which are also my favorite adaptations, to the point where Frank Darabont’s approach to his adaptations drove me through my approach to touching the King of Horror’s work). If there’s one I absolutely love though, it’s his Hard Crime stories like The Colorado Kid and Joyland, which just scratch that pulpy itch that I have.

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)?

Joshua Lozano: I never got to talk to him personally, but his assistant Margaret was really courteous to me and my questions! He hasn’t seen it yet, but I would LOVE to see what he thinks of it. I remember seeing what he said about most Dollar Babies, and it’s a challenge to see if he’ll love my stab at his work or not. If he likes it, it would be the best praise I could ever get. If he doesn’t, I’ll know I need to work harder!

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?

Joshua Lozano: Man… after the stress of this film, I don’t want to think of adapting another short story with the resources I’ve got. However, if I were given the opportunity to adapt some of his stories to the big screen… The Colorado Kid and Joyland would be dreams, just because I would love to approach those as neo-noir films — those are my bread and butter.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Joshua Lozano: Right now, I’m focusing on three things: writing screenplays for myself and local studios in town that I want to work with, working on my YouTube channel called joshboy64 that is primarily a video essay/film criticism channel, and co-hosting a series of podcasts on a website that I am a part of with a close friend of mine called “Renegade Pop Culture.”

I want to do a new short film soon, completely different from Rest Stop, that is a romance. However, things are a bit topsy turvy right now… Hopefully, we can do it soon!

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

Joshua Lozano: I used to want to be a musician! I tried to learn the guitar thanks to my grandfather, but I just didn’t have the discipline. My dream instrument I’d love to learn is the piano.

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

Joshua Lozano: Even in the face of absolute uncertainty, if you keep pushing through, with the right support at your side, you can achieve your wildest dreams. It seems easy to give up when things go wrong, but when it all comes together, it’s beautiful.  When the film finally came together and I saw the final cut, I was in tears.

If there’s any artists out there… just create, make it happen. Trust me, you will be rewarded just by it existing. It can only be done by you.

SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?

Joshua Lozano: Any agents out there… my lines are open. Warner Bros., just letting you know, I’d make a killer Blue Beetle film!

He is the filmmaker of Rest Stop Dollar Baby film.

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

Tyson Jarvis: My name is Tyson Jarvis I’m an Australian actor and producer. Studied at NIDA drama school, have acted in several Australian productions, have my hand in two production companies – Hole in One Productions and TSL films, have also worked internationally.

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

Tyson Jarvis: Well I’ve always loved movies , I remember going to the cinemas regularly from a young age with my mother. I always wanted to be an actor basically from then but I never thought it was possible. My mum helped me sign up to acting school, I was quick to get an agent and then a speaking role on tv. I wanted to improve as much as I could, between takes or scenes I wasn’t in I would sit back and watch and learn what everyone was doing. I’ve always liked the idea of having control creatively to tell the stories in film so I started hole in one productions with mike Smallwood and Archie then also started TSL films to help pump out extra content and different projects such as documentary and reality shows.

SKSM: Could you tell our readers the status of Rest Stop or some updates?

Tyson Jarvis: I successfully converted the story of rest stop into our very own screenplay with my producing and writing partner L.A knight, it’s very true and respectful to the great Stephen kings story. We have locked locations down already and we are going through the final stages of casting currently, I generally like to have a famous cameo per each one of my movies so keep a look out.

SKSM: Who would be involved into this project?

Tyson Jarvis: Well I’ll be making my directorial debut, producing and playing the lead role of John. My producing partner LA will be executive producer and the main script writer. All other crew and cast are currently under wraps.

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

Tyson Jarvis: I found it a very chilling thriller that had a lot of intensity and power. Also love the complexity of the character John dykstra, I knew I wanted to play him from the moment I read the story.

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?

Tyson Jarvis: I always premiere my movies in my hometown of Colac where I grew up in the local cinema.

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?

Tyson Jarvis: I haven’t seen any other adaptations of Rest Stop.

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

Tyson Jarvis: I’m a huge fan of Stephen and a lot of his work such as IT. Im also a massive fan of 11.22.63 I’m very critical on time travel but this was done beautifully and adapted to Television very well with James Franco doing a wonderful job as the lead role. Another mention of course the shining legendary horror, there’s much more I’m a fan of but honestly to many to answer.

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

Tyson Jarvis: My buddy who is a massive Stephen king fan told me about the $1 stories. I actually thought it was a joke. I purchased rest stop within five minutes of finding out it was true. I think it’s a fantastic thing, one of the greatest writers of all time provides this wonderful opportunity for independent and aspiring film makers.

SKSM: What are you working nowadays?

Tyson Jarvis: Well 2020 started out really busy for me, I landed a role in a new gritty crime thriller called Hoodlumz which is an Australian Netflix film. Also started the Mason murders which is one of my own productions, a terrifying horror set in the 80s and I also landed a role as a bush ranger in a massive untitled film which will be released in several cinemas world wide. We were meant to start rest stop in June but obviously with covid 19 had to shut down all productions and push back rest stop. Me and the TSL guys are currently making a stay at home film called 24 hours an end of the world thriller type film which is shaping up very well and will be released online in July.

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

Tyson Jarvis: Well I’m a pretty decent basketball player for someone who is only 5’9

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

Tyson Jarvis: Don’t ever give up, keep filming projects. Try new things with story telling , think outside the box. Practise daily and network like crazy.

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

Tyson Jarvis: Everyone stay inside, wash your hands, take care of your family and also a big thank you to all the essential workers.

He is the Cinematographer of Jon Mann‘s Popsy Dollar Baby film.

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

Jack Leahy: My name is Jack, among other things I’m a cinematographer, currently based in Nova Scotia.

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

Jack Leahy: The realization that I wanted to head in that direction was a result of multiple intersecting factors. Truth be told I’m still working towards becoming a cinematographer! I’m sure there are people who wouldn’t consider me as such. It can be a bit of an elusive, self-proclaimed title. I’ve been shooting still photography since I was in high school, and I didn’t really know what a DP was until I started watching a lot of movies while in university. Discovering the role of the cinematographer, DOP excited me deeply, it felt like a natural progression from my photography and YouTube videos I was making at the time. The idea that directors had stories to tell and that I could light and photograph their story with them was so exciting. Around the same time I reached out to Paul McCurdy and Kevin Fraser, two incredible Halifax based DPs that took long coffee meetings with me. Those couple of hours really solidified that cinematography was the direction I wanted to head.

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

Jack Leahy: For this film, Popsy, Jon and I were floating references back and forth months before we shot. Jon had a list of movies and a playlist of songs, both of which gave me insight into the world that Jon was after. I had a few photography and colour references that I shared with Jon. Once we decided on a 4:3 aspect ratio and shot-listed a few sequences we were on the right page and had the visual approach was pretty solidified.

SKSM: You worked with Jon Mann on this film, what do you think the relationship between a director and a DOP should be?

Jack Leahy: It should be like working with Jon! A mentor of mine suggested that my mission should be to go find 5 more Jons, I’m still working on that. Ideally, the relationship on all project types is a collaborative one, playing off each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Jon has also become a close friend of mine since shooting Popsy, working alongside friends makes it all the more fun.

SKSM: You worked on a Dollar Baby based on a Stephen King short story. Was it your most challenging film?

Jack Leahy: It’s been long enough now that I don’t remember it like that. We had a blast making the film. It was certainly pushing the limits of what I was capable of at the time but we pulled it off.

SKSM: When you’re going to shoot, what are your favourite lenses? formats?

Jack Leahy: There are so many interesting optic solutions out there. Most of which I have yet to have the opportunity to use. I have a couple of Pentax still photography lenses that I’ve had forever, and adapted to EF so I can shoot with them digitally. They are my favourite of the lenses I have access to. I’m excited to get my hands on some BlackWing7’s at some point.

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

Jack Leahy: There was this hilarious improv take that Sean McCullum did as the Mall Cop. I’m not sure how much of it he prepared but it was pretty incredible. It didn’t end up serving the scene so it’s not in the film but it was a good laugh on set.

SKSM: Who are some of your influences (favourite DOPs/films)?

Jack Leahy: I’ve been certainly inspired by the greats who’ve pushed boundaries in the field such as Bradford, Savides, Deakins, Chivo, Cronenweth (both of them). But the takeaways from them are elusive and overarching. The biggest influences have come from Canadian DPs that I have been generous with their time and expertise. I’ve gained the most practical knowledge from Paul McCurdy, Kevin Fraser, Mat Barkley, Catherine Lutes, Jeff Wheaton.

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

Jack Leahy: I am certainty a King fan. The Shinning is a stand out for me, I’ve also just started to read 11/22/63, it’s a beast of a book but I’m enjoying it so far.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Jack Leahy: You’re catching me during the COVID-19 pandemic so there has been a bit of break from shooting. I’ve taken this time to catch up on movies I haven’t watched, and update my website. I’ve also been working on a Litemat style LED build, sourcing the parts from the wonderful people at MOSS LED.

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

Jack Leahy: That I represented Canada internationally a handful of times in Sprint Canoe.

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

Jack Leahy: I’m your fan if you read this! Thanks for having me on here.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Jack Leahy: If anyone has made it this far, check out my website at www.jackleahy.ca and email me at jackgleahy@gmail.com

He is the Composer of Will Patrick RobertsMorning Deliveries Dollar Baby film.

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

Paul Duffy: My name is Paul Duffy and I love horror films. I am a professional musician and composer

SKSM: How did you become involved with Morning Deliveries?

Paul Duffy: I met Will Patrick Roberts (director) at a gig and then through the power of social media I learnt he was a film maker and we started vibeing about our love of films.

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

Paul Duffy: I’ve always been a huge fan the horror genre. I remember seeing the original George A. Romero’s Dawn Of The Dead for the first time when I was a teenager and it blowing my mind. Those early zombie movies especially had the most brilliant soundtracks with those eerie 70’s synths and over the top impact sounds. So, when I started making my own soundtrack inspired music I wanted to recreate that. They’re the most fun.

SKSM: How did you get started to wrote the Soundtrack for Morning Deliveries?

Paul Duffy: Will and I got talking once and he mentioned he was working on a Steven King inspired short film and I immediately jumped at the chance of being involved. He sent over some test footage and imagery to me of Morning Deliveries along with some musical ideas and it was all so good that I knew exactly what to do for the theme. The John Carpenter soundtracks were a big influence.

SKSM: Is this your most challenging audio so far?

Paul Duffy: I wanted to give Will my absolute best work as I loved the project so much. I went and upgraded my home studio and started playing with some new sounds. It was great challenging myself but once I got started it came quite naturally and the ideas just flowed. You have to remember to enjoy yourself.

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

Paul Duffy: I sent over a rough demo with the main riff but knew I had to make more of it. Then my wife and I went on a vacation to Universal Studios Florida in October and,of course, they have the annual Halloween Horror Nights event on! (I recommend going to any horror nerd like myself) The theme was 80’s horror so the music they played in the park was brilliant. When I arrived back home I found myself super charged full of electro, 80’s, gore, Stranger Things, Steven King nostalgia. It all poured into the finished music for the film and it fitted perfectly.

SKSM: After Morning Deliveries up did you write more music? If so what?

Paul Duffy: I love to make music all the time and try to record as much as I can. I’m messing with more sounds and techniques to broaden my musical making skills right now. The great thing with creativity is that you’re always learning.

SKSM: What are you working nowadays?

Paul Duffy: I have recently learnt how to make 8-bit computer game music, like the old Saga games, and I’m working on a personal project with that. It’s a completely different way of thinking about music and arrangement but it’s really, really fun.

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

Paul Duffy: To me, King is one of the masters of horror/sci-fi. He’s like The Beatles of horror writing. Without even knowing it you will have read, heard or seen his work. He’s embedded into the subconscious minds of us all and throughout pop culture. His stories and imagery will always be around.

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

Paul Duffy: I’m the bassist in a band called The Coral and have been for 20 years.

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

Paul Duffy: Now technology can let anyone be a creative whether it be music or film making. So I say don’t be afraid to mess up and sometimes you can be your own worst critic. Most importantly always remember to just have fun and not be so serious.

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?

Paul Duffy: Thank you and stay spooky.

SKSM: Do you like something to add?

Paul Duffy: Give Morning Deliveries a watch. It’s a brilliant piece of work. Also check out my Sound Cloud. It’s the one with Sasquatch as my avatar.

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