He is the man behind Rest Stop Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Ben Woods: My Name is Ben Woods, I’m a student at Griffith University in Brisbane Queensland studying at their film school.
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?
Ben Woods: We began production on Rest Stop late in 2012 as part of one of our core subjects. We were tasked to make a genre film within a time frame of around 6 weeks which at the time felt like it should be a pretty easy process. However, finding an actual “rest stop” that was local enough for production but also fit the parameters of the story turned out to be a difficult task which took us most of this production time and in the end we actually just used a public toilet that was part of a local football club. Filming took a total of three days, as we totally underestimated the difficulties of shooting on this location at night as there was close to no power and lighting was extremely difficult. But overall, the rushes turned out quite well despite the issues and I think it’s turned into quite a good film.
SKSM: How come you picked Rest stop to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Ben Woods: At the time that I was trying to choose a Stephen King story to adapt, I had just seen “Drive” and was a huge fan of its style. When I read Rest Stop, I saw some similarities in the lead character and the potential to possibly replicate the story into the same style and genre. It also helped that I just loved the story of Rest Stop and the approach Mr. King had taken to developing the character/ characters and it felt like and exciting challenge to try and adapt this onto the screen.
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?
Ben Woods: I read it in an Empire magazine and instantly started researching stories so that I could buy and make my own.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Ben Woods: We had one shot in the film that covered about half of the entire film in one take that lasted about five minutes. As part of our course we had to use an XD Cam which most people would recognize as the cameras news reporters often use and if your not familiar with them, then I can tell you that they are heavy motherfuckers. So we made our DP (Dane Hansen) do about ten of these five minute long takes where he had to lug this thing around on his shoulders, before we thought we nailed it. I think the most special moment of the production came from the sigh of relief that he gave when he finally got to put the camera down for good.
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?
Ben Woods: I don’t know, it would be nice to be able to “show it off” I guess, but at the same time I totally respect Mr. Kings right to privacy and I think its fair enough that he doesn’t want thousands of adaptations, whether they be good or bad, just floating around online should it be a reflection of his own work. I just think there needs to be a wider international knowledge of this opportunity however and more festival support for these special films.
SKSM: What “good or bad” reference have you received on your film?
Ben Woods: We received mixed reactions from our film, our teachers weren’t a fan of the style of the film and they had some issues with the performances of our actors, but we did receive an award for cinematography despite this, which was a nice accolade. Other then this, we have had generally positive reactions from audiences and I look forward to seeing how it does in festivals etc.
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)?
Ben Woods: As yet, no. We are putting the final touches into the sound design currently and we are hoping that it’ll be ready within the next month of so.
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?
Ben Woods: I would love to make an adaptation for television based on “The Stand”. It’s my favourite Stephen King story and I think it would make for a great mini series.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to your fans?
Ben Woods: ”If you’re out there, I’d love to meet you ;)”
SKSM: Do you have anything you’d like to add?
Ben Woods: Yeah, just that I think this was a great experience working with this story and I would recommend the process to any film maker out there who is a King fan themselves.