He wrote the script of Charles Alexander‘ Vinton’s Lot Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Jamie Matthew Dearden: I’m originally from Shannon, Co. Clare, Ireland but found myself homeless in London at the age of sixteen. I then got 100k Euro inheritance at seventeen, which I spent in ten months before turning eighteen. I provided palliative care for my Grandmothers’ bladder cancer for five years. During that time, I lost two of my best friends to suicide and started my own family. I worked my way though both undergraduate and postgraduate degree schemes whilst raising three young children.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a screenwriter?
Jamie Matthew Dearden: Honestly, at thirty-one years old, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I believe we’ve all just got to follow our passions and see where it takes us.
SKSM: How do you communicate with a director to design a screenwriter strategy for a film?
Jamie Matthew Dearden: With great difficultly. We’ve had a number of creative conflicts on this project. The key to overcoming these kind of obstacles is to communicate with an open heart and an open mind.
SKSM: Why did you changed the original title from A Very Tight Place into Vinton’s Lot?
Jamie Matthew Dearden: It was largely a marketing decision. A Very Tight Place (2019) was already taken. That forced us to think of alternate titles. We settled on Vinton’s Lot because the land that Vinton sells in the story instigates the conflict between the main characters. But it was also a way for us to give a playful nod to Salem’s Lot. Whilst also conveying that we are approaching the source material in a way that has never been done before. By altering the gender of one of the main characters we’re exploring the dynamics of power in a post #MeToo world.
SKSM: Could you tell our readers the status of Vinton’s Lot or some updates?
Jamie Matthew Dearden: We are currently crowdfunding for a budget. At the moment we’re at £82 with 124 views. That’s an average of £0.64p per view. If we manage to maintain that average, we only need 4k views. I’m also going to be selling my comic collection like Kevin Smith did to fund Clerks (1994). I’m going to be recording and broadcasting live from location selling comics using Peggy Phelan and Philip Auslander’s liveness debate to engage with audience using digital and physical space in real time.
SKSM: How come you picked A very tight place to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Jamie Matthew Dearden: It was completely by chance. I was drawn to the title simply because my colleagues at AMP Media had produced a film titled A Thin Place (2017). I had read the synopsis for A Very Tight Place and had a general idea of wanting to transpose the setting from Miami, Florida to Strata Florida, Wales. But it wasn’t until after I had obtained the rights that I actually read the story.
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?
Jamie Matthew Dearden: I was aware that other productions have been made. Of course I did my homework and watched as many variations as I could. It was great seeing how other people visualised the narrative. I was impressed with the majority of what I saw, but was able to draw clear distinctions between A Very Tight Place and what has become Vinton’s Lot.
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?
Jamie Matthew Dearden: I was vaguely aware, as I’m a pop culture junkie, but I was prompted by a news article I had seen and fancied my chances. Bottom line is, you don’t ask you don’t get, what have you got to lose by asking a question. I hope the press coverage from Vinton’s Lot inspires other film makers to apply for their own dollar baby. That’s why we’ve included the link to the dollar baby application on our crowdfunding page.
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?
Jamie Matthew Dearden: Sadly, under the terms and conditions of the contract, the film won’t be available for general release. But, whilst we are crowdfunding fans can get a private vimeo link to see the film for as little as £1, but it’s a time limited offer.
SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?
Jamie Matthew Dearden: I’m a massive fan. My undergraduate dissertation was actually based on ‘The Body’. I always loved the dual narrative of the writer writing about his childhood. I’ve seen most of Stephen King’s films. Although, I’m less into horror then I used to be. But Was majorly impressed by Gerald’s Game (2017). It’s an impressive feat to sustain suspense in a narrative mainly focusing on one single location. I guess in many ways Gerald’s Game shares some natural parallels with A Very Tight Place.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Jamie Matthew Dearden: I’m in the process of finishing my final assignment for my MA in Creative Writing. I also clean the university swimming pool and biology department every morning. I’d hate to jinx myself but I’ve just accepted a position in the cartography department at the Welsh Assembly Government, however I’m still in the process of finalizing details. I’m also working on a graphic novel series titled 84 A.E. with illustrator Colm Harnett.
SKSM: What one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Jamie Matthew Dearden: That I’m autistic. I wasn’t diagnosed until my mid-twenties. I spent a lot of my time growing up not fitting in. Stumbling from one catastrophe to another trying to make sense of the world around me. The diagnosis gave me a degree of self-awareness which enabled me to take control of 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?
Jamie Matthew Dearden: I hope you’re all as hyped as I am for Doctor Sleep (2019)
SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?
Jamie Matthew Dearden: Big thanks to SKSM for giving us the opportunity to show off our Dollar Baby.