He is the man behind The Things They Left Behind Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Loyd Elmore: My name is Loyd Elmore Jr and I am one of the horde that is striving to be more than I am. I’m married to my wife, Mindy, and I have one daughter, Alison, and one step-son, Joesph. I’m pursuing my life long goal of being a professional writer.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker?
Loyd Elmore: I thought being a filmmaker would lead me to life of writing. In a way, it did. It made me realize that filmaking wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do. But being a huge fan of Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Charlie Chaplin, I decided directing is a lot like writing. Instead of typing it all on paper or on a computer screen, you’re putting it in the real world and in turn, putting it on camera.
SKSM: When did you make The things they left behind? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Loyd Elmore: My friends and I made our versión in the Summer of 2010. This being my very first time of making a film, I honestly didn’t know what I was doing. I have to laugh at it no w on how much I didn’t know. If it was any good at all, I have to thank the people (my friends) that took the time out to give me a hand, namely, Tim Avers, Melissa Zimmerman, Robert Gilmer (and his wife), my wife, Mindy, and Lisa McGuire.
Being new to filming, the production didn’t go exactly how I wanted it to. If you think it’ll take a day to do, you should forget that kind of thinking and TRIPLE everything. It turned out to take more than a month. And it didn’t help on the very first shot of the film (the café scene), it started to rain and didn’t stop. It completely ruined the audio. That rain went on to become the ‘Nashville Flood’ that flooded the whole área. A friend working on the film forgot a key prop in his car that we parked outside of where we shot the café scene. He got a ride back and on his way back to where he were, he ran into very deep wáter and completely totaled out his car. It was a bad day all around.
As for the cost, I believe I spent about $200 total. I called in favors, LOTS of favors.
SKSM: How come you picked The things they left behind to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Loyd Elmore: Well, the story really spoke to me. And more importantly, I thought it would be easy to shoot. Except for a few particular props, everything else was something I could get my hands on.
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?
Loyd Elmore: I had read an article on the internet. I can’t remember what it was from. I couldn’t believe it. I did a Little more research and found out it was completely true. So, I worked up an e-mail to send to him and off it went. It was about two weeks later when I got work from his assistant that after I sent the $1, I was free to shoot my film.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Loyd Elmore: Other than the flood (not really funny), it was good to see it all come together. It wasn’t perfect in any means but I could see that I sort of knew what I was doing. I didn’t want to admit it at the time but I thought if I was able to spend more, it might have been a lot better.
And, of course, the scene where we destroyed a set of the main props was a lot of fun. Using the hammer on the earth paperweight and causing it to explode all over the place was something I won’t ever forget. I had to mute the audio because it was a one-shot deal and we burst out laughing.
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?
Loyd Elmore: I’m OK with it being limited to view. I wish I had the time and money to go back and remake it, maybe I would want more people to see THAT one. But I have watched a few other Dollar Babies and some of those really need to be seen. Some are amazing. So, yes, I think there should be a website you could go to and watch all of them, the good and the bad (that includes mine).
SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?
Loyd Elmore: I have to say, mine was shown at a film festival and there was another versión of The Things They Left Behind being viewed at the same time. I spent less than a paycheck and they spent about $40,000. And it didn’t make it any better. There was good and bad points to both but even though mine wasn’t considered great, it wasn’t bad. The talent was there, it just didn’t hold up on the technical side. It honestly made me feel pretty good. It’s taken me eight years to say that.
SKSM: Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?
Loyd Elmore: I’ve shown it once in Spain and once in the Netherlands. I think it’s seen enough of the light of day. Maybe if writing pays off and I can put some money in the bank, I can try it again.
SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?
Loyd Elmore: He has been a huge inspiration to me since I saw Christine for the first time. It was new to VHS (it’s been a while) and after I watched it, I got pulled into the Stephen King world. I bought the book, read that, and then went back and read everything I had missed. I haven’t missed one since.
As for favorites, The Talisman is my personal favorite book of his (and Peter Straub’s) and Bag of Bones, Eyes of the Dragon, and Duma Key really speak to me. But honestly, it would be much easier to tell you the ones I don’t care for and that would be countable on part of one hand. What are they? I’m not going to say.
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)?
Loyd Elmore: No, I had no contact with him. If he has seen it, he was nice and didn’t tell me what he thought.
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?
Loyd Elmore: As of now, I have no plans to make any more. But if I could pick any other Dollar Baby and I had the money to do it right, I would pick The Doctor’s Case. It’s his only story about Sherlock Holmes (well, honestly, it’s more about Watson) and to be able to work with those charators would be a dream come true.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Loyd Elmore: I have become more of a writer. I work on a blog about inspiration and dealing with depression called ambientthoughtblog.com. I also throw in some original short stories from time to time. And, yes, they tend to have that Stephen King flair.
But making films haven’t been kicked out of my brain totally. The idea of making another short film (I’ve done a few since making the Dollar Baby) is still hanging out. Maybe…one day…
SKSM: What one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Loyd Elmore: Honestly, those that know me probably wouldn’t be surprised about ANYTHING about me. Those that don’t know me might not even care.
How about this? I like brussel sprouts.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Loyd Elmore: Read my blog ambientthoughtblog.com and tell me what you think.
SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?
Loyd Elmore: One last thing. I believe we are here on this earth for a limited amount of time. If there is something you want to do (especially something creative), take my advice…GO DO IT!!! Don’t listen to those voices that say you can’t, outside voice or the horrible inside voices. Go make your thing. If you fail, it’s better to live with ‘I tried’ than living with ‘What if.’ But you might succeed. That’s worth everything. The hope of success.
Go make your thing.