He is the man behind In The Deathroom Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Milos Savic: I was born 1984 in Schwaebisch Gmuend (Germany) as a child of serbian immigrants. After graduating secondary school, I worked as a trainee for several production companies, especially Los Banditos Films GmbH. Meanwhile I gained experience in film editing, by finishing many music videos and realizing own projects. From 2006 – 2012 I studied “feature film directing” at the renowned Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg in Ludwigsburg (Germany). Now, I’m a freelance director and editor, living in “Benztown” Stuttgart (Germany) and did the last two years a lot of stuff for the commercial industry. Currently I’m working on my full length feature film debut, which hopefully should be realized very soon.
SKSM: When did you make In the deathroom? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Milos Savic: We began to adapt the story in October 2011. The preproduction went ahead very quick so that the principal photography could start in February 2012. My producers have been very dedicated and the production design department did a wonderful job building the “deathroom” from scratch. We needed 7 days of shooting on set and had a 30 men crew. We’ve shot all the time with two cameras and used three different systems; Arri Alexa, Red One and 16mm. At the end we had 19.000€ (11.500€ you get from the filmschool, the rest of it we scratched together from private sponsors) and we spent all the money to the last cent. Editing took place from April till June 2012, composing the music from August till October 2012 and sound design from October 2012 till March 2013 (with some interruptions). Color grading and finishing everything around the project like compositing, rendering, creating the DVD etc. had been done in August 2013.
SKSM: How come you picked In the deathroom to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Milos Savic: I liked it a lot that the whole story took place in only one room and united several genres (dark comedy, thriller, splatter). And then of course, there’s Fletcher. He’s a so well written character that everyone would like to have as a friend in real life. It’s a funny turn on the “the end justifies the means”-theme. Even in a hopeless situation like his, he’s not losing his sarcasm and his survival instincts, which saved him at the end.
SKSM: Are you Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?
Milos Savic: Yes I am. Very early in my life I got in touch with him. I’ve read “Needful Things” as a twelve year old and watched during my youth movies like “It, Sometimes they come back, The Tommyknockers, etc.”. I didn’t read so many stories of him as I watched them on TV. But from the perspective of a filmmaker, I think it’s hard to choose between “Shining” and “The Shawshank Redemption” as the best film.
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?
Milos Savic: I never heard about it before, but a producer I’ve met at a festival told me in June 2011. Right at that moment I knew I want to try an adaptation because I never made a movie based on a story by someone other than me.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Milos Savic: Ironically there hasn’t been any special moment during making the film, although everyone was constantly laughing and fooling around. We had a lot of fun on set, that’s for sure.
SKSM: Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?
Milos Savic: We won already one here in Germany as best short, the “Cinestrange 2014” and had been in the official selection for best student short of last years “Screamfest L.A.” The Screamfest took place last October (2014) at the famous TCL right on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was very cool! But sure I would like to screen it at more festivals around the globe. Let’s see what will happen.
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?
Milos Savic: It’s a pity. Especially nowadays since we have more distribution-options with the internet. I hope that this will change because I’m also curious to see what other colleagues had done with King’s stuff. And there’s no problem to run it as a non-profit organization.
SKSM: What “good or bad” reference have you received on your film?
Milos Savic: Some people, particularly some student colleagues, just haven’t anything left for this type of genre or King himself and his stories, but even then, they praised the style and the technical aspects. But all in all I got very very much of great response to the whole project. In general, the actors and the whole aesthetic of the film (camerawork, editing, sounddesign) are highlighted.
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)?
Milos Savic: Not during the making and unfortunately not yet, at all. A lot of work, the travel to L.A. and some other stuff come in between, and I didn’t want to send him only a DVD so it took a while to put together a nice package. Soon I will send it to him and gonna wait eagerly for his reaction.
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?
Milos Savic: I would like to. It would be such an honor. I think there’s so much of potential in several stories, which some films haven’t used it. The new Carrie for example, was totally redundant.
Interesting for me are not only the popular stories, but also the “smaller” ones, which flies under the radar. Maybe something like “1922” which I found was very emotional and heartbreaking, even though it’s macabre.
SKSM: What are you working at nowadays?
Milos Savic: Like I said before, now I’m working on my full length feature debut. There’s a script and a production company and now we’re going into financing it.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to your fans?
Milos Savic: I think it’d be pretentious to say that I have “fans” J I’m just a nerd who wants to make movies. But I want to give my regards to my crew and all the guys I worked with the last years.
SKSM: Do you have anything you’d like to add?
Milos Savic: Thanks for the kind interview and the interest in our little film.