He is the man behind The Things They Left Behind Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Pablo Macho Maysonet IV: Well my name is Pablo Macho Maysonet IV and I’m the filmmaker behind the short film The Things They Left Behind. I’m also the CEO and co-founder of Shattered Dreams Productions.
SKSM: Why the “IV” in your name?
Pablo Macho Maysonet IV: I’m the fourth Pablo Maysonet from my fathers side. My father is Pablo Maysonet III
SKSM: When did you make in the 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?
Pablo Macho Maysonet IV: Well I started adapting the story into a screenplay in July of 2010. We assembled the cast and crew in September of the same year while we put together the budget for the film. Together with my Co-Producer we raised productions funds. However almost 70% of our budget had to be acquired in advance to start testing shots and lighting so most of that came out my own pocket. We began filming for two weeks in november then took off for 2 months for the holidays. We returned to filming a few days before my birthday in February 2011 and wrapped in mid march. All in all we had a scheduled 8 days of shooting but wrapped in 7 and left the 8th day for voice overs and ADR. Finishing the film with a budget of $10,000.
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?
Pablo Macho Maysonet IV: This story caught my attention immediately because the tragedy held a certain place in my past. Living in new jersey, so close to the events of 9/11 everyone around me knew someone or had a relative that was lost during the attack. When I read the story I knew I wanted to adapt it because as a filmmaker I knew it would challenge me professionally and personally. But what I loved about the story is a phrase that popped in my head the moment I read the last page and came to know who Scott Staley was, “survivors are victims too”. It was a message so clear that I decided to end the film with that quote.
SKSM: Some scenes are set in new york city, you have encountered problems while filming?
Pablo Macho Maysonet IV: Luckily for us the city of New York is very lenient about filmmakers shooting in times square as well as other areas of NYC. But I made it a clear point to stay as true to the original source material so shooting in NYC was essential. Especially because i love minor details so the whole trip was really based around shooting in the actual corner of 75th & Park that King specifically mentioned in the book. The only real technical issue we had to maintain while shooting there was that we couldn’t take more than 8 feet of space for the crew, so we traveled with minimal equipment and our barebones crew.
SKSM: What kind of problems did you run into while filming?
Pablo Macho Maysonet IV: The only real problem we encountered was a costly one. We shot several hours of footage on the subways with our lead and during our ride to the world trade center’s ground zero I noticed one of our bags missing. I immediately began a bag count and realized the bag missing was the one with some of my lenses, sound device, memory cards and filters. All totaling to a total of $1,500 worth of equipment. Apparently while switching trains and prepping for a shot, someone lifted the bag. Something we were not able to catch due to our time schedule and minimal crew. Luckily I had the camera on me with our principal lens or else we wouldn’t of been able to finish the film in time. We did however replace the equipment in time to wrap the picture under schedule.
SKSM: Why did you used real footage of 9/11 in your film?
Pablo Macho Maysonet IV: Using real footage was highly debated in the film among a few other things but at the end we knew it was something that couldn’t be ignored. I knew people had to see the footage and unfortunately remember that this indeed was a tragedy that should of been avoided and should not be forgotten.
SKSM: The film has a lot of blue and green light, what was the idea behind it?
Pablo Macho Maysonet IV: I’m a huge fan of using lighting for storytelling. In the recent years I’ve always found a way to bring vibrant colors into my films in order to portray a certain mood or reaction. I experiment a lot with how color effects viewers and helps them understand what’s in front of them. In this case the colors were used as a trigger for our “memory” scenes. We pondered different ways to show flashbacks for Scott Staley and his fond memories of those left behind. I knew right off the bat that I didn’t want to do the cheesy and typical “hazy” or black and white flashbacks so I decided to go with the opposite. Finding it the right opportunity to bring in my style of lighting to invoke a sense of foreshadowing. For the most part whenever the “memories” come to Scott it’s while he’s in bed. So we shot those scenes with strong blue lighting gels then in post production I brought up the blue even more to make it more vibrant. This process I did with every color enhanced scene. The green used for the “memories” was purely chosen by chance. When I shot the teaser trailer I tested various colors with the actual “things” and found green screened perfect with the items, so green it was. The most comments I received from the film had to do with the lighting so I guess it worked out.
SKSM: Are you satisfied with the end result or would you now do things differently?
Pablo Macho Maysonet IV: Absolutely satisfied.
SKSM: Was the 44 minutes enough to show the story as you wanted?
Pablo Macho Maysonet IV: I did cut out several scenes to bring the film into the short film time limit but the scenes were not needed to push the film forward so it was decided to cut them out.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Pablo Macho Maysonet IV: Working with Michael Panichelli Jr. was a treat because he’s such an animated talent and great person to work with, so when we shot the memory scenes of jones beach and the christmas party there were plenty to funny moments. There were many non scripted scenes where everyone had to interact and have fun so a lot of random lines and jokes were said. Luckily for myself, i had a great cast to work with and everybody brought something fun and exciting that day. Many of those scenes made the final cut.
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?
Pablo Macho Maysonet IV: I actually stumbled on the program and decided to look into it. I was researching for our next short film we were distributing online through our YouTube channel when I found the information on King’s site. It was great timing as we were just focusing on shorts while taking a break in between features. I also got to experiment with things we were planning on with our upcoming feature so it was all great timing.
SKSM: How does it feel that all the King fans out there can’t see your movie?
Pablo Macho Maysonet IV: It’s a little disappointing knowing that most people won’t be able to see something my team and I worked so hard and spent hard earned money on. But at the same time it brings an added level of excitement when a person is able to see it through a festival or an exclusive means. Makes it feel like the “secret” and “rare” film only the chosen few get to see.
SKSM: What kind of feedback or compliments did you received so far?
Pablo Macho Maysonet IV: So far feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. People seem to really get into the story and forget their watching a short film. The most reoccurring comment is “I want more”. I’ve been really grateful of all the great responses we’ve been receiving
SKSM: what is your favorite moment in the movie? And why is that?
Pablo Macho Maysonet IV: From a technical stand point it’s when Paula reinforces to Scott that she’s married in the lobby before heading to the restaurant and the look that Scott gives her when he says yeah. It was just a beautifully lit and acted scene. But personally it was the closing scene with Janice Mason and the Couch Shell. The whole thing with the music, voice over and camera work just makes it such an emotionally charged scene.
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?
Pablo Macho Maysonet IV: Wow I currently have no plans at the moment because my team and I are currently focusing on our next feature but I would love to adapt another King story but as a feature film. Something that’ll be outside out previous restraints. But the story I’ve always had my eyes on is one that’s currently been in development with other studios for quite some time, “From a Buick 8“. It’s just the kind of story I like to tell, and I know I can bring something good to the table with it.
SKSM: When did you realize that you wanted to make movies?
Pablo Macho Maysonet IV: There wasn’t a specific moment but I always loved films, in particular horror films. I just thought only rich people in Hollywood could make movies. I quickly learned as an adult that’s not really the case. Talent can’t have a price nor a location. But it wasn’t until I met legendary filmmaker Roger Corman that propelled me into filmmaking. He gave me some great advice that I’ve always loved to pass on. He told me “take whatever money you have saved for film school, buy a camera and shoot your film. There’s nothing a school can teach you that your first film won’t”. So I did just that and shot my first feature that ended up getting a worldwide DVD release in stores.
SKSM: Where does come the name Shattered Dreams from?
Pablo Macho Maysonet IV: My then partner and I tried different names but Shattered Dreams Production stood out among the others. We felt it represented the goal we as filmmakers strived for, to give people nightmares and “shatter their dreams”. It was also a universal title that could also transcend beyond horror films. A production company called “blood and gore films” (for example) can’t really be taken seriously when they want to produce a comedy or drama.
SKSM: When you are at home or going to the movies, what kind of movie genre would you prefer?
Pablo Macho Maysonet IV: Horror, without a doubt. Anything related to the horror genre I will immediately be drawn to.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to your fans?
Pablo Macho Maysonet IV: Thank you! I would just like to say thank you for everybody’s support throughout the years and especially during the making of this film.
SKSM: Do you have anything you’d like to add?
Pablo Macho Maysonet IV: Yeah, people can follow our YouTube channel at: youTube.com/sdphorror for more of our projects and for behind the scenes for The Things They Left Behind. We are currently working on some cool things we will be posting on that channel and would love to hear from everyone!