He is the man behind Mute Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Rob Darren: My name is Rob Darren I’m a writer, producer and director. I was born a Navy brat in San Diego California. So I’ve lived in several places during my lifetime including: California, Virginia, Colorado, New York, Indiana, Nevada, and North Carolina.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker?
Rob Darren: I have chased the dream for nearly ten years. It became an obsession after I wrote, produced, and directed my first independent film “White Paint: A Clown Story” The entire process remains a thrill no matter the size or scope of the film production. I began working on the film sets of “Evan Almighty” and “John Adams” I was amazed watching Academy Award winning director Tom Hooper work his magic on “John Adams”. I was fortunate to be the AD (assistant director) on Ted V Mikels “Astro Zombies M3: Cloned”. Mikels was a filmmaker of 65 years and largely through him that I learned about the art of cinema.
SKSM: When did you make Mute? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Rob Darren: I started adapting the script in February 2018 and went into pre-production. We finished principle photography in June 2018. We put together an amazing crew and some very talented actors.. This was a team effort and everyone went above and beyond to make Mute a great film. We filmed over the course of 3 days and nights in Las Vegas Nevada in various locations with a budget of $6000.
SKSM: How come you picked Mute to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Rob Darren: The ending of this story is unexpected and the characters are special. The story keeps you guessing . Mute has a strong comedic tone despite it being a thriller. I wanted to bring both the comedy and suspense elements through the story. It was feasible to shoot on a limited budget.
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?
Rob Darren: I found out accidentually on the internet.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Rob Darren: During the desert scene the camera was mounted to the hood of the car. My DP and I waited for the car to return. We thought it had fallen off, There was an issue and the actor put it in the car without us knowing at first. Scary frantic momento.
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?
Rob Darren: I understand why Stephen King doesn’t want these films released for profit, The honor of being able to use a King story is worth it. In the future I hope everyone can watch “Mute”.
SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?
Rob Darren: They all have been very positive, especially the clever easter eggs dropped throughout the movie.
SKSM: Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?
Rob Darren: We are planning on submitting to several festivals.
SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?
Rob Darren: Yes I am a fan. He has so many films based off his books. “The Shawshank Redemption”, “Salems Lot”, “It”, and my personal favorite “The Shining”.
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)?
Rob Darren: I’ve been dealing with his manager. He has not seen it due to my editor at Gazing Cat Productions polishing it up.
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?
Rob Darren: I would love to shoot “All that you Love will be Carried Away” Its a dark story similar to Mute and very character driven.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Rob Darren: I produced and directed my first feature “White Paint: A Clown Story”. Also was the assistant director of Ted V. Mikels “Astro Zombies M3: Cloned”. I also wrote a Laurel and Hardy feature that was accepted by Creative Artists Agency. I hope to film that someday. Also would like to create a series similar to the Twlight Zone and show works from independent students, guest directors and eventually Hollywood directors. I also to make documentaries on the presciption drug industry and Antartica, which are very personal to me.
SKSM: What one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Rob Darren: I was a dear friend of Hollywood icon Tony Curtis.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Rob Darren: Thank you for interviewing me. It has been a pleasure.
SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?
Rob Darren: I would love to develop Mute into a feature film. The characters are rich and the story can all be developed further. It can truly be a modern Hitchcock type film. I want to thank my amazing actors, great crew and everyone who helped make this posible.