He is the man behind Strawberry Spring Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Scott Crain: I’m Scott Crain; although my background is in theatre (I have a bachelor’s degree from the University of Memphis), I more recently graduated from film school and started my own Nashville-based film company, Bar Sinister Films.
SKSM: When did you make Strawberry Spring? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Scott Crain: We shot Strawberry Spring in the summer of 2012; principal photography lasted about five days, as we had to negotiate around cast schedules. The budget came in just under $3000, most of which went to insurance and equipment rentals; the cast and crew were made up entirely of volunteers.
SKSM: How come you picked Strawberry spring to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Scott Crain: I guess part of the appeal is that it’s one of King’s less “supernatural” tales, and therefore feels like it could really happen. There’s nothing otherworldly going on here except for the eerie elusiveness of the killer, who seems to come and go like the fog. In this respect, the killer is essentially a modern-day Jack the Ripper, and those murders have always been fascinating to me. The Ripper was terrifying, not just because of the brutality of his crimes, but because he was killing in a crowded area of London—while the whole city was looking for him. It created a kind of helpless paranoia, as if Jack was some sort of malicious phantom who could never be caught. (And he never was…)
Also, from a filmmaking standpoint, Strawberry Spring contains a host of evocative imagery. Fog rolling across a college campus and leaving beautiful young women dead in its wake. There’s some great primal horror stuff there, and as a director, it was hard to resist.
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?
Scott Crain: It was something I’d heard years ago, but never considered doing myself. I’m a screenwriter, and the idea of adapting someone else’s work doesn’t typically appeal to me. Our team decided to make a short film last year, though, and I wanted the challenge of bringing someone else’s story to life for a change. I’ve been a fan of Stephen King since I was a kid, so it felt like a good fit, but I was sure the stories that were eligible would be the less memorable ones. I tracked down the Dollar Baby website online and was downright giddy to see how many of my favorite stories were up for grabs.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Scott Crain: There’s a strip poker scene with Wheeler and Zoey that made for a memorable night. We were shooting in a friend’s apartment in the heat of summer, crammed into a bedroom with a full crew and hundreds of candles, and the air conditioning was interfering with the sound so we had to shut it off. It was sweltering. Let’s just say, by the end of the night, the actors weren’t the only ones who were topless…
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?
Scott Crain: It doesn’t bother me as much as it does some other Dollar Baby directors. I’m frankly amazed that King allows indie filmmakers the right to adapt his stories to the screen at all, so, at the risk of sounding sappy, I’m just honored for the opportunity. I imagine that restriction will probably be relaxed in the future, yes, but they’re his stories, and I’ll respect his terms.
SKSM: What “good or bad” reference have you received on your film?
Scott Crain: We’re just now beginning to send it out to festivals, so the only feedback we’ve received so far has been overwhelmingly positive, but from existing fans. We’re eager to see what the uninitiated public thinks.
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)?
Scott Crain: I didn’t have any contact with him personally, and his DVD of the finished film was just mailed out yesterday. Fingers crossed.
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?
Scott Crain: No plans at present, but I’d definitely entertain the idea—this project was a blast, and horror stories are always close to my heart. If I had to choose today, I’d love a shot at “Big Driver”. The story would present a couple of casting challenges, but there aren’t enough films out there with strong female leads, and that one’s got a great undercurrent of empowerment.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to your fans?
Scott Crain: Stay spooky.
SKSM: Do you have anything you’d like to add?
Scott Crain: We’re horror fans all the way to our bones. If you’d like to keep tabs on our future projects, check us out on facebook: Bar Sinister Films. Thanks!