He is the man behind Rest Area Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Sean A. Skinner: My Name is Sean A. Skinner. For the past 20 years I have been a Tv News Cameraman for a local tv station here in Minneapolis, MN. And for the past 10 years I have also been an Independent Filmmaker.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker?
Sean A. Skinner: I think I’ve always wanted to be one, but it wasn’t until about 10 years or so when the smaller DSLR style cameras started becoming affordable. I did always play with my Dad’s VHS camera and I’ve always had still cameras ever since I was a little kid.
SKSM: Could you tell our readers the status of ‘Rest Area’ or some updates?
Sean A. Skinner: Yes of course! We have just wrapped primary filming with all of our actors and locations and have just a few pick up shots to gather. The footage has been delivered to our editor and she has started organizing the clips as well as sync’ing the audio files to the footage.
SKSM: How come you picked ‘Rest stop’ to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Sean A. Skinner: We looked thru the catalog that SK had available for his Dollar Baby collection. And we decided that REST STOP, with some adaptation might be a powerful, dark piece that would really encapsulate what SK is all about. We also thought it might be a more impactful piece if we changed the lead character from a man to a woman. Our Actress, Emily Fradenburgh, proved us right. She really brought it during our production.
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?
Sean A. Skinner: Well we had heard rumors of it for years. We all thought there was no way we’d be able to accomplish something like producing an actual Stephen King piece. Then we did some digging. Found it right on his site, and then looked over the rules. There are very specific rules that if you don’t follow correctly, could land you in a lot of trouble…or even be on the bad side of SK. And I would never want that. So we jumped in and are running with it.
SKSM: How does it feel that all the King fans out there won’t see your movie? Do you think that will change in the future? Maybe a internet/dvd release would be possible?
Sean A. Skinner: It bums me out a bit to know that not all the fans out there will get a chance to see our final product. But, we will be able to enter it into many MANY film festival around the US as well as the world with Mr Kings blessing. It is one of the rules to the Dollar Baby Program, the final film cannot live online, but can be entered into film festivals. So hopefully many of his fans will get a chance to see it in a theater at a great festival. Dollar Baby projects are not allowed to live online, nor are they able to be burned to DVD, per the rules of the agreement.
SKSM: I guess it’s very soon to asking this question but… where the premiere will be? Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?
Sean A. Skinner: We have many festivals that we love here in the Midwest. Ranging from smaller coffeehouse festivals to full blown multiplex screenings. We have been accepted to the 9th Annual Z-Fest here in Minneapolis, MN. And if we can have the film done (properly) it would be our festival premiere.
SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?
Sean A. Skinner: I am 150% a fan of Stephen King. As a middle schooler I stayed up very late at night combing thru The Stand, It and The Talisman. It wasn’t until about 5 years ago that I finally finished the full Dark Tower Series…whoa! I would have to say if there was a def favorite it would have to be IT. I can remember the way it made me feel after finishing it. No other book has ever given me that sense of longing to go back and somehow get me back into the story and stay with these characters.
SKSM: Do you have any plans for making more movies based on Stephen King’s stories in the future? If you could pick -at least- one story to shoot, which one would it be and why?
Sean A. Skinner: I would love to be able to get permission to produce and possibly direct another Stephen king piece. The Long Walk has always intrigued me. But nobody has been able to make The Talisman yet…and it could be epic!
SKSM: Are you working on another project besides this one?
Sean A. Skinner: As a matter of fact I am. During the process of making this film ‘REST AREA’, I also wrote and directed two other short films and am finishing up a documentary on an old movie theater that was recently torn down here in Minneapolis, MN.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Sean A. Skinner: Man, I’m not sure. I used to be a Radio/Club DJ.
SKSM: What advice would you give to those people who want to be filmmakers?
Sean A. Skinner: Its the same cliche answer others will give. JUST GO DO IT! Take your phone, get your friends camera, borrow one from anyone who will listen and just go make your film. Be it, short, music, doc, art whatever. Make it. Nobody has a right to tell you what or how to make it. It really is that easy. Also, learn to ask. I have found that asking for permission to use a location, feed my cast/crew, rent gear, or borrow something for a shoot is always easiest if you just ask. It never hurts.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to your fans?
Sean A. Skinner: If I have actual fans…could you let me know who they are? 😉
SKSM: Would you like to add something?
Sean A. Skinner: Thanks for the questions, I hope people who want to see ‘Rest Area’ will have a chance to via a local film festival in your area. And if you wanted to donate to the film I’ve provided a link. Thanks!