He is the man behind In The Cutting Room Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Tyson Steigers: I am a 25 year old male currently living and working in Los Angeles. Professionally I am a motion graphic designer (sort of a blend of graphic design and animation for those who aren’t familiar), but I love all aspects of filmmaking. Recently I’ve been experimenting with stop motion animation, and try to produce/direct my own personal projects when I have the time.
SKSM: When did you make In The Cutting Room? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Tyson Steigers: In the Cutting Room was shot over the course of four weekends in January/February of 2005. We shot in Mt Hood Community College’s funeral services department outside of Portland, OR. Being my first live action production, as well as my senior film, I didn’t have much of a budget to work with. I did however have great equipment resources from school at my disposal, and a dedicated, talented crew to work with. I think when it was all said and done, we had spent just under $500.
SKSM: How come you picked In The Cutting Room to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Tyson Steigers: It’s funny, because as soon as I finished the story I started adapting the screenplay. I think it was the challenges that the story presented from a filmmaking perspective that were so appealing to me. From the very beginning I decided that I was not going to use any internal VO for Howard’s character, or any flashback scenes. While these techniques can be effective, especially in the case of a story like Autopsy Room Four, I felt that as a filmmaker, they seemed a bit cliche. I wanted to see this story translated to screen in a way that lets the audience figure out what’s going on for themselves as opposed to having all of the information handed to them.
SKSM: Why did you changed the orginal title “Autopsy Room Four” into “In The Cutting Room”?
Tyson Steigers: I thought that while my adaptation doesn’t stray too far from the original story, I did make some of my own decisions as to how the story would play out that differed from King’s version. While ultimately Autopsy Room Four was the primary inspiration for the film, I felt that my film was more inspired by, than it was based on the original story. So I stole the title of my first editing reel “In the Cutting Room” and left it at that.
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?
Tyson Steigers: You know I didn’t really know until I got in contact with yourself. From the beginning I wanted to aquire rights for festival purposes, but being that it was a student project, my motivation for producing the film was more for expecience and exposure that for profit.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Tyson Steigers: I think that the fact that we were shooting in a fully functioning morgue, including the real bodies in the freezer is what really stands out to me overall. I’ll never forget the smell of the formaldehyde in the air that tainted all of our coffee and craft services.
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 dvd or internet release would be possible?
Tyson Steigers: I would like to get the film out there, but I think having been a student work, I really haven’t had any time to make it a priority since my professional career began. There actually was a very limited DVD release when we screened the film in Portland in May of 2005. I have actually always wanted to put together an anthology, so who knows, maybe it’ll be a part of that.
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)?
Tyson Steigers: I sent out a bunch of letters and copies of the film to some of his people. Never heard back though, so I couldn’t tell you whether he’s seen it or not.
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?
Tyson Steigers: No current plans, but I have thought about the possibility of producing The Road Virus Heads North.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything else you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Tyson Steigers: Be Cool