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She is the woman behind Dedication Dollar Baby Film.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Selina Sondermann: My name is Selina Sondermann. I am a European writer and director, currently based in Berlin, Germany.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker?

Selina Sondermann: I’ve always been a story teller. As a child, my repertoire ranged from writing stories to drawing little comic strips, and I also dabbled in acting. Growing up in Austria the most realistic option seemed to work in theatre – film appeared like such an outlandish concept reserved for Hollywood – but as part of a school project in 2010 I wrote, directed, produced and starred in a horrible little short film. Despite the botched result, I felt like I had found my vocation.

SKSM: When did you make Dedication? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?

Selina Sondermann: Production started in the summer of 2018. As it was part of my MA Directing program I had started pre-production at the beginning of the year. I spent a long time writing and rewriting the script. It took some time for me to find out where I could take liberties and where it was better to stick to the original narrative. The casting process helped me very much in terms of refining the script. I didn’t hold formal auditions but I met all my potential Marthas for coffee. It was essential for a woman of colour to have the final say in Martha’s characterisation. It took us a week to film everything, but we spent 6 months in postproduction.
Money is always a sensitive subject. But I will say this: Dedication had the highest budget of any of my previous films, and it still wasn’t enough to pay everyone the rate they deserve for their hard work. We had a successful Kickstarter campaign that covered a portion of the budget but I am still working to pay off what the film cost me. That’s the drawback of a Dollar Baby film, it is hard to get people to invest in a project that can never create a return.

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?

Selina Sondermann: Somebody told me about the Dollar Baby program right when I finished my Bachelor degree in Filmmaking, so when I went back to school for my Master’s I knew I wanted to seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I had always written my own stories, so to adapt a script from somebody else’s source material was a new challenge for me. It definitely happened at the right time, I believe that without any experience the translation of a story from one medium to another is very difficult.

SKSM: How come you picked Dedication to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?

Selina Sondermann: Truth be told, I didn’t particularly like Dedication as a story, which is exactly why I wanted to make the film. In my opinion there should always be a reason for an adaptation. Yes, I absolutely wanted to make a film based on a story by Stephen King but I also felt that I had to contribute and not just make it for the sake of seeing my name next to his in the credits. Survivor Type was on the Dollar Baby list for a long time and it’s my favourite short story of his, but I didn’t want to adapt it because I didn’t feel I would really add anything in doing so. The story works so well because in its diary form we see and feel the main character’s mental health deteriorating. Film doesn’t offer the same experience.
As far as Dedication goes, the story is somewhat problematic in its depiction of a woman of color. At no point in the original story does Martha Rosewall make any decision for herself. She is a passive bystander in her own life – basically the opposite of what we mean when we ask for a “strong female lead”. What particularly bothered me was that the magic ritual was performed without her consent.
Furthermore the reason for the supernatural intervention: exchanging the father in-utero so her child could inherit creative talent from a misanthropic white writer is particularly tone-deaf and at best a very naive approach to genetics. I was intrigued by the possibility of a modern re-examination and the potential to be of help in executing what I believe Stephen King meant to be a story about a mother’s dedication to her child.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Selina Sondermann: In order to prepare for the film (which is set almost entirely in a hotel) I started to work in Housekeeping – I’m a bit of a method writer/method director. I feel very strongly about representation in film and making sure a character’s personal experience is portrayed truthfully and with empathy. Because my background is so different from Martha’s, I felt like this was the least I could do to find her and get close to her. After we wrapped the film, I kept the job to earn some money back. Suddenly all these weird things started happening, that were just like in the film: I found blood stains on bedsheets, I met a colleague named Martha, I had encounters with rude guests. It was an eery case of life imitating art.

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?

Selina Sondermann: Films are meant to be seen so it’s always a pity when they don’t reach their intended audience. At the same time festivals all want to have some sense of exclusivity so it makes sense that there is a limitation to distribution. At this point I have no idea how far this film will go but if Mr. King re-evaluates the terms on internet publication, I’d be happy to share the film in the future.

SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?

Selina Sondermann: So far there has only been a small university screening, where at a pivotal scene of the film there came a resounding “What the fuck?” from the audience. I was ecstatic. It’s not easy to startle an audience, to create something unexpected and elicit such an honest response. In my work I don’t aim to please, I think “okay” is the worst review you can get for a film, so I am truly happy that I managed to perturb some people.

SKSM: Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?

Selina Sondermann: We have submitted to several medium-sized festivals this year and are waiting to hear back from them, hoping to premiere the film this fall. Then there are also several smaller festivals that tie into the fantasy and women niche that we plan to submit to next year.

SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?

Selina Sondermann: Absolutely. He’s my most-read author. My favourite works of his is his “feminist trilogy”: Dolores Claiborne, Gerald’s Game and Rose Madder.

My favourite film adaptations are Carrie (1976), The Shawshank Redemption and Stand by Me.

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)?

Selina Sondermann: We’re just preparing the DVD to send to him. We’ll let you know should we hear back from him personally.

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?

Selina Sondermann: I was under the assumption that the Dollar Baby program was open only to film students so now that I’ve graduated I’m not sure I’d be eligible for the short stories any longer. But I’m hereby happily offering myself to direct Rose Madder. The novel has really stuck with me and it has been an inspiration for my version of Dedication. So far it’s one of the few works of Stephen King that haven’t been adapted yet, and it is one that definitely needs a female director!

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Selina Sondermann: I’ve been doing more writing lately, narrative fiction as well as screenplays.

SKSM: What one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Selina Sondermann: I’m not sure… That I have a cameo appearance in Dedication? Maybe that’s surprising to some.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Selina Sondermann: Thank you for the opportunity to share some of my thoughts! It’s an honour. Thank you for reading!

 

 

He played in Simon Scott‘s Dollar Baby For the Road as Gerry Lumley.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Patrick D. Green: I am an actor and producer originally from Texas but currently residing in Portland, OR in the U.S.  I’ve been acting for almost 20 years in both theatre and film.  I’m also a big animal lover. 

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?

Patrick D. Green: I think it was in middle school when I first discovered the theatre.  I was really shy as a kid and it blew my mind that you could get up in front of people while pretending to be someone else.  I fell in love with it.  I knew from that very moment I wanted to be an actor.  Life happened, however, and after college I went into social work, working with children in abusive situations.  After doing that for a long while, I eventually found my way back into the theatre before deciding film was an interest for me as well.   

SKSM: How did you become involved in For the Road Dollar Baby film?

Patrick D. Green: I had worked on a project the director was on as well before and he approached me about playing the role.  I was very excited about the idea of bringing to life a Stephen King piece, and always loved vampire lore so it lured me in quickly.  I was a big fan of many of the cast/crew involved as well so it just seemed like an all around good, fun project to be involved in. 

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Patrick D. Green: I think it appeals to a primordial part of ourselves that is inherently fearful of being vulnerable.  To be in the dark in an unfamiliar place and unsure if you can trust others is frightening.  There is also the passionate nature of vampires that is both seductive and repellant.   

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Patrick D. Green: If I’m remembering correctly, the role was offered to me directly without an audition, which was very kind of the director. 

SKSM: You worked with Simon Scott on this film, how was that?

Patrick D. Green: Simon is a very friendly, good natured, kind person… all very lovely qualities in a director.  He’s an easy person to be around and I’m always excited to work with him.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Patrick D. Green: It was a long shoot in the middle of nowhere but we had a camper/trailer that a lot of us were crowded into and I just remember laughing a whole lot and entertaining ourselves.   

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Patrick D. Green: Yes, I  worked with the DP Michael Greenman on a  music video for the band Dreadlight last summer, and worked with Jeffrey Arrington on a film last winter.  I see a lot of the folks involved fairly often.  I’m fond of all of them. 

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Patrick D. Green: I have a film entitled Crazy Right that is now available on Amazon and Vimeo on Demand, and then several other films that are coming soon including Escaping Freedom, and a remake of The Brain That Wouldn’t Die.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Patrick D. Green: I am a fan of Stephen King, but admittedly most familiar with films based on his stories, such as Stand By Me and Dolores Claiborne

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Patrick D. Green: Even though I was on an episode of Grimm, I never really watched the show. 

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Patrick D. Green: Thanks so much to Stephen King for making it possible to bring some of his works to life! 

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Patrick D. Green: You can follow me, and my films Crazy Right, Escaping Freedom, and The Brain That Wouldn’t Die on Facebook.  My website is patrickdgreen.com

 

She played in Stephen Baxter‘s Dollar Baby Rest Stop as Carrie.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Kayla Henry: I am a Montreal based actor. I grew up in a small town in the Laurentians of Quebec, Canada, and moved to the city of Montreal to study theatre at Dawson College. I have been working as an actor since graduating in 2016. I am also a musician and singer/songwriter.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actress?

Kayla Henry: I think I’ve always known. I consider myself lucky to have had such certainty in my path from a young age. I’ve never really veered away from the arts, and I don’t plan on it. Acting is such a broad umbrella that there is always something new to discover, it keeps me inspired and motivated. 

SKSM: How did you become involved in Rest Stop Dollar Baby film?

Kayla Henry: I submitted to the casting call for the role of Leah. After watching my acting demo reel, Stephen emailed me to request that I audition for Carrie. I sent in my self-tape, and the rest is history.

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Kayla Henry: Simple: A solid main character, with a real internal conflict.

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Kayla Henry: I auditioned for the part.

SKSM: You worked with Stephen Baxter on this film, how was that?

Kayla Henry: Wonderful! Stephen knows how to surround himself with organized and motivated artists, so the cast and crew acted as a well-oiled machine. As a director, Stephen was both precise and open. He showed that he had a clear vision, and a great deal of trust in his actors. His approach allowed for creativity and discovery, that’s all you can ask for!

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Kayla Henry: Well, Eric Davis would tell you that at the end of each take of the book reading scene, I would enthusiastically follow him all the way off screen, in character, with a ridiculously eager smile so that when we heard “cut,” he would turn around to see the crazed face of his NUMBER ONE fan.

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Kayla Henry: The Montreal acting community is a pretty small world. I’m always happy to run into cast and crew members!

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Kayla Henry: I’m working on bettering myself as a musician and overall human being. I’ve also been doing narration work as well as acting in film and television. I play a principal role in Incendo’s film “Thicker Than Water” which should be coming out soon!

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Kayla Henry: I love reading his work, but when it comes to watching the films I’m not a big horror or thriller fan (I’m a scaredy cat). It took me 3 tries to get through the film “Misery.”  That being said, I’m oddly attracted to the idea of acting in horror films!

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Kayla Henry: I used to be a coach at an Axe Throwing center, and I miss it everyday. There is something very thrilling about being a tiny girl throwing large weapons. Bullseye!

But seriously, you should try it!

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Kayla Henry: Thanks for watching and supporting indie films! Passionate people make for great stories, so stay inspired, because youinspire us to do what we do.

SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?

Kayla Henry: Thank you to the fabulous cast and crew for bringing me along on this adventure!

Also, if you want to see what I’m up to you can check out my website: kaylahenryonline.com

 

Original Film Soundtrack of A.J. Gribble’s Dollar Baby Cain Rose Up.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

OMS: My name is Brian Kutzor and I make music under the name OneManStanding. I primarily créate darker electronic music. I have been making music for about 25 years in multiple different styles and médiums.  While I grew up playing guitar and bass, throughout the years I have expanded to multiple different instruments including piano, drums and theremin.  I have been officially releasing music under OneManStanding since 2015, but have worked under that name since approx 2001. I currently have 2 EP’s available, 1 new EP that will reléase in the next few months and the Cain Rose Up Soundtrack Available in all major digital distribution channels. I also have a YouTube channel with videos for a few of my songs that I fully created and also a few  videos of me making cues from the Cain Rose Up Soundtrack.

SKSM: How did you become involved with Cain rose up?

OMS: AJ and I know each other from working together at a local radio station. Over time we found that we have very similar interests and he had showed me some of his previous work. He had mentioned to me that he was planning on remaking  a Stephen King story as his next Project.  As he started to talk to me more about it and increased my interested, I had offered to help in any way he needed and if he needed any music that I would be happy to help. I originally thought he only needed a few short cues, but as we started to talk about it more, he asked if I would do the whole movie. I was still in the mind-set that he wanted shorter cues, and then he began to clarify that he wanted a Wall-to-wall soundtrack for the entire movie. At that point, I became really excited and really nervous because I knew the music had to carry every moment of every scene. I would actually be creating a full length path of emotion to run in tándem with the visuals. It was incredibly exciting and challenging at the same time. So I ended up creating the entire score, except for the End Credits title.

SKSM: How did you get started as a composer and what do you do on production?

OMS: I have always had a love for music, film and production. When I was a teenager I would rent a bunch of horror movies and using 2 VCR’s and my stereo, I would  edit/cut together scenes from my favorite horror movies and insert my favorite heavy metal  songs as the audio track, essentially making my own music videos for them. I was also a big fan of heavy metal/industrial music so the natural progression took me from guitar playing to experimental/industrial electronic drum machines. I loved to make my own 4-track recordings and reléase them as demos in all the bands I was in. I was the primary producer for just about every band I recorded with growing up and I had to learn as I went with the basic gear I had. This offered me the ability to learn lots of different production techniques without any expensive studio gear. Fast-Forward to current day and the production landscape is totally different. While I wish I had the technology of today at my disposal 25 years ago, I am happy I learned the way I did.  As far as becoming a composer, I was always drawn more to instrumental work. While lyrics were always a great and powerful addition to good music, I was always fascinated with soundtracks and how they helped propel a story. I always loved how the music in a film always envoked so much more emotion  than a  song on the radio. Perfect examples include the Halloween Theme. John Carpenter scared the life out of me with that track. Always kept me awake at night. Unreal.  A Clockwork Orange Soundtrack was incredibly futuristic and had great paranoia and fear overtones all while evoking a futuristic feel.  I loved the music as much as the films. It seemed more natural to me as I continued to write and make music to remove the lyrics and focus more on the sounds and pulling as much emotion as I could from them. While I still continue to write lyrics, poetry etc., I find my mind just naturally focuses on the music.

SKSM: How did you get started to wrote the Soundtrack for Cain rose up?

OMS: The first thing that I did was to establish what AJ did Not want.  I wanted to make sure that I didn’t use anything He DID Not want to use. While he gave me some cues as examples of what he want, he also stressed that he trusted me and didn’t micro manage me in the least. I was pretty nervous when I sent him the first scene, but he immediately  thought it was great and was exactly what he was looking for. I liked that even though I was creating the music, I also worked in certain  sound design elements that follow certain characters. Now not only did I créate the music, but now I also added to the characters as well. I was able to créate certain sounds that I buried Deep in the mixes that would creep out subltley so that you would almost pick up on them AFTER the fact and that element was removed. It felt like it tied together certain characters and added to the discomfort level in certain scenes. As I pointed them out To AJ, he told me how much he enjoyed them, so I kept them in. As far as instrumentation goes, I primarily used samples that would be stretched and slowed down. I would reverse clips and then warp them so they would drag out to créate this droning landscape that was just outside the border of reality, but not quite in a nightmare yet.  I also used theremin in certain cues, piano and even the Moog Model D app to créate some great deep bass leads. There is a ton of sampled organ with choirs of people singing Latin phrases like” Apocalyse”. I also wanted to put samples of whispers throught the scores, but I made sure that none of the whispers were audible words- just whispered tones.  As I went along I just analized the scene and would pepper in what sound design elements I thought would fit best for the scene and créate the music as it played.  I would keep the scene on loop and just write as it played over and over again. When the music felt right, I would hit record and then build on it from there.

SKSM: Is this your most challenging audio so far?

OMS: I would say it was definetely was one of the most challenging projects I have worked on to date.  I would say the hardest part was probably the actual creation of the music and following along to someone elses creation. When I créate my own music in the studio, I have a totally different process for creation. While I had a lot of creative freedom on this Project, I had to keep in mind what AJ’s visión for the movie was and try not to cross the line of what he wanted me to adhere to. Even though it was  a totally different process than I was familiar with, I found it incredibly interesting to be taken out of my safe zone and made to function under someone elses creative guidelines. It was a great challenge, but I found it to be helpful because it took me into a different realm of creation and thinking. I also had to build in safeguards and use certain production techniques so it would be easy to remove or enhance certain things in the mix just in case AJ didn’t like certain parts of what I made. So while it was challenging at times, it taught me a ton of things to be aware of for future projects and only made me a better artist and composer for next time.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the music that you would like to tell me about?

OMS: There were quite a few moments I can remember during the creation of the soundtrack. After all it took over 6 months! (Laughs)  The nice thing is that when I would get a good feeling about a track, I would take a video of what I was doing in the studio and send it to AJ just to show him what I was working on. He would always respond with excitement or something along the lines of how much he loved it. It was encouraging, because the last thing I wanted to do was waste a month on a cue, give it to him and have him hate it and delay his Project while I created a different versión. Luckily most of the tracks didn’t have to be changed too much. We then finished, I took those videos and threw some filters on them and released them as a behind the scenes type thing and I like them because I know exactly where I was in the process  of making that track and I can relive the excitement of how it felt as the track was coming together.

SKSM: After Cain rose up did you write more music? If so what?

OMS: Immediately after Cain Rose Up,  I took a week off. No music, No Studio, Nothing. I loved doing it, but it was very stressful. I put my heart and soul into it and felt a ton of pressure that if something didn’t go right with the audio it would be my fault for the hold up or rework. I knew AJ was under a tight deadline toward the end and I literally finished at the last minute. So even though I was done, I was still biting my nails wondering if all was ok. Luckily he got it together in time w/ minimal issues and it was all good. My downtime only lasted about a week before I was back at making music and planning for 2019.

SKSM: What are you working nowadays?

OMS: I will have a new EP out within 2 months. It’s already done, I just need to master it and put a few finishing touches on it. I also wrote and recorded 2 new songs for another EP that will be released later this year. I am excited about that, but I have also decided it’s time to translate the songs so they can be played live. I have played live once before and it was exciting and worked out well, but I have not had time to devote to it. Since Cain Rose Up, I constantly like to challenge myself, so I will often write down something I am scared to do musically or artistically and make that one of the next things I will tackle. Currently I am trying to créate a live set that spans different points of my work while incorporating visual elements to enhance the audio experience. I have it all written down in detail, now I just have to make it work. Its coming together nicely, but takes time. The good news is that once it is programmed up for live, I can just dial it up and change it around from there. I am looking forward to taking the show live and excited to do the next thing on my list. I have my hands in so many different projects, I wish I could add hours to the day so I could tackle them all. For now, I just have to add it to the list and stay excited about it. Nice thing about that list is that I know that if it makes my list, it’s exciting so it always propels me forward and gives me something to look forward to.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

OMS: Oh, Heck Yeah! Some of my favorites were “Stand By Me” and” Christine”, But I remember how excited I was when I was a teenager and found out how different “The Shining” book was from the Kubrick movie. I was also really excited  when they did the remake back in the 90’s and went according to the book. I really love all versions of that movie and love how every versión feels so different, but all of them are incredible in their own way. Pet Sematary scared the hell out me when I was a kid. Poor Zelda. That one holds a special place for me too. They made Gage so creepy in that movie. It was done so well. Its incredible how so many memories are tied to one incredible author and it seems like his work was all over my childhood.

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

OMS: I am incredibly patient, laser focused and persistent when it comes to goals. My friends will all tell you how I am, once I get my teeth sunk into something. My friends will often laugh about the lengths I went to for my first guitar in high school and purchasing a DeLorean when I was 18 years old. Its crazy because once I get an idea in my head, I become obsessed with it and don’t let up until I have reached my goal.

SKSM: What advice would you give to those people who want to be musicians?

OMS: I always preface this before I say it because it sounds cheesy, but I have it written in multiple places to remind me. You miss 100% of the shots your don’t take. The risk you take will never, ever kill you. Don’t ever sell yourself short. Never play it safe. If you grow 25% by doing something uncomfortable, its 25% more growth or experience than the 0% you would have gained by playing it safe. There are so many genres and styles of music out there today, but the only one that matters is the one that you create by being honest. Pop radio will always be around. Famous artists will always be around. But the most powerful music and art comes from someone being honest. Thats the most beautiful thing out there. And today it is easier than ever to get your art out there. The beauty of it is that when you realise that competition kills creativity, you want to share everything you create. And right now anyone can create and share their art with the world and they absolutely should. We live in a fantastic age when you can create and produce something one day and have it reach the other side of the world in minutes for people to appreciate it. There will always be somone out there who appreciates your work and there will always be trolls who love to cut others, but you have an obligation to share whatever you create as an artist. Don’t ever stifle your creativity. Your gifts to the universe are what make others glad to be alive. Even if you don’t think they are important, I can assure you  that they are.

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?

OMS: It was an honor and a pleasure. I am humbled by anyone who takes time out of their day to actually read about or experience my work. I continue to praise AJ for creating this interpretation of Cain Rose Up and I appreciated the opportunity to contribute to it. I welcome any and all feedback or questions anyone would have and thank everyone for their interest in it. I also appreciate you taking the time to continue to contribute all you do and dedicate your time to this endeavor. It’s incredible that you dedicate the amount of time in your life to expose people to King’s works and connect people from around the world who share the same excitement about his work, so THANK YOU!

SKSM: Do you like something to add?

OMS: I am pretty easy to contact if anyone is interested in reaching out. I will have a new EP coming out in a few months and I am trying to get out to play some of this stuff live (Including tracks from the Cain Rose Up soundtrack!) so you may see me around. There is always something I am working on so keep checking my website onemanstanding.net and feel free to drop me a line on twitter @OMSARTIST. I certainly hope we get to do this again soon and anyone interested in some sounds for their projects can hit me up. Thanks again! Cheers!

 

He played in Stephen Baxter‘s Dollar Baby Rest Stop as Gangster.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Alex Gravenstein: I usually introduce myself as a “filmmaker, actor, editor”, but I find “filmmaker” properly encompasses it.  I love being on either end of the camera and have been fascinated at a young age by the dynamic storytelling to which film has rather unique access.  My daily/weekly/monthly work is to be a better storyteller and to encourage anyone else I can along the way.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?

Alex Gravenstein: Probably not until about 8 years ago.  I had always been acting for fun as a kid and did plays throughout my life, but it wasn’t until the last decade where I realized how important storytelling was to my life.  Before then, I was on the track of mechanical engineering with the prospect of medicine.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Rest Stop Dollar Baby film?

Alex Gravenstein: I’ve known Stephen for a few years, and we’ve always chatted about collaborating on something.  He messaged me a few weeks before the shoot saying he’d like to have me for a part in the project, and I happily accepted.

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Alex Gravenstein: It portrays a great twist on the struggle of self identity when the world of fiction butts heads with real-world morality. And who doesn’t love some action scenes?!

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Alex Gravenstein: When I saw some auditions posted on Facebook I applied, and he later offered me the role. Stephen has seen me audition for past projects and I believe he felt comfortable giving me the role without the audition, especially since it’s not particularly demanding.

SKSM: You worked with Stephen Baxter on this film, how was that?

Alex Gravenstein: I’ve always appreciated his sense of vision for his projects, so it was wonderful seeing it come to life with this full production. He stayed focused on the task at hand and yet remained open to pursuing alternate choices.  I’d be happy to work with him again.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Alex Gravenstein: I’d say a special moment was every time Kevin transformed seamlessly between the friendly guy behind the scenes to the deadly gunslinger.

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Alex Gravenstein: I always keep an eye out for what anyone posts on social media, but not much close contact since the shoot.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Alex Gravenstein: Apart from weekly acting training, I’m working on developing workshops to help actors with the audition experience.  Otherwise, I’m doing corporate editing, VFX, and event videography/photography.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Alex Gravenstein: Yes! I’ve only read a shameful amount of his work, but he is doubtlessly an incredible storyteller, who brings extraordinary depth to his tales.

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Alex Gravenstein: Most people are surprised to learn I grew up with random pet, such as geese, iguanas, hedgehogs, and others.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Alex Gravenstein: You’re welcome!  Stories come to life only when they’re shared.  If you like what you see, tell others!

 

He played in A.J. Gribble’s Dollar Baby Cain Rose Up as Danny Torrance.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Tony C. Thomas: My name is Tony C. Thomas. I work in digital marketing and I am currently running for City Council in my hometown.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?

Tony C. Thomas: I actually started acting in the past year or so. I always wanted to give it a try, but I was intimidated by the stage. I auditioned for a show and I’ve been involved in performance ever since.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Cain Rose Up Dollar Baby film?

Tony C. Thomas: I was approached by Natasha about playing a part and I reached out to AJ and he accepted me into the film.

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Tony C. Thomas: This is a story that is all too common now. I think that people are fascinated by violence and evil and this story gives you a window into that.

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Tony C. Thomas: I more or less auditioned for the role.

SKSM: You worked with A.J Gribble on this film, how was that?

Tony C. Thomas: Fantastic. I admit that I didn’t know what to expect, but I found that he was incredibly profesional and knew exactly what he wanted out of his cast and crew. I can appreciate a director who takes charge.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Tony C. Thomas: Trying to plan my death scene as amusing. Everyone was worried that I was going to hurt myself falling onto concrete, but I managed to fall and not get injured.

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Tony C. Thomas: I speak to AJ every now and again. I have been rather busy lately and haven’t had an opportunity to speak to the other cast members.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Tony C. Thomas: Primarily, my campaign for City Council. Additionally, I continue to write and I hope to get back into theater soon.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Tony C. Thomas: I am. The Shining was the first book I’ve read of his and it was also the film Stephen King film that I ever saw. I have practically read everything he has done.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Tony C. Thomas: Thank you for seeing and supporting this film. Supporting true indepedent film is the way that these artists are going to get the exposure that they deserve.

 


She played in Jackie Perez’s Dollar Baby Beachworld as Shapiro.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Samantha Cutaran: I’m a Filipino-American actress born and raised in California. I studied acting at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, graduating with a BFA in theatre before returning to Californina to pursue film and television.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actress?

Samantha Cutaran: My first introduction to the stage was actually through dance. My high school boyfriend was in a local production in the Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and they wanted a dancer for one of the roles. They offered me the role and from there, that theater began giving me speaking roles and I’ve been acting since.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Beachworld Dollar Baby film?

Samantha Cutaran: A mutual friend of mine and the director’s, Tom McCafferty (who plays Rand in the film) emailed me the casting notice for Beachworld. I read the logline and was immediately interested. I put my audition on tape, sent it to Jackie and the rest is history.

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Samantha Cutaran: I think many people fantasize about what the future will be like and this is one scenario that may resemble one of their hypothetical versions.

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Samantha Cutaran: Yes, I had to audition for the film.

SKSM: You worked with Jackie Perez on this film, how was that?

Samantha Cutaran: Jackie was fantastic to work with. She really had a vision and was constantly communicating with the DP, cast and crew. She created a wonderfully supportive and focused environment.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Samantha Cutaran: There was a point when they told me to just keep walking all by myself through the sand dunes for about 20-30 minutes and the drone would follow me. There was no around me and it was so peaceful.

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Samantha Cutaran: I actually worked with the DP, Sarah Phillips again on another film a few months after wrapping Beachworld. Tom is good friends with my boyfriend, so I still stay in contact with him.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Samantha Cutaran: I just finished filming an episode of SEAL Team on CBS. I am also collaborating with some friends to create a short film.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Samantha Cutaran: Honestly, I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to scary/horror films/books. I enjoy filming them but I definitely have nightmares when I read or watch them. Nonetheless, what I have read of his work, I’ve enjoyed becasue he’s a great storyteller.

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Samantha Cutaran: I was quite shy when I was younger and was terrified to be in front of large groups of people.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Samantha Cutaran: Thank you for reading and check out Beachworld when it comes out later this year.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Samantha Cutaran: Be kind and treat people, animals and nature with respect. Also, just enjoy life!

He played in A.J. Gribble’s Dollar Baby Cain Rose Up as Harris.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Cody Thomas: Hello! My name is Cody Thomas. I’m 18 years old, and live in Northeast Pennsylvania. I currently attend a technical school for Audio Visual.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?

Cody Thomas: It sort of was always something that had fascinated me, As a young kid I had dreams of being a famous actor in the back of my mind.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Cain Rose Up Dollar Baby film?

Cody Thomas: I had known A.J. was working on a short film for a little while before hand, as we went to the same A/V class together. In early June he had made a post asking for Male actors. I reached out, asked if he needed any help, and it went from there!

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Cody Thomas: I believe, that because it’s such a dark topic, most people can’t even begin to imagine something like that. Because of this, they watch a movie, video, or so on, about the topic. I think it sheds a little light on something so unthinkable, but very unfortunately real.

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Cody Thomas: Neither I suppose, the script had already been finished when I reached out. A.J. sent me the script, and told me which character he thought I’d be best for.

SKSM: You worked with A.J Gribble on this film, how was that?

Cody Thomas: It was honestly incredible. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. Everyone was very professional, and A.J. is a wonderful director. Extremely understanding and kind!

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Cody Thomas: There was quite a bit of funny moments. We all had a few good laughs in between takes. There was times where we tried getting things to time out correctly, only to end up doing the same shot so many times before it actually played out right. We all had our laughs, but when it came down to it, we got to work and got it done.

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Cody Thomas: The occasional message to A.J. but still seeing him almost every day in class. And the occasional message to fellow actor Jarod Engle.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Cody Thomas: At the moment, nothing unfortunately. I’d be extremely open to doing another film if given the opportunity, however.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Cody Thomas: Not as much as I’d like honestly. I know his famous, popular works, as most people do. Stephen King is definitely something I need to learn, read, and watch more about!

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Cody Thomas: That as much as I had dreamed of being an actor, I really never had the opportunity before Cain Rose Up. This was the first professional short film I had been in.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Cody Thomas: No, thank you! Thanks for all the support, and supporting A.J. in his film, and we hope that you’ll enjoy Cain Rose Up!

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Cody Thomas: A quick shout out to everyone that worked on the film. It was an amazing experience, and I’d love to work with you all again some day!

 

He is the man behind L.T’s Theory Of Pets Dollar Baby Film.

SKSM: May you introduce yourself to our readers? Who are you and what do you do?

Brad C. Hodson: I’m Brad Hodson, a novelist, screenwriter, and the Admin for the Horror Writers Association.

SKSM: How would you decide that shoot movies was your mission?

Brad C. Hodson: I’ve loved movies since I was a kid. I had kind of a strange situation growing up and movies were an escape for me.

SKSM: Why L.T’s Theory of Pets was cancelled? Is it possible for Stephen King fans to see it in a future?

Brad C. Hodson: It is definitely possible! At the time I optioned it, we had wanted to shoot on 35mm film and had a very specific cast in mind. Once the final Budget came in, the entire project just became out of reach for us financially. Then in the years since, I’ve had two kids, as well as other film projects take off, novels to work on, etc. So the months stretched into years. The plus side of that is that video has advanced to the point where I could achieve the look I want for the film while keeping it under our original budget.

But I love the story and I think my script and storyboards show a unique and interesting take on it that would really do it justice. The other piece that is a bit of nightmare is the animals themselves. You can’t do away with them – there’s no story without them – so finding that perfect balance of how little we can get away with actually shooting with animals while keeping true to the work has been tough.

SKSM: Who would be involved into this project?

Brad C. Hodson: I’m going to keep this under wraps for now. If this project does get going in the future, the potential cast and crew I’ve spoken – if they’re still available – would make a fantastic film.

SKSM: How come you picked LT’s Theory of Pets to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?

Brad C. Hodson: King’s story is such a great piece of humor that turns on a dime into something tragic and sorrowful. There’s an almost Coen Brothers quality to it. It’s also very much a story about storytelling – why we’re drawn to certain tales, how storytellers confront their pain by the stories themselves. I love that.

SKSM: Did you know that this story has already been filmed as Dollar Baby? Have you seen any of these adaptations? If so, what do you think about it?

Brad C. Hodson: I did not know that! It would be fun to see what those interpretations are like.

SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?

Brad C. Hodson: Oh, most definitely. I’m a big fan of his short fiction. NIGHT SHIFT and SKELETON CREW especially. `SALEM’S LOT and PET SEMETARY are two of the scariest books I’ve ever read. As for adaptations – where do you start? I like most of them – even the bad ones. Sometimes especially the bad ones haha!

SKSM: How did you find out that King sold the movie rights to some of his stories for just $1?

Brad C. Hodson: I had always heard that and thought it was an urban legend. But then I read an interview with Frank Darabont years ago and he mentioned it, which immediately sent me off to do some research.

SKSM: What are you working nowadays?

Brad C. Hodson: Right now, we’re pitching a pilot and about to take a feature script out as well. I’m halfway through a new novel and recently optioned another one for television. The feature adaptation of my first book is in full swing. It’s all kind of crazy, but I’m digging it – and keeping my fingers crossed.

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Brad C. Hodson: I used to fight semi-professionally. Boxing, Sanshou, and MMA. I have less than a dozen fights under my belt, but I loved it. I was training with Chute Boxe when I broke three ribs and finally decided “You know, I’m not really into being in some amount of pain all the time.” There was a guy I trained with, lived in his car and spent all day at the gym, sunrise to bedtime. It hit me I could never do that – and so I could never beat someone who did. Better to write about it haha.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to our readers?

Brad C. Hodson: Thanks for giving me some time to chat. If anyone is interested in my work, the audiobook of my horror novel DARLING here: https://www.audible.com/pd/Darling-Audiobook/B075FYGHFV

SKSM: Would you like to add something else to this interview?

Brad C. Hodson: If anyone has any further questions, feel free to contact me. And if you’re a burgeoning horror writer in any field, you should ask about joining the Horror Writers Association alongside Mr. King. You can contact me at admin@horror.org.

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