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He is the man behind Willa Dollar Baby Film.

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

Christopher Birk: My name is Christopher Birk and I moved to New York in 2007 from Denmark where I was born. I am a trained actor but in early 2011 I turned producer/director/writer too with “Willa” and the creation of my own production company Alpha Tree Productions. We are fairly new but hope to produce many interesting things over the coming years. Besides Willa we have done a few short films, some fashion events and over the past year I have been working on my first feature documentary.

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

Christopher Birk: Willa was born in early 2011 along with the production company. I had recently finished working on a feature as an actor – a film called “Solomon Grundy” and the director, Mattson Tomlin is a big Stephen King fan like myself. A few years earlier he had done his own Dollar Baby short: Popsy. He told me about the Dollar Baby deal and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard about it before. Within just a few weeks I had read just about every single short story and initially wanted to do a very dark and gruesome twist on The Boogeyman. I even went as far as making a teaser trailer for it and everything. I think the reason I abandoned that idea was 2 things: Firstly, I found out that this story had been done a few times already and, in some way, I was annoyed with the idea of doing something many others had already done, even though it’s a great story and it can be done in many different and interesting ways.

Secondly, I came across Willa. There was something so hauntingly beautiful and sensitive about the subject and it gave me a whole flood of images and ideas pretty immediately after reading it a few times.

I didn’t really think about it being a feature film or a short film in the beginning. I think i sort of imagined it was going to be a short film but as soon as I began writing the screenplay it grew and grew and I knew that I couldn’t possibly tell the story in 15-20 minutes. It had to be more. There’s a certain mood to the story that I wanted to capture and I could only do that with more time.

Then everything went fast. Within a month I had written the screenplay and found my cast. I love a great story and I love more than anything when others respond to it as well. Everyone involved were so captivated by the story and some even found me themselves and fell in love with it as I did. I like that! That should always be number one when you do a project: the passion and love for what it’s about and that you want to be part of telling a certain story. This made our team very strong and I think everyone knew we were doing something great.

I have to give about 60 percent of the credit to the actors though. They were a bunch of amazing people. Professional, dedicated and perfect for their roles. For me casting can be tricky, because I often just simply know when it’s “the one” for the role. And this can take a very long time to find because it is very hard to explain what I’m looking for. But with this film I was lucky. It seemed to attract “the ones”. We even had a girl audition who was so amazing that we had to write a character for her in the film and completely change the storyline just to make sure we could have her in it. I think it’s amazing when something like that happens.

I ran a Kickstarter campaign for the film. We actually didn’t collect too much through that but enough to start filming. The rest was pure luck and a nice chunk of my own money, helped along by my amazing director of photography Nathaniel Kramer who believed in the project as much as I did and had a large array of equipment available to us. He pretty much accounts for most of the remaining credit after the actors. This definitely made our production value rise way beyond what we actually had at our disposal. So I’d say, in pure dollars, this whole thing was done for a little under $15,000. For a feature film!

We shot it in about 2 weeks total. Again, all this would never have gone so smoothly if I hadn’t had amazing actors and an incredible crew – and we were lucky that we had perfect weather too. Most of our scenes took place outdoors so it could have been a disaster if the weather had decided to be against us. After all, when you plan something like this – around locations, people’s schedules etc – even missing one day because of weather can make it a huge issue trying to get that day back somewhere.  We shot it in the Hamptons. Beautiful place. The abandoned house we used as the train station happened to be right next to train tracks which was amazing. Unfortunately it was also right next to a very busy road which made sound and picture editing an interesting challenge. But I do think the result came out so much better than I could ever have imagined.

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

Christopher Birk: When I start a project like this I always have my first, second, third and even fourth options for how to film it. In my mind, in the beginning, this would have been shot very much like the Blair Witch Project. I didn’t expect to have the equipment, luck and  help around the project as we ended up with so that was just an unexpected, and amazing, bonus. As I mentioned before the story should come first. I feel very strongly, that if you have a strong story you can make it happen. You don’t necessarily need a long list of things and a huge budget. If the story is there it can be told in many ways. I don’t believe in restricting yourself in that way.

In the beginning when I sought advice from different people, I did get a lot of positive response. But I did also get a lot of people telling me that I was insane. That you couldn’t possibly do something like this without making sure of so and so. And then they threw a list so long in my face that I would never have done anything if I had listened to that. Of course you need to take care of certain things. But the most important thing is to just do it! I never expected this to be “perfect” whatever that even means. And I think that’s how you make things happen! Don’t get hung up on technical things and perfection – but know that you have a great story you want to tell and just figure out how to tell it with what you have at your disposal.

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

Christopher Birk: I’m a very big Stephen King fan and always have been, ever since Carrie, It and Cujo scared the crap out of me as a kid. I think I mentioned it above as well but Willa just spoke to me in some way. It kind of chose me, I think. I like to say that! Because it’s true. That’s kind of what happened. After reading it I had so many ideas and felt that this story wanted me to do something about it.

There are few Stephen King adaptations I didn’t like. They’re not all great but they all have that certain spirit that I find in so much of his work. A spirit I also tried to create with my film. But I have to say that my very favorite King adaptation has to be Dolores Claiborne. That film is well done in so many ways and it’s just such an incredible story. Though gruesome it has so much beauty in it. And for anyone watching Willa I’m sure you’ll see how that is something that fascinates me too. The combination of gruesome and beautiful and sometimes almost combining it. His quote about how being alone and how it’s the most terrifying thing, literally – the word: Alone – and the reoccurring theme in many of his stories; that people are the real monsters, are also of great inspiration and fascination to me.

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

Christopher Birk: Any special moments? Well to sound like a big cliché, every moment was special! But I do recall the fun we had sneaking up onto the train tracks to shoot some of our scenes, when we totally were not allowed there and had no permission to shoot there. How we needed to keep an eye out for trains and everyone was on high alert. I also wrote several scenes that we actually shot, that didn’t make it to the final film – but they were hilarious to do and were actually funny. One scene suggested that Phil and Pat had some sort of plan all along and that they were actually lovers in this weird limbo everyone was in. It was fun to do but put the story on a track that would have made it even more complicated than it already is. For anyone who knows the story and gets to watch the film they may notice that the character of Pat was someone I created for the film. She is sort of a combination of many of the smaller roles in the script. I did that initially to limit the number of actors we needed but it actually ended up working beautifully. So those are some of my favorite moments. Those and the fact that a van full of actors got pulled over for speeding one night when we left the location. That was fun too…

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

Christopher Birk: Ah the festivals! So this is where I could have done more research. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t hoped we would enter some festivals and get some attention though I think my love for the story did overshadow that a little. For anyone out there who has ever done what I did they’ll know that doing a feature film as pretty much your first project, makes it very hard to get it into festivals. Especially when it doesn’t really have a certain niche or deals with a minority or certain group.

So it was hard to get Willa into festivals. I probably should have started with some short films to get a little attention around myself and my production company. When no one knows who you are the offers don’t exactly come running – and applying to festivals also costs money. So all that didn’t go quite as well as I had hoped which is a shame. I mean, not really! We all do have the film to show off and the experience etc and I probably wouldn’t have been where I am now if I hadn’t done it. And it’s great to have on the resume and to be able to talk about. But I do wish, especially for the actors, that the film had found a little place somewhere. Their performances are amazing and I would love nothing more than to know that someone in that cast got something or somewhere great because of someone watching their performance in Willa.

It’s not too late of course. I will still submit the film. It technically only a few years since it was completed so I haven’t given up!

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?

Christopher Birk: I really hope people who wants to see it will get the chance. And if you do – go to my website www.christopherbirk.com and contact me (hint hint) and maybe you can get to watch it.

The problem with this film is that due to my contract I am not allowed to show it publicly anywhere without King’s permission. And to my knowledge he hasn’t seen it and has not responded to any of my attempts to show him the film. I still believe in the film so much that I think he would get back to me if he saw it. But I also understand that I’m “just” me and I have no way of convincing him to watch my film over all the other ones that are made.

I would love an internet release, like Vimeo on demand or something. Maybe some day….

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

Christopher Birk: I have received generally good feedback on the film. And then also a lot of “no” feedback. Whether it’s because people I show it to don’t actually watch it, are too scared to make negative comments or whatnot I don’t know. I can see on ImDb that quite a few people have given it 1 star. Now I don’t know how to interpret that. I’m sure some people just do that without watching it but I actually would like to know why, if they’ve seen it, they didn’t like it etc.

I completely understand and know that this film is not perfect at all! So I’m not terribly sensitive to those comments. More intrigued as to what someone would say if they hated it or thought it was awful etc. Again – if anyone has seen it you are more than welcome to contact me and send me your reviews.

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?

Christopher Birk: I dream of making Rose Madder and/or Gerald’s Game into films. However I also know that both have been optioned and are (supposedly) in the works. I’m dabbling with quite simply writing the screenplay for one of them and the bothering Mr. King continually until I finally hear from him. So we will see…. Those are amazing stories, very hard to make into films, which probably is also why it hasn’t yet happened. But I still think it’s possible and there’s nothing I’d like more than to be involved in that.

SKSM: What are you working at nowadays?

Christopher Birk: At the moment, and since June last year, I have been working on a documentary about drag queens. Very different subject there but it has been an amazing experience for me and I can’t wait to see the result of everything. If anyone wants to check it out you can read about it at www.draggedthefilm.com.

Doing the documentary has also given me time to work on quite a few scripts. In a few months I expect to finish another 2 scripts. These stories will most likely, at least in the first year or so, get sent to script festivals to see what response I’ll get.

My next actual project after the documentary, or probably during, will most likely be 2 short films – one horror and one drama.

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

Christopher Birk: Anything I’d like to say to my fans? Well I can’t even wrap my head around having a fan so I would be forever grateful and super happy if someone is a fan. And I’d tell them to let me know anytime they’re in New York City because then I’d want to have a coffee with them at one of my favorite places – well they’d be having coffee and I’d have a hot chocolate most likely – and talk about stuff. I’d also just simply like to thank anyone who took the time to read this and/or watch the film. And I hope you’ll hear of me again in regards to something Stephen King related. That’s my hope for the future! That I will get to do more of his material. Even if it’s another Dollar Baby. I’m pretty sure that will happen for sure. But how great would it be to be involved in Gerald’s Game or Rose Madder!? I get chills just dreaming about it. And that’s what I want to do and what everyone else out there is doing I hope.. Dreaming about the fun things they hope to do! Thank you.

 

 

He is the man behind Cain Dollar Baby Film.

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

Lyubo Yonchev: My name is Lyubo Yonchev and I’m Bulgarian. Do you know where is that on the map?  Bulgaria is a small country… hahaha, I’m joking! I’m studying Film and TV Directing at New Bulgarian University located in Sofia. I’m smart, blond… oops, these two things are inconsistent. I’m slobbering a lot as you can see! I’m a normal guy, who loves the cinema and dreaming to make good films. Ask me something about “Cain”.

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

Lyubo Yonchev: I started with the idea of “Cain” in the master class of Prof. Georgi Dyulgerov (a famous Bulgarian film director). I had a task to adapt a short story in a screenplay for a short film. I read a lot of stories in different genres, but every time something pulled me in stories with horror fragments. So I started to read stories of one of my favorite’s author’s – Stephen King. When I read “Cain rose up”, I said “That’s it!”. I suggested a draft of the screenplay to the professor, and he accepted my idea with great pleasure. It took a long time to raise the money, because we had to give all the money for the film from our pockets. Of course, a lot of friends and partners helped us. J The film cost was around 5000 euros, plus 1 dollar for the copyrights of the story “Cain rose up”. The whole production was around 1 year.

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

Lyubo Yonchev: As I said in the previous answer, that was a task in the master class of Prof. Georgi Dyulgerov. And what I liked mostly in the story…hm. Maybe that the characters are our age and easily can feel their emotions, and that the story can happen at every place in the world. Every day we read, hear or watch on the news something close to that story.

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

Lyubo Yonchev: Yes, I’m a huge fan! I’ve watched all the films which are based on stories and novels written by King. One of my favorite are “Misery”, “The Shining”, “Secret window”, “Rose red” and many more.

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?

Lyubo Yonchev: When I told about the film to a friend of mine in Netherlands, who is the owner of Steven King’s fan club, he told me about this option, and I entered the official website of Steven King. Then I realized with joy that this story was available for the “1 dollar baby” contracts. I wrote a letter to the main office of Mr. King and the same day they answered me with a proposal for a contract. They asked me to send them the movie “Cain” and in 2-3 weeks I had a green light about official non-exclusive rights for the story “Cain rose up”.

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

Lyubo Yonchev: Oh, yes, a lot of these moments were there! Especially when we had the task to calm down the crow. Another funny moment was we had to place real worms on the face of one of the actors. He had no problem with them, but they smelled really bad…uh.

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

Lyubo Yonchev: Yes, the film already was selected on a lot of festivals. It was awarded with jury special mentions, best film music and an official nomination for best short fiction movie in the annual awards of Bulgarian Film Academy.

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?

Lyubo Yonchev: Of course there is no way for all the people to watch the film, and unfortunately we don’t have permission to screen the film online, TV and release it on DVD. The contract we have allows us to distribute the film only with non-commercial propose on film festivals.

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

Lyubo Yonchev: Every person has his or hers own opinion and thoughts about the film. But the fact that the film has many selections and awards from festivals, means that the film is not so bad.

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)?

Lyubo Yonchev: No, Bulgaria is a far away country, and I don’t think King knows where we are on the world map, haha!

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?

Lyubo Yonchev: Of course I would like to shoot another story by Stephen King, but this time will be far more professional. Definitely King is a tough author to read, but it’s damn hard to represent this psychosis which is in his head. Lots of the students from 1st and 2nd year in university think that they’ll do a revolution in the film industry when they shoot lots of blood, drugs and weapons. Actually this is the most hard to achieve because you have to make the spectator to believe in your story on the screen.

SKSM: What are you working at nowadays?

Lyubo Yonchev: Right now I’m working on my graduation film. It’s kind of different from the others and I raise money for official rights for a new story by Stephen King. I want it to be legal.

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

Lyubo Yonchev: Except the fans I want to give an advice to other authors, to follow the example of Mr. King, and give the opportunity to the young authors as well. We all know that the celebrity authors have sufficiently greater returns from large film studios. But the young people deserve the chance to continue proving their skills. What I want to tell my fans…hm. I’m not so sure that I can talk about fans yet because these fans are my age. Maybe after 10-15 years I’ll make plenty of films and I’ll have sufficiently audience, to say that I have real fans.

SKSM: Do you have anything you’d like to add?

Lyubo Yonchev: Watch my films! And keep the fingers crossed for The Oscars.

Title: Harvey’s dream (2015) Bandera de Estados Unidos
Runtime: 11′
Director: Ryan Shelley
Script: Ryan Shelley
Cast: Hannah Perreault, Bunny Barclay, Sha Liao, Lana Sabbag, Sophia Mullins, Lisa Reilich, Bruce Pratt.
Trailer
Web imdb Facebook Twitter

 

Title: One for the road (2015) Bandera de Estados Unidos
Runtime: 8′
Director: Ben Larned
Script: Ben Larned
Cast: Brooke Dylan Stein, Cynthia Loren, Nick Rafter, Joe Shayne, David Carlson.
Trailer
Web imdb Facebook Twitter Crowdfunding

 

He is the man behind The Doctor’s Case Dollar Baby Film.

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

Matt Matlovich: I currently live in Toronto, Ontario, but I grew up in a small town called Port Lambton. I attended the University of Western Ontario after high school, earning a double major in English and Film Studies and followed that up with a year at Sheridan College in an Advanced Film and Television Program, specializing in Screenwriting and Directing. After school, I started work at Bling Digital, a division of Sim Digital, which is a rental house for production gear. This is where I work today, operating as a post-engineering technician, which involves taking care of data management gear and coordinating rentals for commercials. However, I am foremost a screenwriter, and work on original scripts after my working hours. I am currently writing my fourth feature, and aim to submit to an agency within the year.

SKSM: When did you make The doctor’s case? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?

Matt Matlovich: The Doctor’s Case was a project I started back in 2011, as my first short film after film school. I had heard about Stephen King’s Dollar Baby program and promptly read every story available to option. I chose The Doctor’s Case because I enjoy a good mystery and found it out of the realm of a traditional Stephen King story. I then spent about 6 months adapting it, creating a teaser trailer and starting a Kickstarter campaign to raise funding. Principal photography started in October 2012 and spanned three weekends (5 days of shooting in total). Post-Production stretched into July 2013, with a total budget around $10,000.

SKSM: How come you picked The doctor’s case to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?

Matt Matlovich: As I mentioned above, I read all of the Dollar Babies available and found The Doctor’s Case offered the most versatility for an adaptation. I was intrigued by the fact that it was Sherlock Holmes story, which would open it up to fans of both Holmes and King. However, I was most interested in the way it subverted a Holmes mystery, in that it’s really Watson’s case.

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

Matt Matlovich: I am a huge fan of Stephen King, having read most of his books growing up and continue to grow my collection to this day (both his books and films). I have a special section in my movie collection dedicated to King adaptations. In line with my desire to make The Doctor’s Case because it is less of a traditional Stephen King story, my favourite film adaptations have to be The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption. These are two works that are often overlooked because they are not what you expect from Stephen King – they’re not horror movies. To pick a horror movie, it would have to be Carrie (the Sissy Spacek version).

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?

Matt Matlovich: I had found out about the program back in high school but did not have the resources to make a movie. I forgot about it until a friend mentioned it. I then did some more research into the program and decided I would take a crack at it.

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

Matt Matlovich: While it’s not a particular moment per se, I am most proud of how the ‘twinning’ turned out during Watson’s explanation of the crime. One issue with a dialogue heavy script was to keep things visual as Watson unravelled the clues. To do this, I thought it best to ‘see’ the crime happen as Watson explains it. I had completed a lot of tests up to this point and was very pleased with the end result. A huge kudos to my editor who also completed all of the VFX in order to make this stylistic idea become reality.

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

Matt Matlovich: The film has already screened at the Young Cuts Film Festival in Montreal and the Hamilton Film and Music Festival in Hamilton (both in Canada). It’s been difficult finding the right fit for the film, as it’s a fairly long short and very much a genre film. I am happy to have it considered for the Dollar Baby Festival, as it will provide the perfect audience for it.

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?

Matt Matlovich: I’m glad that there’s a festival such as this that would allow King fans to watch the movie. It is unfortunate that not everyone could watch it, and I would love to upload it to the Internet, but I understand the issues with the rights for the script and the legal issues that could exist if that were to happen.

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

Matt Matlovich: A lot of people have enjoyed the visual style of the film, in particular Holmes deduction methods. Overall people enjoy it, although sometimes the twist doesn’t come through entirely. This was a point of great debate during the editing process and, while I am happy with the finished product, it does require a few logic leaps to understand.

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)?

Matt Matlovich: I did not have any personal contact with King during the making of the movie. I’m also not sure if he saw it, but I did send him a DVD, so I hope so!

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?

Matt Matlovich: I do not have any current plans to make another movie based on Stephen King’s stories. But if I were to do another Dollar Baby, it would probably be Harvey’s Dream, because it’s a simple story and would be easy to shoot. I would also like to try The Last Rung on the Ladder or Willa, but those would take a lot of effort. If it were to be one of his novels, I would choose Bag of Bones. I haven’t seen the Pierce Brosnan adaptation, but it was one of the first books from King I read and it turned me onto his writing!

SKSM: What are you working at nowadays?

Matt Matlovich: I’m working on creating original spec screenplays at the moment. I currently have 4 in development. Two of them are near completion, while the other two require a few more drafts. My plan is to submit to a few literary agencies within the year and hopefully get representation. Writing scripts is my passion and I want to be able to do it full-time!

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

Matt Matlovich: Haha, I do hope people enjoy The Doctor’s Case, and the only thing I can say is that it’s best to test out any visual effects shots before principal production. There were a number of different shots that I tested beforehand, which gave me a much better idea of how to get them on the day. It helped speed up production and made me extremely pleased with the final result.

SKSM: Do you have anything you’d like to add?

Matt Matlovich: I just want to thank you for taking the time to watch The Doctor’s Case and put a Dollar Baby Film Festival together. It was an honour to work with and adapt Mr. King’s work. While my adaptation may not be completely faithful (opting for the present day over a period piece), I feel it captures the inherent theme of King’s work, emphasizing Watson’s ability to solve a crime once he gains the self-confidence to do so.

 

He is the man behind Message from Jerusalem Dollar Baby Film.

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

Kristian Day: I am a fulltime filmmaker and writer based in Des Moines, Iowa. I mostly work in realityTV and the occasional feature. I write for magazines including Fangoria, Horror Hound, and various newspapers.

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

Kristian Day: I made Message From Jerusalem after being invited to a Stephen King inspired art show at the now defunct Des Moines art gallery, Finders Creepers. I spent no money on the production because I knew I would never make any money on it. It was more of an experiment than anything else. It was filmed over a period of two months. There was never any type of “real” production timeline. I took the camera while I was on road trips. The locations included Galena, IL (the New England looking town), the legendary American Gothic house (yes the famous house from the Grant Wood painting), and a chapel on the campus on the Drake University Campus.

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

Kristian Day: Jerusalem’s Lot was one of my favorite stories from the Night Shift book. I remember reading it and visions would pop in my head of a dark and desolate snowy night. It predates 30 Days Of Night by a few decades but the atmosphere is very similar.

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

Kristian Day: Yes and no. I loved books like Night Shift, Carrie, Salem’s Lot, and The Shinning. I don’t believe he changed as a writer in anyway. I changed as a reader. As far as film adaptations, I loved Salem’s Lot and Graveyard Shift.

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?

Kristian Day: I think it was probably just from some late night web surfing. I wish I could say it was something more exciting but that was really all it was.

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

Kristian Day: Years after filming was completed, I became friends with the woman who was living in the house (rent for the place is only $250 per month). I was having some wine with her in the kitchen on a Friday afternoon and told her what I had shot a couple years back. I showed her the film and I was never invited back.

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

Kristian Day: The film screened at the Stephen King art show at Finders Creepers in Des Moines on January 22nd 2011. It has never screened at a festival since (and most likely won’t).

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?

Kristian Day: The film is available online to view for free on my website http://kristianday.com/film/shorts-2/message-from-jerusalem-2011/

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

Kristian Day: Most people have enjoyed it… especially on some type of drug.

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)?

Kristian Day: No I have never met or spoken to him.

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?

Kristian Day: I would be interested in making a standard feature based on Jerusalem’s Lot. That story has always stuck in my mind. I love stories that take place in desolate settings create feelings of doom and hopelessness. I am really not a dark person but I love taking characters to the edge. The last movie I saw that did that was Martyrs.

SKSM: What are you working at nowadays?

Kristian Day: I worked on season 19 of The Bachelor this past fall and just completed an episode of the show Intervention. I am working on a feature at the end of February called Up On The Wooftop. It is a kids movie about a talking dog who saves Christmas.

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

Kristian Day: For those who have seen it and have become interested in this film. Thank you.

SKSM: Do you have anything you’d like to add?

Kristian Day: www.kristianday.com

Instagram: @kristianday

Twitter: @kristianmday

 

He is the man behind In The Deathroom Dollar Baby Film.

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

Milos Savic: I was born 1984 in Schwaebisch Gmuend (Germany) as a child of serbian immigrants. After graduating secondary
school, I worked as a trainee for several production
companies, especially Los Banditos Films GmbH. Meanwhile I gained experience in film editing, by finishing many music videos and realizing own projects. From 2006 – 2012 I studied 
“feature film directing” at the renowned Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg in Ludwigsburg (Germany). Now, I’m a freelance director and editor, living in “Benztown” Stuttgart (Germany) and did the last two years a lot of stuff for the commercial industry. Currently I’m working on my full length feature film debut, which hopefully should be realized very soon.

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

Milos Savic: We began to adapt the story in October 2011. The preproduction went ahead very quick so that the principal photography could start in February 2012. My producers have been very dedicated and the production design department did a wonderful job building the “deathroom” from scratch. We needed 7 days of shooting on set and had a 30 men crew. We’ve shot all the time with two cameras and used three different systems; Arri Alexa, Red One and 16mm. At the end we had 19.000€ (11.500€ you get from the filmschool, the rest of it we scratched together from private sponsors) and we spent all the money to the last cent. Editing took place from April till June 2012, composing the music from August till October 2012 and sound design from October 2012 till March 2013 (with some interruptions). Color grading and finishing everything around the project like compositing, rendering, creating the DVD etc. had been done in August 2013.

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

Milos Savic: I liked it a lot that the whole story took place in only one room and united several genres (dark comedy, thriller, splatter). And then of course, there’s Fletcher. He’s a so well written character that everyone would like to have as a friend in real life. It’s a funny turn on the “the end justifies the means”-theme. Even in a hopeless situation like his, he’s not losing his sarcasm and his survival instincts, which saved him at the end.

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

Milos Savic: Yes I am. Very early in my life I got in touch with him. I’ve read “Needful Things” as a twelve year old and watched during my youth movies like “It, Sometimes they come back, The Tommyknockers, etc.”. I didn’t read so many stories of him as I watched them on TV. But from the perspective of a filmmaker, I think it’s hard to choose between “Shining” and “The Shawshank Redemption” as the best film.

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?

Milos Savic: I never heard about it before, but a producer I’ve met at a festival told me in June 2011. Right at that moment I knew I want to try an adaptation because I never made a movie based on a story by someone other than me.

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

Milos Savic: Ironically there hasn’t been any special moment during making the film, although everyone was constantly laughing and fooling around. We had a lot of fun on set, that’s for sure.

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

Milos Savic: We won already one here in Germany as best short, the “Cinestrange 2014” and had been in the official selection for best student short of last years “Screamfest L.A.” The Screamfest took place last October (2014) at the famous TCL right on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was very cool! But sure I would like to screen it at more festivals around the globe. Let’s see what will happen.

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?

Milos Savic: It’s a pity. Especially nowadays since we have more distribution-options with the internet. I hope that this will change because I’m also curious to see what other colleagues had done with King’s stuff. And there’s no problem to run it as a non-profit organization.

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

Milos Savic: Some people, particularly some student colleagues, just haven’t anything left for this type of genre or King himself and his stories, but even then, they praised the style and the technical aspects. But all in all I got very very much of great response to the whole project. In general, the actors and the whole aesthetic of the film (camerawork, editing, sounddesign) are highlighted.

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)?

Milos Savic: Not during the making and unfortunately not yet, at all. A lot of work, the travel to L.A. and some other stuff come in between, and I didn’t want to send him only a DVD so it took a while to put together a nice package. Soon I will send it to him and gonna wait eagerly for his reaction.

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?

Milos Savic: I would like to. It would be such an honor. I think there’s so much of potential in several stories, which some films haven’t used it. The new Carrie for example, was totally redundant.

Interesting for me are not only the popular stories, but also the “smaller” ones, which flies under the radar. Maybe something like “1922” which I found was very emotional and heartbreaking, even though it’s macabre.

SKSM: What are you working at nowadays?

Milos Savic: Like I said before, now I’m working on my full length feature debut. There’s a script and a production company and now we’re going into financing it.

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

Milos Savic: I think it’d be pretentious to say that I have “fans” J I’m just a nerd who wants to make movies. But I want to give my regards to my crew and all the guys I worked with the last years.

SKSM: Do you have anything you’d like to add?

Milos Savic: Thanks for the kind interview and the interest in our little film.

 

Title: Rest stop (2015) Bandera de Estados Unidos
Runtime: 14′
Director: Patrick Abernethy
Script: Grady Michael Hill
Cast: Jonathan Foust, Nick Alexander, Bella Bellitto, Mario McIlwain, Michael Hill, Blair Hoyle, Elizabeth C. Dennis, Michael Bardon, Brazill Vasquez, Andrew Merk, Mitchell Starnes, Ereka Atherton, Brent Lester, Storm Holland, Nick Merk, Daniel Rogers, Jacob Couchenour, James Robert Wood.
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