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She played in Selina Sondermann‘s Dollar Baby Dedication as Mama Delorme.

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

Buenaventura Braunstein: My name is Buenaventura de Braunstein and I am an actress, director & multi-arts-artist (singer, choreographer, dancer, writer, poet, educator, mentor moderator, coach, composer,  jury member & caster).

My engagements take me  both nationally and internationally to the theatre, television, film, commercials, festivals, special events and my own works and projects (The Tales of The Tarshari Knights).

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

Buenaventura Braunstein: I think I will need to rephrase the question here :-).

When did I know that I wanted to become an artista?

Since I am not only an actress, but I am also engaged and involved in several other genres of the Arts, then I would have to say with 8 years of age. As a child, it was clear to me that I wanted to become an artist that would always find new ways to expand their wings further.

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

Buenaventura Braunstein: Ms. Sondermann had contacted me and asked if I would be interested to take on the role of Mama Delorme in her adaptation of Stephen King’s work “Dedication.”

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

Buenaventura Braunstein: Mankind has always feared in some form or another the sense of the unknown.

Even today when such words as, “Magic,Witches, Wicca, Unearthly/Uncanny Visions, Spirits, Demons” etc. are used or mentioned, many will still have uneasy thoughts or feelings pertaining to this all. At the same time, human beings are curious.

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

Buenaventura Braunstein: No I did not have to audition, but I am sure Ms. Sondermann reviewed as a first my professional experiences and engagements, before she decided to contact me. Outside of this, I was also able to offer my own personal experiences and knowledge pertaining to the characters background and culture.

SKSM: You worked with Selina Sondermann on this film, how was that?

Buenaventura Braunstein: Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun!!! Ms. Sondermann, her team and my fellow colleagues were spot on! I really enjoy working with the next  up and coming generation of directors. Our team was multi-cultural, highly professional, open, friendly, everyone was aware of one anothers needs. I was very appreciative to have had the opportunity to support and contribute my talents and energies to her work.

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

Buenaventura Braunstein: During the ritual scene we  had Sage bundles burning like mad, candles lit and at the same time an artificial can of smoke was being sprayed throughout the scene too. The room was getting a bit foggy, but we were having fun.

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

Buenaventura Braunstein: Yes, Ms. Sondermann.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Buenaventura Braunstein: Soon I will be taking on a  role for another young film director as an opposing politician.

At the same time I am preparing to record several of my monologues, dialogues, poetry and music from my work in progress called:

“The Tales of The Tarshari Knights” (www.buenaventurab.de  menu projects).

I will also be back up to Hamburg in the May to serve as a Jury Member for The Stage School’s graduation exam period.

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

Buenaventura Braunstein: Yes.

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

Buenaventura Braunstein: Now, do you really want to know that :-)???

Ok, I am not from this planet.

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

Buenaventura Braunstein: Hello to one and all! Thank you for taking the time and interest to support Mr. Garrido with what he is doing here. I hope you will also have the chance to see Ms. Selina Sondermann’s adaptation on Stephen King’s work, “Dedication” too.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Buenaventura Braunstein: Have a great day everyone!

With tons of Light and Energy,

Buenaventura

 

He played in Sean A. Skinner‘s Dollar Baby Rest Area as Gas Station Guy 3.

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

Edward Linder: My Name is Edward Linder and I am originally from California but moved to Minnesota in the 80’s.  By day I am the region operations director for the largest AV company in the world but by night I am an actor/producer for short films and content.

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

Edward Linder: The first time was when I did my first high school play.  It was Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.  I loved being onstage interacting with all the other actors, stage crew and director. It was magic.  From that day I never really turned back.

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

Edward Linder: Sean Skinner (My film partner) and I were driving back from a film festival and started chatting about what to do for our next project.  We talked about Stephen King and the Dollar Baby’s.  We were not sure which one at the time to producer, but we were both Stephen King fans.

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

Edward Linder: I am always attracted to stories about the underdog.  Like most Stephen King Stories it’s about a writer dealing with their inter demons but steps out of the box to become the hero.  At the time of Sean and I producing this film the #MeToo movement very present on the news and in the media.  We looked at a lot of different adaptations of the original story “Rest Stop” which our version became Rest Area (due to our geographical location) and thought it would be a strong choice to make our protagonist a woman.

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

Edward Linder: Well, no.  Since I was the producer I wanted a little screen time, so I was able to have a nice little cameo in the film as one of the party guys at the gas station.

SKSM: You worked with Sean A. Skinner on this film, how was that?

Edward Linder: Do I have to say something nice about Sean?  Just kidding.  I love working with Sean.  We have done over a dozen projects over the past few years from HELP DESK to 499.  We tend to balance the work load onset.  He is great with the technical and I support with some of the acting needs.

499 Link https://vimeo.com/213177037

HELP DESK Link https://vimeo.com/176998755

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

Edward Linder: I don’t know if it’s funny or not but I we used my Honda Civic for the hero car in the film. With that in mind, I was needed every time we shot. There were some pick up shots we had to do, and I was the stunt driver because Emily Fradenburgh our main actor was not available at the time.  There was one cut of the film (we corrected it) that you can see it was me driving the car. I guess that was pretty funny.

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

Edward Linder: Oh yes! Most everyone involved with Rest Area I am in constant contact.  With a lot of the project I produce, I like to keep in contact incase I need some more help in my next project. I like to keep things fun and professional on set which, I hope they like working with me in the future.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Edward Linder: I just finished up our NITE series (Book Nite, Nite Out, Nite Ryde) with Sean.  We took 3 short films and had characters show up in all 3 films.  I am in preproduction for another short film I want to shoot this summer called BGA.  My film ZipperMan is starting to make the festival scene.

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

Edward Linder: I am a very big fan of Mr. King.  I guess you can call me a “Constant Reader”.  I just finished his The Outsider last fall and I loved his Dark Tower Series.  I am looking forward to seeing part 2 of IT and the new Pet Sematary movie.

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

Edward Linder: That I love a good glass of Bourbon or single malt Scotch.

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

Edward Linder: Thank you for reaching out to me. This interview was a lot of fun. I hope that people get a chance to see Rest Area in a theater as it makes the film festival circuit. I think we have produced a special little Stephen King short film.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Edward Linder: We are so proud to announce that Rest Area is an Official Selection and WINNER of the Royal Reel Award at the Canada International Film Festival!!  And we should have some more announcement to follow.  Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/RestAreaFilm

https://twitter.com/RestArea2018

 

 

She played in Selina Sondermann’s Dollar Baby Dedication as Martha Roseiro.

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

Raquel Villar: My name is Raquel Villar and I’m an actress. I was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and I live in Berlin since 2014.

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

Raquel Villar: My Grandma used to sing in a Church Chorale when I was a child, my mother also liked to sing, so I used to have all those vocals training around me, since I was a very imaginative kid, I was always creating different stories with musics and different characters. I joined the Church Theatre when I was very young and with 15 I left the Church and I started going to study with a Theater Cia, so was in the middle of my first training with this Cia that I realise that I want to be an artist.

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

Raquel Villar: I saw the casting call and I found very interesting to me to because I could try to do something out my comfort zone.

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

Raquel Villar: I think the idea to be stuck in a life that you don’t really want to be, but you also cant realise that, It’s important to reflect our present moment and to take some risks sometimes.

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

Raquel Villar: Selina saw my lasted works and after I sent her my material we had a meeting, we talked, and she invited me in the end of our conversation.

SKSM: You worked with Selina Sondermann on this film, how was that?

Raquel Villar: Was so great to have a woman as a Boss, I was really happy to see how the dynamic makes me feel so comfortable. I was feeling save. She is very strong and she knows what she want it, so everyday was everything very directly, organised and clean with the ideas.

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

Raquel Villar: Yes, our Witch moment was really nice to do it! I try to make some comedy in this scene, and we have some fun with that, in the end this was out of the film, too funny lol

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

Raquel Villar: Yes! We have a group chat, where we talk sometimes.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Raquel Villar: I’m writing and directing a Theatre play in Berlin about the political situation in Brazil right now. It’s a very important topic, and we want to bring some reflexions to this side of the Ocean.

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

Raquel Villar: I saw some movies, but I’ve never read a book of him before this film, when I started to read I could not stop, I was completely inside.

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

Raquel Villar: I also studied Sigh Languages at Church when I was a Teenage, was one of the most beautiful languages that I’ve learning in my life.

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

Raquel Villar: Thank you for the interview and for all the fans, have fun with the film!

 

She played in Simon Scott’s Dollar Baby For the Road as Diane.

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

Asha Mormon: My name is Asha Mormon, formerly Asha Sawyer. I was just married in December 2018. I was born in India and adopted as a baby. Growing up, I have always loved television and film. My day job is in a school as a Paraeducator. I love to cook, travel, sing, sew, make duct tape wallets, and I love taking photos of my travels. I started acting around 10 years ago and it is a very unique job to have.

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

Asha Mormon: I was 34 and happened upon a Facebook post from a good friend about a local agency who was looking for Background Extras. I was looking for a change and found that this was a perfect opportunity. I am extremely shy, and used to use singing as my way to learn how to be more outgoing. The exciting thing about being an actress/model/voice actress/singer/dancer/improv artist is to create art in many shapes and forms. You can use your life experiences to tell the story. I’ve worked on many productions in the Portland, Oregon area and find there are so many creatives here. There is no shortage of collaborating with amazing people. You work hard at it and it shows!

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

Asha Mormon: My good friend Diego Giovanni Sanchez who produced the film asked me to do the role and I was so excited to be a part of Simon Scott’s passion project! We set up a Facetime meeting after I submitted an audition video. Yes, I was shy and wanted to make sure the part was in line with his vision. It was!

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

Asha Mormon: I think people connect with Mr. King’s storytelling in general. You never know ahead of time which monster is in the shadows. In this piece, the viewer is the outsider waiting to find out what exactly is going on and where the story is going to take us. We were in the middle of nowhere, seemingly alone, not sure what to expect. That’s scary!

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

Asha Mormon: I was one of the last roles booked and in a sense just for me. I found out that the role was not cast yet before I was asked. Diane (Plumly) is a hard working, strong character and I wanted to show that. I had to pinch myself when I landed the role!

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

Asha Mormon: Simon was so great! He was patient and kind, as he helped me navigate through the scenes. The tone of the set was so comfortable and fun. I am still awestruck by my fellow castmates. I had so much support! We worked together to make the film successful and I have to say, it was one of the best projects I have been a part of! I worked as a Production Assistant, driving cast to set on the night shoot.

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

Asha Mormon: It was a snow/rain mix on the night shoot, which wasn’t planned and very real. The location definitely conveyed the scary ominous impending doom!

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

Asha Mormon: Yes! The community where we are has a smaller film family. I have been on a hiatus with life events recently, but right after the film wrapped, I heard from Simon Scott, and  Diego Giovanni Sanchez (DGP Productions) and I will always remember how much fun I had with the cast and crew.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Asha Mormon: Last summer, I was cast as a Driver in an Uber Commercial. I will be in the pilot episode in background on Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, on Freeform channel.  I was background in “Leave No Trace” Movie. I was Dr. Oceans on “iClaudia”, a short film for the Portland 48 Film Festival,  A Dancer in a few music videos, “Dance with Me” by Blitzen Trapper, “That Devil” by Elke Robataille and “Antics” by Duddy, and “Rubbed me the right way” a music video for Jive Genie. Now I wait for the fame! I have been fortunate in my career! Usually, I just brag to the kids at my day job.

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

Asha Mormon: I connect with the idea that he has a masterful way of telling a story and you are transported there. Stephen King is amazing. I’ve read and watched quite a few of his books and movies. To have approval from such a creative mind is so humbling.

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

Asha Mormon: I can sing. I had to sing badly as a Rockabilly Singer for a commercial called Musixmatch, “Words to Your Voice”. That was hilarious, because it really was me acting!

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

Asha Mormon: To the Fans: I am so happy you connected with the film the way I did. I love a good scary movie and I am just a regular person who found a passion for acting at age 34. It is never too late to do what you love, even if the audience sees the back of your head.  Your head could be seen in 50+ countries!

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Asha Mormon: I just want to say that Portland is now on the map for places to be in film. The connections with the crew and the actors  I have been blessed to work with are not like other film communities, in my opinion. Thank you so much for reading! My IMDb page is https://www.imdb.com/name/nm6375907

 

 

He is the man behind Rest Stop Dollar Baby Film.

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

Paul Mortsolf: I am a writer/director and the co-founder of 7 Faces Films. I am a family man that loves movies. I work with a consulting company in the construction industry while working on film projects in my off time. The owner of the company knows that making films is a passion of mine and allows me the flexibility I need to work with them and my projects. I have an amazing support system with that and my wife and children.

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

Paul Mortsolf: I have always wanted to write and started writing screenplays about fifteen years ago. After getting some positive traction with some of my writing I was hired to adapt a short story for a director and helped with the shoot. I learned a lot and a good friend of mine asked me if I wanted to make “Rest Stop” with him because I already had the script. The more we discussed what we would need to do, the more he would ask me if I wanted to direct it. I was hesitant at first but he eventually convinced me that I was the right person for the project. I fell in love with directing and I believe that it made me a better writer along the way.

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

Paul Mortsolf: The majority of “Rest Stop was filmed over three days March of 2018 with one day of pick up shots in June of 2018. The production went relatively smoothly. We had a few hiccups with a camera rig that put us behind one night. We had a small but great crew that just wanted to help. Everyone pitched in and we had a lot of fun. We ended up with a total budget of $8,500.00.

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

Paul Mortsolf: I loved “Rest Stop” the first time that I read it. I really like how it captured a snapshot in someone’s life. It is a powerful moment that changes the life for three people. It really speaks to me, especially now. We all have moments where we have a choice. The choice to help someone in need or walk away. I would like to think that in this situation that I would do the same and help someone.

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?

Paul Mortsolf: I had heard about it a few years prior to looking into it myself. I always thought that it was just for people that were in film school. Once I found out that anyone could get the rights, I looked it up right away and saw that Rest Stop was on the list. I requested the rights at that moment.

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

Paul Mortsolf: The second night of shooting was really cold and we were shooting outside of a rest area in Yucaipa. We had a small canopy set up with a heater behind the building for the actors to keep warm. The DP was having problems with the camera rig and we were running behind. I was worried and stressed. At this time I figured that I needed to let the actors know that it would be another hour maybe of just sitting before we could get moving, I came around the corner to sound of laughter. Jessica, Lane, and Justin are interviewing each other on Facebook live and having a great time. It made me feel good that they were having so much fun and it gave me a big boost of positive energy I needed that night.

Another special moment was meeting Amanda Wyss for the first time. She is so nice and such a fantastic actor. It just so happens that when getting everything together for the wardrobe that my wife had a dress that was the size we needed for Amanda’s scene. So the first time I met her just out of wardrobe, I’m a little bit in shock. Here is a woman that I have been a fan of for most of my life and she is wearing a dress that my wife wore to homecoming in high school.

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?

Paul Mortsolf: I would love for all of the Stephen King fans around the world to see this someday. I hope that if we can be shown in as many festivals as possible. Maybe one day there can be a Dollar Baby DVD collection for the fans with any and all proceeds going to charity.

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

Paul Mortsolf: None in particular but we I’m looking into a few at the moment. I would really like to get into Austin because I’m already planning on being at the festival this year. Any festival that is willing to show it is great for me. I want as many as posible to see it.

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

Paul Mortsolf: I am a huge Stephen King fan. My personal favorites are the “Dark Tower” series, “The Dark Half”, and “The Stand”. “Duma Key” was a brilliant novel that I couldn’t put down.

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)?

Paul Mortsolf: I didn’t have any direct contact with Mr. King but I plan on sending him a thank you letter along with a DVD of the completed film. I hope that he enjoys what I have done with the story.

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?

Paul Mortsolf: Nothing in the Works right now but I would love to bring another one of his stories to the screen. I would love to do an updated version of “The Dark Half”. Really bring in the internet age and social media into play with it. I think that with that you can really dig deeper and darker with the dual personality of the main character. It would be a lot of fun.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Paul Mortsolf: I’m in pre-production on a super natural horror film that brings back the majority of the cast of “Rest Stop”. I hope to shoot it this summer while “Rest Stop” is in it’s festival run. There is another short film that it is post-production right now that we are just going to drop on our website once it is finished.

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

Paul Mortsolf: Most people when they meet me don’t think of me as a horror movie guy. It really surprises people when they read some of my work for the first time.

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

Paul Mortsolf: I would like to thank them for taking the time to read this and I hope that they enjoy the film. At the end of the day, I’m a fan too.

SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?

Paul Mortsolf: I would like to thank you first of all for reaching out to me. This has been an honor for me because I see how much you support the fans and the film makers. Secondly, check out our website www.sevenfacesfilms.com to see what is coming up next. You can sign up for email updates about what festivals we are going to be shown in and new projects coming up.

 

She played in Simon Scott’s Dollar Baby For the Road as Alex Booth.

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

Gwyn LaRee: I am Gwyn LaRee, a professional actress who also runs a retirement home for old alpacas in SW Washington state.

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

Gwyn LaRee: I was one of those annoying kids that was performing as soon as I could. My poor younger brother was drafted for all of my crazy presentations and our living room was my constant theater. Luckily, I discovered community theater when I was 10 and he got a reprieve.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Fort he Road Dollar Baby film?

Gwyn LaRee: Simon Scott reached out to me once he got the rights to make For the Road. He wanted a strong female character to partner with Took and actually wrote Booth with me in mind!

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

Gwyn LaRee: For the Road, as with so many of Stephen King’s short stories, speaks to the everyday people that fill our world. We have all met these characters and to be able to share the experiences of everyday people in extraordinary circumstances is thrilling to watch.

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

Gwyn LaRee: Simon Scott wrote his characters with several local actors in mind and then brought us all together with the strength and clarity of his vision.

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

Gwyn LaRee: Wonderful! Simon allowed all of us to interpret and bring more life to the characters he presented and gave us the time to really sit with those characters and understand their motivations and experiences. Simon even allowed me to pester him with videos of my ideas of Booth outside of For the Road and I think we both learned from that experience.

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

Gwyn LaRee: Lisa Hinds shared with you about our overnight filming on Mt. Hood! That was crazy, cold and very spooky. The bar is a neighborhood hangout in Portland, OR that was so perfect as Took’s Tavern. As we were leaving one morning, I dropped all of my “cigarettes” into the outside ashtray so that the owners wouldn’t have to deal with them. A homeless man saw them there and started pulling them all out. I had to explain to him that they weren’t actually tobacco but just film props – he was rather disappointed!

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

Gwyn LaRee: The film industry isn’t very large in the Pacific Northwestern United States where most of us live so we get to see each other on a pretty regular basis and are all hoping to work together on another project soon! Lisa Hinds and I were able to represent For the Road at the Sanford International Film Festival in Maine last Fall. Patrick Green and I just attended a local auditioning workshop together and we are all cheering Jeffrey Arrington on as his career progresses.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Gwyn LaRee: I finally became a full member of the American SAG-AFTRA union this year and am working toward building up my television credits with that membership. There is nothing I can talk about just yet, but I am travelling to Los Angeles fairly regularly and hope to show up on your television screen very soon!

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

Gwyn LaRee: Absolutely! Though I have always believed that as vivid as his writings are I would never want to see what his dreams are like!

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

Gwyn LaRee: I was pretty sick for a long time after I got out of the US Marine Corps. I actually spent two years in a wheelchair due to Persian Gulf contaminants and then over ten years regaining my strength and mobility. My service dog, Simba, really taught me to walk again and he is now happily retired and getting a bit chunky in his old age!

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

Gwyn LaRee: Please support your local film!! These Dollar Babies offer such a great opportunity for beginning film makers to really dive into what it takes to run a production. There is no better way to learn than by doing and I know that we all learned so much in bring Simon Scott’s For the Road to life. If we were to do it again today you would see some changes and even stronger performances, but this version is precious to everyone involved and we are all very proud of what we accomplished.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Gwyn LaRee: Thank you so much for reaching out to me! It is an honor to be a part of your wonderful web site. God Bless Stephen King!

 

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

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