Social

   

Archives

  • 502
  • 345
  • 7,883
  • 17,177
  • 1,330,820

 

He is the man behind Night Surf Dollar Baby Film.

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

Sam Vary: My name is Sam Vary, and I currently work in New York City as a programmer for an ad-tech company. I studied film and Russian language at the University of Vermont before moving to Brooklyn, where I’ve lived for the past 7 years now.

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

Sam Vary: I think the first time I realized I wanted to be a filmmaker was when I was watching PBS late at night for some reason, and a short film came on about a barber working in occupied France during World War II. A German officer sits down and asks for a shave, and the barber begins to lather him up. As he goes about shaving the officer, various townspeople catch on to what is happening, and give the barber signals, furtive looks etc. mostly encouraging him to cut the officer’s throat. There are a ton of interesting shots that build tension in the film (razor held to the neck, the body language of the townspeople, the editing of the barber making eye contact with certain people in the crowd while holding the razor, etc.) and I was fascinated with the way that the short film generated so much suspense. Here’s a link to the film if you’re interested: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3qf2z

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

Sam Vary: I made Night Surf when I was a senior in high school. We filmed the movie half in Portland, Maine, and half in a place called Small Point for the beach scenes, with a cast that included several friends from school as well as my younger brother, Zach, who plays Needles in the movie. I bought a new Macbook at the time (2007) which was a big deal and allowed me to use Final Cut for the first time, and I also bought a Sony Handycam, so we spent maybe $1500 on the whole production (including gas money to drive around Portland and Small Point for filming). It probably took me two weeks to get all the footage I needed, and then editing took two more weeks after that.

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

Sam Vary: I had been wanting to do a Dollar Baby for a while, but I had to pick something that didn’t required only the bare minimum of makeup or special effects, and also something with locations in the story that fit what I had access to. So a story that mostly took place on a beach in Maine was perfect. I am definitely a fan of that specific story as well, with all its connections to The Stand and everything, so it was a very natural choice to pick this story as a project. I also thought that I would be able to have a lot of fun filming all the characters in various states of death and decay at the end of the movie, which turned out to be the strongest part of the film (I thought).

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?

Sam Vary: I think I just came across this in my general readings and research of Stephen King, at some point a very long time ago (high school). I have read most of his novels and have been an avid fan of his since I was about 8 or 9, so I’m sure I learned about Dollar Babies fairly early on. I just waited until the end of high school to try and make one.

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

Sam Vary: Since we filmed the story in black and white, we relied on Hershey’s chocolate syrup for the generous amounts of fake blood that we decided to use, so I had the actors lying down in puddles of chocolate syrup (especially my brother Zach, playing Needles, who was lying on a bathroom floor with his face directly in a large, spreading pool of it). That was pretty funny. Everybody really enjoyed playing dead, from what I remember. We also managed to get some good cameos from other people who wanted to appear in the movie, such as an older family friend named Bruce Osterling, who played Alvin Sackheim, the guy that the characters tie up and burn at the stake as a sacrifice to the disease, Captain Trips. The whole project was very memorable, actually.

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?

Sam Vary: That is a good question. I lost track of my DVD copies of the film a long time ago, but I am tracking down a digital copy at the moment, so I can provide you with a link as soon as I locate that. I would love it if you wanted to host the film on your site so that more people could watch it and leave their reviews in the comments, something along those lines.

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

Sam Vary: I have not really received many reviews one way or the other, except for friends who have watched it and enjoyed it. They particularly enjoy the music used in the movie, although I would probably get into some hot water with the copyrights on those songs.

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

Sam Vary: No, but we are going to have a screening in Brooklyn with friends as soon as I get that digital copy back.

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

Sam Vary: Yes, I’ve always been a huge Stephen King fan. I really got into him when I read Cujo and Cycle of the Werewolf, and by ‘got into’ I mean, those books traumatized me, and I craved more like them. So at this point I have read most of his novels, although I am not a big Dark Tower fan. I read the first book but have not felt much inclined to read the others. Black House is one of my favorite books of all time though, and that obviously has Dark Tower connections. Never read The Talisman though. I guess if I had to give you my top 3 all time Stephen King books or adaptations, it might go:

  • The Stand (novel)
  • Pet Sematary (novel)
  • The Stand (mini-series)

I’m also a huge fan of the Mr. Mercedes TV series, which just came out with its second season. Brendan Gleeson and Harry Treadaway are awesome in that series, and the Hodges trilogy (especially the adaptation) feels very fresh and exciting in terms of King material.

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)?

Sam Vary: No, although I did meet Stephen once at an event and lecture that he was giving at the Mark Twain house in Hartford, Connecticut, a few years ago. I did not mention my movie, unfortunately, and I doubt he’s seen it. We talked about Under the Dome, which was his new show on CBS at that time, and the fact that we were both from Maine. I also gave him a hug.

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?

Sam Vary: I definitely would like to make more, it’s just hard to find time with a busy job in New York and other hobbies. I’ve been focusing more on my screenwriting and short story writing over the years, both during and post-college, and amateur filmmaking is extremely difficult to produce with good quality. I would rather work on screenplays for Stephen King adaptations, so maybe there are some producers who just need a script for their upcoming Dollar Baby. If I could pick another short story to shoot, I think Strawberry Spring would be a good one, or I’ve always wanted to see what The Jaunt would look like on film. Definitely one of those two, but they’d be tricky to produce.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Sam Vary: I am editing a fantasy / horror novel called The Crimson Harvester and trying to send that out to publishers eventually, as well as a bunch of different screenplay ideas. I have been developing a mini-series with a friend in London actually based on a group of American soldiers who were kept prisoner in a concentration camp during World War II, so that may prove fruitful as well at some point soon. Lastly, I’m in the process of putting together a short story collection. I have a few of the stories posted online. Right now I’m just offering the audiobooks for sale, but I have an author page on amazon that you can check out if you’re interested. (www.amazon.com/author/samvary)

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

Sam Vary: That I studied Russian in college and speak it fluently.

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

Sam Vary: I will make sure that Night Surf is made available online very soon, and if you enjoy Stephen King books and movies, you should check out some of my audiobooks, and keep an eye out for my books (hopefully) in the near future!

SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?

Sam Vary: Thanks for your interest in my work!

 

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?

Stephen Baxter: My name is Stephen Baxter – I’m a filmmaker from Montreal, Canada. I just finished by degree at Concordia University’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, and now I’m working trying to get my foot in the door as a director and producer.

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

Stephen Baxter: I actually didn’t fully realize it until my last year of high school. I was on track to being an engineer, or at least studying engineering. I’d always been fascinated and obsessed with stories and storytelling, and I loved movies – I’d thought about being an actor or writer – but I always thought it was unrealistic, that I couldn’t do it. But some time around when I was 17, I had some more exposure to the film industry and decided “I’m just gonna go for it.”

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?

Stephen Baxter: We filmed Rest Stop in July of 2018, but Amy and I spent several months before that working and reworking the script to make it great – she’s a fantastic writer and allowing her the time to perfect the script made the film infinitely better.

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

Stephen Baxter: I was really attracted to the idea that there is a dark side to people, that exists within the human heart. I like reading psychology like Carl Jung – he calls this idea the “shadow”. In order to become strong, and capable, you have to understand your own shadow. To me this story was just bursting with themes like this, as well as questions about violence, right and wrong etc. It was a very rich story, that also happened to be very light in terms of special effects or complex locations, so it was a no-brainer!

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?

Stephen Baxter: To be clear I didn’t send him a check, I went to the bank and asked them for the cleanest, most perfect 1$ bill they had. I rejected about four before finding the best one!

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

Stephen Baxter: When the film was almost done we realized we were missing one thing – we made the movie in the province of Quebec, where all the road signs are in French, but our story is set in the United States. So Amy and I took a camera across the border, not realizing what a huge customs problem this meant!

Five minutes after reaching the border we were inside, detained, trying hard to explain why exactly we had to go film a road sign in the United States!

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?

Stephen Baxter: It was part of the deal from the very beginning, so I can’t complain. I’ll certainly say I wish we could show it to all the fans, hopefully some day we can, but I understand the contract being the way it is and intend to respect it.

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

Stephen Baxter: So far the film has only really been seen by friends, family, and the audience at our private premiere, but so far the reception as been universally positive. I’m extremely proud of the great work the cast and crew did on this film, it seems to be paying off!

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

Stephen Baxter: At the time of this interview, we’ve been officially selected as part of the Culver City Film Festival in Los Angeles, as well as the 80 Screams International Film Festival in Ohio. We’re beyond excited at the positive feedback we’ve gotten, and that people want to program our film – we hope to show it as widely as possible!

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

Stephen Baxter: Definitely. I’m a huge fan of the Shawshank Redemption (by the most famous Dollar Baby director there is!) and the Green Mile. I’m also a big fan of Stand By Me. And of course obviously, It, The Shining, Creepshow, Misery – it might sound funny but I think my very favourites of his work are the non-horror stories! Although obviously the horror is excellent as well.

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)?

Stephen Baxter: We didn’t – I know the DVD has arrived at his office, according to Fedex, but we haven’t heard from him. I hope he’s seen it, and liked it, but for a man as busy as him we understand why he wouldn’t have time to reach out to all the Dollar Baby filmmakers.

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?

Stephen Baxter: I don’t have any plans to, but I’m certainly open to it!

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Stephen Baxter: A wise man, Elliott Grove, once said the answer to that question is always “I have numerous projects in various stages of development.” Which is pretty accurate!
I can say at the time of writing this interview I’m developing and researching some feature film scripts, as well as working on a documentary TV series profiling the world’s great musical instrument makers. A bit of a change of pace from Stephen King shorts.

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

Stephen Baxter: I do full-contact mixed martial arts training, and it’s helped me massively in my film career – getting kicked in the head puts working late hours into perspective. Could be worse!

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

Stephen Baxter: It was such a pleasure bringing Stephen King’s work to life cinematically – it’s a hell of a club to join. Be sure to come check us out if we’re ever screening in your area, we’d love to show you the film!

SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?

Stephen Baxter: Thank you for taking the time to interview me! And thanks of course to Stephen King for the opportunity!

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

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

Jon Ferrari: I grew up in Orange County NY and ended up in the Buffalo, NY area to study audio engineering, followed by filmmaking. Currently I work as a video editor and cameraman for a location production company and love to make narrative films whenever I can.

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

Jon Ferrari: I was in a bad place in 2011. I had moved back to Buffalo from OC to be with my daughter. I had no friends, no other family nearby, and I was stuck working dead-end jobs to barely get by. I was listening to all of the podcasts by Kevin Smith I could get my hands on while I worked and became fascinated with his journey making the film RED STATE. For the first time I realized that being able to write and direct films is a very real, tangible thing. You didn’t have to be Steven Spielberg anymore. You could tell a compelling story with a few hundred dollars of equipment as long as you knew how to do it right. At that moment I decided to give it a try and I’ve been in love ever since.

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?

Jon Ferrari: We shot the film in the Spring of 2017 in East Amherst, NY. The production was stressful at first, with there being so much planning involved and such a small crew, but everyone was so professional and dedicated to making the film great that it all just flowed together. The atmosphere was always very positive and there were always laughs between takes. The actual production cost roughly $500 cash and most of it was to pay for effects & music. I pulled every favor I could to make it for as cheap as possible. The whole shoot took two days, with about a 2-hour reshoot, as well as an impromptu trip to Times Square for the final sequence.

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

Jon Ferrari: The story always intrigued me because it felt so raw and real, with no supernatural element whatsoever. I have an affection for minimalist settings in stories: here’s a bunch of people confined to a space and here a conflict, GO! It makes for a great adaptation. The story evokes a very specific feeling of dread and claustrophobia and I wanted to take what I saw in my mind while I read the story and bring it to the screen as unfiltered as possible.

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?

Jon Ferrari: I had heard about the Dollar Baby program years ago when I fell in love with the Dark Tower series and started reading everything I could get my hands on just to see if there were any references to Roland & Mid-World. I read IN THE DEATHROOM from my Everything’s Eventual paperback and knew that one day I’d make it if I were lucky enough to see it on the list.

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

Jon Ferrari: There were many laughs and fun moments throughout the shoot. Too many too count. My favorite moment was when our FX guy John Renna blasted Lidia Couzo in the face with a blood cannon. That was a dream come true.

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

Jon Ferrari: Feedback has been very positive overall. I’m really honored to have so many people like it.

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

Jon Ferrari: Of course I have to go back to The Dark Tower. The depth of the mythology and this endless multiverse, the characters and the seamless blending of virtually every storytelling genre I can imagine. The fact it ties all of King’s books to the same world never ceases to amaze 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)?

Jon Ferrari: I haven’t been in contact but I do hope he likes if if he has seen it. We all want to do his work proper justice when we send that dollar bill in.

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?

Jon Ferrari: I make it a point never to repeat myself, but if I were able to take on one of his stories again I’d want to make an HBO TV series on par with Game of Thrones but for the Dark Tower universe.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Jon Ferrari: Currently I am continuing to think of and write story ideas and have been seeking out an investor for a feature film passion project I wrote a few years back. It’s a neo-noir psychological thriller about a haunting relationship between a man and his mother.

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

Jon Ferrari: I’m an accomplished guitar player and can be seen on my YouTube channel shredding it up from time to 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?

Jon Ferrari: I’d just like to thank anyone with an interest in my work. It means the world to me that I can create something people appreciate. Without the audience our films are meaningless.

 

She played in James Douglas‘ Dollar Baby The Doctor’s Case as Cleaner.

SKSM: Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

Lisa Hinds: My husband James and I have two grown daughters, Ashleigh and Courtney. My full time job is in the energy business and my hobbies include photography, archaeology digs, sailing, travel. At the top of the list is Acting/Extra work.

SKSM: How did you become involved in The doctor’s case Dollar Baby film?

Lisa Hinds: I was searching for Stephen King Dollar Babies projects and found it on Kickstarter.

SKSM: You played a small role in the film. Could you talk about it?

Lisa Hinds: I originally had a speaking roll Michelle Lieffertz worked with me to teach me how to speak with a British accent. I was in costume and ready to go but we ran out of time. Through the night Denise had finished her contracted time so James asked me to sit in and William B Davis read lines to me. James asked me what he should do as we did not have time for my part. I said whatever you want to do! My life just got made with William reading lines. So I was the cat lady on the stairs looking down with a scowl at JP Winslow/Sherlock. My roll was pivotal.

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

Lisa Hinds: I would have to say it’s Sherlock Holmes/Watson story written by Stephen King. A bit unusual for Mr King.

SKSM: You worked with James Douglas on this film, how was that?

Lisa Hinds: Absolutely wonderful being on the set he is so kind and considerate of everyone around him. I was in awe of how he could be so calm with all that’s going on in the background. He is a talented writer, director and Actor.

SKSM: Can you tell us about the filming steps? Funny things that happened so far (Bloopers, etc).

Lisa Hinds: The Filming steps never seem to go according to schedule on any of the sets I’ve been on. Having said that I was wearing a long skirt which was too small so Michelle Lieffertz had to tape me in. I go to the changing room after filming and I had a big opening in the back the tape had come loose. Whoops! Fortunately my shirt was tucked in.

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

Lisa Hinds: Yes I do with James Douglas, Norm Coyne and JP Winslow.

SKSM: Something you’d like to tell our readers?

Lisa Hinds: I was so fortunate to be part of this project the crew and cast are such wonderful people.

She played in Corey Mayne‘s Dollar Baby Willa as a Train Passenger: Background Performer.

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

Myrna Wolfe-Maxwell: Hi, My name is  Myrna Wolfe-Maxwell. I’m an actress, and i do voice overs as well. Currently living in Toronto Ontario. Canada  I’m  married, mother of six, grandmother of six with number  7 grandchild on the way.  🙂

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

Myrna Wolfe-Maxwell: I have always wanted to be an actress and my youngest one who also acts gave me the acting bug. Thanks Brae. I tried out for a high school play but was so terrified I froze. I wasn’t sure if I would or could put myself thru that again. But thanks to my youngest I decided to go for it (starting in my senior years). It’s never too late to follow a dream. I love it and I won’t turn back.

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

Myrna Wolfe-Maxwell: I had heard about it from an amazing woman Kerri -Lee Finkle , who was part of  the creative team working on this movie. A talented , supportive woman who I admire. A mentor and huge supporter of all the deaf talent who were part of this incredible production.

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

Myrna Wolfe-Maxwell: This is a Stephen King film and one is automatically drawn to whatever he does. The talented people working on Willa brought so much to this production to make it and went above and beyond.

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

Myrna Wolfe-Maxwell: No I didn’t  have to audition and I was really honoured to be part of the Willa family.
I was a passenger on the train and it was full of surprises, twists and turns but most of all it was fun in between being terrified.

SKSM: You worked with Corey Mayne on this film, how was that?

Myrna Wolfe-Maxwell: This was the first time I worked with Corey Mayne and I would jump at any opportunity to work with him again or with any of this talented cast and crew again for that matter. He is a truly talented and dedicated person with a flair for this.

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

Myrna Wolfe-Maxwell: There were a few special moments but I can’t give them away. Shhhh I will say,  it was cold and we had fun in between takes, drawing pictures on the frosted  train windows only to find when we looked back new frost had formed erasing our pictures.

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

Myrna Wolfe-Maxwell: I do keep in touch with a few of them on a fairly regular basis. It’s so nice to make new friends and keep in touch. We were like a family on set. An amazing group of people.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Myrna Wolfe-Maxwell: I have done a few films that are out and some that are not out yet but hopefully soon.  Some have gone to Film Festivals and won awards. Docudramas – Horror Film’s, music videos.  It has been quite the ride.  I am continuing to do BG , Voice Overs as well as taking classes to learn as much as I can and to challenge myself.

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

Myrna Wolfe-Maxwell: Absolutely am I fan of Stephen King’s work.  I was also part of his latest movie  “It” (not yet out). His work is incredible and so unpredictable. He is amazing. Everything he does is intriguing. So yes,  yes I am a fan.

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

Myrna Wolfe-Maxwell: Hmmm , that I am interested in Iridology and being a part of this  interview .

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

Myrna Wolfe-Maxwell: Thank you so much Oscar,  for taking the time to talk to me.  Hope you all go see the film and love it as much as we all did, and being a part of this movie Willa.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Myrna Wolfe-Maxwell: The group of talent involved in the making of Willa were outstanding.  I want to thank them all and thank you Oscar, and all the Stephen King fans out there  for their interest and reading this  You will all love the movie. Enjoy.

 

Title: Here there be tygers (?) Bandera de Estados Unidos
Runtime: ?
Director: Polly Schattel
Script: Jennifer Trudrung
Cast: Jennifer Trudrung, Penny Munroe, Marisa Blake, Drez Ryan, Gil Robinette, Selah Atwood.
Trailer
Web imdb Facebook Twitter

Updates Date
Plan to film in March 2019. November 29; 2018

 

Title: Here there e tygers (?) Bandera de Estados Unidos
Runtime: ?
Director: Bryan Higby
Script: ?
Cast: ?
Trailer
Web imdb Facebook Twitter Crowfunding

Updates Date
In preproduction. It’s will be filming in February 2019. An indiegogo campaign to help raise funds has started. December 03; 2018

Title: Rest stop (?) Bandera de Austria
Runtime: ?
Director: Alexander Bruckner
Script: ?
Cast: ?
Trailer
Web imdb Facebook Twitter

Updates Date
Principal photography is scheduled for summer / fall 2019 so we have not casted yet. I am currently in talks with an author who will do the Adaption to screenplay. More info about the crew will be incoming these next couple of weeks. November 19; 2018

Title: Rainy Season (?) Bandera de Austria
Runtime: ?
Director: Patrick Haischberger
Script: Patrick Haischberger
Cast: Wolfgang Hübsch, Sabrina Reiter, Thomas Stipsits, Inge Maux
Trailer
Web imdb Facebook Twitter

 

He is the man behind Tussesntop Dollar Baby Film.

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

Jan van Gorkum: My name is Jan van Gorkum and I’m a filmmaker from the Netherlands. In 2010, I graduated as a filmmaker from the Utrecht Academy of the Arts (HKU).  Since then, I’ve written and directed several short films and I’ve also worked as an editor and assistant editor on films and tv-shows.

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

Jan van Gorkum: From a very young age. I’ve always loved movies and made short films with friends as a kid. So it’s something I’ve always wanted to become.

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

Jan van Gorkum: I started working on Tussenstop around the second half of 2010 and the movie was finished in June 2011. So it took almost a year of work. Most of the work was organizing everything. The film was made very low-budget, so I had to find a lot of sponsors and crewmembers who were willing to work for free. A lot of equipment was sponsored, from camera equipment to locations. Getting all of that in place, takes a lot of time and work. We shot the film in 4 days, including one night shoot for all of the exterior scenes and highway scenes. All the interior scenes were shot during daytime.

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

Jan van Gorkum: In 2010 I read Just After Sunset, the book of which Rest Stop is a part. I really liked the struggle of the main character, about whether or not he should intervene and help a woman in distress. It’s a very primal story: fight or flight. From a financial point of view as a filmmaker, it’s also one of the more manageable stories that you can turn into a film without a lot of money.

I also tried to make the story a bit of my own, when I was writing the screenplay. So it’s a bit of a loose adaptation. In the original story, I didn’t like the whole thing about the main character having an alter ego, which is something that is not in my film. For me, the story was about someone who struggles a long time before he decides to intervene and then things don’t go as smoothly as he had hoped for. I tried to keep the story a bit more basic and grounded in a way.

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?

Jan van Gorkum: I think I discovered it online, on a movie website that published an article about movie adaptations of Stephen King’s work. After I had read Rest Stop, I checked the website of Stephen King and saw the list with short stories of which the rights were available. Rest Stop was one of the available stories and then I decided to buy the rights and make a Dutch film based on the story.

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

Jan van Gorkum: There’s always something goofy or funny that happens during a film production. One moment that stands out for me, took place during the night shoot. We were driving on a highway for some of the interior car shots. Yorick Zwart, who played the main character John, was driving his own car for real and I was in the back with the director of photography. So we were driving on this old and desolate highway near the Belgium border, and we suddenly noticed it was really dark outside. There were no streetlights, no nothing. It was pitch black. Yorick slowed down the car and we started to talk about what could be wrong. It took a short moment before we all realized that the headlights of the car had stopped working. And we were driving there in the middle of nowhere. Luckily, the high beam lights of the car still worked and we drove to a gas station to buy some new regular car lights. We were there right on time, just before the shop closed.

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?

Jan van Gorkum: Personally, I hope the Dollar Baby policy changes in the future, so that the film can be available online for free. The film had a great festival run in 2011 and 2012, but after that, you can’t really show the film anywhere, apart from film festivals. And to be available online, is very important for short films in the long run. It’s a bit frustrating, because as a filmmaker, you put a lot of time and work in a project and you want the film to be available to a large audience. And it’s an independent film, not a commercial film. So I really hope the policy changes, but that’s out of my hands unfortunately.

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

Jan van Gorkum: Overall, I have received a lot of positive feedback. People seem to enjoy the film and they like the suspense. But of course, there are also people who don’t like it or that have issues with some parts of it. I think some of the stuff concerning the argument the troubled couple has in the film, is a bit long and gives too much exposition. And the fight scene between the main characters could have been a bit more visceral. Looking back on the film, that are things that I would do differently now. But I’m still happy with the film. Every film you make is a learning experience, and I learned a lot during the making of this film.

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

Jan van Gorkum: I have no plans for the film at this time. The film had its festival run back in 2011 and 2012, so there aren’t any screenings planned in the near future.

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

Jan van Gorkum: Yes, I’m a fan of his work. Stephen King is an amazing storyteller and I really enjoy reading his work. I don’t have all of his work, but I do have a lot of books and films. My favorite books are The Dark Tower saga, It and Different Seasons. Some of my favorite adaptations are Stand By Me, directed by Rob Reiner, and The Mist, directed by Frank Darabont.

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)?

Jan van Gorkum: Unfortunately, I did not have any personal contact with Stephen King during the making of the film. I did send a copy of the film to his office back in 2011, but sadly haven’t heard anything. I do hope he has seen the film.

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?

Jan van Gorkum: No, I don’t have any plans to make more films based on short stories by Stephen King. It was really fun to make an adaptation, but I enjoy writing my own stories for my films a bit more.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Jan van Gorkum: I’m working on my first feature film called The Cleaner, a combination of dark comedy and horror, which is currently in development. Last year the project was presented at Frontières, an international co-production market in Canada, where it received a lot of great buzz. I’m still working on the screenplay for that film.

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

Jan van Gorkum: Maybe that I’m an avid collector of action figures based on films.

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

Jan van Gorkum: You’re welcome. I hope the readers find it interesting.

SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?

Jan van Gorkum: Thank you for the interview. And I hope that one day more people get the chance to watch Tussenstop.

A BIG THANKS to Danny Paap for making it possible!!!

Magazine