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She played in Scott Albanese’s Dollar Baby All That You Love as the Housewife.

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

Laurie Morgan: I am married with 3 teenage boys ages 18, 16 & 14. I began singing in bands at age 19 and continued until I was 30. I took time off for marriage and children; then when my youngest was about 6 years old I began performing in musical theater. About the same time I began oil painting. A few years later I started auditioning for film and Television. I also play piano and guitar. I am an accomplished painter with my paintings in galleries.

SKSM: How did you become involved in All That You Love?

Laurie Morgan: I became involved with “All That You Love” by answering a casting notice.

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

Laurie Morgan: I did audition for the part.

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

Laurie Morgan: Scott was a very creative and nice guy.

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

Laurie Morgan: I think the funniest part of making the movie was my audition. I came to the audition in a muumuu, fuzzy slippers and curlers in my hair. Scott loved it so much he asked me to wear them for the filming.

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

Laurie Morgan: I still keep in contact with Kent Vaughn because we did another movie
together a few years later.

SKSM: What did you do after All That You Love?

Laurie Morgan: Since I did “All that you Love”, I’ve done numerous musical theater, TV and film.

SKSM: There are four different adaptations of this story. What do you think it is in the story that attracts people so much?

Laurie Morgan: I wasn’t familiar with the story before I made the film.

SKSM: Are you (or were you) a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Laurie Morgan: I do like some of Stephen King’s work as long as it’s not the scary type. I prefer the psychological thrillers.

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

Laurie Morgan:

 

She played in Brian Berkowitz’s Dollar Baby Sorry, Right Number as Dawn.

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

Karla Droege: I have been working in the entertainment field since I was 12 years old. Bitten early by the acting bug, I had my first role as a gingerbread child in a stage production of Hansel and Gretel. After getting a degree in theatre from Lenoir-Rhyne College and working 10 years professionally, I discovered a passion for television and film. Since gravitating toward the camera, some of my favorite projects include “Big Fish” directed by Tim Burton, “America’s Most Wanted,” and hosting for “Gospel Music Channel.” I had leading roles in two independent features that were filmed last year as well as numerous commercials currently airing around the country.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Sorry, Right Number?

Karla Droege: You know, it’s been awhile, but I believe I saw an audition posting on-line and put myself on tape. I dinstinctly remember shooting the audition because I enlisted a friend of mine with a camera to help me. He has three large dogs, so it was an entertaining comedy of errors to try and get them to stay out of the shot.

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

Karla Droege: Well, I suppose I stole my thunder on this question by already telling the dog story. I’ve not had a part written directly for me, but I’m certainly open to the idea. Anyone? Spielberg?

SKSM: You worked with Brian Berkowitz on this film, how was that?

Karla Droege: He was great! I didn’t know what to expect having never met him before the shoot. He was so organized and knew exactly the kind of shots, feel and look that he wanted while leaving plenty of room for the actors and crew to add their own creativity. It is so important to have a director driving the car, or else it become impossible for everyone else to do their job.

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

Karla Droege: I drove up from Atlanta for the shoot, and the evening I was due to leave an ice storm hit Atlanta. But, being hard-headed, I went anyway. While driving, I thought to myself, I have truly lost my mind. Luckily, about 2 hours outside of Atlanta it turned into rain, and it worked out fine.

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

Karla Droege: No, I send postcards to Brian periodically, but that’s about it.

SKSM: What did you do after Sorry, Right Number?

Karla Droege: I have continued my acting career which has steadily grown since shooting Sorry, Right Number. That has included shooting about half a dozen indie feature films along with two tv shows and multiple commercial and corporate projects.

SKSM: Have you seen the original Tales From The Darkside episode, and what do you think of it?

Karla Droege: I haven’t seen it, nor am I going to download it….and for the bizarre explanation, see the next question.

SKSM: Are you (or were you) a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Karla Droege: To be totally honest, I have no idea. Part of what helps me as an actor is that I have a very vivid imagination. The down side of that is that I am about the biggest wuss when it comes to anything even mildly scary. I’m also a sleepwalker, and let me just say that the two do not go hand in hand. So I have never seen or read anything by Stephen King, except this script. Now, the odd part of all this, is that I have no trouble acting IN scary movies. I’m really not sure why that is, but I’ve just decided not to question.

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

Karla Droege: Yes, thanks for checking us out and keep your eyes out for me on the big screen in the next few years!

She played in Peter Sullivan‘s Dollar Baby Night Surf as Susie.

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

Darcy Halsey: I am an actress living in LA for the past 8 yrs. All the stuff I have been in and worked on is on my website at DarcyHalsey.com Besides acting, I love reading all kinds of literature, traveling, and good horror films.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Night Surf?

Darcy Halsey: How I got involved with “NightSurf“? I sent my headshot in to be considered and I got called in for an audition. Peter Sullivan, the director, said part of the reason he called me in was because I wrote “Huge Stephen King fan” on a post it and stuck it to my picture.

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

Darcy Halsey: Like, I said, I had to audition for the part of Susie. It was written for me but I felt like it was meant for me. My audition went really well. They actually have our auditions on the DVD extra features.

SKSM: You worked with Peter Sullivan on this film, how was that?

Darcy Halsey: I loved working with Peter. He is very passionate about what he does and he worked hard. It was a challenging shoot but we had an amazing time. A lot of us crowded into a small house to shoot but the girls got the bed because… well, we’re girls. We had a lot of fun.

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

Darcy Halsey: There were a lot of funny moments… The ending actually got changed. it was supposed to be my boyfriend who kills the guy in the end. The actor Shon and I were lying in the hallway after we had been shot and the fight happened on the stairs and the gun was lying on the floor right near me. I knew my character didn’t die in the end but it was supposed to be that I just lay there until the end. I looked at Shon, who was supposed to be dead, and said “I would grab this gun and go shoot him. I wouldn’t just sit here.” Shon yelled to Peter, the director and said “Darcy has an idea.” I was embarrassed at first but told Peter and he loved that ending. So, I get to kill the bad guy in the end! Pretty cool.

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

Darcy Halsey: I am still in contact with some of the cast & crew. Mainly Peter and I keep in touch via e-mail and we occasionally run into each other at the local coffee shop. I also keep in touch with the producer Jason Charnick. That’s about it.

SKSM: What did you do after NightSurf?

Darcy Halsey: Gosh, “NightSurf” was really the beginning for me, my first legit thing. I have most recently done the new Wayans Brothers film “Behind the Smile” and the new Hilary Duff movie “Material Girls” which come out in August. I play Ted Ferguson’s girlfriend in the new BudLight campaign TedFerguson.com. I have worked on CSI and other TV shows and I act in a lot of theater productions here in LA.

SKSM: Night Surf is a prequel to The Stand. Have you read/seen The Stand and what do you think of it?

Darcy Halsey: Yes, I have read “The Stand” and it’s one of my favorite books of all time. I am honored to have done “Nightsurf” knowing King used it as a study for “The Stand“. I love stories like that, a band of people coming together to fight evil and save the world.

SKSM: Are you (or were you) a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Darcy Halsey: I am a huge fan of Stephen King’s work. I just re-read the entire “Dark Tower” series and I am consistently blown away by his storytelling ability. He is also from Maine and I grew up in New Hampshire and my Mom lives in Maine so all of his stories feel like they are taking place in the town over from mine.

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

Darcy Halsey: What I would want to say to the fans that come to this site is, that every time I meet someone who is a fan of Stephen King I immediately feel a connection with them. I am so happy to be doing what I love and making a living at it. If I can continue to work on stories that inspire, move, or instigate me and the people who watch them then I will forever feel fulfilled. Thanks for caring about the work I do, Constant Readers. 🙂 Thanks, Bernd. Let me know if you need anything else.

 


He played in Scott Albanese‘s Dollar Baby All That You Love as Alfie Zimmer.

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

Kent Vaughan: I’m a member of SAG and AFTRA. After graduating from Weber State University in Utah, I was a traveling music teacher for one year. I moved to California, where I worked in the railroad industry for many years. I’ve been involved for most of my life in performing in musicals on stage. As an example, I played Capt. Von Trapp in ‘The Sound of Music’. I’ve been in most of the major musicals–usually performing in smaller theaters locally. I’m now on the Board of Directors for one of them, ‘Alliance for Performing Arts’ in San Dimas, California. I’ve been involved in film and television for the last 4 years, starring and co-starring in a number of films.

SKSM: How did you become involved in All That You Love?

Kent Vaughan: I auditioned for Scott Albanese, and, about a month later, received a call that I would be playing Alfie

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

Kent Vaughan: I auditioned for the part.

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

Kent Vaughan: Scott is a sensational director. This part was quite a challenge for me because the character is about as opposite from myself as any I’ve played. After coming from stage work, where everything is played much bigger than life, with big gestures and characters who really are all bigger than life, Scott had to rein me in to play this man who was pretty dead inside, and showed very little emotion, and very few gestures at all. Thankfully, Scott knew exactly what he wanted, and was able to convey that to me so that the result was a very well made film, which you probably already know, won best picture in competition at Chapman University.

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

Kent Vaughan: Two things come to mind.

1-The overcoat that I wore, was chosen by me for very sentimental reasons. It was my Dad’s favorite overcoat–he’s now deceased. The coat is now about 70 years old. I wore it to make my father a part of the movie. Also, in the book-signing scene I had a book of my father’s poetry near my desk for the same reason. I’m sentimental that way, I guess.

2-In another scene, Alfie goes to the door of a very sloppy housewife with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth. The very next movie I starred in was the full-featured movie with a very similar name: ‘All That I Need‘. My wife in that movie turned out to be that same lady, who now looked so different (in a very good way), that I didn’t recognize her at all. I’ve attached a picture in which I’m welcoming people to a yacht party…I’m a judge who convinces all of them that our pyramid scheme is totally legal and they should trust me. They do, and that’s their big mistake. Anyway, you can see my wife near the right side, with dark hair listening to me spout.

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

Kent Vaughan: I do talk to Scott occasionally. And I’ve seen him at several festivals where it has shown. I also email my ex-movie wife who is a very good actress on her own.

SKSM: What did you do after All That You Love?

Kent Vaughan:All That I Need” was the next movie. It did very at the Cannes Film Festival in France. I went there to promote the film. I was interviewed about the movie by E! Entertainment, and I later did the DVD commentary with the director of the film after a short run in the theaters here in the states.

SKSM: There are four different adaptations of this story. What do you think it is in the story that attracts people so much?

Kent Vaughan: I’m sure that there are many Alfie Zimmers out there, and it’s always interesting to ‘get in the head’ of someone else, and use that experience to better our own life, or, at least, understand others a little bit better. Scott mentioned to me that one of the reasons he wanted to do the film was because he knew two families who suffered the loss of one of their own to suicide. The idea that someone thinks so little of his own life that he could leave his life in the hands of a shorting-out lightbulb at the edge of a field, is compelling. You want to know just how anybody could get to such a state of mind.

SKSM: Are you (or were you) a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Kent Vaughan: I’ve always been very much into sci-fi, and am working on a couple of sci-fi stories of my own. Stephen King is a genius, and I’ve read many of his works. I enjoy his work very much, and would love to be in his movie version of this story if he decides to make it into a full-length movie.

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

Kent Vaughan: Without sounding too corny, I really want the fans to know how much it means to an actor to know that people enjoy their work. If my work can bring a tear, a laugh, or help someone to emphasize with another person, then I am one, very happy, satisfied actor! I appreciate my fans more than I can say.
Thank you for your interest in my work.
Kent Vaughan

 

He played in Steve Zakman‘s Dollar Baby Autopsy Room Four as Rusty.

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

Eddie Ifft: I’m a former porn actor that decided after too many close calls with diseases and the dangerous underworld of black market porn to switch over to a better life and eventually serious acting.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Autopsy Room Four?

Eddie Ifft: After leaving the porn business I enlisted in the armed forces to get an education and rehabilitate my life. I ended up getting a pilots license and was eventually pushed into the NASA program. While at NASA I got the opportunity to work as a stuntman on some after school special films about the space program. That is where my desire to act thrived. I came down with a strange disorder similar to the bends from working in zero gravity. I packed up my bags and hitchhiked from Houston and headed for Hollywood. When I got to Hollywood I found a job at an Off Track Betting Parlor. At the OTB I learned which races were fixed, so I needed an investor to help me. I never found an investor in a sense. One of the horse owners gave me a horse to sell. He told me I could use the proceeds to use to gamble. While riding the horse in the Pacific Palisides one day I ran into a guy named Steve Zackman. He told me he was a director and was making a movie about a jocky and I was too tall for it, but I might fit well in another movie he was making about a dead guy.

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

Eddie Ifft: I never really auditioned. I met Steve and one of the producers, Rob Slane at the Ritz Carelton in Marina Del Rey. After an expensive dinner, we all went to a private room and I showed them clips of my acting in the adult films in which I have acted. Steve was amazed by my acting and Rob couldn’t leave the bathroom. I think he had a stomach flu.

SKSM: You worked with Steve Zakman on this film, how was that?

Eddie Ifft: Steve Zakman was a joy to work with. While on set he is so compassionate and lets the actor really grow and find his moments. Off camera is a little strange how you are not supposed to get eye contact with him, but I guess that is because he just wants to save the interaction for the shoot.

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

Eddie Ifft: One day on the set they told me I was going to have to do a sex scene. I wwas totally up for it because I thought the necrophelia stuff isn’t explored enough on mainstreem film. So, they had a closed set and they wanted me to go all out. When I walked in the room instead of the dead guy being on the gurney, they had a dead St. Bernard. I wanted to show how comitted I was to the craft, so I started the scene. It wasn’t til I heard them all laughing that I knew something was weird. I still don’t know where they found that dead dog, but he was a lot better than some of the women I have been with when I did porn.

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

Eddie Ifft: I think I freaked them out when I di the dog scene, so I don’t hear from them often. I was just acting though.

SKSM: What did you do after Autopsy Room Four?

Eddie Ifft: I took a nap and then I went to get something to eat and had my tires rotated.

SKSM: A new version of Autopsy Room Four is being made for the upcoming tv-series “Nightmares and Dreamscapes”. Are you excited about that?

Eddie Ifft: I am so excited. I would like to meet the guy who plays Rusty to see if they did the dog trick to him too.

SKSM: Are you (or were you) a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Eddie Ifft: I never really knew who Stephen King was until I googled him when I read this question. Quite impressive I must say.

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

Eddie Ifft: Don’t always listen to directors. Sometimes you just need to go with your gut and if someone gives you a race horse to sell, chances are they just can’t afford to pay for a bullet to kill them. Don’t take the horse. It will just be a lot of aggrevation.

He played in Frank Darabont’s Dollar Baby The Woman In The Room as John.

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

Michael Cornelison: I am, and practically always have been, an actor. Got educated at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, where I was room mates with Peter Weller (Robocop, Buckaroo Banzai). My career actually started in high school in Des Moines, Iowa. They shot a picture there called “Cold Turkey”, and I was Dick Van Dyke’s stand-in for an entire summer. That was my real college education. I do a lot of theater as well as film, but I love the movies.

SKSM: How did you become involved for The Woman in the Room?

Michael Cornelison: At the time, I was involved with a terrific woman named Katharine. She had gone to high school with Frank Darabont and Greg Melton. She thought we would make great friends, and we did. Frank and I had a huge number of loves in common: EC horror comics, Bernie Wrightson’s artwork. And Stephen King. He showed me his script for “Woman in the Room” which was, of course, great and told me of his Dollar Baby deal. He had the rights for, I think, one year. This was in the eleventh month. As an actor, I saw the value of it as a vehicle and my father was a stock broker who knew of some investors so, basically, we were off and running.

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

Michael Cornelison: No audition for me. My dad knew where the money was (insert laugh-track).

SKSM: You worked with Frank Darabont on this film, how did you find that back at that time ?

Michael Cornelison: Frank is – and always has been – as creative as he is kind. He’s a genuine gentleman of the old school and one of the pleasures of my life has been to watch how unaffected he has remained given all his success. He is, of course, a tad more polished as a director now, but no less a humanist, and that’s what counts.

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

Michael Cornelison: Ah! The “dream sequence”! As scripted, the elevator was supposed to open to reveal a huge pile of Viet Nam era body bags, which were to split open and vomit out all these writhing living corpses. On the day we were to shoot this, the props people proudly showed us the “body bags”: a box of Hefty garbage sacks. It just wouldn’t work. Frank was frantic, but we eventually concocted the sequence as you see it.

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

Michael Cornelison: Thank goodness for e-mail. Frank and I manage to squeeze off a line or two once in a while, especially if there’s something going on politically that we both support or hate. Michael Sloane and I exchange Christmas cards – his are some of the most creative in the world – and Doug Venturelli, our Executive Producer.

SKSM: What did you do after The Woman in the Room?

Michael Cornelison: Not too long after “Woman” I returned to the Midwest to concentrate on theater work, amongst other things. I’ve done a lot of fun stuff out here with Max Allan Collins, the original author of “The Road to Perdition”. We just finished a film version of a play he wrote for me: “Eliot Ness: an Untouchable Life”. It’s a one-man show that has turned out very well. Ironically, Max was just summoned to George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch to be their expert on Eliot Ness for the special features on the “Young Indiana Jones” series DVD release. That’s a series that Frank Darabont wrote many an episode for. It’s a small business.

SKSM: Have you seen the French version of The Woman in the Room by Damien Maric and if so, what do you think of it?

Michael Cornelison: Wow! What an incredible visual style Damien has. Very polished. And at his age. And on that budget! I was tremendously impressed. I’m of two minds about making Johnny that young a character, but what the hell, it’s a great little film. He pays some very sly homage to Frank, as well. Extremely clever. It’s gorgeously lit, as well.

SKSM: Are you (or where you) a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Michael Cornelison: I stumbled across “Carrie” in hardcover before anyone knew who he was. It blew my mind. Then “Salem’s Lot”, “The Shining”, “The Stand”… This maniac just kept upping the ante! I don’t believe there is another writer of any generation that can involve the reader, really absorb you into the story, the way Stephen can. Yeah, I’m a fan.

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

Michael Cornelison: Just to say “thank you” to all the people who have shown the old girl such respect over the years. And to you, Bernd, for a website that serves a noble purpose.

 

He is the man behind The Boogeyman Dollar Baby Film.

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

Jeffrey C. Schiro: I grew up in Maine, and am now a film editor in Los Angeles.

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

Jeffrey C. Schiro: I made The Boogeyman as a student while attending New York University in 1980. The shooting was broken up over a period of time, but probably took 7 days or so all together. It took about 2 years to complete and cost about $10,000.

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

Jeffrey C. Schiro: When I read The Boogeyman back in 1978 or so, there was just something about it that touched me. I suppose every kid thinks there’s something lurking in his closet, and I was no different. I’ve always liked dramas with a psychological edge, so I found the story appealing.

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?

Jeffrey C. Schiro: I didn’t know. Partly, because I believe The Boogeyman was one of the first short films made from his stories. When I decided I wanted to try and make it into a film, I wrote Doubleday Books who owned the rights and eventually heard back. For years, I thought I was the only one who had this dollar deal!

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

Jeffrey C. Schiro: How about a twist of fate. I was in dire need of a psychiatrist’s couch for the shoot, and I couldn’t find one that seemed right. The filming was days away and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I was walking down a NY street when I turned and saw the perfect couch sitting on the curb. Someone was throwing it out. That’s the couch in the film.

SKSM: How does it feel that all the King fans out there can’t see your movie anymore? Do you think that will change in the future? Maybe a video/dvd release again would be possible?

Jeffrey C. Schiro: It had a small run and I suppose can be found on ebay. And, of course, now there is the internet. I suppose a DVD would be possible in the future at some point.

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)?

Jeffrey C. Schiro: Not during the filming but once it was done. I grew up a short distance from where he lives, so at the time, personally delivered a Betamax copy of the film to his doorstep. He did see it, and liked it enough to give his permission that it could be released on video. We talked a number of times, and I have nothing but positive things to say about the experience.

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?

Jeffrey C. Schiro: No current plans, but you never know. I would probably re-do Running Man. I always liked the story and thought the 1987 version was a little too comic book. I always saw it as a fairly dark story.

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

Jeffrey C. Schiro:

Title: Umney’s last case (2006) Bandera de Estados Unidos
Runtime: 18′
Director: Rodney Altman
Script: Rodney Altman & Emma Heald
Cast: Joel Nagle, Jim Doerr, Mark Margolis, Christina Dunham, David Benger.
Trailer
Web imdb Facebook Twitter

He is the man behind I Know What You Need Dollar Baby Film.

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

Shawn S. Lealos: Well, to start with, my name is Shawn Lealos. I live in Oklahoma and I am a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. My degree is in Professional Fiction Writing from the Gaylord School of Journalism. I started writing when I was in my early twenties, writing short stories and I also started a novel at the time, which remains unfinished. I started college when I was 25, working towards a business degree. With the encouragement of one of my professors, I decided to pursue my writing instead. I began my writing career as a journalist covering Oklahoma sports, and worked as a sports reporter for 4 years, winning a number of National awards in the process. I started another novel (it also remains unfinished) and was about to graduate when I discovered screenwriting, thanks to a book I read by screenwriter William Goldman (Adventures in the Screen Trade). I tried my hand at a screenplay and finished it. That is when I realized that I enjoyed writing movies much more than writing anything else. So I began my attempts to become a screenwriter.

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?

Shawn S. Lealos: I had finished my first screenplay and felt pretty happy with it. I was doing a lot of reading of books over writing as well as screenplays themselves. I probably bought close to 6 or 7 screenwriting books every month and read them all. One of these books was the screenplay adaptation of Stephen King’s “Shawshank Redemption.” Before the screenplay, there was a forward by screenwriter Frank Darabont. Darabont spoke about how he had secured the rights for a early short film based on the Stephen King short story “The Woman in the Room.” He detailed how he had bought the rights for the movie for one dollar and that was a deal that Mr. King offered students in exchange for festival only rights to make a short film based on a short story. I decided I wanted to try it, and began to look for ways to go about asking for the rights. I sent an e-mail to Michelle Revelle, who ran the Stephen King e-mail site SKEMERs. She sent me the address to contact Mr. King, and I sent off a professional letter asking for the rights for the story.

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

Shawn S. Lealos: I was working as a sports reporter and was covering the Big 12 football championship in Kansas City. It was a long road trip I was making by myself, so I decided to buy a book on tape to listen to on the trip. I didn’t really want a regular book since the listening would be broke up quite a bit on the trip so I instead chose the short story collection for “Night Shift.” While I listened to it, I decided I would try to find a story to adapt. My favorite story in the collection is “Last Rung on the Ladder.” I decided there was no way I could do that story justice at this time in my new career, so I kept listening for more. There were a few things that would effect my choice in story. First, it had to have a limited number of characters. Second, it would have to have a limited number of places and they had to be places that were accessible to me. Third, it could not have much, if any, in the way of special effects. I did not know how to do them. I would be paying for the movie out of my pocket (working as a bartender), so it would need to be something I could afford to do. I Know What You Need had a limited number of characters (3 main ones and a couple of secondary ones). It had locations that were accessible to me (the university town). It had no special effects and looked to be something I could afford to do. It was also a really good story, so I chose it.

SKSM: When did you make I Know What You Need? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?

Shawn S. Lealos: It took almost a year to hear back from Stephen King. In the meantime, we decided to shoot a short film based on one of my earlier short stories. We cast the roles with local actors and started shooting. That movie remains incomplete and I view it as just a learning experience. We were thinking of attempting the same movie again, when I got the response from Mr. King in the form of contracts.

We hired local actors once again, all working for free. We got an experienced cinematographer in the area and set out to make the movie in 2001. That version of the movie was never completed. Chalk it up to more learning experiences, as well as differences in philosophy between me and my cinematographer. It did not work.

We shot a few more short films, each one better than the last. I finally bought my own camera to shoot with. We got a quality shotgun microphone. I improved more and more with my editing. Finally in 2004, we decided we were ready to try again. We wanted the King movie to be our calling card and we wanted it done right.

I rewrote the script and actually moved away from the story slightly. The first time we shot it, there was simply a lot of talking and no action and it was very boring. I added a character not in the King story, a private detective. In the story, Alice has her father look into Ed’s past and we only get it in exposition. To make it more visual, I had a detective look into it for her and showed more. It also gave me a chance to show what Edward was really doing – why he was such a bad guy.

We cast the movie again and got a great cast this time. The only holdover from the first shoot was the character of Edward, played by the wonderful Kevin Real. We got a couple of actors that were actually on IMDb – Adam Hale and Kyle Dickinson, who were both great. My production partner, Rob McIlrath played the detective. We got a couple of local actresses, Valerie Jobe and Megan Harwick to play Alice and Elizabeth and we were ready to go.

I hired another cinematographer to help me name Boots Kennedye. Where my first cinematographer told me things he couldn’t do, Boots simply came in every day and did everything that was asked of him. He was the best I could have asked for. I also got a production manager named Tony Moyer who was the glue that held the production together. Without either of those guys, I don’t know how it would have turned out.

We shot most of the movie in August of 2004. I worked on editing for awhile and was never really satisfied with it. I could not put my finger on it. Then I figured out that nothing really happened through much of the movie, just a lot of talking. I hired another actor to play Elizabeth’s boyfriend Tony and wrote a new scene where Tony and Ed meet. The actor, Colin Warde, is slightly connected to Stephen King’s filmography, as he has worked on two separate occasions with Fritz Kiersch, the director of “Children of the Corn.” He was also the third actor in the movie to be already listed on IMDb.

I finally secured all the music for the movie from five local bands as well as one from Maine called Now is Now. I put the movie together and sent it to the Dollar Baby Film Festival to be seen for the first time. Thanks to some advice from James Renner, the organizer of the festival, I am working on some re-editing to tighten the movie some before entering it in any future festivals.

From the beginning in 1991 through the current time, we have been working on this movie for over four years now. This second filming cost me just over a thousand dollars to make. Cheap compared to what you would think a 30-40 minute movie would cost. This is thanks to a cast and crew that worked for free. Without them, I would not have been able to come close to affording this task.

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

Shawn S. Lealos: I think the greatest feeling was when I received the contracts in the mail. I was non-stop running from one place to the next telling everyone who would listen that I had received permission to make a Stephen King movie. I also felt great when I finally saw my name on IMDb for the first time. That was all thanks to James Renner allowing me to show my film in his festival.

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 video/dvd release would be possible?

Shawn S. Lealos: I don’t know. I want everyone who can see it to see it. Any Stephen King fan can hit a film festival near their homes and see any film showing there they want to. Sure, you can’t see it now and if you wait until it has hit all the festivals that it can, you may not be able to see it again. But if a filmmaker really wants his movie to be seen, he will publicize every showing it will have, and if a fan really wants to see it, he will make sure he gets there to see it when it is in his area.

It would be cool to have a video or DVD release with a number of dollar babies on it, but that would be all up to Mr. King. Our contracts do not allow us to make a profit from the movie, so to see a video would require someone to set up a new deal with Mr. King. I would be all for it though.

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)?

Shawn S. Lealos: I have received no contact from Mr. King other than the contracts. Part of the contract requirements is for me to send him a copy when it is completely done, so he will see it, but I don’t expect to hear from him about it.

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?

Shawn S. Lealos: I have no plans to shoot anything else by Mr. King at this time. I don’t know what I would like to make. Maybe a film based on his Bachman book “Rage.”

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

Shawn S. Lealos: I just want to thank everyone who helped me in the promotion of this movie. If not for Lilja’s Library and Bernd Lautenslager here at stephenkingshortmovies.com few people would even know I had shot this. If not for James Renner and the Dollar Baby Film Festival, I would have not been able to get our movie onto IMDb.com. If not for Michelle Revelle at SKEMERs, I would not have gotten the address to ask for permission. Also, a call out to fellow dollar baby makers who have contacted me including James Cole and Peter Sullivan – I knew I was not alone in all this. My business partner, and fellow producer of this movie, Rob McIlrath, who I would not have been able to make this without.

As for the fans, I hope you all continue to support everyone who has the guts to stand up and try to make a movie based on something they love. It is hard and it is a lot of work. I hope that if you see my movie, you will see all the hard work, all the devotion as well as all my love for the source material. I hope you will be entertained at the same time.

None of this would have been possible without the gracious permission of Mr. Stephen King. What I want more than anything is for him to watch it and be satisfied with what I have created.

Thank You Mr. King.

Magazine

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