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He played in Peter Sullivan‘s Dollar Baby Night Surf as Bernie.

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

Clarence J. Woods: I’m currently a talent agent in Los Angeles, CA and I represent news and hosting talent. At the time that “Night Surf” was shot I was still a student at USC and had decided to co-produce a Stephen King project w/ a fellow co-worker at my internship with Wilshire Court Productions, which was a Viacom owned production company.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Night Surf?

Clarence J. Woods: As I mentioned, Peter Sullivan and I were working together for a television development company. Peter had the great idea to submit our project for the $1 baby exception and after receiving the approval from Mr. King’s legal team we started putting together the logistics of the production.

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

Clarence J. Woods: I did audition for the role, but I was also part of the re-writing process. Peter Sullivan felt I was the best fit for the role of Bernie.

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

Clarence J. Woods: Peter’s one of the hardest workers in the industry. He’s very organized and has the ability to control large productions very well. We’re still good friends and I try to help out on any projects when time permits.

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

Clarence J. Woods: Several interesting moments throughout the shoot. I think the shocked faces of the crew when we put a hole in a rented house during a fight sequence were priceless. I also remember shooting a scene late at night and having to strike the set when neighbors complained about the noise. We had to move all of our production equipment by the morning so the rental company wouldn’t know that we had more than four people staying in the house!

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

Clarence J. Woods: Absolutely! Everyone in the cast & crew will always have strong bonds because of our great experience.

SKSM: What did you do after Night Surf?

Clarence J. Woods: After “Night Surf” I finished school and started focusing on my career. As I mentioned I now represent talent in the L.A. area. (imdb.com)

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

Clarence J. Woods: I have read all of the pertinent work. I really feel that “Night Surf” approaches the entire theme of “The Stand” in a different way. In “Night Surf” I think the real tension comes from the complete isolation that the kids encounter. I think it’s these feelings of loneliness, especially within teenagers that creates a great dynamic. Obviously we took creative liberties with the translation because the way that “Night Surf” is originally written doesn’t translate so well to a visual format. I think Peter Sullivan did a great job of creating strong characters and great action given what he had to work with in the original short story.

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

Clarence J. Woods: Absolutely. I think “Misery,” “Salem’s Lot,” “The Shining,” and “It” are amongst my favorites.

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?

Clarence J. Woods: Thanks Bernd. I just want to inspire any young film maker to absolutely take advantage of the $1 option offered by Stephen King. It’s a great way to practice adaptations of major literary work at an early point in your career. Additionally I just want to emphasize how important it is to have FUN! Don’t get stuck splitting hairs about how perfect a film looks, etc… It’s most important to be assertive and get the project rolling rather than not getting anything done in the first place.
Very best wishes,
CJ Woods

She played in Nicholas Mariani‘s Dollar Baby The Man In The Black Suit as Edith Berringer.

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

Reb Fleming: I am the Artistic Director of PYG Malion Theatre Company which produces three shows a year at the Rose Wagner Center for Performing Arts in Salt Lake City, Utah. PYGmalion’s mission statement includes our intent to “produce theatre from a decidedly feminine point of view.” Past productions include: The Sex Habits of American Women, Fat Pig, Cakewalk, Frozen, The Food Chain, The Batting Cage, Knowing, Cairo, Living Out and opening this week, Sordid Lives. I direct some of the shows, act in some of the shows, and costume design most of them. I also teach Acting I, Acting II, and Voice and Speech for the Actor at Salt Lake Community College.

SKSM: How did you become involved for The Man in the Black Suit?

Reb Fleming: To be perfectly honest, I cannot remember how I first came to be involved with The Man in the Black Suit.

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

Reb Fleming: The role was not written for me and I know I auditioned for it … but the details escape me! I do
remember the first meeting of the cast took place at a lovely Italian restaurant where Mr. Mariani treated us all to dinner.

SKSM: You worked with Nicholas Mariani on this film, how was that?

Reb Fleming: Working with Nick Mariani was a pleasure. His vision for the film was clear and well defined. His pre-production work was efficient and disciplined. The location was beautiful and we all had an enjoyable time together. Nick’s presence as a director was calm and assuring. He made all of the actors feel at ease, which is, of course, the best environment for any artist to work. Nick has a good sense of humor and a great generosity of character.

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

Reb Fleming: From my point of view, literally, the funniest incident occurring during the filming of The Man In The Black Suit took place in the scene where Edith Berringer is stung by a bee and falls to the kitchen floor. The shot calls for the devoted family dog to come into the kitchen and lick her face as she lies dead on the floor. Try though we might, neither the dog’s trainer nor any of the crew could coax that dog to come up to me stretched out on the floor. I could hardly call him close since I was supposed to be dead! If memory serves me correctly, we finally smeared a dab of peanutbutter on the side of my face closest to the floor in hopes of drawing his attention that way! Oh the things we do for ART!

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

Reb Fleming: I have not heard from Nick Mariani in a long time. I remain in close contact with Geoff Hansen, who played
my husband, Mr. Berringer. Geoff and I have been friends and colleagues for years.

SKSM: What did you do after The Man in the Black Suit?

Reb Fleming: After The Man In The Black Suit I have continued acting both in film and theatre. It was my great privilege this year to appear in the role of Lear in KING LEAR. Audiences were somewhat skeptical at first approaching the evening with a female Lear, but the response was very favorable and it was an amazing experience for me.

SKSM: A theme in the movie is the fear of death… what do you fear?

Reb Fleming: Yes, fear of death was a theme in the movie The Man In The Black Suit. I do not fear death. I love every moment of being alive and to the best of my ability stay present in the moment which does not leave me time to fear death. The only absolute fear or phobia I do have is rodents! I would rather meet a 6’8″ masked man in an alley than a mouse in my basement!

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

Reb Fleming: I think Stephen King is a master storyteller! My favorite of his work: Bag of Bones, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Hearts In Atlantis.

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?

Reb Fleming: Best of luck to you in all your ventures, Mr. Lautenslager.
Sincerely,
Reb Fleming

He is the man behind Paul’s Dream Dollar Baby Film.

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

Ben Lawrence: Born London, 1973. Family moved to Australia the following year. I studied directing at NYU for a short time one summer. Apart from that I worked as a camera assistant for a number of years while making several short films. In 1997 I began directing TV commercials in Australia and have been doing that ever since. In 2003 I started my own production company called Caravan Pictures, based in Sydney, Australia.

SKSM: Why did you changed the orginal title from “Harvey’s Dream” into “Paul’s Dream“?

Ben Lawrence: I changed the title to place it more in an Australian context. Harvey is such an uncommon name here and besides that I based the characters on some of my parents friends who happened to be called Paul and Jan. Even though much younger that the couple portrayed, there were aspects of their life and home that fit with the story. During writing I substituted their names to help me see the characters and it stuck. This simple thing helped bring about a more natural, familiar feel for me with the story I was trying to tell.

SKSM: How come you picked Harvey’s Dream (Paul’s Dream) to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?

Ben Lawrence: I had been searching for a short story to adapt for some months before my father gave me ‘Harvey’s Dream’ to read. It was published in the New Yorker and as soon as I read it I thought it would make an interesting film. When I began writing the structure and delved more deeply into the short story, all of these things revealed themselves from the subtext of the story. On the surface it appears a very simple scene, unassuming, slice of life type moment however, the core the story has consequences that go back and forth in time and across generations. Portraying these aspects in a rather benign scene really appealed.

I had a criterea for the scale of film I could realistically make. The fact that ‘Harvey’s Dream’s was basically a two hander in one location also appealed. The intimacy and simplicity of the production also allowed me to focus the lead up work on the actors and hopefully communicate via their performances the power that was present in the short story.

The depth of the story that wasn’t immediately obvious really appealed to me and I wanted to the audience to have a similar reaction. On viewing the film I hoped the audience’s mind would race back through the fragments of the film and piece together the story. While creating that type of resonance for an audience, there is also a terribly sad aspect of the story that was at the core of what I primarily hoped would be translated.

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

Ben Lawrence: We made ‘Paul’s Dream‘ in 2006. The filming took two days in the suburb, Hunters Hill, where I grew up in Sydney. Everyone worked for free and thankfully I had a team of people who I had worked with for a number of years in commercials. The hard costs of the film were about $5000AUD. The real budget would have been much more if we paid people actual costs. Editing took place over a period of about 6 months. The real edit time would have been about 2-3 weeks. It’s just that I relied on available equipment and time for myself and my editor to be free.

We really struggled with the structure. While we tried to create a fragmented structure that unfolded in a non-linear, piece by piece fashion I’m not convinced if we got it right. I would have liked to go back and film a couple of moments in addition to what we’d done after editing.

The aim was to, in the spirit of a dream that often unfolds in this piecemeal way, well mine anyway, I wanted the audience to experience a challenging possibly dissorienting view of this moment via this structure. I’ve had mixed responses to the film and while I don’t think it is a passive viewing, in the end I think we almost got the balance right. One thing I didn’t want to get in the way of was the emotional connection with the characters.

I may be too close to the film but, I was generally happy with the reaction I’ve had to it.

It has been doing the film festival rounds over the last 12 months and the life of the film is coming to an end. It screened at the 2007 Edinburgh Film Festival, 2008 Clermont-Ferrand Festival, 2007 LA Shorts and I think 2008 Sao Paulo Film Festival. I’m waiting to hear about the 2008 Sydney Film Festival, my home town, so fingers crossed.

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?

Ben Lawrence: When I first read the story and asked a few people about acquiring rights for written material, I was met with a lot of resistance. The whole Stephen King dollar baby thing wasn’t well known in Australia then. So regardless I persevered and finally found the contact details for Stephen King’s lawyer/agent. I heard the news about the dollar scheme from them. I was prepared to make a nominal offer and be knocked back and even plead to their sense of creative support for young directors. So when I found out, I was really blown away and that gave me the energy to complete the rest of the film. As anyone knows who has done these type of things, they take a lot of motivation and energy to get done. This was just what was needed. So I really appreciate the what that has done for me.

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

Ben Lawrence: The funny thing was that I had to get a US dollar cheque written up at my local bank, which actually costed $20. They asked me if I was sure that this is what I wanted. I kept the receipt, at least I was impressed with a cheque made out for a dollar to Stephen King.

SKSM: Did you know that before you where more versions of “Harvey’s Dream” and if you know did you choose another story to adapt into a Dollar Baby?

Ben Lawrence: As I began production on the film I did discover that there were other versions. I haven’t seen any but I’d be keen to have a look if anybody would like to send me a copy.

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 or DVD release would be possible?

Ben Lawrence: I’m sure one day there will be a box set or internet release of some sort. It’s inevitable. There just needs to be enough interest. I’d like to see the Frank Darabont short that was made, that’s out on VHS.

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)?

Ben Lawrence: Part of the contract stated that I had to send a copy of the film to Stephen King. On completion of the film I contacted the lawyers and asked where to send it. I never heard back from them, that was 18 months ago. So, I guess it’s not a priority.

When I was making the film I had a vision of Stephen King slowly going through a backlog of short films in his spare time. I imagined he’d get to mine eventually and maybe comment. I dreamt I’d get a letter from him when I was in retirement, after finally seeing it. Maybe one day.

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?

Ben Lawrence: I love the Stephen King story ‘The Body‘. Although it was made into ‘Stand By Me‘, the main premise of it has always stayed with me. Any of the ‘Different Seasons’ stories appeal to me.

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?

Ben Lawrence:

Title: Cain rose up (Canceled) Bandera de Estados Unidos
Runtime: ?
Director: Robert Kreh
Script: ?
Cast: ?
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Title: Autopsy room four (2008) Bandera de Estados Unidos
Runtime: 7′
Director: Dave Gallant (Read interview)
Script: Dave Gallant
Cast: Louis Adams, Sandra Dacosta, Bear Sthaal, Ryan Kipp & Russel Harder
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She played in Nick Wauters‘ Dollar Baby Rainy Season as Lisa Graham.

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

Tawna Hutchinson: I am originally from Toronto, Canada and I have lived in Los Angeles for 9 years. Besides my acting, I am a personal trainer.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Rainy Season?

Tawna Hutchinson: I became involved with Rainy Season when I submitted my picture for a casting call. Nick (the director) said he liked my screams the best so I got the part.

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

Tawna Hutchinson: The part was already written when I auditioned for the role.

SKSM: You worked with Nick Wauters on this film, how was that?

Tawna Hutchinson: Nick was a great director. Very clear on his vision and works very well with actors.

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

Tawna Hutchinson: There is one scene where we are running out of the living room, when the toads first crash through the window, and we ran so fast around the corner that a prop grandfather clock almost fell on me because we bumped into it. I always thought that if it had it would have made the scene really funny. Help!! Lisa is trapped by a clock. Forget the toads!!

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

Tawna Hutchinson: I unfortuately do not have contact with the other cast members. We only filmed for 2 days so it wasn’t really enough time to form strong bonds. I hope they are all doing well.

SKSM: What did you do after Rainy Season?

Tawna Hutchinson: After Rainy Season, I toured Los Angeles with an improv troup, wrote and starred in a sketch comedy series on public access and did a few other independent films and commercials.

SKSM: If you lived in a town like Willow, and you knew about the toads, would you stay?

Tawna Hutchinson: NO WAY!!! I would never stay in a town that rained toads!!

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

Tawna Hutchinson: Yes I am a fan of Stephen King novels. Carrie was always my favourite to read. I always found something knew each time that I read it.

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?

Tawna Hutchinson: To the fans of Rainy Season: Thanks so much for watching. Supporting small independent films is greatly appreciated. Hopefully I will get to do another Stephen King film and give you all another interview soon.

He is the man behind Night Surf Dollar Baby Film.

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

Stephen W. Parkhurst: Like Stephen King, I’m a native Mainer. I grew up in a tiny town about forty minutes south of Bangor. I just moved back to Maine, Portland specifically, after graduating with my Bachelor’s degree in Film Production this May. I’ve got a lot of family and friends in the area, and seemed like it would be fun to come home for a little while. Unfortunately Maine, while lovely and all, is completely devoid of a film industry, hence my currently working at a hotel, parking cars. That’s why I decided to take matters into my own hands and make “Night Surf”.

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?

Stephen W. Parkhurst: This project actually had a really long gestation period. I’d been considering doing the film for about a year and a half, and had toyed with several different short stories and scripts. Given how long I spent just thinking about it, when I finally decided to actually do it, the whole project came together in a timespan of only about two months. The production was really small. Just in April I’d finished the most expensive, elaborate film I’ve ever done. We had a fifteen person crew, eighteen actors, about twenty five locations, we shot on 16mm film, we blew up a car, etc. etc. It was small by real movie standards, but big for me. So I wanted to keep this one really small and intimate, which seemed appropriate for the story, anyway. We shot over the first two weekends of November, we only had four cast members and five crew members. We shot on digital, a lot of guerilla filmmaking. It only ended up costing about four or five hundred dollars, total. I edited the movie extremely fast, mainly because I was borrowing a really nice NLE system, and the owner was hounding me to give it back. So I ended up editing the whole thing in less than a week, with the majority of it being done over a marathon 48 hour session.

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

Stephen W. Parkhurst:Night Surf” was always my top choice after I read it. I think it’s one of Stephen King’s best short stories. It’s a very melancholy and matter-of-fact story where not a lot really happens, yet it’s very engrossing. I like the characters, even Bernie. Though the guy is kind of an asshole, you still have to feel bad for him, for all of them. I kind of have a thing for themes of isolation and loneliness, and “Night Surf” definitely has those. I also love any good story about the apocalypse. It also helped that the story takes place in Portland, which made for some easy location scouting.

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 W. Parkhurst: I honestly don’t remember how exactly I found out about the Dollar Baby program. I think I just happened to come across it on a website one day. Wikipedia, maybe. It was while I was still in school, and I do remember immediately thinking, “Well, I know what my next project will be.” Every Mainer has this very possessive thing about Stephen King. We all think he belongs to us, and ever since I’ve wanted to direct movies, I’ve wanted to do a King adaptation.

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

Stephen W. Parkhurst: Nothing terribly exciting happened during the filming. It’s actually probably the best filming experience I’ve had thus far. Everyone got along, we secured all the locations we needed, people showed up on time, we finished ahead of schedule. Kind of odd, really. I do feel kind of bad about one thing; Chester, the guy who plays Alvin, had to stand in an actual fire. It was fairly small, and we had extinguishers and whatnot, but he was a real trooper, stood there long after any sane person would have leaped out. The fire actually started to get pretty big before we could convince him to climb out. Of course, I barely used any of that footage. So basically he risked his life, or at least his leg hairs, for no reason.

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 W. Parkhurst: It would definitely be cool to see all the Dollar Babies in some format or other. I personally would like to see the other “Night Surf“‘s in particular. I really have no idea if it will ever change, I’m sure there are a lot of legal issues involved. I don’t really want to bite the hand that feeds, though. It’s incredibly cool of Stephen King to allow people to shoot adaptations of his work. He’s arguably the most famous living writer on the planet, and he certainly has no obligation to do something like the Dollar Baby program. I’m just grateful that he’s still doing it after so many years. He’s a very philanthropic guy.

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 W. Parkhurst: As of writing this, I’ve just sent the DVD to his office last week. So I don’t know if he’s seen it yet, or ever will. I didn’t have any personal contact with Mr. King, instead I talked to his assistant, who was very kind and helpful in sending me the legal documents, and any information I requested. It is kind of amazing that, given the sheer scope of Stephen King, (he really is his own little empire) how accessible he still is, and how small his whole organization feels. I have seen Stephen King in person a couple times, once when he did a reading of “Peter and the Wolf” at the UMaine Center for the Arts, and once when the Rock Bottom Remainders came to Bangor. Basically, if you live in Maine long enough, you’re bound to run into King eventually. There’s just not that many people in this state.

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 W. Parkhurst: I don’t have any plans for another adaptation right at the moment, but I would definitely do it again, should inspiration strike. I was bummed when “1408” came out, because that was one of my favorite King stories, and I thought it would be a lot of fun to adapt. I almost did “The Road Virus Heads North” but my previous movie involved a lot of cars, and I was sick of shooting in them. If I had to pick one today, I’d love to try “The Raft” or “I Know What You Need“. “The Raft” could really be terrifying, and has a similar vibe to “The Mist“, while “I Know What You Need” would make for a great psychological thriller, with some opportunities for very dark humor.

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

Stephen W. Parkhurst: No, thank you, and keep up the good work with the website. I think saying I have fans is a bit of a stretch, unless you count my grandmother. She thinks I’m pretty swell. Anyone reading this who is thinking about doing a Dollar Baby, I highly recommend it. It’s a great opportunity, and not too many people get to say “yeah, I just wrapped up a Stephen King adaptation.” It definitely looks good on a demo reel.

Title: Night surf (2007)
Runtime: 10′
Director: Samuel Vary
Script: Samuel Vary
Cast: Zach Vary, Simon Vickery, Will Eberle, Bruce Osterling, Molly Jordan, Siobhan Anderson
Trailer
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