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Title: Nightmares & dreamscapes (2006)
Runtime: 45′
Director: Various
Cast: Robert Mammone, Kodi Simt-McPhee, Tom Berenger, William H. Macy, Richard Thomas…

 

He played in Mark Steensland’s (from a suggestion by Stephen King) Lovecraft’s Pillow as Martin Hale.

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

Shannon Solo: I’m an actor, an entertainer really. I host a radio show, do TV weather, write and perform music also.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Lovecraft’s Pillow?

Shannon Solo: I worked with Mark (Steensland) on ‘Sucker‘ and really enjoyed the experience so I happily agreed to do ‘Pillow’.

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

Shannon Solo: The story was a suggestion by Stephen King and I was honored Mark thought of me for the part.

SKSM: You worked with Mark Steensland on this film, how was that?

Shannon Solo: As I mentioned, he’s awesome to work with, professional and precise.

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

Shannon Solo: Mark on the roof hanging a pawn shop sign he made himself and working the dolly he also made that came together as a great shot!

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

Shannon Solo: In this area at some point you always run into people you’ve worked with before yes.

SKSM: What did you do after Lovecraft’s Pillow?

Shannon Solo: I have a couple projects lined up so far for this year.

SKSM: Do you think Stephen Kings idea was worked out as he intended?

Shannon Solo: I’m not going to pretend to go inside the mind of Mr. King haha.
It’s always difficult to transfer Stephen’s work to film, but I will say Mark did a wonderful job and I’m sure Stephen King would approve.

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

Shannon Solo: Yes 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?

Shannon Solo: I appreciate you taking the time to promote the work of a dedicated
group of filmmakers!

 

He played in Mark Steensland’s (from a suggestion by Stephen King) Lovecraft’s Pillow as Dr. Brown.

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

Greg Ropp: I am the President and Director of the Eerie Horror Film Festival, a competition based event that takes place each year in the city of Erie, Pennsylvania in the United States. I’ve been an avid horror fan since the late 1960’s when I first caught the old classics on late night “Creature Features” and in the pages of Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Lovecraft’s Pillow?

Greg Ropp: As fate would have it, filmmaker Mark Steensland just happens to be a member of the Eerie Horror Film Festival’s Board of Directors! He asked me if I’d be interested in playing a small role in his film and I said “yes”.
Simple as that.

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

Greg Ropp: I didn’t have to audition for the part. Mark gave me a copy of the script weeks before the shoot and we went over my dialog and movements the day we shot my scenes. I don’t believe that Mark wrote the part for me but I think he may have had me in mind for the role from the beginning.

SKSM: You worked with Mark Steensland on this film, how was that?

Greg Ropp: Mark is an extremely talented filmmaker, screenwriter and all around good guy. He has a wonderful way of walking his actors and production people through the filmmaking process, which is especially helpful to someone like me who has very little experience when it comes to acting. His patience is amazing as is his attention to detail. I can’t say enough good things about him as a director and a friend. This guy lives and breathes film.

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

Greg Ropp: Only in regards to myself. It’s worth noting here that my other love is music. I was the lead singer and songwriter for two successful regional bands a few years ago (The Void and 5 Empty Chambers) and have a lot of experience on stage. As a singer you have to remember all of your lyrics and with minor exceptions, I never forgot the words to my songs while standing in front of 500 plus people. So imagine my surprise when I get to the set of “Lovecraft’s Pillow” and I forget all of my lines the minute Mark announces that the camera’s are rolling! I drew a complete blank and it’s not like I had many lines to remember. It was so weird. So we had to take a break and actor Shannon Solo, who shares the scene with me, had me speed read the dialog with him while Mark provided me with a much needed cappuccino! A little more wired and confident, we resumed filming and all went well.

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

Greg Ropp: I know Mark very well and see Shannon Solo from time to time. The others I haven’t seen since the filming. I’m sure I’ll see them again though as this is a pretty small town.

SKSM: What did you do after Lovecraft’s Pillow?

Greg Ropp: I went right back to working on the Eerie Horror Film Festival. I’m working on an acoustic album of my music as well.

SKSM: You played Dr. Brown but where you happy with this role or do you like the role of Sid, Martin more for you?

Greg Ropp: Dr. Brown was a fine role for me. Short and sweet scene, very little dialog and a chance to play a more straight laced character. Deep in my heart I only want to play psychotic, creepy people. haha.

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

Greg Ropp: Oh, here comes the hate mail! You know, I’m not a big fan of King’s work though his early novels, “Salem’s Lot” and “Carrie” are classics! I do love his short stories and those bordering on straight drama. Is it any surprise that the best King stories are also the best film versions? I mean think about “Stand By Me”, “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Green Mile”, all incredible movies, all, with the exception of the latter, totally removed from the world of horror and fantasy. I really think King would have made a
great dramatic author. But that’s just me. I realize that he has a huge following and I respect that. My taste in horror authors tend to lean toward those who have long since shuffled off this mortal coil. I’m a big fan of Edgar Allan Poe, HP Lovecraft. Henry James, etc. So I like my horror stories a little more brooding and gothic I suppose.

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?

Greg Ropp: I’m honored to have been noticed for my small role in “Lovecraft’s Pillow” and I hope all of the fans reading this will take the time to check out our film festival’s website, or better yet, come out to Erie in October to visit us!

Thank you!
Greg

He is the man behind Nona Dollar Baby Film.

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

Stephen H Smith: I’m Stephen “Sparrow” Smith, but Steve is fine too. I live in San Francisco, California and I am currently taking a short hiatus from filmmaking so that I may obtain a master’s degree in English literature, which, along with film, I also love.

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

Stephen H Smith: I can’t give an exact number for the cost off the top of my head, but it was not much (way less than the Blair Witch Project). I will admit that most of the money used to shoot the film was supplied by my parents and Tony’s. Many thanks to them. We kept our costs at a minimum by not paying any of our actors or crew. This speaks worlds to their dedication . Many people sacrificed their time (I consider time to be the most precious resource we have), just so that they could take part in something they found exciting and cool. I admire that and thank them for it.
As to how long it took to film it…I’d say 5-6 months, maybe. I forget the exact dates, and I’m nowhere near my paperwork, but we started in the middle of winter and ended in the middle of the summer. That was 2005.

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

Stephen H Smith: I actually tried for almost a year to get the rights to Quitters Inc. (also from Nightshift), but I was unaware that it’s featured in a movie called Cat’s Eye, with James Woods. Then, after I’d been turned down, I read Nona and really liked it too. I made a second request, not expecting an answer for some time, and not minding the wait (Sai King’s a busy man), but hoping that Nona was available. It was.

I love road movies and Nona certainly qualifies. I identified with the way in which the main character wallowed in his misery over a breakup, as I had been guilty of doing at one point in my life, although I was far enough removed from my own breakup to appreciate how twisted the main character’s mind was. I realized that if I’d read the story at one point in my life, like earlier as opposed to later, it would have meant something completely different to me, and I might have missed the point. I saw the circumstances in my life as having given me the perspective to tell the character’s story with an element of tragedy, while maintaining the feel of a thriller, but this is all a little tricky because I want to avoid dropping spoilers for those who haven’t read the story and might want to. It’s a good one. I also love the story because it has its own built-in soundtrack, as much of sai King’s work does.

SKSM: You worked with Anthony Bushman on this film, how was that? What is his role?

Stephen H Smith: Tony’s my bro, straight up. We went to school together from the first grade thru high school, and one year at Ohio Sate University in Columbus, Ohio, where we solidified our artistic relationship by making films together. He’s my co-producer/co-director, he also writes and he’s the film’s editor. We decided to direct under the moniker Sparrow Brothers because we thought it was cool and because you don’t see that many movies directed by two people, but there is a precedent for brothers (Coen, Watchowski, Hughes).

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 H Smith: I found out about the Dollar Babies program from the screenplay to the Shawshank Redemption, which is my all time favorite movie ever!

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

Stephen H Smith: I enjoyed filming in the cemetery at night. Real spooky. I also enjoyed our attempts at special makeup effects, gore etc… We are both big fans of Tom Savini’s work on George Romero’s zombie films.

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 or internet release would be possible?

Stephen H Smith: I was hoping for some sort of internet release at least. I know we can’t sell it, as it belongs to the King, but hopefully there’s some way to get it out there if people want to see it.

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 H Smith: I was always in contact with his assistant. Sai King has a copy of the trailer for Nona, but I am unaware as to whether or not he’s seen it, and the film itself is still in post-production, so he won’t be seeing that for a little while yet.

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 H Smith: I’d love to do Quitters Inc. and casting Johnny Depp would be the icing on that cake. I have already filmed the Dark Tower in my head, now I just need a whole lot of money to do it. I also would love to take a crack at remaking The Stand or IT, but these are all big dreams and at the moment, I am a mere graduate student toiling away, dreaming of those days with an eager heart. I may have made my last Dollar Baby, maybe not, but if I did that again, I might try to find something more manageable than the previously mentioned.

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?

Stephen H Smith: Thanks for the interest, always a pleasure. Peace.

-Stephen H Smith

 

She played in Jay Holben‘s Dollar Baby Paranoid as the Woman.

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

Tonya Ivey: I am a crazy, down-to-earth girl hailing from Phoenix, AZ. I have been living in the Los Angeles area for the past 7 years now, and my main focus has been within the entertainment industry- acting, writing and music… and dating- until recently- I married an incredible man in Hawaii this past June.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Paranoid?

Tonya Ivey: My dear friend Jay Holben got in touch with me about this project. He felt this could be a good collaborative effort for us.

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

Tonya Ivey: Fortunately, for me, Jay was one of my directors in high school- so we’d already had the opportunity to work together. We have always remained in touch waiting for the right piece to come along- and we both felt this was it.

SKSM: You worked with Jay Holben on this film, how was that?

Tonya Ivey: He was great to work with. He has such incredible vision, very detail oriented. The world he created was so complete- from the lighting to the color pen on the notebooks – to the newspaper clippings- all of these intricacies made it easy to engage my imagination.

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

Tonya Ivey: When I heard that Stephen King was giving us the permission for this film- I was ecstatic! I have been a fan of his work for such a long time- I think I read this poem for the first time when I was in middle school. His books have come with me through the years.

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

Tonya Ivey: I am still in touch with Jay, his beautiful wife Jennine and the always charming Mark Reynolds.

SKSM: What did you do after Paranoid?

Tonya Ivey: I was lucky enough to follow up this experience working with Alan Ball on Six Feet Under, Steven Spielberg on Minority Report and The Terminal and Ron Howard on The Grinch. I also worked on a slew of independents- among them was a “Mean Girls” -esque tribute, one was a silent- horror- black and white and in one of them I got to play a rock star- yep that was one of my favorites.

SKSM: In the poem ‘Paranoid‘, King never tells us the gender of the main character. Most King-readers probably thought of the main character as a man. Were you surprised when Jay Holben asked you to play this character?

Tonya Ivey: At first I was a little surprised- but I love projects that push the envelope on convention. Once we sat down and had our first meeting, I could see that Jay was very grounded in his vision for this piece- i was able to see it through his eyes.

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

Tonya Ivey: I have been a Stephen King fan since I was in the 4th grade. I would lie in bed at night reading “It” – or “The Shining” or “Tommyknockers”… (I have read them all)… I would scare myself to death. If I had to go to the bathroom I would stand on the edge of my bed and leap to the doorway (so something from under the bed wouldn’t grab me). Needless to say, this film was a dream to work on- I have been a fan for such a long time- his stories were a big piece of my childhood.

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?

Tonya Ivey: Thank you so much for your interest in this film. I wish you love and prosperity in the coming new year.

He is the man behind a suggestion by Stephen King Lovecraft’s Pillow.

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

Mark Steensland: I’m a writer and filmmaker who teaches production and screenwriting at Penn State in Erie, PA. I’ve been a filmmaker for a very long time time. I would say the first movie that really made me want to make movies was Brian DePalma’s Phantom of the Paradise, which I saw when I was 9-years-old. After that, I saw Halloween, and then I really started to get into it. I used my family’s old Super-8 film camera to make my first movie, called Darkness Is Always Black. I never technically finished it, but I was definitely hooked. Over the years, I’ve been making films of one kind or another. I’ve worked on feature films (such as Midnight Run and Wisdom) and I’ve made my own (The Last Way Out and The Gospel According to Philip K. Dick). I’ve also made lots of shorts and music videos and commercials.

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

Mark Steensland: I made Lovecraft’s Pillow in August of 2006. I had just finished another short, called Sucker, and I was looking for something else to make. I spent a lot of time in pre-production, building sets and set pieces (such as the Pawn Shop sign and the insane asylum padded cell). The actual shooting only took a few days total, but the rest of the work around those few days totaled many weeks. In terms of actual money spent, I would say less than $250. I am fortunate enough to have all my own gear and most of the things I built were from found materials — that is, stuff I already had or could find easily.

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

Mark Steensland: The main reason I picked Lovecraft’s Pillow was because of King’s challenge. After I read the intro, I just kept thinking about it in the back of my mind. Then, when I was looking for another idea, I realized that if we could get something workable from his source material, it would make a great short and would likely get some attention because of King and Lovecraft. Then I asked my friend and writing partner, Rick Hautala, a multi-million copy best-selling author in his own right, to write the script and I knew that would give us another reason to be looked at.

SKSM: Your movie is not a dollar baby like all other dollar babies. It wasnt based on a story by King, but just on a suggestion. Was it hard to convert this suggestion into a short movie?

Mark Steensland: I knew we were making a short film, so that right there is a big help in terms of limiting the overall scope. I think King had envisioned a much larger canvas for the story idea, of course. A novel, for instance. And I think we could develop something more because the material is so rich. But I really wanted to stick with the short idea, so I just started thinking about the guy who would be excited by this find and what might happen to him. It wasn’t long before the character of the wife entered the picture and we were off.

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

Mark Steensland: As I said earlier, I built everything you see. So I had constructed the Pawn Shop sign and then I built the crane and a special platform for the crane in order to get the camera 18 feet in the air. The store we used as our pawn shop location was kind enough to let us hang that sign off their roof, but let me tell you — it was a very scary situation. I hauled the sign up there and I had designed some special weights to hold it in place, but I had no real safety gear and our crew was so small, I was up there by myself. So as I was letting the sign over the edge, I suddenly started thinking it was going to pull me right off with it — two stories to the ground. Needless to say, that didn’t happen, but I’m getting weak-kneed just thinking about it again right now.

SKSM: How does it feel that all the King fans out there can see your movie? Do you think that will change in the future? Maybe a video/dvd release again would be possible?

Mark Steensland: I’m really excited by the attention it’s been getting. We premiered in England and then played at the H.P. Lovecraft Festival in the U.S. before also playing at the Eerie Horror Fest in Erie, PA. All the response we’ve gotten so far has been really great. We’re considering a couple of release options. The nice thing is that since this is not strictly a King adaptation, we’re free to do with it what we want.

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)?

Mark Steensland: We haven’t heard anything so far. I’m friends with some people he knows, such as Bev Vincent, who writes the King column for Cemetery Dance magazine. Bev really likes the movie and he has written about it for a future column. He also helped us send a copy to King. And Rick Hautala, of course, went to college with King and they still have some contact. Rick also sent a copy of the movie his way. But again, we haven’t heard anything and frankly, I’m not holding my breath. The guy’s so busy with all his own stuff, I would be surprised if he would have time for our little movie.

SKSM: Do you have any plans for making more movies based on Stephen King’s idea’s? If you could pick – at least – one story to shoot, which one would it be and why?

Mark Steensland: I would love to do more with some King material. I would hesitate to do a real dollar baby only because as more and more filmmakers make those, the same stories are getting adapated over and over. I think it will become harder to tell who made which version. But if I could get a King idea to make a real movie out of…I don’t know. That’s so tough since so many of them have already been made. I would love to see his script for Gerald’s Game.

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?

Mark Steensland: Thanks. Without an audience, film is meaningless. And without fans, you can’t have a career. Keep watching and check in at my Web site, www.channel99.org, to see what’s happening.

Cheers,
Mark

French director of (Shalt Thou) Shew Wonders to the Dead? Dollar Baby Film.

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

Julien Magnat: My name is Julien Magnat, I am a french director, and am 33 years old. I have spent 6-7 years in England of studying cinema, and theatre. I got there a Bachelor of Arts in theatre and film. That’s where and when I did that short movie. I went back to France in 1996, and I did successfully passed the entrance examination of the FEMIS (the French National & Highly competitive film school). I did several short movies since my 17yo, and in 2001, I directed my first full-length movie, “Bloody Mallorya movie which has been shown in almost every continent.

SKSM: Can you tell me a little more about your early work called “Shald thou shew wonders to the dead?”, based upon NONA? About its production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to shoot it?

Julien Magnat: It is loosely based on NONA, but it’s my take on this short story. I did shot it for the end of my british studies, in 1996-1997. This was the kinda movie for which we had a low buget to to it, so I shot it in HI8 and Super 8. It was my first “big” and “strange” project that I did. Strange because it wasn’t what we were supposed to do in this school, and I really worked hard on it, and also learned a lot from it. Because I did everything myself, including the sound, lighting and editing. This is one of the reasons why I’m quite proud of it, given the times and the low budget. But right now, I don’t really think that I’ll be happy to show it in festivals…

For further details about it, this is a fictional 20 minutes long movie. The story is a mix of the Stephen King’s Nona, and Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee (which can be read here) Annabel Lee was one of his most famous poems.

My roles in this movie were as I said director, screenwriter, editor, visual effects maker… We shot it during several week ends in London, (and for one scene, in the High Gate Cemetary of London).

SKSM: Could you explain us the title of this work?

Julien Magnat: It is some old english from the holy bible (the old testament). It’s also the title of a song of my favourite singer, Diamanda GALLAS. She did work for some movies, Coppola’s Dracula for instance… And into this movie there is a lot of her music, with her kind authorization.

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

Julien Magnat: Nona has always been my favourite Stephen King’s short storie. It is a wonderful one! A strange and macabre love story. I can’t believe this one haven’t been shot yet… The first idea was to mix the Poe’s poem with the King’s story. But If I do remember well I also considered about shooting another King’s story, which is absolutely great : “the last rung of the ladder.” But right now it seems that it already have been done.

SKSM: Did you know at this time (1996) that some other short movies were already done? Did you tried to get in touch with him?

Julien Magnat: When I did direct this movie I didn’t know about the dollar babies. A friend of mine told me about it years later… . Had I known about this earlier, I’d have tried to secure the rights to do an official adaptation…

I was interviewed in a TV documentary about Stephen King a year ago. They interviewed the (very) few French horror movie directors. In my opinion, Stephen King is a great author, the equivalent of a Hemingway. People often laugh when I say that, but I do really think that when he’ll pass away, he’ll reach a level of celebrity that he’ll never be granted while he’s alive… He writes in an extremely visual way. And there aint a movie without a writing, or a screenplay, isn’t it?

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

Julien Magnat: It’s been a while!… when we were shooting the end, I wanted the actress to play Nona’s corpse. I had done some make-up in the past, I had a bit of liquid latex from a previous aborted project about a zombie pet hamster, so I used the latex on her… But I didn’t have the time (and money) to make proper prosthetics. So I had the not-so-brilliant idea of using some toilet paper mixed with the latex. It actually looked great on the actress, but when the shooting was over, I just couldn’t get it off her face, it took us 4 painful hours to get her face back… Me and two other guys were pulling on the latex and she was yelling…

SKSM: Is there any stuff into that early work that did inspire you for your later works? For instance, we can imagine that Shalt Thew… and Bloody Mallory are dealing in a same kind of environment…

Julien Magnat: There’s this same kind of gothic environment… If I think about it, I can tell you that there is always one thing that appears in my work until now: The blond and dark-haired women turning into one another… In my story, the hero’s dead wife was blond, (Annabel Lee), and then Nona (played by the same actress) had dark hair. In the end of ‘Bloody Mallory’, the heroine is fighting 2 ‘twins’… The duality of people…

SKSM: Are you still in touch with some of the people you worked with, during the shoot of this movie? (It’s been awhile, but….)

Julien Magnat: We were about 30 people in that class at Reading university. but only few of us are still in the cinema industry. There were 4 foreign students, and to my knowledge we are the amongst the only ones which are still doing stuff. I recently saw one of them in Paris, Birgit Großkopf, one month ago. She was promoting her first feature at some festival : “Prinzessin

One of my best friends, Kelly Smith, (he supported me on the shooting of Shalt Thew…), is writing some great stories. He’s recently completed his first 35 mil. short movie and is currently planning a full-length feature. I worked a lot with him, he too is a huge fan of Stephen King. We have spent a lot of nights talking about King… We still collaborate a lot on some projects. For instance, we wrote together my short movie “Chastity Blade”, (starring Lisa Wilcox… available on the Bloody Mallory dvd release) which was nominated for Best Student Short Academy Award in 2001.

SKSM: Would you like to make another movie based upon Stephen King’s works? If you could pick – at least – one story to shoot, which one would it be, and why?

Julien Magnat: I try not to think about it, because it is so tempting to do so but i know so well that it’s impossible to get the rights to make a movie… Too expensive! This is a tough question, but if i could pick anything i think that… (all his books are awesome…) I’d like to reshoot Nona or ‘the last rung on the ladder’ (i think that they’re two of his best short stories). LT’s theory of Pets (from Blood and Smoke), really really made me laugh! I don’t think that it would make a good movie, but.. who knows? It is funny, emotionally engaging. And in the novels, i love Gerald’s Game! I re-read it recently: there’s some really good stuff in it that could make for a really good feature film.

SKSM: Have you planned any upcoming movie? Could you tell us a little more about it?

Julien Magnat: I currently have 2 projects :

– the first one is “100 visages” (100 faces). I don’t know exactly when this one will happen. It’s a psychological thriller with very strange disturbing eerie stuff, a cross between “Memento” & “The eyes of Laura Mars”.
– the second one is really in the tradition of Stephen King… It ain’t a tribute, but there is some references to some of his work Some stuff is related to Rose Madder… It’s really Stephen King-like because he’s been inspiring me a lot over the years as a writer and I feel very close to his writing. It will be claustrophobic, and will feature (if all goes well) Lisa Wilcox (my favourite actress, which already played in Chastity Blade, and Nightmare on Elm Street part 4 and 5).

 

Title: El quinto fragmento  (1997) Bandera de España
Runtime: 12′
Director: Isma Rubio
Script: Isma Rubio
Cast: Isma Rubio, Jose Antonio Gimeno, Javi Gracia, Jose Antonio Jimenez, Raul Marin
Trailer
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He is the man behind Popsy Dollar Baby Film.

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

Brian Haynes: My name is Brian Haynes. I was born and raised in West Virginia. I moved to Florida to attend college, met my wife here, and we now live in Orlando with our 19 month old son. When not working on films, I work as a manager at a book store.

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

Brian Haynes: The shoot took place in January/February of 2005, for 5 days. We didn’t actually complete editing until September of 2006. Everyone worked on it when they could, so it took awhile. Although, in reality, I guess I’d always been directing it in my head since the day I bought Nightmares and Dreamscapes in 1994. It just took me that long to learn enough and meet enough talented people to help me make it the way I envisioned.

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

Brian Haynes: My college roommate and I went to the mall and bought Nightmares and Dreamscapes the day it came out, and then rushed back to our dorm to start reading our respective copies. When we broke for dinner, I mentioned how great “Popsy” would be as a film. When I read “Popsy” I was really caught off guard by the fabulous twist ending, because it starts as this really creepy crime story and then veers into the supernatural. My favorite Stephen King novel is ‘Salem’s Lot and I’d always fantasized about remaking it. When “Popsy” turned out to be a distant cousin, the wheels started turning. I thought it was really sick and funny, kind of like a vampiric O Henry story.

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?

Brian Haynes: Being a King fan, I guess I had always heard about it, and then read more deeply about it as Frank Darabont’s success grew. It never seemed real that I would get to do one. Just a dream.

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

Brian Haynes: It took me a while, even after I got King’s permission, to figure out how I was going to make the thing. I eventually got to make the film with the film school I had graduated from, Valencia Community College in Orlando. It’s a neat school because the students are trained and used as crew, so independents can come in with the principals and pretty much have a crew ready to go. They accepted the project and I got put into their schedule. About a week after I set the schedule with the school, my wife and I found out we were pregnant. We ended up finishing the shoot and then having our son a month and a half later. We joked that I ended up having both of my babies at almost the same time.

SKSM: How does it feel that all the King fans out there can see your movie? Do you think that will change in the future? Maybe a video/dvd/internet release again would be possible?

Brian Haynes: I love that people can see and enjoy the film at festivals. I finished the final cut of the film in September and the had the film in 4 festivals in October. It was one of the busiest and most exciting months of my life. I don’t think any other type of release is possible, and I am more than fine with that. This film is only possible through the good graces of Mr. King, and I truly feel that what he has allowed is more than enough. I see no need in pushing his generosity and trying to release it on a format that he never intended. I just plan on continuing to get it into festivals so more people can see it.

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)?

Brian Haynes: I know he has his copy of it, but I haven’t heard anything. When the film played at the New York City Horror Film Festival, Mick Garris and Michael Gingold, the managing editor of Fangoria magazine, were in attendance and both said positive things about it to me later. This meant a lot to me, and gave me encouragement that others will like it, too.

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?

Brian Haynes: There are a few others I would love to do, but I would never mention them for fear that someone else would realize their potential and snap them up. But I will go ahead and say if twenty more years go by and the world is in need of another ‘Salem’s Lot remake, it’s 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?

Brian Haynes: Just that I hope you keep an eye out for the film at festivals and I hope you enjoy it. And also to thank Stephen King for allowing this to happen for me and all of these other filmmakers. Its amazing and I will be grateful for the rest of my life.

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