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He is the man behind Home Delivery Dollar Baby Film.

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

Elio Quiroga: I’m born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Canary Islands), studied information engineering and participated in the development of the Jaleo software, one of the most important digital post production programmes; he has directed publicity throughout 7 years (spots, institutional, industrial, tourist, architectural, etc) through his own production company and agency Frame+Frame Films, where he also created campaigns and designs of corporate image; he has carried out works of experimental electronic music, short films in various formats, videoclips, as well as videoinstalations and videocreations presented at numerous international festivals of electronic image, such as Expo ’92, Arco or the Bienal of Moving Image: Spanish Visionaries.

He received his film training from directors such as Pilar Miró and Joaquim Jordá, scriptwriters such as Joaquín Oristrell, Lola Salvador or Robert McKee, experts in film marketing such as John Durie and Pham Watson, actors’ directors such as Miguel Ponce, Federico Castillo or Tony Suárez – plus five years as theatre actor in companies in the Canary Islands – and technicians such as Félix Bérges or Julio Madurga.

He has acted as member of the Jury in international festivals like Sitges and taught seminars on script development for the Sundance Institute. In addition, he is an official advisor to the Government of the Canary Islands on the creation of autonomous programmes of audio-visual studies and is a member of the Spanish and European Film Academies. He currently manages his own production company, Eqlipse Producciones Cinematográficas, which also carries out development of software for entertainment and applications to the World Wide Web.

He has published Mar de Hombres, Ática y El Ángel del Yermo, which received the Award for New Writing in the Canary Islands. He also published La Música y el Cine, and collaborated in the collective book Luchino Visconti: Los Senderos de la Pasión for the Canary Islands Film Library; He is currently putting the final touches on the essay La Materia de los Sueños, which has won the Accesit Award for Essay (DMR Consulting 2003).

Quiroga is the director and writer of the controversial feature film “Fotos” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116346/) which was awarded Best Script and the Jury’s Special Award at the Sitges International Film Festival in 1997, where it was enthusiastically praised by Quentin Tarantino; it was nominated to the Méliès D’Argent for Best European Fantastic Film, to the Corbeau D’Or at the Brussels Film Festival, as well as to the Fotogramas de Plata (Awards voted by the readers of the most important film magazine in Spain).

He is currently working in the prost-production of his second feature film as director, “La Hora Fria” (“The Cold Hour”)

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

Elio Quiroga: The fil was made from 2003 to 2005 in free times of the animation studios involved. The budget has been around 180.000 Euros.

As far as the visual aspect is concerned, I’ve set out to direct this short film with intelligent and innovative use of camera movements. Currently, advanced use of computer tools in the process of traditional animation allows us an amazing level of freedom for the animator’s camera, which in the past was limited by the capacity of the animation stands. This way, we can now use traditional animation backgrounds as three-dimensional objects which gives us, with the addition of a third dimension, a new universe of expressive resources for the creators.

From the beginning, this project has been conceived as a synthesis of “the best of both worlds”: traditional animation craftsmanship and computer generated images. The fact that the studios responsible for both these aspects of the film work hand in hand is absolutely fundamental to obtaining satisfactory results without an of those errors which stem from lack of coordination. This work would be much more difficult if it were done by two separate studios. Fortunately, La Huella Efectos Digitales and Sopa de Sobre Studio have been working hand in hand for almost 10 years, complementing each other in the language, techniques and characteristics of both worlds of animation.

However, the work has been extremely hard, especially for the traditional animators. The extraordinary freedom that computer generated backgrounds give the camera, which jumps over the third dimension transforming the backgrounds from flat objects into three dimensional worlds, greatly complicates the job of the traditional animator who must adjust his shot by shot hand-drawn characters to the camera’s positions and movements.

One of the most amazing experiences for me has been the day to day work that I have done with Sopa de Sobre and La Huella Efectos Digitales over the past two years (during the time I could spare from other commercial projects). Witnessing how a group of animators headed by Jérôme Debève, Juan Antonio Ruiz, Miguel Martínez, César Leal, Santiago Verdugo, Antonio Lado, José Ramón Alonso, David Escribano or Régis Barbey have managed to create this little short film.

Watching an animator sketch free hand and appreciating how the animation flows, literally, from his hands or how a 3D model maker can transfer a series of polygons on to a textured, illuminated and “navigable” scene, is an absolutely fascinating learning experience.

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

Elio Quiroga: The idea came in the first adaptation stages; i thought this was the best way to translate this tale in images. The tones of dark comedy of the tale seduced me basically.

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?

Elio Quiroga: I had no idea. I worked firstly in a good adaptation in spanish, a good translation of the script, and a graphic dossier explaining our visual approach, etc.

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

Elio Quiroga: Lots. People in La Huella and Sopa de Sobre are close friends and we enjoy working very much. But most of the problems were on the financial stages… I wrote a short story of the production I paste you here. Hope you find it interesting.

It has been three years since I had the idea of adapting a tale of zombies into an animated short film. Three years. And we have just finished the short. It seems impossible. Three years of work for ten minutes of animation. But that’s the way things are. Everything takes its time, specially animation. Home Delivery is a short story, 30 pages long, that tells a savage social parable and to distil that down to 10 minutes is not easy.

That was the first part of the job, of course, writing a short script that held the essence of the story. Doing without episodes and characters, trying to get to the meat of the story. While I was doing this, around January of 2002, I called an old friend who lives in Barcelona, Javi Rodriguez, one of the best illustrators I know, and asked him to help me design the characters, the backgrounds, and the atmosphere of the short film. With all that material and a finished script, I took the next step: I asked the author of the story, Stephen King, for authorisation to make the film.

But there was a small detail left: to find an animation studio and finance the short film.

By the time I met Jérôme Debève, Juan Antonio Ruiz, Miguel Martínez, Santi Verdugo, David Escribano, Jota, Antonio Lado, Marga Obrador and other members of La Huella Efectos Digitales and Sopa de Sobre Studio I was desperate: I had spent a lot of time searching for an animation Studio in Spain that was capable of creating a short film like Home Delivery, with the characters drawn in traditional animation and backgrounds created by computer, but to no avail.

I visited a few studios, some of them looked at me as if I had escaped from a mental institution: What is this guy doing? He made a film in the style of Buñuel and Almodovar and now he wants to get into animation. Go get a proper job kid, and don’t stick your nose where it’s not wanted. Others simply declined to get involved in the project through polite letters. By then, I had already started to send letters asking for permits related to the short. REM had answered immediately, granting the rights to their song “It’s the end of the world as we know it (but I feel fine)” to the production for free.

That’s why my meeting with Jérôme and his people, organised by my good friend, Luis Sanchez-Gijon, was my last chance. And they were exactly what I was looking for. They were experts in combining traditional animation with 3D animation, they knew what they were doing, they were the best in the country. So then I asked them for a budget, of course.

200.000 Euros, without counting their own investment. Where was I going to get the money from? They began working on the project immediately, but it was my turn to do my bit, to find the money.

My production company is small. I could invest a third of the money but I had to find the rest. And the rest was an odyssey. But, one has high expectations: I have a short film project with Stephen King and REM music, who wants to invest? One at a time please!

In Spain, nobody.

When the first official subsidies started to fall through, I told myself: “Don’t worry, this is just temporary”.

But after a year of refusals, I started to get seriously worried. It was obvious that the short wasn’t politically correct in Spain, that a zombie story plus animation wasn’t what the director generals of culture wanted, so I forgot about that alternative.

So I went after a loan. With the investment and a loan I could finance two thirds of the short. I was almost there… But it took a year to get the loan. Miguel Martinez would ask me how the money thing was going every two weeks. We had separated the production payments into instalments, so we could finance each stage and I had invested directly in the first two. With the loan, which finally arrived thanks to the Obra Cultural de Caja Canarias, I managed to pay for another third of the production. But the final third was still missing.

At La Huella / Sopa de Sobre work on the short never stopped, but it was done during free time. At several different times, they must have run some considerable economic risks, going over their percentage, taking on reinforcements, working during the times they got a respite from publicity work, working through hours when they should have been asleep…. during two years.

There were some really difficult moments. Like when we ran out of money… completely. Neither them nor I had a single cent, and we still had to finance the final third of the budget. That’s when Claudio Utrera, director of the Las Palmas film Festival came to the rescue. He brought in some of the money we needed through the Las Palmas City Council. Then, the Canary Islands Government and the Cabildo de Gran Canaria put in a little more and we managed to close the budget in extremis, abusing Stephen King’s generosity. I will be eternally grateful to him for his patience.

During the months I spent working side by side with the animators at Sopa de Sobre and La Huella, I have admired their work, I have seen how from a few sheets of paper and some blue pencils characters are born, people who become alive, even if this time it’s zombies. I think I have found friends that last, a group of good people that make art and take it easy.

Even during the hardest times there has always been a smile, a “we’ll resolve it, don’t worry”, and, of course, the indispensable after lunch network game of Medal Of Honor… this, sirs, brings people together…

So, three years have passed. A hundred kilos of paper, 200 pencils, 60 gigabytes in designs, sketches, tests, animatics, storyboards, 100 Kw of electricity, who knows how many hours when we should have been sleeping, a few new grey hairs… and during all this Alba was born, a daughter for Miguel Martinez and Lucia. So, we’ve been though everything…

And there’s also Alfons Conde, a lovely guy, a genius of music with unlimited patience who has composed a wonderful soundtrack, stealing time from his own work and making a gift of his score… and the people at Image Line, the transfer to film, and Nacho Royo, who makes music out of sound effects… Nacho, Pelayo, you have enormous talent and are the best of people… and Josep Maria Civit, one of the best directors of photography in the world, who has given us the tools to create a unique atmosphere, and Francesca Nicoll and Jeff Espinoza, the voices behind the characters, friends, thank you. And Emilio Gonzalez Deniz… I’ve really given you a hard time with this… thank you my friend.

Home Delivery has been on the verge of stopping at least twenty to thirty times. Due to a lack of money, a lack of time, refusals from this guy and the other, but we made it. Well, it’s only ten minutes of film.

We must do it again.

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?

Elio Quiroga: It depends basically on the ideas about it of the legal representatives of Mr. King. I hope in the future they make some public release. It is a good idea in any case. Fortunately, Guillermo del Toro has helped a lot to make the short more visible, specially in Festivals, thanks to his “Guillermo del Toro Presents” label which he has generously given to the short.

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)?

Elio Quiroga: No. I have contacted with his representatives. I know he has seen it, and he likes 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?

Elio Quiroga: Yep, but we are in a very early stage. I prefer to keep it for myself… 🙂

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?

Elio Quiroga: Hope you see the film. It’s very short, but a work of love. Hope you like it

 

Title: Suffer the little children – The bathroom scene (2005)
Runtime: 7′
Director: Ryan J. Hannigan
Script: Ryan J. Hannigan
Cast: Barbara Drum Sullivan, Farrah Peskoff, Alex de Castro, Jon Fordham, Elke Blasi
Trailer
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Title: Suppr. (2005) Bandera de Francia
Runtime: 19′
Director: Nicolas Heurtel (Read interview)
Script: Nicolas Heurtel & Charles L. Lacroix
Cast: Stephane Moreau, Christian Février
Trailer
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One of the people behind Kingdom Hospital Theme Worry About You.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a bit about Ivy? Who is Ivy and what does Ivy do?

IVY(Andy Chase): We formed in 1993 as an indie pop trio, based out of NYC. We started on tiny record label called SEED, then moved around to a bunch of majors like Atlantic and Sony. We’re currently signed to Nettwerk Records. Our singer Dominique is French, I’m from Washington, DC and Adam is from New Jersey. In the studio me and Adam play all the instruments and the three of us produce the albums. Live we add another guitar player (besides myself), a drummer, and a keyboardist so that we’re a six-piece when we tour.

SKSM: When did Ivy make Worry About You? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to make it?

IVY(Andy Chase): That song was written for our album Long Distance in 1999. It started as a simple, almost nursery rhyme on the acoustic guitar. We wanted to keep the song minimal and somewhat “spooky”, never expecting of course what else it was destined for! Adam initially put the acoustic guitar part down to a click track. I added the Wurlitzer Piano and then we found a drum loop we really liked from my loop library. Dominique was very pregnant when she sang this and her voice was very low and husky as a result. She had to take many breaks because she kept getting out of breath. It was very hard for her, but I love the way her voice sounded. I’m trying to keep her pregnant every time we make a record now! Anyway, all said, it took about 2 or 3 days to feel like we were totally finished with it. We recorded it, as well as the rest of the album, in our own studio so it’s hard to say how much it really cost.

SKSM: “Worry about you” seems to be written for someone. Is that true, and if so, for who is it?

IVY(Andy Chase): We don’t like to be too literal in Ivy. We prefer to hint at things and make subtle innuendoes. Songs like this are an amalgamation of a few different tales from our past.

SKSM: How did you react when you found out that your song was going to be used in a Stephen King series?

IVY(Andy Chase): Very excited. I’ve been a huge fan of his since the early 80’s.

SKSM: What do you think about the series?

IVY(Andy Chase): Well, I was a bit mixed about it. I loved how cerebral and strange it was but that was probably it’s downfall as well. It aired on ABC which, because it’s a major network, played 4 minutes of commercials every 15 minutes throughout the show. That became very distracting and broke the rhythm of this kind of movie. It would have been much wiser to get it played on HBO as I think the type of viewers who appreciate this sort of thing would have been found there. ABC viewers are famous for liking their material dumbed-down and not too complicated.

SKSM: Did Ivy have any personal contact with Stephen King during the making of Kingdom Hospital?

IVY(Andy Chase): For a brief while it looked like ABC wasn’t going to agree to the terms of the deal with our label and publisher and, as a result, was about to pass on using our song. We were all quite surprised and upset about it, including Stephen King. He wrote a very strong email to the executives at ABC expressing the extent of his anger if they didn’t use our song. As a result ABC agreed to work it out. We thought that was very cool.

SKSM: Have you become more popular since Kingdom Hospital?

IVY(Andy Chase): A bit. We certainly get a lot of emails from people saying they’re happy they discovered us watching the series.

SKSM: Are you King-fans yourselves? If so, what is your favorite book/movie?

IVY(Andy Chase): Absolutely. We all think Carrie and The Shining are two of the best horror films ever made. And I think I’ve read pretty much everything he wrote up until about 10 years ago when I got too busy with the music business. My favorite book is probably my favorite because it was also my first — Pet Semetary. I read it right when it came out back in the early 80’s.

SKSM: If you were asked to do another track for a King-production, would you accept it, and what track would you like to see in a movie?

IVY(Andy Chase): Absolutely! In a second. We’d even score original stuff for him if he wanted.

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?

IVY(Andy Chase): We’re coming to Spain to play this November ’05, in case any of you live near there. Otherwise, check our website from time to time to find out about what’s going on. www.thebandivy.com

He is the man behind Suffer The Little Children Dollar Baby Film.

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

Bernardo Villela: I am a filmmaker. I studied at Fairleigh Dickinson- Madison and then transferred to CW Post- Long Island University where I graduated in May 2005. I have been writing and yearning to make movies since I was fourteen and Suffer the Little Children is without a doubt my proudest achievement.

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

Bernardo Villela:Suffer the Little Children” was shot over 8 days in August 2005 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. We shot on a DVX 100A. Our brilliant cast is lead by Angela Pietropinto as Miss Sidley, Chris Lutkin as Mr. Hanning, Bob Bowersox as Buddy Jenkins, last but certainly not least Adam Montgomery as Robert. Our special effects were done by Temporal Distortions F/X.

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

Bernardo Villela:Suffer the Little Children” is my favorite short story in the Nightmares and Dreamscapes collection. I believe it’s just a flat out masterpiece. It is a simple story to follow on the surface but it goes knee-deep into ambiguity by leaving you guessing as to whether Sidley is ill or if her students really do change. I’ve read it many times and have come out thinking both at the end. After all you can assume that Jenkins merely developed the same acute psychosis that Sidley has.

It is also probably the most visual and dramatic of the stories I was considering. There are many great images and scenes already in the text that are quite cinematic. I believe my only other viable option was “The Last Rung on the Ladder“, while it’s a beautiful, tragic tale it didn’t have the same visual appeal or as linear a plot, as Ladder would need to be told mostly in flashback.

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?

Bernardo Villela: That’s actually a funny story. The “One Dollar Adaptation” is something I heard online but never found out if it was true. When Stephen King’s official website opened up a message board I decided to get to the bottom of it. His assistant confirmed it was true and the rest is history.

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

Bernardo Villela: The best moment for me on set was watching Angela and Adam (Sidley and Robert) doing their takes for the scene where Sidley keeps Robert after school, where Robert asks Miss Sidley if she’d like to see him “change.” It was a scene I thought most about and they delivered more than I ever imagined. Everyone, cast and crew was all about bringing the story to life and thinking about how to make the film all it could be. Angela suggested Sidley have a picture of her brother on the dresser and Adam suggested a name for Sidley’s substitute which she erases on her first day back. It was great to have everyone so dedicated to making the story come alive.

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 dvd/video release would be possible?

Bernardo Villela: We are very confident in this film. All the performances in the film are fantastic, the effects look great and it is quite frightening. We are targeting many film festivals for submission and hopefully Suffer will reach many festival screens, and thus, many fans. Fans will be notified of future screenings at our website www.sufferproductions.com. If it does well and Stephen King likes it, we may ask permission for distribution but that’s down the road some. Many people we’ve spoken to about the film are excited just by the fact that we chose this particular story so I am hopeful.

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)?

Bernardo Villela: No, I didn’t. We are still in the editing process as we speak and when we have completed the cut I am planning on sending him the DVD and a copy of the script.

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?

Bernardo Villela: Wow, that’s a great question. I’ve been a fan of Stephen King’s for a long time so many of his stories have struck me as possible adaptations that I’d want to do down the road with exclusive rights and the ability to distribute. My dream choice would probably be Roadwork. I’ve read it twice and I could probably read it again in a heartbeat. I think it’s a great and underrated tale of one man fighting the system and to hold on to his past. The fact that it’s overlooked makes me appreciate it even more than other stories I like just as much if not more like The Long Walk, Gerald’s Game and The Dark Tower III and IV, because they’re so well known.

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?

Bernardo Villela: I hope that fans of the story do get a chance to see this film. I worked with people who were both fans of King and those who only read the story because they were working on it, and it was pretty much unanimous that Sidley, Hanning, Robert and Jenkins were all perfectly cast. Also, there are no major story changes here. This is the story you’ve read with but a few minor changes, like a less ambiguous ending that I will not give away, to make it more cinematic. I know some adaptations of his work have been quite disappointing. I don’t believe “Suffer the Little Children” falls into that category.

 

He is the man behind King’s short story The Revelations of ‘Becka Paulson.

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

Steven Weber: I am an actor who has worked in theatre, television and film for the last 25 years (resumé available on IMDB)

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

Steven Weber: My association with Stephen King began before that when I did the miniseries version of “The Shining” (directed by Mick Garris). I found the original story in an anthology of horror and fantasy tales that I picked up and thought it would make a cool little film. I contacted the Outer Limits people, who I knew, and suggested the project. They liked it and off I went. The entire production was roughly two weeks (one week of pre-production and one week of shooting). I’m not sure what the cost was. It couldn’t have been much.

SKSM: How come you picked The Revelations of ‘Becka Paulson to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?

Steven Weber: I liked the humor in the writing and thought that The Outer Limits could use some humor ion their programming.

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

Steven Weber: Working with Catherine O’Hara was very special for me. I had always been a fan of hers and was very impressed with her choices and her ability. As it was my first experience directing, every moment was special.

SKSM: Are there things cut out of the movie that you miss now?

Steven Weber: I did a “director’s cut” that had a different approach to the overall editing of the episode that I preferred. I felt that the final product was a little too linear. I tried to enhance the feeling of the character’s insanity through editing and through funny off-beat music. The producers thought my choices were too odd and they wouldn’t pay for the rights to use the music, instead opting for more generic music. But enough of the elements I like have survived.

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)?

Steven Weber: I had no contact with him during the filming. I did, however, have a lot of contact with him during the filming of “The Shining” and found him to be extremely open, funny, approachable and fascinating. I think he liked “Revelations”. At least, I hope he did.

SKSM: How did you get started as a director and what do you do on a production?

Steven Weber: I started directing as a fluke, having been around it for so long a time as an actor. I absorbed aspects of it and always was observant and when the opportunity arose I leapt at it.

SKSM: Did you have any experiance making that kind of movies at the time?

Steven Weber: I had always been a fan of the horror/fantasy genre (I just wrote and acted in an episode of an upcoming series called “Masters of Horror” that was directed by Dario Argento. It seemed fitting that my first foray into directing would be something from that world.

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?

Steven Weber: Not at this time.

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?

Steven Weber: Only to say that Stephen King is worthy of all the adoration his fans have mustered and that he is as real and remarkable as any fan would hope him to be.

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