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He played in Cameron Schwartz‘s Rest Stop Dollar Baby film as Mitch Forsyth.

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

Jayson Warner Smith: I am an actor and acting teacher living in Georgia, USA. I divide my time between my home in Athens, GA (Go Dawgs!) and Atlanta, GA where I teach. I teach the Strasberg Method and the Demidov School of acting.

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

Jayson Warner Smith: As an extracurricular activity my mother involved me in at nine years old, I took some children’s acting and performing classes that ended with a production of the children’s theatre play Chester the Cricket. I played the man who sells the cricket to the young boy. I had a blast and I was much better at acting than baseball or basketball and there were a lot of cute girls so… I stuck with acting.

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

Jayson Warner Smith: In 2013 or so I was cast in a SundanceTV show called Rectify. Cameron Schwartz, who adapted and directed Rest Stop saw my work and a few years later approached me about playing a lead role in his short film Northfield. He made me an offer I couldn’t refuse and I signed on. We have been working together on most of his projects ever since. On a side-note, I asked Cameron who would play the role opposite me in Northfield and he asked if I knew anyone who could fit the bill. I had a short list and Steve Coulter was at the top. Steve and I have had the pleasure of working together on all of Cameron’s films so far. Cameron swears I will be in all of his films. So… I’ve got that going for me.

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

Jayson Warner Smith: I don’t really have an answer here.

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

Jayson Warner Smith: Cameron added the scene with Steve and Randy and me at the beginning and the role was written specifically for me by him.

SKSM: You worked with Cameron Schwartz on this film, how was that?

Jayson Warner Smith: I have kind of already answered this but, if I must go on… I absolutely love working with him. Every film has been a joy and the only regret is that the shoot usually only last 3-4 days so we don’t get to spend enough time together. He keeps teasing me with new projects that, for one reason or another, unfortunately haven’t gotten made. I miss working with him terribly.

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

Jayson Warner Smith: It’s been so long. Nothing in particular comes up. It is also the only time I’ve had the pleasure of working with Randy. Randy, Steve and I are usually auditioning for the same roles for films that are made in the Southeast. Randy’s turn on Stranger Things was brilliant and you should see Steve in She-Hulk. He is fantastic!

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

Jayson Warner Smith: We haven’t taken a house by the sea together or anything but I do stay in touch with Cameron, Steve and Randy. Mostly via text and social media. We have all three also been at some comic-cons together over the years due to Stranger Things and The Walking Dead. Cameron and producer Alan Hu and cinematographer Kyler Dennis helped me create a promo for a play I produced and acted in called Blackbird by David Harrower. The editor Jonathan Pawlowski was a student of mine for a bit and we are neighbors in Atlanta so I do see him from time to time.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Jayson Warner Smith: I am in the final throes of executive producing and starring in my own short film written by Ruckus Skye and Lane Skye called Chipper. We are about a week from completion and will begin a year of festival submissions. You can follow along here: https://www.instagram.com/chipper_film/

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

Jayson Warner Smith: Not huge. I have only ever read one of his books. Salem’s Lot. I was in high school and it scared the bejeezuz out of me. There’s a story here: When I was in high school living at home with my family, my bedroom was on the front of the house and the front porch was at my window right next to the front door. One night while in the midst of the book, my sister who is four years older had been out on a date and came home quite late and had forgotten her door key. I had finally gotten to sleep, I repeat I was terrified from the book, and I am awoken by the sound of someone tapping at my window saying, “Jayson, let me in.” I woke up, heard this and immediately froze. In my head screaming to myself, “Don’t look! Don’t look! If you make eye contact, they have you!!!” It took about 5 seconds to realize what was going on but for those five seconds I was convinced there was a vampire at my window.

I have seen most of the films that have been adapted from his works. I have enjoyed… most of them.

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

Jayson Warner Smith: I am an Eagle Scout.

I love riding my Triumph Bonneville. Here’s a little film I made about a five week trip I took called Learning to Fly. https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/123383323

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

Jayson Warner Smith: Uva Uvam Vivendo Varia Fit.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Jayson Warner Smith: Follow your bliss. – Joseph Campbell

Living in fear is just another way of dying before your time. – Drive By Truckers

She played in David Chien’s Restare Dollar Baby film as Autumn/Ellen/Zelda.

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

Shannon Mary Dixon: Absolutely! I’m Shannon Mary Dixon- actor, athlete, & director/writer. I’ve had starring and supporting roles in award winning feature films, short films, web series, TV and commercials. I trained at the top level Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland, graduated through the advanced improv class at renowned Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB), and currently work with amazing acting teachers in Los Angeles like Shari Shaw and Aimee Deshayes. I’m also an Olympic level figure skater, and one of my first roles was skating on “The Office!” I’m a certified yoga instructor, motorcycle rider, equestrian and trained singer. Originally from Cape Cod, MA, I graduated Magna Cum Laude as a triple major in Theatre, Film and Graphic Design from Northeastern University in Boston MA. I love storytelling in all its forms, I adore films and reading!

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

Shannon Mary Dixon: I actually didn’t discover acting until I was 20 years old. After stepping away from competitive figure skating, I turned my focus to fine arts, design, and film. I eventually picked up a theatre major to study set and costume design— that’s when I fell in love with acting and never looked back! But it all makes sense to me now— I’ve always been an avid reader and loved getting lost in the world of stories and ancient history, and with skating have always been used to performing, and elite training. It truly all comes together with acting as my profession.

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

Shannon Mary Dixon: I saw a breakdown for Restare and was immediately drawn to the idea of playing 3 characters, so I read Stephen King’s Rest Stop short story and thought it was fascinating. I sent in my materials- I actually almost didn’t get to audition because their schedule filled up before I could confirm, but luckily AJ and David were able to squeeze me in!

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

Shannon Mary Dixon: I think the idea of alter ego and what it takes to overcome fear or take action is fascinating from a human perspective. We all think we might act a certain way when faced with situations, or even opportunities, but when they occur do not always live up to those expectations. So sometimes we create a version of ourselves that can achieve what our other ‘selves’ may not be able to. And then the versions of ourselves we’ve created become dependent on one another- it’s a very meta and interesting concept. Also, with much of Stephen King’s work and certainly David’s adaptation, the lines of reality and fantasy become blurred. Who is real and who isn’t? What part of reality is just an invention of how we want to see the world or ourselves? There is a lot to contemplate for sure.

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

Shannon Mary Dixon: I did audition! If I remember correctly, I was actually having a terrible day that day. I think all the emotion I had pent up released when I was reading for the character of Ellen in the audition and I came sort of unhinged- it helped me win the role! So…I guess the moral of that story is sometimes a bad day can lead to something great.

SKSM: You worked with David Chien on this film, how was that?

Shannon Mary Dixon: David is a very talented director! He certainly has a clear vision for his work and his perspective is different, unique. He was extremely prepared and thorough- overall working with him was exciting.

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

Shannon Mary Dixon: There was an intense moment where we were recording some ADR for the fight interaction that happens in the script (behind closed doors), and everyone was quiet for recording just listening to me go completely awol on myself with all sorts of evil/ Stephen King phrases from the story. It got really escalated and I went sort of mad, swearing, crying, screaming, just creating a whole domestic dispute/ fight with myself as if I were multiple people! I definitely remember nervous laughter and sighs of relief when we were done with that haha!

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

Shannon Mary Dixon: David and AJ do stay in touch and always keep us all updated on this project! I’ve seen David at a few other events/ happenings in LA as well. He was very supportive of my directorial debut too, a short film I directed/produced called Down the Road.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Shannon Mary Dixon: I just closed out a sold out theatrical run of a stage adaptation of Spoon River where I got to play 11 characters! I also just wrapped production on a dramatic short film, Through the Corners, I shot in Kansas. I’m currently slated to play a role in the Western feature film, The Outlaws of Mendicino, shooting the fall of 2022.

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

Shannon Mary Dixon: I have always liked Stephen King! I’ve read the whole Dark Tower series which definitely made an impression on me- I’ve always been drawn to epic tales, especially ones with multi-dimensional or sci-fi themes. I also remember reading his collection of stories, Nightmares and Dreamscapes, when I was maybe 12 on a family vacation in Prince Edward Island, Canada, and being unable to fall asleep in our little beach cottage because I was so scared! It was the finger in the drain story for me. Sticks with me to this day.

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

Shannon Mary Dixon: I love to break the mold- I’ve been riding motorcycles for about 10 years now! I definitely don’t think people expect me to be a rider when they meet me. I also am a stunt driver and am training in martial arts.

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

Shannon Mary Dixon: Thanks so much for the opportunity to answer your questions! To everyone- I hope you enjoy the film and thanks so much for your support.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Shannon Mary Dixon: Only to follow your passions, and that art matters. Keep making your magic, whatever that may be!

He played in Cameron Schwartz‘s Rest Stop Dollar Baby film as Dean Russell Strathman.

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

Steve Coulter: Let’s see… I’m Steve Coulter. I was born in Canada, and grew up all over Connecticut, Vermont, South America, Cleveland Heights, Ohio.  Studied acting at the North Carolina School of the Arts and moved to New York for several years. Got an acting job in Atlanta years ago and never went back. I’ve been acting for around 30 years. I’m also a writier. I was head-writer for Tyler Perry for two of his TV series. I’m married to a ridiculously great woman and have a daughter who’s an actor and director in New York, and I have two very cool step-sons.

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

Steve Coulter: I’ve alway’s liked to pretend stuff, since I was little… I used to play with GI Joe for hours and hours, would play war in the woods near my house as a kid. When I was in 8th grade, I saw a play that sparked something…I thought, “I have to do that.” Which was odd, because I was extremely shy. Did a lot of plays in high school, The only thing I ever wanted to do.

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

Steve Coulter: I had done several short films with Cameron. The first was ”Northfield”.  I really like working with him and his crew. It’s like a little family. So when he asked me to do it, I immediately said yes. Cameron is a great guy and a very talented filmmaker.

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

Steve Coulter: Stephen King always manages to tap into our inner lives… what we think about, yearn for, what we fear, etc. I think many people wish they had an alter ego like the main character, a part of us that would follow all our impulses, without a censor.

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

Steve Coulter: Cameron seems to write roles in most  of his scripts for myself and Jayson Warner Smith. We’ve done several films together. It’s always a lot of fun to see what he has in store for us.

SKSM: You worked with Cameron Schwartz on this film, how was that?

Steve Coulter: I always enjoy working with Cameron. I’ve found the best filmmakers, and the ones who create the best on-set experiences, are those who are extremely prepared. Cameron knows exactly what he wants, but he also is very open to the actors’ ideas and thoughts. It’s a real collaboration.

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

Steve Coulter: Randy Havens and I have known each other for a very long time. I really enjoyed that my character got to mess with him so much.

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

Steve Coulter: Since Cameron uses a lot of crew from other shoots in the area, I see many of the crew often. Cameron and I stay in very good touch. I also stay in touch with his producer, Allen Hu. Allen is a remarkable producer, and an even greater person.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Steve Coulter: Currently appearing in Marvel series, “She-Hulk Attorney At Law” on Disney+.
I play She-Hulk’s boss. Coming up there’s “We Have a Ghost” on Netflix, with Anthony Mackie and David Harbour… I play the bad guy in the film. And in a few months, a film I shot in the Dominican Republic last year, called “Shotgun Wedding” opens, starring Jennifer Lopez.

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

Steve Coulter: I have been a huge fan of his books since I was a teenager. The first book I read of his was “The Stand”.  I read pretty much everything of his that comes out. I just think he is an amazing storyteller. Although, ironically, I had never read “Rest Stop”.

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

Steve Coulter: Hmmm.  That I’m a trained dancer? And danced in a jazz dance group in college.

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

Steve Coulter: Keep on an eye on Cameron Schwartz. He has a lot of movies in his head.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Steve Coulter: Like I tell my kids… ”When in doubt, just be kind.”

She played in David Chien’s Restare Dollar Baby film as Jane/Rachel.

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

Audrey Looye: I am an actor here in LA!

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

Audrey Looye: In 3rd grade, after being in a school production of The Wizard of Oz.

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

Audrey Looye: I answered an open call for the lead and thought I was a good fit for this adaptation of Stephen King’s Rest Stop! I was lucky to get an audition and subsequent call-back from writer/director David Chien.  Meeting our producer AJ Vargas at the same time.  David explained what the “Dollar Baby” film was all about and I was excited to have a chance to collaborate with him and his team!

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

Audrey Looye: Like so much of Stephen King’s stories these adaptations hold just the right amount of creep, horror, and suspicion! Horror guess work 🙂

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

Audrey Looye: I had an initial audition and a call-back.

SKSM: You worked with David Chien on this film, how was that?

Audrey Looye: David was great!  He is so gifted and detail oriented.  Plus it was shot on an iphone.  2018 iphone!!

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

Audrey Looye: When you work on micro budgets you need to keep thinking outside of the box and try to make unique interesting choices.  I had the “gallows giggles” a few times staring into the iphone lens.  Micro adjustments were funny and challenging.

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

Audrey Looye: Mostly by email as we all fell into “Covid” times just after it was made. David and AJ always kept me in the loop.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Audrey Looye: My latest work is on a Christmas film that is in post production for seasonal release and various commercial projects. But what I really enjoy are the creative art pieces like Restare!

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

Audrey Looye: Always!  Just the right amount scare and horror blended nicely together!

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

Audrey Looye: My age

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

Audrey Looye: Thanks for watching!

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Audrey Looye: Thank you for the interview!

He is the filmmaker of Rest Stop Dollar Baby film.

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

Cameron Schwartz: My name’s Cameron Schwartz. I live in Atlanta, GA. I’ve been working in the film industry for 13 years, first starting in Los Angeles in 2009, before moving back to Atlanta in 2011. I’m a camera assistant (2nd AC) and have been doing camera for 10 years now.

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

Cameron Schwartz: I think for most filmmakers, their love of movies starts at a young age. And the same goes for me. When I was about 4 or 5, I was obsessed with Rob Reiner’s “Princess Bride.” I would watch it any chance I got. And that goes for the Indiana Jones Trilogy, which I owned on VHS.

Also, I was lucky enough to see Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” when it first premiered in theaters in 1993. For me, I loved the escapism that those movies provided me.

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

Cameron Schwartz: We filmed Rest Stop. July, 2018. We shot at a private school near Chastain Park in Georgia. The actual Rest Area was found by my exceptional Locations Manager Melanie Antos. It was located in Covington, GA.

We originally were slated to complete all of our scenes at the rest area over one night. In hindsight, this was overly optimistic. We had a strict 12 hour limit at the rest area. And given the amount of shots and sequences needed there, including all the establishing shots with the technocrane and the interiors with the aftermath, we made the decision to come back for one more day.

I can’t remember the exact amount, but the film cost around $60,000 to make.

Principal photography lasted five days and then, about a week or two later we came back to the school for some pick-up shots.

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

Cameron Schwartz: I actually picked three dollar babies by Stephen King, but Rest Stop was the one that I felt I could realistically film. I loved the idea that this everyday person could overcome his fear and finally stand up to something. But, with any adaptation from book to screen, you have to flesh out certain parts of the story. And for me, I needed to build a more complete backstory for our character “John Dykstra.” Which is why I added all the scenes with the Dean of the College and John’s competitor “Roger Billings” for the Chair of the Department. In addition to that, I wanted to create a little more conflict for the character of “John Dykstra” along the way so his anger is always building and reaching this boiling point, so when he does flick the switch and become Rick Hardin, it feels warranted.

And I think one of the biggest draws for me in this story is this concept of standing up to bullies. Now, what John Dykstra does in the film takes it a little too far, but, that’s the fictional aspect of it.

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?

Cameron Schwartz: Well, I had finished filming a short film in 2016 and by 2018, I was searching for ideas for my next one. I had succumbed to writer’s block and was becoming quite frustrated. My girlfriend at the time suggested I look into Stephen King’s Dollar Babies. I had never heard of them before. But as I found his site and read through the stories, my enthusiasm was reinstated. And on top of all of that, the fact that I only had to pay $1 for the rights for a year was something I couldn’t pass on.

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

Cameron Schwartz: I would have to say the most special moment was celebrating my birthday on one of our shooting days. We were at the school filming the Dean scenes. My dad was there, in costume, doing background crosses for the hallway shots. At lunch, unbeknownst to me, my parents had bought a cake and made a very heartfelt speech to the cast and crew talking about how special it was for them and me to be spending my birthday doing what I truly loved.

It was quite memorable.

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

Cameron Schwartz: I haven’t received any bad reviews luckily. One YouTuber did say they were a little disappointed in the change in dialogue at the Rest Stop, but overall thought the film was fun.

I’m sure whoever watches my film will have their own criticisms for how I adapted King’s story. But I think that just comes with the territory of adapting books to film. At the end of the day, as a filmmaker, you just have to stick to your guns and tell the story the way you’d want it told.

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

Cameron Schwartz: The film has made the rounds at smaller festivals and has won various awards.

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

Cameron Schwartz: I know fans will probably hate this, but I’m not a huge King fan. I think I probably saw his movie adaptations before I even discovered his novels. But, I will say, as I grew older, I began reading more of his work, and I enjoyed it very much. I mean, he’s a master, no doubt about it. And I’m lucky enough to have been given the chance to adapt one of his stories.

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)?

Cameron Schwartz: I unfortunately never had any real contact with the master himself. I’m not sure if he’s seen it or not. I really hope he has and I would jump at the opportunity to speak with him and get his thoughts on the film.

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

Cameron Schwartz: As of now, I don’t have any plans to shoot any more stories by Stephen King. But, I know there are a lot of adaptations coming our way very soon, and I’m extremely excited about that!

If I had to pick a story to shoot, I would say King’s “Finders Keepers” is an intriguing one. It’s similar in some ways to “Rest Stop” and in others it shares similarities with “Misery,” which is a great novel and an exceptional film.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Cameron Schwartz: I just finished camera assisting on the fourth season of an HBO comic book series called “Doom Patrol.”

And I am currently writing the script for my next short. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will be trying my hand at horror and this one is a full on creature feature.

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

Cameron Schwartz: Well, if viewers of my films pay close attention to my main credits, they will notice that I compose the scores for my films. Starting with my short “The Formula” and continuing to the present, I have written and composed the score to every one of my projects.

Music to me is just as important as the visual, and I’m lucky enough to be able to write the music the way I hear it. Again, looking back on my childhood experiences with movies, the biggest influence is the collaboration between Stephen Spielberg and John Williams. So, my music is always influenced by what John Williams has done for the films of Spielberg and George Lucas for that matter.

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

Cameron Schwartz: Well, in Rest Stop, there are Stephen King easter eggs hidden throughout the film. One is the library where our main character has his group meetup. Also, I would suggest listening closely to the radio broadcast that John Dykstra listens to in his car. It may provide clues to another King story.

SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?

Cameron Schwartz: I would just like to say, thank you Oscar for reaching out to me. I think what you’re doing is great and shedding more light on Stephen King’s Dollar Babies is a great thing. I hope more aspiring filmmakers will take advantage of what King is offering because it’s a very rare thing to find in Hollywood.

 

He is the Producer of David Chien’s Restare Dollar Baby film.

SKSM: May you introduce yourself to our readers?

A. J. Vargas: Greetings. My name is AJ Vargas. I work in the tv & film production management arena. I enjoy producing short films on the side to fuel my passions as a Producer.

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

A. J. Vargas: I’ve always had a love for cinema since I was a child (movie fanatic here). I always knew I wanted a career in filmmaking even at a young age.

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

A. J. Vargas: The director (David Chien) had placed an ad on a Facebook filmmaking group looking for a Producer to collaborate with for his Stephen King dollar baby short film adaptation of Rest Stop. I’ve been a HUGE Stephen King fan since reading his novels in middle school. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to adapt one of his short stories as a Producer. It definitelty was a bucket list item!

SKSM: Can you tell us about your work in the film?

A. J. Vargas: I was very involved in casting, locations, and production management, making sure David’s vision for this short film adaptation could be achieved.

SKSM: What was it like to work with David Chien on this film?

A.J. Vargas: I had an excellent working relationship with David. He’s a very talented writer / director. We were a great fit the minute we met to discuss his Rest Stop short film adaptation and we were on the same page with everything throughout pre-production and production. It was a true collaborative process and I’m very proud of the work he did on Restare both visually and with our actors.

SKSM: Was there any funny things that happened while filming (Bloopers, etc)?

A. J. Vargas: Oh yes. Here’s a fun behind-the-scenes story. There is a scene in our film that takes place in a hotel hallway. Since we were a very micro budget production we could not afford to shoot at a real hotel. There was some scrambling to figure out where we could shoot that scene. I happened to find a company in downtown Los Angeles that rents out used set flat facades. So we rented two hallway set flats that were used in Warren Beatty’s “Rules Don’t Apply.” I booked a small studio stage in North Hollywood, we assembled the set flats in there and lit / shot our hallway scene. That actually worked out better because we had complete control over the set. It would have been difficult to pull that off if we had shot that scene in a real hotel hallway. That was me putting my Producer thinking cap on 😉

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

A. J. Vargas: I’ve been a Stephen King fan ever since reading his books in middle school. Horror has always been my favorite genre and Stephen King is the crown jewel of horror authors.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

A. J. Vargas: I worked at Marvel Studios for 5 years, managing visual development on their Phase 3 and Phase 4 movies. I’m at a start-up studio these days (Six Studios) developing Raymond E. Feist’s “Riftwar Saga” as a potential live action streaming series. It’s a really great project. Right up my alley.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Something you’d like to tell our readers?

A. J. Vargas: Thanks for the interview. Restare was produced and shot in 2018. The intention was to get it into some film festivals. Unfortanately that didn’t work our for us, I believe a lot of these film festivals weren’t familiar with Stephen King dollar baby short film adaptations. But I never gave up on our film. I was thrilled to get into this year’s Stephen King Rules Dollar Baby Film Festival. It was very rewarding to get that recognition. As for your readers, if any of them have interests in filmmaking, make the time to fuel those passions.

 

 

He is the filmmaker of Stationary Bike. Richard Enya story Dollar Baby film.

SKSM: May you introduce yourself to our readers? Who are you and what do you do?

Robert McSweeney: My name is Robert McSweeney, and I am an independent filmmaker.

SKSM: How would you decide that shooting movies was your mission?

Robert McSweeney: When I was a Little kid and MTV came out I seen a AC/DC video and knew that  I wanted to be the guy behind the camera. Well life happened and that dream got puto n hold. Finally at the age of 48 I decided I was going to chase that dream. I enrolled in Full Sail University in the Digital Cinematography program. I had to make a couple school narrative projects and I got the movie making bug.

SKSM: Could you tell our readers the status of Stationary Bike or some updates?

Robert McSweeney: We are almost finished with filming. It will be in post-production August 2022.

SKSM: Who will be involved in this project?

Robert McSweeney: I am staring in this film. I play Richard Enya a pod caster who needs to lose some weight. I am the Director, Set Decorator, Casting, Cinematography, Producer.
Eric Celentano is our Director of Photography and Lead Gaff.
Jordan Hood plays ScarKro a blood thirsty scarecrow.
Jordan Engle plays Bastion the killer clown.
Juanita Merriman plays worker.
Kazket Bound is our composer/score guy.

SKSM: Why did you pick “Stationary Bike” to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?

Robert McSweeney: I choose Stationary Bike because until I learned of the Dollar Baby program I never heard of it.
A lot of the plot takes place in the leads head so it left a lot of room for visuals. Finally I just felt it ya know. As I was listening to the audio book I was envisioning the story and how I wanted to tell.

SKSM: Due to Stephen King uses a lot of internalization in this story. What are the biggest challenges you might have when shooting?

Robert McSweeney: One big challenge I have had is keeping the cast. I have had to recast and rewrite this project three times. I have a solid crew and an amazing unheard-of cast. If you like good old fashion B flicks you will love this.

SKSM: Where would you like the premiere of Stationary Bike film to be?

Robert McSweeney: If I could rub a magic lamp and have it anywhere I would pick the 48 Lounge in New York City

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

Robert McSweeney: I am a huge Stephen King fan. My favorite adaptations are 3) Carrie 2) Pet Cemetary 1) Christine

SKSM: How did you find out that King sold the movie rights to some of his stories for just $1?

Robert McSweeney: I found the Dollar Baby program completely on accident. I was searching for grants for filmmakers in Washington State.

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

Robert McSweeney: I am BBQ pit master, and when I was 18 I was a cook in a 5 star restaurant.

SKSM: What advice would you give to those people who want to be filmmakers?

Robert McSweeney: I would say if they want to learn the basics go to Full Sail University’s Digital Cinematography online program. That, and that there’s nothing to it but to do it. Don’t let budgets stop you from making content.  The funding will come later.

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

Robert McSweeney: Thank you for taking the time to read this. I had a lot of fun and hope to do it again

 

 

 

Title: All that you love  (?) Bandera de Estados Unidos
Runtime: ?
Director: Warren Duncan
Script: Warren Duncan
Cast: Michael Albrecht
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