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He played in Tyger Sharee‘s The Woman In The Room Dollar Baby film as Johnny.

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

Antonio Mireles: My name is Antonio Mireles, and I’m an actor. I’ve worked on several independent films, short films, a Christian film, stage theater, and I also worked on a Warner Brothers film as a Latino gang banger in the movie Gran Torino.

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

Antonio Mireles: I’ve always wanted to be an actor since childhood, but as I got older I tried pursuing other things besides acting (barbering & robotics). However, my heart just wasn’t into other things and that’s when I knew that acting was my true passion.

SKSM: How did you become involved in The woman in the room Dollar Baby film?

Antonio Mireles: Tyger messaged me and asked if I was interested in reading for the lead role of John. And I happily excepted.

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

Antonio Mireles: There’s a time in life that we all experience that pain when it comes to a dying loved one. Sadly, its just part of human nature. My character John is dealing with the same situation with his dying mother, and what I think that attracts people about this story is that he’s dealing with this alone with no one to comfort him.

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

Antonio Mireles: Like I mentioned before, Tyger reached out to me and asked if I was interested in the part. So I guess you can say that it was written for me. Lol

SKSM: You worked with Tyger Sharee on this film, how was that?

Antonio Mireles: Tyger was awesome to work with. This was our first time working together. And I’m truly honored that she chose me to read for the lead role.

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

Antonio Mireles: I don’t recall any funny moments, but I will say this. I had a great time filming this project with the cast & crew. And that right there was special to me.

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

Antonio Mireles: Yeah, actually I do. I just worked on another project of Tyger’s not long ago. It’s called Apartment 296. And everyone else I still talk to here and there on Facebook.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Antonio Mireles: I just got an invite to read for a part of a hitman for an independent project, which will be filmed in Detroit. I don’t know the full details for this project as of yet, but stay tune.

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

Antonio Mireles: I’ve been a long time fan of Stephen King’s work, and having the opportunity to read for the lead role for his script (The Woman In The Room) is a huge honor.

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

Antonio Mireles: That my middle name is Rene. Lol

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

Antonio Mireles: You’re very welcome and thank you for the interview. I would like to say thank you to the fans for all the love and support. It truly means a lot!

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Antonio Mireles: I like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and a happy safe New Year!

He played in Tyger Sharee‘s The Woman In The Room Dollar Baby film as Dr. Stephen Torrance.

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

Mike T. Tremblay: My name is Mike Tremblay. I was born in Providence, RI, and now reside in the suberbs of Detroit, MI. I am in my mid fifties and I am an actor, writer, producer, and taking on my first directing role soon. I also am a Healthcare Facilities Manager and work in outpatient surgery.

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

Mike T. Tremblay: I wanted to be an actor at a young age and found it later in life after my career in the U. S. Coast Guard. I auditioned for a day player role and was cast in my first movie entitled “Impact.” From there, I caught the acting bug.

SKSM: How did you become involved in The woman in the room Dollar Baby film?

Mike T. Tremblay: Tyger messaged me about the doctor role and asked if I’d be interested in playing the part for her. I read the script and loved it.

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

Mike T. Tremblay: This is a story that most people could relate to that have ever known anyone in their family or outside that was sick with a terminal illness. He asked the question, what would you do? I think that is what mostly attracts us in the human condition to the story.

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

Mike T. Tremblay: As I stated, Tyger asked me to do the role.

SKSM: You worked with Tyger Sharee on this film, how was that?

Mike T. Tremblay: Tyger was awesome to work with. I enjoyed her direction and collaboration on the part. She was very patient and professional the entire time. I would work with her again tomorrow.

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

Mike T. Tremblay: Outside of the fact that I really enjoyed working with each and everyone on the cast and crew not in particular. I knew just about everyone so it was really a reunion of professionals getting together to make a great short film.

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

Mike T. Tremblay: Tyger, Corey James Taylor, John Benjamin, and the list goes on. I also did another film with Terry Partika entitled, “Dilly Loves Kitty.” I played her older brother and her caretaker in that film as she suffers from alzeihmers disease.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Mike T. Tremblay: I am currently in pre-production on a film I wrote and will be directing entitled “Without a Doubt.” It is a Christian film about a young mother and wife who is diagnosed with stage 4 Inflammatory Breast Cancer 2 months into her second pregnancy and must decide between full on chemo and radiation treatment or the life of her child. What would you do?

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

Mike T. Tremblay: Absolutely. I was grateful for this role because I had the chance to climb inside just on of the many wonderful characters Stephen  has created and go along for the ride. I was given the opportunity to make those character choices that don’t come along everyday and hopefully delivered for the audience.

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

Mike T. Tremblay: I am fluent in Italian and lived in Sicily, Italy for a year while in the U.S. Coast Guard.

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

Mike T. Tremblay: Please stay tuned for more from Tyger as she is a very talented individual with a resilience to succeed.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Mike T. Tremblay: Thank you for the opportunity to answer these questions that I am very humbeled to be asked. Have a great day!

 

He is the filmmaker of Restare Dollar Baby film.

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

David Chien: My name is David Chien. I am a filmmaker based in and around Los Angeles. I have worked in a number of departments within film production. I am currently the lead projectionist of the New Beverly Cinema.

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

David Chien: I have loved cinema since childhood, as far back as I can remember. Up to junior high, I assumed I would be an animator or a comic book artist. By high school, my focus was to be a writer and director of live-action work.

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

David Chien:Restare” was written in late-2017. I found my producer, AJ Vargas, in January of 2018. Casting occurred in February. Filming took place over a few days in March. By May, the final cut was delivered. I do not think our expenses exceeded $5000. A friend of mine helped me with all of the camerawork. The iPhone 7 Plus was chosen as our capture system because of its telephoto lens, although I ended up using a third-party telephoto lens attachment on its wide-angle camera instead.

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

David Chien: To me, “Rest Stop” is a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story. I have always appreciated the ideas and questions that come from such tales. These stories highlight the way an alter ego can be both a source of bravery as well as a curtain behind which one can mask her wickedness.

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?

David Chien: I cannot recall when nor how I first found out about the Dollar Baby program. But it was likely during film school. Over the years, it has been special to learn about these Dollar Baby shorts and how they are, by design, hard to find and rarely screened. Instant intrigue, immediate curiosity…

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

David Chien: The “dream” sequence (in fact, a visualization of the author’s creative process) was captured by mistake and subsequently composed from scratch in post. I had not scripted anything other than a shot or two of the lead character typing. But after reviewing extra footage I shot (unusable because it deviated from the visual language of the short—i.e. tight medium shots or close-ups, dead on), I tried superimposing these clips over the typing footage. I really loved the effect, and thus I kept it in. The radical change in the tone and flow of this section forced me to do some crazier things with the sound design (and likewise guided the musical score in a more intense direction).

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

David Chien: I honestly like the idea that all Dollar Babies are hard to find. This makes all of our shorts more special, in a way. I think it is very hard, for me at least, to enjoy and appreciate short films at home or on a laptop. If any Dollar Baby is to be watched, it should be in a theater (or a livestream—which is more like a broadcast and not on-demand).

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

David Chien: The good reviews all came from friends, family, and the kind viewers of the Barker Street Cinema event in August 2022. The bad reviews were implicit by virtue of the fact that “Restare” was not accepted into any film festival during the submission window of 2018 and 2020.

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

David Chien: No plans at this time.

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

David Chien: I would consider myself a fan. But I am not a particularly well-read fan. Most of my King knowledge comes from the film and television adaptations. I have read maybe nine or ten of his novels and dozens of his short stories. My favorite novel is and always has been Insomnia. I will probably always feel that Carrie is his best and most lasting work—and De Palma’s film adaptation is simply one of the great American films. Dolores Claiborne is a brilliant story and its film adaptation is a great and perhaps underrated.

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)?

David Chien: A DVD was sent to his office. I have not heard back from the King estate about it. I am content knowing, however, that the DVD sits there, among the other Dollar Babies. We are in good company.

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?

David Chien: Perhaps! If I ever had the budget and influence to do an adaptation of Insomnia

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

David Chien: My energy is devoted to my wife and son. Whatever is left goes wholly into film projection and putting on beautiful shows for the audiences at the New Beverly Cinema.

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

David Chien: I believe in God.

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

David Chien: Keep movie theaters in your community alive at all costs. Something innate about the Dollar Baby program is its commitment to the theatrical experience, festival or otherwise.

SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?

David Chien: Thank you for reaching out to me. I appreciate what you do with your website.

 

 

She played in Tyger Sharee‘s The Woman In The Room Dollar Baby film as Mother.

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

Terri Partyka: My name is Terri Partyka. I guess I am still figuring out who I am, because the description seems to be continually changing. Currently, I am a wife, mother of 3 adult kids, and a pup, business owner, and most passionately an actress.

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

Terri Partyka: I have always been an actress, even if it wasn’t on stage or screen. I was one of those kids who would make up plays and shows for my family and neighborhood. I started in local theatre groups in high school, started film acting in 2006 or so, and have been exclusively acting in film since about 2012.

SKSM: How did you become involved in The woman in the room Dollar Baby film?

Terri Partyka: I was contacted by Tyger Sharee. She sent me the script and asked if I would be interested in playing the role.

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

Terri Partyka: I think it is very real. Everyone can relate to at least the possibility of being in that type of moral dilemma.

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

Terri Partyka: I don’t know that it was written directly for me, but I didn’t have to audition. Tyger asked me if I would consider the role.

SKSM: You worked with Tyger Sharee on this film, how was that?

Terri Partyka: She was great to work with. She gave a great balance of direction, while still allowing the actors to become the characters they envision.

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

Terri Partyka: I don’t think it was funny, but it was memorable. One day on set, I happened to be looking out the window, and noticed a guy park a car. The interior was on fire. Within a couple of minutes, the entire car was engulfed in flames, and nothing but a shell. It was our distraction for the day.

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

Terri Partyka: I most definitely still have contact with most all of the cast and crew. We all support each other and keep up with each other’s projects.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Terri Partyka: I don’t have any big projects in the works at the present time. I just finished a role in an audio book, and am doing a couple small, commercial projects. So, if you have a character or project in mind, let me know.

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

Terri Partyka: Who isn’t a fan of Stephen King’s work? LOL! I think if you have any interest in suspense/horror, you can’t help but put Stephen King at the top of the list.

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

Terri Partyka: Some people might know that I am kind of an athlete, but most don’t know that I played on a women’s semi-pro football team in my 20’s.

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

Terri Partyka: Thanks for listening, and watching. You inspire me to keep doing what I’m doing.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Terri Partyka: Horror/suspense fans are the most supportive movie fans out there.

 

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.

 

 

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