Dreaming Big, While Filming Within Your Means by David Jester
When I set out to film One For The Road, I wanted to maintain the essence of Stephen King’s original story in Night Shift. I wanted to capture all the tension, the intrigue, and especially Lumley’s frustration and confusion at Tookey and Booth’s hesitance to assist him. What I wanted was a tense filled bar, with three characters. People talking in rooms. I wanted the distrust of John Carpenter’s, The Thing.
I love the idea of isolation and what it does to people, especially when strong personalities all collide trapped in a claustrophobic environment. I absolutely love the idea of the hidden agenda in stories, the whodunnit aspect of work. If you really simplify The Thing, it could be seen as a murder mystery. Each one suspecting the other. And nature, the elements outside, the environment, it all imprisons them, forces them to face what is happening, rather than walking away. There is no escape but solve it or fight it.. That is what wanted, and still do someday, for One For The Road. That is the story of One For The Road.
Saying all this makes it sound as if I am disappointed with the film that we ended up with. That is far from the truth. I am over the moon with the Whisky Wolf Media version of One For The Road. I am proud of this work and all we accomplished. I love it all.
To live within your means and film festivals constraints. Even now, at twenty three minutes, One For The Road is often not eligible for certain festivals. My intention was to make a short film, and that is what I did. The above dream of the Carpenteresque design would require a feature length film, money, and more money. But, how to render that essence down. And, give the original story a twist. That is what I sought to do and did.
Vampires don’t have to be blood sucking zombies only lusting for a meal. I wanted Richie to plot and scheme, to devise his own plans, to hold a grudge against those who still lived. I wanted backstory, I wanted you to become invested in their struggle. As the director, writer, and producer, I hope that came across, that you saw and felt that. I want to entertain you, if even for twenty three minutes. I want the world inside my mind to spring to life on screen. I want to see it projected there.
I am proud to be one of the last Dollar Babies out there, and to have been part of this program. One For The Road will always live in my memories, on screen, and be part of this big collective that only Stephen King himself will ever know how many have reached completion. I am beyond thrilled that my DVD will sit on a shelf next to so many other great films, made from his work.
–David Jester (January 26; 2024)