Experimenting With Visuals – Ashley Good’s Take on In the Deathroom

My feelings towards my Dollar Baby have fluctuated over the years. From mailing that single American dollar bill to Stephen King’s office, to the day we all arrived on set, the process of making the film was genuinely a lot of fun. In retrospect though, I now understand just how green of a director I was at that time. Prior to filming IN THE DEATHROOM, I suppose I was always lucky, as my film casts had never needed much actual direction. While filming In the Deathroom though, our lead actor forgot the majority of their lines. I panicked and ended up choosing to feed the actor their dialogue word by word. In retrospect, a more experienced director would have known how to better work with their cast, how to ease their nerves, and how to do a better job of adapting the screenplay when things didn’t go to plan on set. The end result was a clunky, awkward film which feels significantly longer than its 15ish minute runtime. I tried to cut the runtime down, but removing even a single piece of dialogue made the story too difficult to follow.

I am, however, quite happy with how the film looks; our Director of Photography, Daniel Carruthers, and Second Camera Op, Guochen Wang, did an excellent job. The visual inspiration for this film was actually from a British sketch show, THAT MITCHELL AND WEBB LOOK, specifically, their recurring emergency broadcast/game show sketches. I wanted to film it flat and slightly retro-inspired (almost FALLOUT-esque), but with hues of pink and purple instead of green, as pink and purple had been a recurring color palette in my films.

Although it did not have a successful festival run, In the Deathroom was an important stepping stone in my career. It played a large role in helping me to develop my visual style. Since making this film, I have continued to focus on dark comedies, and playing around with untraditional and bold colour palates.

Since shooting this film in 2017, I have gone on to make several other shorts and launched a film festival (The Foggy Isle Film Festival ran from 2019 to 2024). These days, my primary focus is on writing, and managing the indie magazine, HausofFog.com.

All in all, filming In the Deathroom was a positive experience and a great learning opportunity. Stephen King was a huge inspiration to me when I was growing up, and I will always be honored to be associated with his creative legacy even in this small way. Although the Dollar Baby program has ended, I look forward to seeing how Stephen King’s works will continue to influence the next generation of writers and filmmakers.

Ashley Good – March 27; 2024

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