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Oscar Garrido

Óscar Garrido is the organizer in Spain and a part of the organization in Argentina at the Festival of short films based on the stories of Stephen King: they so-called Dollar Baby Films, of which he has participated in a dozen, some even as Executive Producer. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5109241/ From 2010 to now he collaborates on Insomnia digital magazine, the leading magazine dedicated to providing information about the Stephen King's universe. http://www.stephenking.com.ar/

She played in  Jenny Januszewski‘s The Boogeyman Dollar Baby film as Lester’s Mother.

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

Christine Mascott: I am a professional actor and performer. My resume includes work in Film, Television and theater as well as professional voice work. Currently, I’m narrating a lot of audiobooks too.

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

Christine Mascott: I remember when I was in third grade I wrote a play and wanted to stage it. And my family has stories about my going around singing classic rock as a baby, but I really got bit with a love of theater when I was in high school. I had a very interesting theater director then, who staged things like Sophocles and Brecht, instead of the usual musicals. At the same time I was competing on the speech team and working with a coach on Dramatic Interpretation, which was presenting excerpts from plays, and we always chose challenging pieces. So, the love of acting was definitely born then, working on such heavy classics. My first professional acting jobs were doing classical theater tours.

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

Christine Mascott: Years ago, Jenny Januszewski, the director and I became friends working on a national tour of a musical. I was actually in management on that production and she was a singer. We have stayed friends. When she was making this film, she knew I did voice work and had a studio, so she asked me to play Lester’s Mother.

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

Christine Mascott: Probably the fact that we all have times we can hear our mothers’ voice in our heads. It’s universal.

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

Christine Mascott: I didn’t have to audition. Jenny just asked.

SKSM: You worked with Jenny Januszewski on this film, how was that?

Christine Mascott: Great. We collaborated long distance. I recorded the voice in my studio and sent her the files for critique and then recorded the revisions.

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

Christine Mascott: None I recall. I wasn’t involved in the live production. My role is a voice role and was recorded independently.

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

Christine Mascott: Jenny

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Christine Mascott: I have recorded over 20 audiobooks in the last year and have also been doing commercial voice work. Next month I will be filming a role in a short film playing a caregiver for a woman with dementia.

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

Christine Mascott: Yes. My favorite is ‘The Stand’. I have another professional tie to his work as well. I had a small dayplayer role in the second season of the Hulu show ‘Castle Rock’ based on his universe.

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

Christine Mascott: I’m also a rock singer.

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

Christine Mascott: “Be true. Be brave. Stand. All the rest is Darkness.” –SK

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Christine Mascott: Thank you so much for interviewing me!
www.christinemascott.com

He played in  Jenny Januszewski‘s The Boogeyman Dollar Baby film as Lester Billings.

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

Sam Brilhart: I’m a comedian and an actor who’s been performing since I was a teenager. I’ve been lucky enough to improvise in Chicago, be a standup comedian in Los Angeles, and even act in Moscow.

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

Sam Brilhart: In high school, I was being recruited to play college football. I learned that I could major in the theatre on a football recruitment trip to Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. I thought it was exciting, and when I went back to school, a friend of mine asked me where I was going to go to college. I told them Wayne State, and they said, “what the heck are you gonna do there?” I told them I was gonna be an actor.

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

Sam Brilhart: Jenny, the director, had taken my headshots years ago when I first moved to the city, then I had a small role in her award-winning 3D film, then we did The Boogeyman.

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

Sam Brilhart: There’s something very universal about it that I feel resonates with people.

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

Sam Brilhart: I didn’t have to audition, nor do I think it was directly written for me. I probably got lucky, and I was the only guy in town, and it was adjusted for me.

SKSM: You worked with Jenny Januszewsky on this film, how was that?

Sam Brilhart: It was an honor.

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

Sam Brilhart: We shot most of the exteriors in Michigan. I had a flight layover in Chicago when traveling from California to Michigan. I missed my connecting flight and had to take a train the rest of the way. Jenny’s sister picked me up from the train station. I didn’t have my bag, it was on the flight I missed, and nobody had time to get it because we were shooting the following morning. I’ll never forget this. Jenny gets on the phone with the airline and tells them I’m a groom at a wedding. She’s my soon-to-be wife. She can’t have me gone for five hours during all the chaos leading up to the wedding. Could they please deliver my bag even though it’s five miles outside their delivery zone? My bag showed up 90 minutes later.

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

Sam Brilhart: I still talk to Jenny.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Sam Brilhart: Stand up comedy.

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

Sam Brilhart: I’m not a fan of his writing. Scary things scare me, but I am a fan of his as a human.

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

Sam Brilhart: I’m not very surprising. What you see is what you get. Although I did perform as a giant chicken doing standup comedy on season 15 of America’s Got Talent. Youtube it!

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

Sam Brilhart: Thank you.

He is the filmmaker of Mute Dollar Baby film.

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

Sergey Sharovatov: Hello, Oscar. My name is Sergey Sharovatov. I am from Moscow, Russia. In 2019 I graduated as a professional actor of theater and cinema from VGIK – Russian State University of Cinematography named after S. A. Gerasimov.  At the moment I have more than 40 roles in Russian full-meter movies, short-meter movies and TV-series.

My short movie “Mute” based on Stephen King’s story “Mute” is my director’s debut.

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

Sergey Sharovatov: I never intended to become a director, but after reading the novel “Mute” I realized that I really wanted to play the main role in this story. The fact is that I have experienced an almost similar story in my life. I mean that the main character also got through the betrayal of his woman. Of course, there weren’t such tragic consequences as in Stephen King’s story, but still I lived through quite strong emotions at that time. Immediately a picture formed in my mind and I realized that if I gave the direction to another person who hadn’t been in a similar situation, then the film would turn out to be different. So I had to become the director of this film not from directorial ambitions, but involuntarily, in order to convey on the screen exactly what I felt myself.

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

Sergey Sharovatov: It took almost a year to make the film. In January 2021 we received a contract, in January 2022 Mr. King got the finished DVD.

The peculiar fact about our movie is that we made it with the blessing of the Orthodox Priest Nikolay Konyukhov who read the script, believed in us and helped to adapt the dialogues of the priest with the main character to be common to the Russian mentality. He also blessed us for the film and gave his operating temple for the whole night for filming. For me, as an Orthodox Christian, it was very important to make this film without going against God. I wanted to film confession scenes in a real Russian Orthodox church to show how this story of Mr. King would take place not in a Catholic church in the USA but in modern Russia.

For a very long time we have been looking for a priest who would give his blessing for the filming of this movie. We did not start filming till we found a priest who would bless us and give us his church for filming.

I made the film entirely at my own expense. My friends and acquaintances helped me a little, for which I am very grateful to them. The film turned out to be very expensive for me in every sense, including finances. Of course, the film could cost two or three times more if not my friends who were filmmakers, but people I didn’t know worked in my team.

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

Sergey Sharovatov: “Mute” immediately hooked me with its plot and events. This is the strongest work not only in terms of dramaturgy and script, but also in terms of human morality. Indeed, there are a lot of controversial issues for each person in this story. All of us experience intense hatred and resentment when we are betrayed and as a rule we want revenge. Revenge and hatred are the strongest dark feelings of a person, which overlap even the feeling of love. Most of us give up implementing our revenge because it is  a violation of the law at least, and the commandments of God at most. But the fact of the matter is that our sin does not begin with sin itself, but with the thought 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?

Sergey Sharovatov: I learned about this program by accident from fellow filmmakers. Then I googled and saw that there were cases in Russia when my young colleagues acquired the film adaptation rights of Stephen King stories and made films. When I submitted my request through Mr. King’s official website I wasn’t even sure that I would be approved in the USA because I am not a directing student or graduate. I wrote that I was an actor by education, I had a little production experience and I really wanted to make a film based on this story. Three days after sending the request I received the contract.

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

Sergey Sharovatov: Yes, there was. We filmed two shifts by car in September on the Yegoryevskoye Highway of the Ramensky District, Moscow area. There was a watermelon market on the side of the highway next to us. So, early in the morning on the second shift, we were waiting for the arrival of part of our film crew when suddenly a car drove up to the market  next to us and two big guys jumped out of it. The watermelon seller saw them and ran straight into the forest. One guy ran after him and the second one approached the seller’s car, kicked it and broke off the side mirror. The first guy returned and said that the watermelon seller had run far away and couldn’t be caught up. They got into their car and drove away. Our operator Vitya Antonov said that it looked like a local criminal showdown and we decided to move to another parking pocket with a different watermelon market. But there was no seller at the new point. Here we were, unpacking, a cool jeep drove up to us, the window opened and the guy, who had kicked the car of the first seller of watermelons, looked at me point-blank and asked: «Is that your market? What are you doing here?» I immediately replied that the market wasn’t mine and we were just making a movie. I explained that we had wanted to shoot at the first watermelon market, but after their showdown we decided not to interfere with them and moved here. At this moment all the car windows were rolled down, smiles appeared on the faces of big guys and they said; “Are you really filming? Can we film with you too?” It was a pity that we did not have scripted roles for them, their faces were very interesting and textured. I explained to these young people that there were no more roles, and they were not offended. They offered us to take all the watermelons, but we refused. After that they wished us good luck, said “God help you” and left. At that moment it seemed to us that it was not 2021 but 1991.

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?

Sergey Sharovatov: Of course, this restriction on the open distribution of the film on the Internet in the contract with Mr. King is frustrating, since I would very much like to see the films of my colleagues from all over the world and show my own film to the widest possible audience and not just the jury of world festivals. It’s a pity to shelve the movie. But these are the current conditions of the program. I think that it would be a wonderful solution for King’s fans from all over the world if the film appears on YouTube after all screenings at festivals.

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

Sergey Sharovatov: I have received so far only ratings from my family members and close friends to whom I have shown the film. None of them have yet spoken badly about the film. We finished the film less than a month ago.  Just this week I sent it to several international festivals. Now we are waiting for news from them.

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

Sergey Sharovatov: There are no specific plans. Time will pass and we will see where our movie will take part.

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

Sergey Sharovatov: To be honest, I never considered myself a Stephen King’s fan. To my surprise, already in adulthood I discovered that «The Shawshank Redemption», «The Green Mile» and «The Lawnmower Man», the films I liked so much as a child, were his hand business.

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)?

Sergey Sharovatov: No, we didn’t have personal contact with Mr. King. I don’t know if he saw our movie.

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?

Sergey Sharovatov: I already chose the story that I really wanted to shoot. I am happy about it. So far, there are no plans to shoot anything else.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Sergey Sharovatov: I act in Russian films and serials. Actor is my main job. It fills my whole life. “Mute” is my directorial debut. I don’t have any plans to do anything else. Let’s see if the audience likes my first film.

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

Sergey Sharovatov: Before I became an actor, I got a Ph.D. in Economics, taught Economics to students at the University and worked in the Moscow office of an American real estate and investment company for two years.

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

Sergey Sharovatov: I’d like to say a few words about the features of our adaptation of the story “Mute” and its film adaptation. In our film we tried to show how this story would take place not in the USA, but in modern Russia.

The main idea of the film lies in its Russian title: “Be careful what you wish for.” I would also add here “Beware of your thoughts and words that you pronounce anywhere.” Everything that we think about and what we desire can become a reality, since our thoughts are material. This Russian adaptation of the story “Mute” by Stephen King is about the repentance of a person in his thoughts and words. My task is to once again draw the viewer’s attention to the fact that our thoughts and words create our life and we need to be more attentive to them.

SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?

Sergey Sharovatov: I would like to add one important idea: “Art knows no boundaries.”

Despite the fact that we all live in different countries and speak different languages, we are united by music, literature and cinema.

In our case, you and I are united by a common love for the stories of Mr. King and for films based on his stories. It is wonderful that because of that love we are talking now.

 

He played in Sergey Sharovatov‘s Mute Dollar Baby film as the Priest.

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

Artur Petrov: Hello everyone! I’m Artur and I’m an actor. In 2019 I was graduated from VGIK and since that time I’ve been acting in TV series, movies and advertising.

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

Artur Petrov: First I got an education in economics, tried to work in different specialties, but one day I realized that I was out of place. And I ran away from work to enter the theatre university. Luckily, I was only 22 years old, today I’m almost 27 and I see that it was one of my best decisions.

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

Artur Petrov: My classmate Sergey Sharovatov called and told me that he wanted to make his own short movie based on a story by Stephen King. And he wanted to invite me to play one of the main roles. I didn’t know anything about movie, but I immediately agreed.

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

Artur Petrov: I think that story attracts people so much because it’s hard life story, which could happen to anyone. And it’s not about the sin only, but more about the thought of it. All of us were in hard situations in real life and watching the movie we can try on the story of the protagonist for ourselves and get the material for thoughts.

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

Artur Petrov: I didn’t have to audition, my friend invited me directly and all the text of my role was written by Sergey, me and a few priests and screenwriters who advise us.

SKSM: You worked with Sergey Sharovatov on this film, how was that?

Artur Petrov: It’s always a pleasure to work with your friend and It’s even better to work with a professional and his team, who inspired by one general idea to make an amazing movie.

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

Artur Petrov: Of course, there were some funny and special moments during shooting, but I didn’t remember them because I tried to be deeply immersed in the role and task of the character and I didn’t notice anything around.

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

Artur Petrov: Yes, I stay in touch with the main part of our team, because I knew them from other projects on which we worked together and “Mute” wasn’t the first and I hope won’t be the last.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Artur Petrov: Nowadays I’m preparing for new auditions and new awesome roles which I want to play this year.

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

Artur Petrov: Yes, I’ve read Stephen King’s books and watched a lot of films based on his stories. “The Green mile”, “The Mist”, “The Shining” are my favorite horrors and thrillers. Stephen King is rightfully one of the greatest writers of these genres.

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

Artur Petrov: I was born in Kazakhstan, I lived there all my childhood so I always had a lot of problems and refusals for work in Russia because of my Kazakh citizenship. Soon I will receive a Russian passport and all these problems will disappear, I hope.

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

Artur Petrov: If I could say something to the fans, I can quote my character: «be careful what you wish for». Especially, bad wishes 🙂

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Artur Petrov: But seriously, live honestly according to your conscience, watch good movies and enjoy life.

 

He played in Tod Gorman’s The Jaunt Dollar Baby film as Rudy Foggia.

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

Devin McGee: Hello! I’m Devin McGee and I’m an actor, writer and musician currently living in Los Angeles, California.

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

Devin McGee: The acting “bug” first bit me around the age of 6 when I performed in my first grade school production of the play Grease. When I was growing up my cousins and I used to spend our summers writing and filming short films and silly spoof commercials on our VHS camcorder. As a teenager, life took me in a different direction and I became obsessed with drumming and playing in rock bands all throughout high school and college. A few years after graduating college, I rediscovered acting when a friend of mine hired me to play a drummer for Michelle Branch’s band on an episode One Tree Hill. It was the first time being on a real film set and I immediately fell in love with it – the excitement, the collective creative energy and the mechanics of it all. After that, I started seriously pursuing and studying acting again. Ironically, almost a decade later I ended up playing a prominent villian on the same exact show (One Tree Hill).

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

Devin McGee: I was living in Wilmington, North Carolina at the time and some friends of mine were in the film program at UNC Wilmington and had acquired this script as part of their senior film studies project.

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

Devin McGee: In this story set in the 24th century, humans have developed teleportation as a means of travel and are using it to colonize planets in other solar systems. Even though this technology has been refined, it is not without risk and 30 people have either died or gone insane since it’s invention in 1987. My character, Rudy Foggia (a convicted death row criminal), is seen in a flashback when he accepts a full pardon in exchange for being the first human test subject for the then brand new technology. During my teleportation or “jaunt” I remain fully awake and when I come out the other side I am not the same person I was before I entered as I have “seen eternity in there.”

I think The Jaunt is a classic cautionary tale about knowing and pushing past our limitations. In the quest for human advancement, how much of a calculated risk are we willing to take in order to reap even greater rewards? In a sense, I guess humankind has always done that throughout history as we (hopefully) continue to evolve as a species.

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

Devin McGee: To be honest, I think we shot this almost 16 years ago and I can’t remember if I auditioned for the role or they just offered it to me LOL.

SKSM: You worked with Tod Gorman on this film, how was that?

Devin McGee: I have fond memories of working with Todd and the entire crew. Everyone was very kind and really cared about what they were doing. Even though they were all still film students at the time, they had a level of professionalism well beyond their years.

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

Devin McGee: Again, that was so long ago it’s hard for me to remember a lot of details on that shoot but one thing I remember was us all having fun coming up with the designs for the prison tattoos all over my character’s body (which were ultimately just drawn on me with a Sharpie marker). I also remember it took about a week for them to all finally wash off my skin.

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

Devin McGee: I have run into a few of the old cast and crew over the years working on various film and television projects in Wilmington, NC. This past summer, I shot a feature comedy film, Birdies, in Wilmington with one of my fellow Jaunt actors, Timmy Sherrill. That film actually has its premiere there (Wilmington) at the end of this month.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Devin McGee: I am currently pursuing acting in Los Angeles and also in the process of pitching a vampire comedy series to network and streaming platforms that my father and I created and developed along with a few close friends.

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

Devin McGee: Absolutely! One of my favorite films to this day is Stand By Me, which isn’t the stereotypical King horror but a timeless and touching story, nonetheless.

Stephen King also has a long standing affiliation with Wilmington, North Carolina.

He’s the reason the film industry came to Wilmington due to them filming Firestarter there back in the 1980’s. He has also filmed other works of his there such as Maximum Overdrive and Under the Dome

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

Devin McGee: I’ve been a strict vegan for nearly a quarter of a century now. It’s way easier to find vegan options nowadays than when I first started!

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

Devin McGee: “Find what you love and let it kill you.” One of my favorite quotes from Charles Bukowski.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Devin McGee: Kudos to Stephen King’s Dollar Baby program! It has given many aspiring filmmakers access to great material to pull from and personalize over the years on their journey to realizing their own dreams.

 

He played in  Jenny Januszewski‘s The Boogeman Dollar Baby film as Dr. Harper.

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

Akie Kotabe: Absolutely – my name is Akie (like `a key` for a door), and I work as an actor primarily in TV/film and voice actor for animated series and video games. I am a second generation Japanese-American based in London, and enjoy travelling, food, and music in my spare time.

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

Akie Kotabe: I always enjoyed watching films growing up, and often wondered how they made the ‘magic’ – after joining an acting class while in my third year of university, I realized I would love being a part of them as well!

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

Akie Kotabe: I knew the director, Jenny Januszewski, introduced from a mutual friend, and worked with her on her 3d short film, The Shadower. Once she mentioned she was gearing up to make a SK Dollar Baby film, I was on board as I had been a fan of his novels from a young age; the first novel meant for adults I’d read was The Shining, and I read it when I was 9 years old!

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

Akie Kotabe: I like stories where the line between what may be real and what may be psychological is blurred.  The Boogeyman for me is a great example of this – has Lester just lost it or is there really the existence of a Boogeyman that is haunting him? The Candyman is another story I like that to me, has similar themes.

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

Akie Kotabe: From what I remember, (though it was over a decade ago now) Jenny asked me to play the part of Dr. Harper. I remember being quite excited to try and delve into playing a psychologist – immediately the show In Treatment came to mind.

SKSM: You worked with Jenny Januszewski on this film, how was that?

Akie Kotabe: It was a great experience.  I’d worked with her before, and appreciated the amount of rehearsal we had before going to set. I felt I was able to get into some good moments while rehearsing, which we aimed to create while the camera was rolling.

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

Akie Kotabe: Getting to have a face mould created for the scene where the Boogeyman reveals himself by peeling off his face was a new experience for me at the time. It really reminded me of the hours of patience some actors (like Brad Pitt in Benjamin Button) had to go through, as well as all the hard work done by the hair and makeup (HMU) team.

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

Akie Kotabe: I still talk to Jenny and am friends on social media with the cast. I’m happy to see Virignia is starring in a new movie called Union www.union-movie.com that seems to be doing well, and hope to watch it someday soon.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Akie Kotabe: I consider myself very fortunate to have quite a full plate these days, and in this day and age, with Non-Disclosure-Agreements (NDAs) that’s… pretty much what I can say. I have been working on an upcoming podcast I am the lead character in, and that should be announcing shortly. Otherwise, you can most recently see me in Invasion on Apple TV+, and the first episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier on Disney+.  On the independent film side I am part of the ensemble cast of Decrypted, a crypto-currency comedy which is available to stream online.

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

Akie Kotabe: Definitely. Since reading The Shining as a child, I decided I would read all of his works, and at the time of graduating high school and heading to college/university – I had every novel he had written. I once even sent a letter to his fan club when I heard news of The Dark Tower being developed for television; I would have loved at that point to play Jake!

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

Akie Kotabe: I really am terrible at dancing. I think I have three left feet.

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

Akie Kotabe: Thanks for taking the time to read my answers, and it’s been a pleasure getting featured on StephenKingShortMovies.com!  I look forward to the next SK novel releasing!

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Akie Kotabe: You can find more news about me at www.akie-kotabe.com, thanks for reading!

 

 

He played in Amy Nigro’s Cain Rose Up Dollar Baby film as Ethan.

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

Jacob Zelonky: I’m Jacob Zelonky, I’m an actor.

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

Jacob Zelonky: I’ve known I wanted to be an actor since I was very young. I have struggled with OCD for as long as I can remember, and when I was performing, I felt like all those struggles would melt away. As I grew up I just fell in love with the work, and how fascinating it was to study human nature in this way. There’s nothing else I’d rather do.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Cain rose up Dollar Baby film?

Jacob Zelonky: I got involved in this film by auditioning and was lucky enough to be cast!

SKSM: You worked with Amy Nigro on this film, how was that?

Jacob Zelonky: Amy was amazing to work with! She was so welcoming and professional. I learned a lot just from watching her, and I really hope to work with her again in the future.

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

Jacob Zelonky: I don’t use social media much, but I occasionally see some of the cast/crew on instagram. They were all really enjoyable to work with so I’m hoping our paths cross again.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Jacob Zelonky: Nowadays I’m acting, doing improv, and making music.

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

Jacob Zelonky: I’m definitely a Stephen King fan. I remember reading Carrie when I was younger and just being completely immersed. But also horrified in a very exciting way? He writes such compelling characters, and as a big fan of book to screen adaptations I always enjoy reading his works then seeing the filmed versions.

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

Jacob Zelonky: One thing people tend to be surprised about me when they find out is that I was born on TV, on the show “A Baby Story” on TLC. Oh, and that Mary-Kate and Ashley used to be babysit me. Those are probably the biggest ones.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Do you like to add anything else?

Jacob Zelonky: Thanks for the interview!

She is the filmmaker of The Man Who Loved Flowers Dollar Baby film.

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

Tracey Hague: I am a local filmmaker here in Nashville. I have experience as a producer, director, assistant director, writer and editor. I have made a few short films, including the Stephen King short. I have just finished writing my first screenplay, and I’m working on producing that now.

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

Tracey Hague: I was an educator for twenty years in Rhode Island. I got the producing and directing bug when I ran our high school theater. It is an indescribable feeling to see projects go from my imagination onto the stage and then to experience the reaction of the audience.

Teaching my folklore and film studies class made me realize I wanted to tell my own stories. I had been writing for years and I realized that I didn’t want to wait until the age of 65 for a retirement check “to get started.” So I quit education, jumped ship and sailed to Nashville, Tennessee, to work on my writing and film career.

SKSM: When did you make The Man Who Loved Flowers? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?

Tracey Hague: The Man Who Loved Flowers was shot on a shoestring budget using crowdfunding on GoFundMe.We shot it in two days. The production process took a little bit longer as it actually began before Covid and of course stalled over that summer and we resumed as soon as soon as Nashville opened back up.

SKSM: How come you picked The Man Who Loved Flowers to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?

Tracey Hague: The main character in The Man Who Loved Flowers appealed to me. He had something behind his eyes that nobody could read, and I love complicated and mysterious characters. The story gives you just enough detail to make your imagination run riot, and all I could think of was The Great Gatsby gone dark. The young man does not see the world as it is, and I loved the idea of following the romance to its inevitable dark conclusion in my script.

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?

Tracey Hague: A friend knew how much I love Stephen King and knew about the program. When he told me about it, I thought he was kidding until I looked it up! So I got started reading every story on the list as soon as I could.

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

Tracey Hague: The most special moment for me was the very first shot on set. Covid had stalled us for so long, and I had been working on the project and my production notebook for months. This movie had been in my head for so long, so when David, our DP, put me in front of the monitor on that first day, I saw exactly what I had been in my head for so long. I knew this was going to be something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

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 an internet/dvd release would be possible?

Tracey Hague: I’m okay with the idea that big audiences won’t see this movie. I think it would change the way the program has to run if it becomes something else. I am able to give anyone who wants the password a chance to watch it. This is an avenue for film students to have an opportunity to learn how to adapt a story, and it allows Stephen King to help students without them worrying about the big price tag that normally comes with copyrights.

I learned so much being able to take this story from adaptation to the final edit. I was even able to get into a film festival and learn how that process works. I have made valuable friendships and contacts that will last me a lifetime, and I think this is the intent of the Dollar Baby Program.

I’m okay with not trying to make something more out of it.

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

Tracey Hague: I have received many critiques from former teachers and other filmmakers who have done this job longer than I, and I value the ideas they have brought to me. People agree that Seth Dunlap was PERFECT casting, (and he was!) and they understood my intent in the reveal of his dream world versus reality. Critiques have mostly been about editing and pacing choices, which I’m sure will always be that case in this business. Mostly, people want more of the main character’s journey, which I consider a positive review because it tells me I have succeeded in creating someone folks want to explore further.

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

Tracey Hague: I was able to show this movie at the Macabre Film Festival in Lebanon, Tennessee, and we received honorable mention at the Things2Fear film festival in West Virginia. I have submitted to a few others that have not made decisions yet. So who knows where else it might screen!

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

Tracey Hague: I have been a Stephen King fan most of my life, even back when I was little and my mother watched Carrie and scared me to death! I couldn’t turn away – all that blood!! I have been reading his books all of my life, and as a teacher I hosted Stephen King month in my classroom. Mike Flanagan’s Doctor Sleep is amazing, but I think Secret Window is probably still my favorite. I also love Shawshank Redemption, Pet Sematary and Stand By Me.

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)?

Tracey Hague: At this point I’ve had no personal contact with Mr. King and I do not know if he has seen it or not. I’m just really thankful to his office for all of their work in keeping this program alive. They are very quick to respond if you have a question.

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?

Tracey Hague: It would be a dream to adapt more Stephen King stories! If I ever had a chance to choose another one, it would be Joyland. Hands down. Those characters have never left me.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Tracey Hague: I am working on my first feature right now; my script has just gone through its second draft and its first table read. I want to film a teaser and produce and direct it myself through crowdfunding. I’m really excited about it and the folks who are on board to help me, many of whom were part of this Stephen King project.

Without giving away too many details, I will tell you it’s about a group of kids who wander into a place they don’t belong. It explores what happens when children feel they don’t have a safe place to land.

It’s partly based on true events! Can’t wait to share more!

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

Tracey Hague: People are always surprised to find out that I served in the United States Air Force.

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

Tracey Hague: It has been a dream come true to adapt a Stephen King short story to film. No matter what happens with the rest of my career, I will always have this experience, the friends I have made and be able to say that I directed and adapted a Stephen King story, and that is no small thing to me.

He is the filmmaker of The Man Who Loved Flowers Dollar Baby film.

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

Brendan Michaels: I’m a filmmaker, I just graduated from Columbia College Hollywood about 6 months ago. I write and direct my own films and I’m a full on cinephile.

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

Brendan Michaels: I was maybe 15/16 years old and it was a combination of having family in the industry and watching a series of films that inspired me. The main ones were Drive by Nicolas Winding Refn, Nightcrawler by Dan Gilroy, Boyhood by Richard Linklater, and Lost in Translation by Sofia Coppola. When I saw those films I realized the wide range of emotions a film could take you through and I wanted to tell stories and hopefully have people respond to the love I have of life and cinema.

SKSM: When did you make The man who loved flowers? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?

Brendan Michaels: I made “The Man Who Loved Flowers” back in 2018 (Man, that feels like a long time ago). I hadn’t shot a short for a couple years and had been having trouble with a script I was writing at the time and thought, “Hey, why not try and adapt something?” This answers your next question but I remembered a few years ago that I had found out about Stephen King’s Dollar Babies from a video that had fun facts about Stephen King, if I remembered correctly. I looked through them and chose “The Man Who Loved Flowers” because my dad told me how much he loved “Night Shift” when he was a teen so I looked for something there and “The Man Who Loved Flowers” seemed like the easiest to do on a tight budget. It didn’t really cost anything aside from getting a permit to shoot in Santa Monica which was a few hundred bucks. The other locations were places I was familiar with and had connections to shoot there so I just went guerilla and shot there with a very small crew. It took about a day to shoot everything if I recall correctly.

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

Brendan Michaels: There’s the general special feeling of me feeling like I was composing these great shots and how exciting it was to make these images I liked on the spot. I love the spontaneity of filmmaking and I got to meet some great people on it like the composer, Isaac Gonzalez. That was his first film score and he killed it! A funny moment would be in the scene when the woman slaps the man I had my mom as an extra and she had the most fake surprise. It was very funny to see. I cringed at first cause it was so over the top but I like the campiness of it all.

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?

Brendan Michaels: It’s available on YouTube so you can see it.

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

Brendan Michaels: I don’t read criticism because at the end of the day you make the film for yourself and hope others connect.

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

Brendan Michaels: I don’t think so. It’s not the most professionally made film and I think the whole rights thing with the Dollar Baby stuff is tricky so I’m fine with it being on YouTube.

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

Brendan Michaels: I like Stephen King. I’m not a die hard fan per se mostly cause I haven’t read his novels aside from “The Man Who Loved Flowers” but I like a lot of the films based off his work like The Shining, Doctor Sleep, Gerald’s Game, Carrie by Brian De Palma, Misery, Shawshank, and one I think gets too much flak is It Chapter Two. It’s everything I wanted from It and I feel like people don’t appreciate the big swings in films anymore so I was happy to see Andy Muschetti do something crazy with the material.

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)?

Brendan Michaels: I wish! I highly doubt he’s had the time to watch it. If he has, I’d like to think he appreciated the attempt.

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?

Brendan Michaels: I don’t have any plans for the time being but the man has so much work that if I want to go back to King’s world he definitely has enough material for me to scour.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Brendan Michaels: Well I just finished the final cut of my thesis film, “Impressions of Love”, which I’m very proud of. It’s the biggest film I’ve made so far and I’m happy with how it came out. I’m writing a lot as usual so we’ll see which one I finish first and take out to shoot.

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

Brendan Michaels: Probably that I’ve only read one Stephen King short story and none of his novels.

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

Brendan Michaels: I highly doubt I have many fans outside my friends and family but if you enjoyed my interpretation of “The Man Who Loved Flowers”, I sincerely appreciate the support and if you could share it with everyone you think would be interested, I’d be very appreciative of that.

SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?

Brendan Michaels: Support independent film and support all films and appreciate everything in your life that makes you better.