He is the man behind Harvey’s Dream Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Andy Cambria: My name is Andy Cambria. I live in Brooklyn, NY, where I work with a writing partner, Nick Braccia (who co-wrote the screenplay for HARVEY’S DREAM with me.) We have several other feature projects in development and are currently working on a script for a producer in New York. Nick and I are very big horror fans, and are very influenced by Hitchcock, Brian DePalma, David Lynch, Joss Whedon…and countless other writers/filmmakers. I’ve been a fan of Mr. King’s work ever since I was a child. Growing up in suburban Massachusetts, many of the settings, characters, etc. he writes about were instantly accessible to me, and I related to the tone of his stories and his worldview instantly. I think King’s work is sort of a landmark in American suburban culture, and that’s why I’m attracted to it. (I loved the inclusion of the mother figure in DONNIE DARKO reading “It” on her patio.)
SKSM: When will you make Harvey’s Dream? Can you tell me a little about the production? And how long take it to film you think?
Andy Cambria: I hope to shoot HARVEY’S DREAM in the Spring of 2005. We’re currently raising money, and we have about 75% of the budget accounted for. Panavision NYC has generously agreed to donate a 35mm camera package; and Kodak is giving us our film stock. The crew will be comprised of people with whom I collaborate on a regular basis: my friend, Olivier Delfosse is producing, David Bartin will be the editor, and my close friend Tommy Upshaw is the cinematographer. The shoot shouldn’t take longer than three days.
I’m particularly excited about the project because we have two great actors attached to it. Ray Wise and Grace Zabriskie, both of whom were featured in David Lynch’s TWIN PEAKS, agreed to do the movie after reading the script and not really knowing anything about me as a director. Ray had actually read the story when it was published in The New Yorker, and is very excited about playing Harvey. (Nick and I wrote it with him in mind, so we really lucked out getting him.)
SKSM: How come you picked Harvey’s Dream to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Andy Cambria: I like the structure of HARVEY’S DREAM a lot as a story—you get an incredible amount of information about the characters in just four pages. It posed an interesting challenge as an adaptation; Nick and I had to make the entire thing visual and make sure it was dramatic (in the sense that we see the characters change, as they do in the story). The Hitchcockian twist at the end of the story (and the screenplay) is a great little payoff for a short film, but the characters were really what attracted me to the story: I felt they were very well drawn, and they were people that I could relate to.
I also found the dramatic tension between the worlds inside & outside the Stevens’ house ripe for the way I like to shoot. The home that Harvey and Janet share has become sort of vacuous, whereas the outside world is sort of impossibly blissful, even a bit dreamy. (I think Janet longs for the moments when she’s outside of the house and away from Harvey. However, a marriage is not something that’s easy to just walk away from, especially one that’s lasted through as much as theirs has.) Think of what DePalma did in CARRIE—the way he shot the interior of Carrie’s house as opposed to how the exterior world looks. HARVEY’S DREAM should be told from Janet’s point of view in a similar fashion.
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?
Andy Cambria: I had no idea that Mr. King would be as generous as he was with the rights to the story. A friend of mine who knew some people at CAA contacted his agent and made the initial inquiry about the story rights; I wrote Mr. King and his agent a letter of intent, and from there the deal was done in a couple weeks.
SKSM: How does it feel that all the King fans out there can’t see your movie at the time when it’s ready? Do you think that will change in the future? Maybe a internet release would be possible?
Andy Cambria: I would love for the movie to be released on the Internet, as long as the broadcast doesn’t interfere with certain film festivals we hope to submit the movie to (festivals that will not screen the movie if it has been previously broadcast on TV, the Internet, etc., etc.) I would also want the movie to be shown in a high-bandwidth format, preferably Quicktime, so that the quality would not be compromised, as many people are going to do a lot of hard work to bring it to fruition.
It does seem unfair that fans of Mr. King’s work won’t have immediate access to the film when it’s done, but my first objective is to make sure Mr. King himself is pleased with the results; and I feel that getting the movie into some high-profile film festivals is an important step in that direction.
SKSM: Did you have any personal contact with King before making the movie?
Andy Cambria: I did not have any personal contact with him, no. I wrote him a letter explaining my intentions, but it was delivered through his representatives. I’m sure he is a busy, private person, so I don’t think it was really necessary for us to speak personally about the project. I would like to be able to give him a DVD of the film when it’s finished—his reaction is important to me.
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?
Andy Cambria: Oh, there are lots of stories/novels of his that I’d love to be involved with. I think BAG OF BONES is already in development somewhere, but that’s one of my favorites of his. I hope whoever makes it does a good job with it. I found the book riveting, and terrifying—a great story that’s very cinematic.
I also really liked ROSE MADDER, and I remember hearing that HBO bought the rights shortly after it was published. On the surface, it’s just sort of a revenge or ‘husband from hell” movie; but I like the surrealist aspects of it, and I think focusing therein would make for an interesting and unusual interpretation of the story.
My absolute dream project of his would be THE EYES OF THE DRAGON. I remember hearing an animation studio somewhere was going to make it, which (to me) would have been disappointing. I think there’s enough story in the book for two or three movies; and again, the characters are fantastic. I also love the themes of brotherhood, family and friendship he develops in the book. I see it as more of a swords and sorcery movie, set in a non-specific medieval kingdom—something along the lines of what Peter Jackson did with THE LORD OF THE RINGS. An aspect of the book that would have to be developed for the screen is the peasant rebellion against Flagg’s army, but as I said—it would be a very long movie (or perhaps two or three!)
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything else you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Andy Cambria: I’d like to thank everyone who supports this site and the filmmakers adapting Mr. King’s material. It’s very encouraging to know people are looking forward to your work, and I sincerely appreciate the efforts you all are making. Hopefully HARVEY’S DREAM will screen at some festivals in Europe, and I’ll be able to come over for a visit.