He is the filmmaker of Grey Matter Dollar Baby film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Bolen Miller: My name is Bolen Miller, I’m a writer/director from Portland Oregon.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker?
Bolen Miller: I have always loved movies, I believe my first trip to the theatre was a Godzilla movie. I wanted to be an actor at first, but I think I knew I wanted to be a filmmaker when I was 15. I worked at KFC at the time (they paid me 4.95 an hour) and I saved up 600 bucks to buy a video camera, then I started shooting little movies with my friends.
SKSM: When did you make Grey matter? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Bolen Miller: We made Gray Matter almost 2 years ago in Portland, Oregon. It took a long time to get the financing in place, but that also gave us time for pre-production. I worked out a shotlist and schedule then hired the best crew in the Pacific NW. Our Cinematographer Sam Naiman is also a professional steadicam operator who trained with Garret Brown, (the inventor of the steadicam). We also hired Christina Kortum owner of Ravenous studios, Christina is the best Special FX artist in the Pacific NW. It was a challenging 3 day shoot with 6 locations. We could only film at the liquor store while it was closed. On our last shot at the liquor store, actual customers from the neighborhood started coming in to buy coffee. It was wild!
SKSM: How come you picked Gray matter to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Bolen Miller: I would have been happy to adapt anything by Stephen King, but Gray Matter is one of my favorite King short stories, it definitely scared me as a kid. I really love how the story is told as a story within a story. I feel like that can sometimes draw an audience in just a little bit further than usual.
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?
Bolen Miller: I’m a pretty big Stephen King fan, a constant reader since I was 10. I knew about the Dollar Babies before I sent in my request. Someone at my film school told me about it, and I got started right away.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Bolen Miller: The actor playing the main narrator ADAM, is Ted Rooney, who also plays the Irish gang leader in BOARDWALK EMPIRE and the actor in the Liquor store who plays BILL is the Horse Whisperer in Zach Galafinakis’s BASKETS both of these guys made everyone laugh and helped create a fun, stress free atmosphere the entire shoot.
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?
Bolen Miller: I really wish there was a way, I am working something out that maybe I can screen it live after or during the festival. We still need to clear that with Stephen King, but I believe it may be possible.
SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?
Bolen Miller: We have not gone to film festivals just yet, but so far all of our reviews from friends, family and colleagues have been positive.
SKSM: Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?
Bolen Miller: We are currently building out our festival strategy, we are definitely open to suggestions. 😉
SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?
Bolen Miller: Yes I am a King fan, and my favorite book would have to be IT, and my favorite adaptation would have to be Carrie.
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)?
Bolen Miller: We finalized GRAY MATTER and sent it to Stephen King on HALLOWEEN. We are still waiting to hear back.
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?
Bolen Miller: I would love to adapt another King property, my first choice would be Firestarter, but I believe someone is already working on that.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Bolen Miller: Currently I am putting together a festival plan for GRAY MATTER, and writing a Sci/Fi TV pilot that is a bit like LUTHER meets QUANTUM LEAP.
SKSM: What one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Bolen Miller: I once went skydiving and crashed into a fence. I got 17 stitches on my forearm, and my brother filmed the crash.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Bolen Miller: You’re Welcome! And to the fans I want to say that I am working out a way that I might be able to do a live screening of GRAY MATTER so every Stephen King fan out there can have a chance to see our adaptation of GRAY MATTER. Thanks!
SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?
Bolen Miller: Be excellent to each other!