He is the man behind Popsy Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Brian Haynes: My name is Brian Haynes. I was born and raised in West Virginia. I moved to Florida to attend college, met my wife here, and we now live in Orlando with our 19 month old son. When not working on films, I work as a manager at a book store.
SKSM: When did you make Popsy? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Brian Haynes: The shoot took place in January/February of 2005, for 5 days. We didn’t actually complete editing until September of 2006. Everyone worked on it when they could, so it took awhile. Although, in reality, I guess I’d always been directing it in my head since the day I bought Nightmares and Dreamscapes in 1994. It just took me that long to learn enough and meet enough talented people to help me make it the way I envisioned.
SKSM: How come you picked Popsy to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Brian Haynes: My college roommate and I went to the mall and bought Nightmares and Dreamscapes the day it came out, and then rushed back to our dorm to start reading our respective copies. When we broke for dinner, I mentioned how great “Popsy” would be as a film. When I read “Popsy” I was really caught off guard by the fabulous twist ending, because it starts as this really creepy crime story and then veers into the supernatural. My favorite Stephen King novel is ‘Salem’s Lot and I’d always fantasized about remaking it. When “Popsy” turned out to be a distant cousin, the wheels started turning. I thought it was really sick and funny, kind of like a vampiric O Henry story.
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?
Brian Haynes: Being a King fan, I guess I had always heard about it, and then read more deeply about it as Frank Darabont’s success grew. It never seemed real that I would get to do one. Just a dream.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Brian Haynes: It took me a while, even after I got King’s permission, to figure out how I was going to make the thing. I eventually got to make the film with the film school I had graduated from, Valencia Community College in Orlando. It’s a neat school because the students are trained and used as crew, so independents can come in with the principals and pretty much have a crew ready to go. They accepted the project and I got put into their schedule. About a week after I set the schedule with the school, my wife and I found out we were pregnant. We ended up finishing the shoot and then having our son a month and a half later. We joked that I ended up having both of my babies at almost the same time.
SKSM: How does it feel that all the King fans out there can see your movie? Do you think that will change in the future? Maybe a video/dvd/internet release again would be possible?
Brian Haynes: I love that people can see and enjoy the film at festivals. I finished the final cut of the film in September and the had the film in 4 festivals in October. It was one of the busiest and most exciting months of my life. I don’t think any other type of release is possible, and I am more than fine with that. This film is only possible through the good graces of Mr. King, and I truly feel that what he has allowed is more than enough. I see no need in pushing his generosity and trying to release it on a format that he never intended. I just plan on continuing to get it into festivals so more people can see it.
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)?
Brian Haynes: I know he has his copy of it, but I haven’t heard anything. When the film played at the New York City Horror Film Festival, Mick Garris and Michael Gingold, the managing editor of Fangoria magazine, were in attendance and both said positive things about it to me later. This meant a lot to me, and gave me encouragement that others will like it, too.
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?
Brian Haynes: There are a few others I would love to do, but I would never mention them for fear that someone else would realize their potential and snap them up. But I will go ahead and say if twenty more years go by and the world is in need of another ‘Salem’s Lot remake, it’s mine!
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?
Brian Haynes: Just that I hope you keep an eye out for the film at festivals and I hope you enjoy it. And also to thank Stephen King for allowing this to happen for me and all of these other filmmakers. Its amazing and I will be grateful for the rest of my life.