He is the man behind The Man Who Loved Flowers Dollar Baby Film
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Chris Harrison: My name is Christopher Harrison and I am a producer/Writer/Director and co-owner of Nictophobia Films.
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?
Chris Harrison: I made The Man Who Loved Flowers in September 2009. It was the first movie for Nictophobia films and we really wanted to make an impact. It was amazing how quickly and easily it came together, especially considering the that there was no budget. We had all of the equipment donated to us by our friend Steve Hancock at PS in Toronto, and all of the cast and crew donated there time to the cause as well! We managed to pull the whole thing together for a little more than $3000. Everyone gave it there best for 5 days, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. It really was an incredible experience.
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?
Chris Harrison: I picked this story because I could see it perfectly. As I read it, I saw the film and just decided to write it. I gave it to a friend who really enjoyed it, and persuaded me to attempt to get the rights. Being a huge King fan, I was aware of who his attorney was and contacted him accordingly. It took so long to hear back, I actually wrote off the idea and forgot about it. Then one day out of nowhere I received a contract in the mail to go ahead with my adaptation of, The Man Who Loved Flowers in consideration for one dollar American. From that point it actually took me 10 years to get it made. I never wanted to make the film if it was going to look low budget. I thought that completely defeated the purpose of using this piece as a calling card. I tried several times to raise the money, but because we could not exhibit it, there was no ROI and investors don’t like projects with no ROI. So we ended up getting a silent investor for $3000 and just decided to move forward. The equipment was the starting line. Phil and I told each other if we get the equipment donated, we are moving forward no matter what. That happened in a five minute conversation and before we knew it Keith Murphy was our D.O.P and Steve Byers agreed to play the lead. The coffin was sealed when our editor, Andrew Coutts (SAW 3D) joined the team. It really felt like there was nothing stopping us and it was that way through the whole process.
SKSM: Are you satisfied with the end result or would you now do things differently?
Chris Harrison: I am very happy with the end result and believe we did the best we could do with the budget.
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?
Chris Harrison: I had no idea. It was just a shot in the dark. It wasn’t until I read the introduction in the Shawshank script that I found out about Dollar Babies. I couldn’t believe some of the names on the list. It’s an absolute honor to be included in this little phenomena.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Chris Harrison: It’s not a funny moment, but there is an interesting story for the flowers in the kill scene. We initially dipped the roses in liquid nitrogen in hopes of them falling to the ground and smashing like glass. The blood was then going to flow into frame and carry the petals away. Because it was a pretty hot summer day, the nitrogen kept smoking and it ended up looking horrible. So on the spot we came up with the glass gag, and just dropped the flowers and the poured the blood. It was simple but affective. I actually like it better than what we planned.
SKSM: How does it feel that all the King fans out there can’t see your movie?
Chris Harrison: It feels shitty. You should get a license to throw them up on your site and cut King into the advertising. Hell, if he let’s you do it give him all the advertising money! There is definitely a market for these films. Seriously though, it would be nice to forget about money and lawyers and just showcase them for the craft. Most of them are really cool films.
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)?
Chris Harrison: I didn’t have any contact with him during the shoot, but I did attend a filming of a talk show in which Mr. King was a guest. We were not permitted to talk to him or ask questions, but my girlfriend got a great picture of him reading the 12 days of Christmas! Hilariously ironic. I have no idea if he has seen the film. It was out of my hand’s after I sent it to the lawyers. I really hope he does though, we went out of our way to pay homage and keep true to the story. I really believe he will like the film.
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?
Chris Harrison: I would love to adapt more King stories. I really look at him as a mentor and would love the opportunity to bring ANY of his stories to the big screen. If I could pick one story to adapt and direct it would definitely be, THE LONG WALK. I have seen that film in my head for so many years and I know that it has a massive fan base. It is incredible the people I run into that have read and love The Long Walk. It is an incredibly powerful story.
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
Chris Harrison: I do still keep in touch with a lot of them. I’m always working on something so I always need there help. I have worked with the same people for most of my film career, so our little group is pretty close.
SKSM: The Man Who Loved Flowers was shown at the Dollar Baby Film Festival in Los Angeles, how was that? And what did people think of it?
Chris Harrison: The Dollar Baby festival was a great experience. I received a lot of great feedback and compliments. It was an honor to be there.
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?
Chris Harrison: I would like to tell the fans to put a facebook page together to get 1 million fans to request that I write and direct THE LONG WALK. In return, I promise to delivery an awesome adaptation of a film that is long overdue!