Constance Hilton

She 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?

Constance Hilton: I am a first time director but I have been working in Toronto, Canada as a Boom Operator for about a decade. Some of my credits include Schitt’s Creek and Orphan Black.

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

Constance Hilton: My grandma would probably say the first time I went to Disney World and said “I want to work here when I grow up” but I seriously began considering becoming a filmmaker while in high school.

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?

Constance Hilton: We shot Mute over four days in January 2019. Our budget was about 10K. Most of that went to our “process trailer” day which was all the filming for driving scenes. It involved a tow rig for our picture car along with necessary permits and escort to keep everyone safe while filming in live traffic.

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

Constance Hilton: What I liked about the story were the questions about guilt and innocence. I also played around with the idea of who does and doesn’t have a voice and how that affects who we decide to trust.

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?

Constance Hilton: I don’t remember when I heard about the Dollar Baby program but it was something I was certainly aware of before writing my adaptation.

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

Constance Hilton: Despite hiring a process trailer, we were a really small crew with minimal gear. For filming the driving shots, I could only view what we were shooting through a tiny monitor cabled to the DSLR, which meant hiding behind the front seats of the picture car, just out of shot. We also didn’t have walkie talkies for communication so Amanda Richer, who plays the deaf hitchhiker in the story, ended up slating and calling the roles in the car. She’s able to read lips so could communicate with crew outside the car.

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?

Constance Hilton: While it would be amazing to be able to release Mute widely, I completely understand why Stephen King has put limits on these short films. Since this is my first time directing I’m pretty satisfied with having limited viewing. I love how the film turned out but I learned a lot in the process and would probably make changes if I were to make the same film again.

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

Constance Hilton: I don’t think we’ve had any direct reviews yet. So far reactions by people that have seen it have been positive so I guess that’s good?

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

Constance Hilton: We’ve screened at two festivals, most recently the Nickel Independent Film Festival in St. John’s Newfoundland. We have a couple more festivals coming up, both in Canada and internationally, but I can’t publicly say where yet.

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

Constance Hilton: Misery and The Shining are probably some of my favourites. Both the novels and the adaptations.

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)?

Constance Hilton: No, although just before filming Mute I was working on In The Tall Grass, which is an adaptation of a story by Joe Hill and King, so that was a fun coincidence.

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?

Constance Hilton: That’s a tough question. So many of his works have already been adapted, and beautifully done.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Constance Hilton: Earlier this year I was working on Far Cry 6 at the Ubisoft Toronto motion capture stage and I’m about to start working on a new tv series here in Toronto. For my own work, I’ve been writing and trying to come up with my next directing project.

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

Constance Hilton: Didn’t learn to drive until I was 30. Although that’s not news to my friends.

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

Constance Hilton: I hope that, if you get a chance to see Mute, you enjoy it.

SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?

Constance Hilton: Thank you for reaching out for this interview. It’s been a pleasure.

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