He is the man behind La Femme Dans La Chambre Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Damien Maric: I’m 26 years old; I have created with a friend WIP STUDIO with the purpose of developing some television projects, cinema and publishing. In fact everything related to entertainment, I love that. A little like Peter Pan, I don’t want to grow up so I like to have fun and dream.
SKSM: When did you make La Femme dans la chambre? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Damien Maric: I finished directing “La Femme dans la chamber” in March 2005. It took me 3 years to find the money; it was difficult since everyone was afraid of going into such an adventure with a “young kid”, in fact, at the time, I was 22. But sometimes destiny puts you on your road, people that changes your life. Frank Darabont was one of these people. When I received his letter, I understood that everything was possible. The film cost me 10 000 euros and the shooting’s duration was 5 days.
SKSM: How come you picked The woman in the room to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Damien Maric: I admit adoring and having read many times “Night Shift“. In this short story, there is no monster or evil clown, just a little boy and this woman in a hospital bed. That’s also the Stephen King that I like: more “human”. The monster here, is the sickness.so, the use of special effects is essentially concentrated on the mood, the lighting, the shadows, which represent the death surrounding everything, the inhuman distortion of faces which represent suffering and of course the character’s nightmares.
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?
Damien Maric: In 1999, I went to Los Angeles for a stage at FOX on the X-Files series, then at WARNER for different jobs. At the time when I arrived, WARNER was finishing production on The Green Mile, directed by Frank Darabont. I was reading Stephen King books in English to learn the language better. I loved developing stories so I asked for the rights of one of the “Night Shift: stories and chose “Room 312”. I contacted by chance Marsha De Fillipo who told me that Frank Darabont owned the rights for this short story, and that I had to contact him. I came back to France and used to work for a cinema magazine. Slowly, I worked on a storyboard and send it to Frank Darabont and Denise Huth in the united states and, in March 2001, he gave the rights, for free.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Damien Maric: I had many problems in the shooting and in post-production too, like if I was cursed. Filming in a hospital with such a tiny budget is really hard. Other than the fact that we had to finish everything at 19h, the hospital is near the Orly airport! So we had to deal with daily sounds of planes taking off, so we had to use a chronometer sometimes to finish at the exact second, the sound engineer was going crazy! And to make it worse, we had to deal with a storm while shooting a scene in exterior, a tour nearly fell and crashed with all the spots on it. The camera also broke down while shooting. Then in post-production, We had a fire to deal with and many other problems. The funniest thing is that I saw Lost in La Mancha and it reminded me of our shooting! But hope is a good thing and the work of everyone in the crew, made us succeed. It’s in fact my best memory, this crew’s work.
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 video/dvd release would be possible?
Damien Maric: I’m very happy, that with this website, I’m going to show them this short. I’d love to continue and make other films. We have many feature films projects. I’d like to thank Frank Darabont and Denise Huth for their help, meet them and maybe work with them on a project. Who know?
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)?
Damien Maric: No, not with Stephen King, but with Marsha De Fillipo to ask her some questions and with Denise Huth to send her photos and storyboard.
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?
Damien Maric: I would love to make The Girl who love Tom Gordon for the cinema and make a TV series out of “Night Shift“. We’re working on it. I’d like to make a link between the USA and EUROPE, I’m sure we can make great things together.
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?
Damien Maric: One Day, Andy Dufresne told: “hope is a good thing”, I think he’s right. You must believe, sooner or later you can do it, it’s sometimes hard, it sometimes takes time, but when the work is over and that we think about it all, we can say: “it was a superb experience”. Thank you Stephen King, Thank you Frank Darabont, Thank you Denise Huth, Thank you Marsha De Fillipo, you just changed my life. Thanks.
Translated by Jeremy Guerineau & Antoine Waked