He is the man behind Night Surf Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
David Humphreys: My name is David Humphreys, I’m a filmmaker, videographer, editor, and teacher. I began filmmaking in high school (2003ish), and continued on through graduate school. After graduating with my MFA from Emerson College in 2012, I moved on to teach undergraduate classes, freelance as a videographer and editor. Currently, I’m shooting The Dying of The Light, a documentary about the dying art of the film projectionist (www.dyingofthelightfilm.com) and doing post-production on 113 Days, a feature documentary about the Stonehill College women’s lacrosse team (www.113days.com). *When did you make Night surf? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
We shot Night Surf over over the course of a weekend in October, 2012. Production was a bit of a nightmare, as a tropical storm decided to stop overhead the night before principal photography began. We sat under tarps and filmed when the rain broke. It was quite a trying shoot, but the cast and crew really took it in stride — we really bonded during it. All in all, it took about two full days to shoot.
SKSM: How come you picked Night surf to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
David Humphreys: I actually read the short story “Night Surf” in high school when I first began to get interested in filmmaking. Not knowing about the Dollar Baby program at the time, I remember thinking how amazing it would be to get rights to this story and make a film out of it. So, when I found out about the Dollar Baby program in 2012 and found “Night Surf” was an option, I immediately jumped at it.
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?
David Humphreys: I read about it online somewhere, although I’m not sure where. Then I googled it and found a list of stories available to option.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
David Humphreys: There were two memorably moments filming.
First, was working with the amazingly talented Tim Goff, who played Alvin (the sick man). Having worked with him on two previous projects in very different capacities, it was amazing to watch him get into a character for a man who is on the verge of death. I think it impressed the other actors as well.
Second was actually outside of filming. Our location had enough room to house 15 people. Being the director, I decided to take one for the team and sleep in a tent and nearby campground. My fiancee, Stephanie Udell (who was also craft services), stayed with me. After filming until about 1am the first night, we broke and went to sleep, only to be awoken at 4am because the entire campground was on fire! Needless to say, I was a bit tired the next day. *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?
It’s a bit discouraging. I feel that adaptations can add layers to a first piece, plus working so hard on a film is a love letter and a testament to the original piece. I think it’s an amazing process to try and stay true to the source material, while still making it original and your own. I would love to be part of a compilation DVD, perhaps something that directly benefits a charity organization.
SKSM: What “good or bad” reference have you received on your film?
David Humphreys: I’m not quite sure what you mean by this. I’ll try answering, if it isn’t what you intended, please let me know!
One of the biggest things I’ve learned from this project is how committed some people can be — it’s great to find and work with people who are as invested as you are in a project.
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)?
David Humphreys: I haven’t had any contact with him, unfortunately. I sent him a DVD copy and a letter, but I haven’t heard back. I hope to, though — it would be surreal!
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?
David Humphreys: I think, if I could pick one King story to adapt (in a perfect world), it would be 11/22/63 as an HBO/Netflix miniseries. Other than that, I would love to work on another King Dollar Baby story — I had so much fun with Night Surf, I would definitely do it again.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to your fans?
David Humphreys: I think the last thing I would like to say is: thank you for the support and believing in this project. It’s been a long time coming, but I think it was worth it!
SKSM: Do you have anything you’d like to add?
David Humphreys: Not at this time. Thank you for doing this, Oscar!