He is the filmmaker of The Woman in the Room Dollar Baby script.
SKSM: Tell us about yourself, who is David McAbee and what do you do or have you done?
David McAbee: David McAbee is an award winning writer, director and producer who has been working in TV and film since 2010. He got his start working for docu-reality shows on ABC, USA, The Travel Channel, The Food Network, Fox Sports and many others.
In 2014 he executive produced an independent pilot starring Blake Heron, Steph DuVall & Art LaFleur. McAbee went on to write and direct the award winning horror short Night Terrors in 2016, starring scream queen legend Laurene Landon, punk rock icon Jack Grisham and Alexa Najera. The short won many awards, including Best Horror Short (LA Film Awards), Best Director (RIP Film Fest) and Best Short Screenplay (iHorror Film Fest). In 2017, McAbee was hired to write and direct his first feature, For The Love of Jessee. It stars Randy Wayne, Mandahla Rose and Adrienne Barbeau. Distributed worldwide by BMG Global, the film has been seen by millions all over the world. In 2020, McAbee released NOVA, a short about a woman becoming infected with an alien virus (perfect for those COVID days). The short went on to win multiple awards from across the globe and landed a distribution deal with Gunpowder and Sky and is featured on their youtube page. Recently his script HYENA was optioned, just in time for the strike (talk about timing), and will hopefully be in production soon.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker?
David McAbee: As a kid from the 80s/90s, I grew up in video stores. So watching movies WAS my education for almost everything. I always knew I wanted to ‘create’, so I joined a plethora of bands, was a radio DJ for years and then moved to LA in 2009. But it’s when I saw Swingers in 1999, I thought, ‘I could do that’. Watching Indiana Jones and ET were life changing, but I never thought that was something I could do. The simplicity of watching Swingers made me think that that was something achievable. So from then on I made movies with my friends and then when I moved to LA, I tried taking that to the next level.
SKSM: Can you tell us why The Woman in the Room has not yet been made into a film and whether this will happen in the future?
David McAbee: At the time we wrote The Woman, I was in a lul with work and needed something to write. Once the script was in a good place, we actually started casting and finding locations. Everything was moving forward when I got hired for a new show and had to put a ‘pause’ on The Woman. It’s still something I would love to make, it’s just all about timing with these things. Oh, and money. In case your readers are unaware, this shit is expensive and if you don’t have backing, that money is coming from the filmmakers themselves.
SKSM: Can you explain why you specifically chose this story to film?
David McAbee: I’m a horror nerd through and through. A few years ago I was having a complete writer’s block. Nothing was sticking. I thought to myself, why not try and adapt something. That’s when I discovered Dollar Baby and who better than The King himself to adapt from. The Woman stood out to me because it wasn’t necessarily ‘horror’. There are some wildly morose moments, but not horror. And that was really attractive. It’s real people having to make wildly real decisions about life. And that’s something we all do all day. Some decisions are bigger than others, but that’s what The Woman is about- life’s decisions.
SKSM: Why do you think people like this story so much?
David McAbee: Do people like this story? I always feel like when I talk about about The Woman two things happen. One, they don’t know it and I have to explain it. Or, two, they know it and love it. And the latter has only happened to me a handful of times.
SKSM: How did you know about the Dollar Baby program? Was it a wild guess?
David McAbee: God bless the inter-webs.
SKSM: You co-wrote the script with Adam Means. What was that like and did you always agree with each other?
David McAbee: Adam is one of the best writers/creators I know. Writing together has been great so far. We don’t always see ‘eye to eye’, but we both believe in ‘the story’ and whatever ideas are better for that, wins.
SKSM: What is the reaction of Stephen King’s office when you extend again for another year. (Officially it is no longer Dollar Baby since you have already paid $3 haha)
David McAbee: Haha, they happily take my dollar.
SKSM: There is always a possibility that the rights to The Woman in the Room will be sold and permission will no longer be granted. Have you ever thought about what you are going to do next?
David McAbee: Well hopefully the rights are going to me so I can make it into a feature.
SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?
David McAbee: Again, a 90s kid here, so I love IT, The Stand (Mick Garris is the man), Cristine…I could go on and on.
SKSM: If you could make another Stephen King story into a (Dollar Baby-)movie, what would it be and why?
David McAbee: Let me get through this one and I’ll get back to you…
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
David McAbee: My feature, HYENA, has been optioned so hopefully that will go soon.
My newest short, BLUE, is currently in the festival circuit, as well as the feature script for that. Both are doing well, so fingers crossed.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
David McAbee: I love a good Rom Com. Bonus points if Sandra B is in it.
SKSM: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
David McAbee: A litter grayer with a few more features under my belt.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
David McAbee: GO MAKE COOL SHIT!
SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?
David McAbee: –