He is the man behind Flower Man Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Gerard Ender: I am originally from Panama. I moved to US when I was 10 years old. After living in different parts of country I landed in Washington, DC in my sophomore year in high school and lived here pretty much ever since.
I have been a professional actor for 30 years. However I got a degree in film from the University of Maryland.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker?
Gerard Ender: I have always liked films. I was in my early twenties when I discovered acting. Studying film was as much part of being an actor as experience for working on films. I was interested in being versed on both sides of camera.
SKSM: When did you make Flower Man? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Gerard Ender: I made Flower Man about 6 years ago. I am delighted to say the production went quite smoothly. I was fortunate to find talented people eager to make it happen. I was actually surprised it went so smoothly.
My film was made with donations through fundraising and Indiegogo. I believe it cost me around $3000 with my one biggest cost being studio time for original music which I thought was money well spent. Everyone involved volunteered their time which I am grateful for.
Actual filming days were 4 days spread out over 2-4 weeks. Don’t exactly recall.
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?
Gerard Ender: I chose two stories as possibilities. The other was about a journalist in Latin America that is being interrogated and tortured. I felt we’ve seen many of those type of films. I didn’t want to do that one unless I could bring something fresh. So I’d that one and went with this one.
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?
Gerard Ender: From a friend.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Gerard Ender: Nothing funny comes to mind. However it was an incredibly smooth production. We laughed a lot and all involved got along well. There were no dramas.
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?
Gerard Ender: Well Mr. King is offering his work and allowing first time filmmakers to do it to promote themselves as filmmakers. They’re his stories. If you’d like to make films to sell or put on internet then don’t use Dollar Baby.
SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?
Gerard Ender: This is a quote from a friend that has a masters from NYU and works as a filmmaker.
“The film is a curious balance between darkness and levity, deliberation and madness.
Well done – are you doing more?”
SKSM: Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?
Gerard Ender: I submitted to festivals to no avail then ran out of money. I find it curious that most festivals charge application fees between $35 and $100 the better ones of course are higher end. Most will send you an email if you don’t get accepted. How are we assured they even saw our films? It’s like you’re blindly sending money. I think there should be forms to be filled pertaining to film that would be sent with refusal. That way we would know someone actually saw it.
SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?
Gerard Ender: I am a fan of Stephen King. I am not a fan of the horror genre per se. Having said that I like The Lawnmower Man, Shawshank Redemption, Carrie, The Green Mile, The Shining.
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)?
Gerard Ender: No.
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?
Gerard Ender: I have no plans so far.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Gerard Ender: I am working on adapting another short story translation by an Italian writer from the sixties. I am in the process of contacting them for rights.
SKSM: What one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Gerard Ender: That I’m sane. I was on season 2 of The Wire on HBO Episode 15.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Gerard Ender: When all was said and done I wanted to make a 15 minute ride that people would enjoy. So to those who saw I hope you enjoyed it. For those who haven’t I hope you do.
SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?
Gerard Ender: Well I’d like to thank the fans that make organizations like yours exist so these films from filmmakers trying to get their names out can get their films seen. And to you and others like you for your commitment to make that happen.