He is the man behind Harvey’s Dream Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Hakan Gunnarson: Well my name is Hakan Green, I am 24 and I’m from Prince George, British Columbia, Canada. I currently reside in Vancouver, BC. I am a recent graduate of the Vancouver Film School where, I was privileged enough, to make my final project entitled: Harvey’s Dream. I currently am in the process of structuring a company called First Look Entertainment. We are a film production, videography and event promotion company based out of Vancouver. Currently videography is our bread and butter, however, we do have three films in active development, two horror films and a comedy.
SKSM: When did you make Harvey’s dream? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Hakan Gunnarson: I made Harvey’s Dream in the winter of 2011, January to be precise. I optioned the story the previous fall and pitched as a final projected. VFS allowed 6 people from a class of thirty to do a final project and luckily enough I was one. We started prep for the film in November, yeah, late November. We had just finished a film I produced called Begin Human. I remember that shoot being a pain the butt and post to be even worse. It was literally in November when I and all my follow classmate filed into a class room to hear what the second round of films was going to be. I was shock when the first of the final round was Harvey’s Dream. It was a great experience to pitch the film to actual people who know and work in the industry and when I was assigned the task of directing the film my first thought was: “Oh shit!” Pre-Production flew by. It was meeting after meeting. I just wanted to shoot the fucking thing and that finally came after Christmas Break. We began a grueling 5 day shoot in New Westminster, BC, in a duplex we block shot to look like a house. VFS allotted us a budget of $750 and I raised another $500. So we had $1250. Bear in mind the duplex cost $550 to rent. So we shot for 5 days and called it.
SKSM: How come you picked Harvey’s dream to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Hakan Gunnarson: I first read Harvey’s Dream when I picked up Just After Sunset. Of all the stories in Just After Sunset, two stuck out. Harvey’s Dream and the Gingerbread Girl. I was drawn to Harvey’s Dream because it reminded me of Hitchcock’s Psycho. Particularly all the scene with Janet Leigh and guilt she felt. As I was reading along I became obsessed with the fear and anxiety Janet Stevens felt. I began to fantasize an alternate out come for the characters.
SKSM: How did you find out that King sold the movie rights to some of his stories for just $1? Was it just a wikd guess or did you know it before you sent him the check?
Hakan Gunnarson: I had known about the Dollar Baby program for a wild. I read an article in an independent filmmaking magazine years ago about how King would help out students and indie filmmakers by selling his short story rights for $1.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Hakan Gunnarson: The shoot was actually pretty stressful. Scary moment was in the scene when Frank is coming down the hallway and Harvey is hiding behind the door and stabs him, Mark who played Harvey actually stabbed Michael who played Frank in the back.
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?
Hakan Gunnarson: My film is on Youtube and I think Vimeo. VFS handled the distribution with King’s approval. I hope one day someone will put together and anthology of these Baby Dollar flicks and release it on line, VOD, or DVD. Kind of like the ABC’s of Death or VHS did.
SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?
Hakan Gunnarson: I don’t really look at that stuff. I don’t even look at the film anymore. We didn’t shoot the draft I wanted to. It was more of a film for the people making it that it was for me. They all liked the film and it went to festivals in Ireland, Canada, US and Europe and got a few nominations.
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)?
Hakan Gunnarson: No contact with King was ever made. VFS submitted a copy to his office and only they know the outcome of that.
SKSM: Do you have any plans for making more movies based on Stephen King’s stories? If you could pick -at least- one stroy to shoot, which one would it be and why?
Hakan Gunnarson: Yeah, I want to make a film for me. I would do the Gingerbread Girl. I love that story. It’s just so crazy. A woman escapes her horrid life only to end up living next to serial killer, Brilliant. But it has been option already. As group, me and two friends option The Boogeyman and there is script. I will produce this time and one of them will direct.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to your fans?
Hakan Gunnarson: I would say: Shoot your plan, not the studios.