He is the filmmaker of Stationary Bike Dollar Baby film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Luca Pappalardo: My name is Luca Pappalardo. I’m originally from Syracuse, Sicily, but I’ve lived in London for about three years now.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker?
Luca Pappalardo: I guess it all goes back a long way. As I grew up, my desire for films and filmmaking grew to the point that I decided to commit myself to it.
SKSM: When did you make Stationary Bike? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Luca Pappalardo: The production was fun and intense. We managed to raise a bit more than a grand with our crowdfund. Most of the money was spent on the locations and the logistics around it. Filming took approximately 4 days.
SKSM: How come you picked Stationary Bike to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Luca Pappalardo: I came across Stationary Bike a while ago when I first heard of the Dollar Baby Deal. Later on, when I’d finally made up my mind about doing it, I went for “Stationary Bike” mainly for two reasons. First, I loved the concept at the core of the story. The idea that a metaphor can take a physical form is extremely fascinating and tantalizing. Secondly, I thought it could be interesting to play with the setting and change it from New England to England!
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Luca Pappalardo: I don’t know if this sounds funny at all, but we all – cast and crew – hated the bicycle. We were all very happy to see it being kicked at one point in the film – especially the workmen.
SKSM: Does your film have any changes from the original story that you can tell us?
Luca Pappalardo: The first draft of the screenplay was twice as long the final one. Stephen King’s original story is incredible, but it’s also about 60 pages. There is so much material. So you’re forced to make some decisions and choose what to include/cut. I can say it was a privilege to work from King’s words, and it was incredibly fun as well!
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?
Luca Pappalardo: I found out about the Dollar Baby Deal about a couple of years ago, and I was stuck on my mind until I decided to take part in it myself!
SKSM: According to Stephen King website the Dollar Baby program has been disbanded. Do you think fans out there can see your movie? Maybe on Internet or a DVD release?
Luca Pappalardo: It’s quite unfortunate that the program has come to an end. I’m curious to see what will follow up and what the evolution of that will be.
SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?
Luca Pappalardo: Some honest friends have admitted that they didn’t quite understand the plot. I don’t see it necessarily as bad review, especially after seeing the effect that the final twist had on other people! Some people really liked the atmosphere!
SKSM: Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?
Luca Pappalardo: We have been blessed for being selected at several film festivals in different countries. The latest to inform us of their kind decision was the Las Cruces International Film Festival.
SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?
Luca Pappalardo: I love Stephen King’s work, and I couldn’t think of adaptations in cinema without his name and the contribution he has given. Carrie (De Palma), The Shining (Kubrick), Stand By Me (Reiner)… The list is long.
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)?
Luca Pappalardo: I wish there had been a chance to be in contact directly with King during production. I sent him the film on a CD, but I will try to reach out again, I’d love to hear his thoughts on this Stationary Bike.
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?
Luca Pappalardo: I wish! But first I want to explore more of his less-known work. Everyone loves the classics, but you’d be surprised by the number of gems you could find in some of his less-popular stories.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Luca Pappalardo: I currently work in a documentary production company. I love documentaries! But I also find the time to work on personal projects.
SKSM: What one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Luca Pappalardo: Surprised to know? I… played a bit of French horn in middle school.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Luca Pappalardo: Thanks for your time! I hope that somehow more people will be able to watch Stationary Bike!