He is the man behind Cain Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Lyubo Yonchev: My name is Lyubo Yonchev and I’m Bulgarian. Do you know where is that on the map? Bulgaria is a small country… hahaha, I’m joking! I’m studying Film and TV Directing at New Bulgarian University located in Sofia. I’m smart, blond… oops, these two things are inconsistent. I’m slobbering a lot as you can see! I’m a normal guy, who loves the cinema and dreaming to make good films. Ask me something about “Cain”.
SKSM: When did you make Cain? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Lyubo Yonchev: I started with the idea of “Cain” in the master class of Prof. Georgi Dyulgerov (a famous Bulgarian film director). I had a task to adapt a short story in a screenplay for a short film. I read a lot of stories in different genres, but every time something pulled me in stories with horror fragments. So I started to read stories of one of my favorite’s author’s – Stephen King. When I read “Cain rose up”, I said “That’s it!”. I suggested a draft of the screenplay to the professor, and he accepted my idea with great pleasure. It took a long time to raise the money, because we had to give all the money for the film from our pockets. Of course, a lot of friends and partners helped us. J The film cost was around 5000 euros, plus 1 dollar for the copyrights of the story “Cain rose up”. The whole production was around 1 year.
SKSM: How come you picked Cain rose up to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Lyubo Yonchev: As I said in the previous answer, that was a task in the master class of Prof. Georgi Dyulgerov. And what I liked mostly in the story…hm. Maybe that the characters are our age and easily can feel their emotions, and that the story can happen at every place in the world. Every day we read, hear or watch on the news something close to that story.
SKSM: Are you Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?
Lyubo Yonchev: Yes, I’m a huge fan! I’ve watched all the films which are based on stories and novels written by King. One of my favorite are “Misery”, “The Shining”, “Secret window”, “Rose red” and many more.
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?
Lyubo Yonchev: When I told about the film to a friend of mine in Netherlands, who is the owner of Steven King’s fan club, he told me about this option, and I entered the official website of Steven King. Then I realized with joy that this story was available for the “1 dollar baby” contracts. I wrote a letter to the main office of Mr. King and the same day they answered me with a proposal for a contract. They asked me to send them the movie “Cain” and in 2-3 weeks I had a green light about official non-exclusive rights for the story “Cain rose up”.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Lyubo Yonchev: Oh, yes, a lot of these moments were there! Especially when we had the task to calm down the crow. Another funny moment was we had to place real worms on the face of one of the actors. He had no problem with them, but they smelled really bad…uh.
SKSM: Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?
Lyubo Yonchev: Yes, the film already was selected on a lot of festivals. It was awarded with jury special mentions, best film music and an official nomination for best short fiction movie in the annual awards of Bulgarian Film Academy.
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?
Lyubo Yonchev: Of course there is no way for all the people to watch the film, and unfortunately we don’t have permission to screen the film online, TV and release it on DVD. The contract we have allows us to distribute the film only with non-commercial propose on film festivals.
SKSM: What “good or bad” reference have you received on your film?
Lyubo Yonchev: Every person has his or hers own opinion and thoughts about the film. But the fact that the film has many selections and awards from festivals, means that the film is not so bad.
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)?
Lyubo Yonchev: No, Bulgaria is a far away country, and I don’t think King knows where we are on the world map, haha!
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?
Lyubo Yonchev: Of course I would like to shoot another story by Stephen King, but this time will be far more professional. Definitely King is a tough author to read, but it’s damn hard to represent this psychosis which is in his head. Lots of the students from 1st and 2nd year in university think that they’ll do a revolution in the film industry when they shoot lots of blood, drugs and weapons. Actually this is the most hard to achieve because you have to make the spectator to believe in your story on the screen.
SKSM: What are you working at nowadays?
Lyubo Yonchev: Right now I’m working on my graduation film. It’s kind of different from the others and I raise money for official rights for a new story by Stephen King. I want it to be legal.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to your fans?
Lyubo Yonchev: Except the fans I want to give an advice to other authors, to follow the example of Mr. King, and give the opportunity to the young authors as well. We all know that the celebrity authors have sufficiently greater returns from large film studios. But the young people deserve the chance to continue proving their skills. What I want to tell my fans…hm. I’m not so sure that I can talk about fans yet because these fans are my age. Maybe after 10-15 years I’ll make plenty of films and I’ll have sufficiently audience, to say that I have real fans.
SKSM: Do you have anything you’d like to add?
Lyubo Yonchev: Watch my films! And keep the fingers crossed for The Oscars.