He is the man behind Rest Stop Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Mark Zimmerman: My name is Mark Zimmerman and I am from Sydney, Australia. I am a factory worker as my day job but in my spare time I write script’s and Direct and dabble in a bit of acting as well.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker?
Mark Zimmerman: Well I’ve always been a writer for as long as I can as I can remember, I was 10 when I wrote my first short story and it developed from there onwards and at the age of 16 I wanted to become an actor. But it was at the age of 19 when I first saw 2001 a space odyssey that this was the path I wanted to take. So I started writing screenplays and studied film making by watching many different type of films and even doing short courses in Australia and New York.
SKSM: When did you make Rest stop? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Mark Zimmerman: Rest Stop was produced over a space of 2 months in April and May 2019. We shot it on weekends when cast and crew were available, so I was working around that and council permits where we shot at the actual Rest Stop area. The budget was very low around the $2,500 dollar mark, I wish I had more but we made do with what we had and made a solid 18 min short.
SKSM: How come you picked Rest stop to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Mark Zimmerman: I picked Rest Stop cause it was about a man who was pulled out of his comfort zone and confronted with a situation, which of course he couldn’t face but his alter ego and that was something that stood out to me. It also had a bit of “DARK HALF” elements about it which is one of my favorite King book and Film adaptation.
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?
Mark Zimmerman: Funny enough I stumbled across the dollar babies via facebook on a Stephen King fan page and I did a bid of research on it and thought I’d give it a shot not expecting anything and 3 days after I sent the request I received the contract, I was blown away. I never thought I’d have an opportunity to adapt a Stephen King story, especially for $1, but here we are.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Mark Zimmerman: Well it was funny now, but at the time it wasn’t. The first night of shooting which was April we had a massive cold front coming in and gail force winds and the night was freezing. We managed to get most of the car scenes and the fight scenes done, then we went to lunch and during lunch the council decided to turn the lights off and that was the beginning of multiple phone calls and more freezing conditions. After 30 min’s I decided to pull the plug and reschedule, which of course the cast and crew where happy with. These things happen and you can not control the weather and the council were a pain, but we battled on and get the film made.
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?
Mark Zimmerman: It’s a little disappointing, but I hop and this is an idea and I hope the right person is reading this, we can do a 3 volume DVD/bluray collection of the dollar baby films produced, they can be sold and proceeds can go to a charity of Stephen King’s choice. That way the world and his fans can see everyone’s talent. At the end of the day were not here to make money but just getting the opportunity to adapt a King story is a massive achievement in itself.
SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?
Mark Zimmerman: So far only a handful of people have gotten back to me saying the film is strong and passes the message through well. I’ve had a few say it is well shot, written and acted and a nice thriller. No negatives yet, but if there is any I can take it on the chin, nobody is perfect.
SKSM: Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?
Mark Zimmerman: I’m on film freeway which most of my pervious films have been entered in many festivals on that site, so I am searching of the right ones and also the next Dollar babies festivals in the U.S of course when ever that may be.
SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?
Mark Zimmerman: I am a huge Stephen King fan, his earlier works are masterpieces, Pet Sematary, IT, The Stand, Dark Half, Misery, Carrie, The Shining, Salems Lot. My Favorite book is Dark Half and the film adaptation is my favorite that and The Shining. It’s hard to pinpoint just one.
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)?
Mark Zimmerman: I haven’t had person contact with Stephen King yet, would love to one day, I’ve sent him the DVD of the film still waiting his thought’s. Fingers crossed.
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?
Mark Zimmerman: I would love to do another Stephen King adaptation, I would chose one of his novels and the one I would pick would be ROSE MADDER, cause it centers around escaping violent situation only to be dragged into a world of mythology and magic and more blood shed. It doesn’t matter how far you can escape the past will catch up with you unless you make a stand. It’s is his least popular works, but I enjoyed it.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Mark Zimmerman: I am working on a feature script at the moment, a psychological horror story. Can’t say too much now as it is in it’s early stages but I’m looking forward to when it is brought to life.
SKSM: What one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Mark Zimmerman: Well, there isn’t really anything surprising about me, I live the normal everyday life, I’m just waiting for my big break whenever that may be.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Mark Zimmerman: Yeah, keep reading, writing and making fantastic film’s and don’t give up on your dreams. Remember King lived in poverty for year’s and did give up, but thank god for Tabitha for fishing Carrie out of the trash basket, cause we would have no KING.
SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?
Mark Zimmerman: I hope I get to see the other Dollar baby film’s. The one thing I love about the facebook page is that everyone is supportive of one another and do not judge, and that is amazing, two thumbs up everyone hope to meet you all one day. Take care.