He is the man behind Night Surf Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Oren Benamor: My name is Oren Benamor, and I am filmmaker living in Los Angeles. Most of the video work that I do just pays the bills, although I’m slowly transitioning to only doing narrative films and videos.
SKSM: When did you make Night surf? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Oren Benamor: We filmed Night Surf in September 2014, it was a small cast and crew comprised of some of my good friends that volunteered. We shot on a Red Scarlet and the budget was most definitely under $1000. The shoot took less then 24 hours, we started early afternoon and shot until after it was fully dark. We paused for a few hours and then did the last few shots at sunrise.
SKSM: How come you picked Night surf to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Oren Benamor: Night Surf was really the only dollar baby short that spoke to me. I think because it’s not as much supernatural as it is post apocalyptic. It kind of reminded me of popular virus movies like Outbreak or Contagion, I felt it was a story that could be brought in to the real world and could be relatable to people today.
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?
Oren Benamor: I was told about the $1 short program and knew immediately that I wanted to do it. I’m not sure what Stephen King’s reason was for starting it, but I know it was a great outlet for me to try to create a high quality production from already good written content.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Oren Benamor: Me and my girlfriend tried to be romantic and sleep on the beach for the few hours of night that we were off shooting. I think it was the coldest and most uncomfortable experience of my life, I thought my body was shutting down and I was dying. We ended up spending the last hour or so before sunrise sleeping (or trying to) in the car.
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 an internet/dvd release would be possible?
Oren Benamor: I guess I don’t have too much of an opinion on the distribution of these shorts, it would be nice if their were less restrictions though.
SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?
Oren Benamor: I haven’t received many comments good or bad regarding the film, nor do I know how many people have seen it. I’d be curious to know people’s responses but I also like to keep moving forward with my video projects and leaving the past in the past.
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)?
Oren Benamor: I never heard from Stephen King personally and I’m not sure if he saw the film.
SKSM: What are you working nowadays?
Oren Benamor: I have a low budget feature film called “Initiation” that is finally going to be distributed this summer. And I am preparing my next feature film project currently. All the while I still shoot weddings, corporate and promo videos, and other small end video projects to pay the bills.
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?
Oren Benamor: I may do another Stephen King short, hadn’t really thought of it till just now, so thank you!
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to your fans?
Oren Benamor: Well, if there are any fans I’d say stay tuned because if you like what i’ve done in the past, it’s only going to get better.
SKSM: Do you have anything you’d like to add?
Oren Benamor: I’m humbled and honored to take part in this and hope to be involved again in the future.