He is the administrator of StephenKingShortMovies.com and this is his story.
SKSM: May you introduce yourself to our readers? Who are you and what do you do?
Oscar Garrido: My name is Óscar Garrido and I live in Montehermoso, a town in the north of Cáceres, Spain. I studied Administration and Business although I was never an office clerk.
I do a little bit of everything, in addition to collaborating for this website, I also do it for Insomnia, which is the most read digital magazine -in Spanish language- about the Stephen King work, whose headquarters are in Argentina. If I’m not wrong I have been contributing to this magazine since end of 2010 although my first article did not appear until September 2011.
2013 was special for me. Not only because this was the year I went to see Stephen King in Paris, but because I was offered to do book reviews for a website called Crónicas Literarias. On September of that same year, I collaborated on a podcast called Luces en el Horizonte. In total I spoke on four shows for the podcast before quitting due to health problems, (three of them I talked about the Dollar Baby films and the other was about Stephen King comics). The podcast was nominated for a National Award in its category and we finished in a not inconsiderable seventh position.
I have also corrected several novels and helped in the translation of some books, even I wrote a prologue to an anthology book about killer pets write by various artist and titled “Mascotas“.
As you see, my life is linked to Books and Films. 🙂
SKSM: How and when did you come into contact with Stephen King? (is this because of his books or films)
Oscar Garrido: My love for Stephen King books goes all the way back. If my memory reminds correctly, I was 12 years old the first time I read one of his short stories: The Boogeyman. In Spain, it’s very common to take a nap in the summer and even more so in the area where I live. This is due to the intense heat. My father was working in Switzerland at the time. My older brother and I would go to the garage so as not to wake up my mother, who was taking a nap upstairs. My brother gave me a book called Night Shift, by Stephen King, which included a short story called The Boogeyman. I read it and from then until today I have become addicted to Stephen King’s prose.
SKSM: You’re the person behind StephenKingShortMovies.com, how did that happen?
Oscar Garrido: On May 2017, I received a private Facebook message from Bernd Lautenslager.
To be honest, I was seeing the site did not have many posts lately, so I decided to help Bernd and I sent him the interviews I had done to filmmakers and actors, the same interviews that were going to be published in Insomnia digital magazine. But when I got Bernd’s message asking me to be the new website administrator, he really made my day. It was like “Wow, you are the webmaster of one my favourite sites.” I couldn’t say no.
There was a time when I was about to quit the web. That was during the Covid times. That year I lost almost all of my hearing. I woke up one morning barely hearing anything. If you look closely, all the interviews from that time have the same questions and that is for two reasons: 1) I couldn’t hear the dialogue well and 2) I didn’t feel in those times well and never wanted to talk about it.
Luckily, Bernd returned to the website —he had also struggled with his own demons— but his return made me feel more comfortable. I enjoyed SKSM again and the filmmakers were starting to make transcriptions of their films. This opened the doors for me again.
SKSM: I know you are a huge fan of Stephen King. Which are your favorite works and adaptations?
SKSM: In addition to many special thanks, you are also an associate producer. How did that happen?
Oscar Garrido: Well, in addition to your future adaptation of Mute, hopefully very soon, I also have an Executive Producer credit for the film Maxwell Edison, which was directed by Warren Ray (Rest in peace, my friend) and it’s based on The Man Who Loved Flowers. I have to say that this is so thanks to the filmmakers. They include my name in the credits because I promote their Dollar Baby films. My name appears in the credits of more than a dozen films, some of them, as you said, even as a Producer. Who doesn’t feel happy about something like that?
SKSM: What was your feeling after seeing your name on the film end credits?
Oscar Garrido: I think what I like most about seeing my name in the credits is knowing that I have done things well. I’m aware of sometimes these things happen with a little luck and other times it is thanks to the team effort. The point is that the filmmaker grants me an interview for this website and thus promotes his film a little. If I am lucky enough to see the film, I will return the favor by publishing his interview and the interviews with the cast and crew into Spanish language on Insomnia digital magazine. It’s something like “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours,” you know. In the end we all help each other.
But I’m not only happy to see my name in the credits of films, I’m also happy to see that some filmmakers remember me and mention me in books like Dollar Deal. The Stephen King Dollar Baby Filmmakers, the first book about Dollar Baby films that was written by Shawn S. Lealos. I was very excited when a filmmaker mentioned me in a Dollar Baby Fest that was held online. She said that she had knew about the Dollar Baby program thanks to me and this website. Thank you, Selina! Last but not least, on the Paul Inman‘s That Feeling DVD cover you can read the quote “A marvelous depiction.” Paul chose my quote for his Dollar Baby. How cool is that?
SKSM: You are also active on an Argentinian/Spanish Stephen King website, what exactly are you doing there?
Oscar Garrido: I love this question. As I said at the beginning of this interview, I am a contributor to Insomnia digital magazine. I wrote my first article for the magazine on Spetember 2011 and since then my name appears in all its issues. In the magazine, I translate the interviews I did for the SKSM website into Spanish language and every two months – until not long ago this happened every month – we publish them in the magazine. Previously, this section was written by Ariel Bosi, but when we met us and he found out about my knowledge of the Dollar Baby films, he asked me to write it myself. Ariel is someone I can call a friend without ever having met, because we’ve stayed in touch daily by email, WhatsApp or Facebook since then.
However, my work here goes further than Dollar Baby films, I also write/translate articles related to the Stephen King world. It’s my pleasure to collaborate in the magazine, it is like an encyclipedia dedicated to my favorite writer, you know. I’ve been here for over a decade now and I hope to stay as long as possible.
SKSM: In 2012 and 2014 there were Dollar Babies Film Festivals in Spain. Can you tell us more about that? How did you experience this?
Oscar Garrido: The first time was in Plasencia, I had a bittersweet experience. A few hours after starting the program I had a serious problem with one of the wires that connected the computer to the screen where the movies would be seen. I was completely nervous, but I did my best to gain the trust of the entire audience while I’m trying to figure out what’s going on. Some people had come from far away to watch the Dollar Baby films.
I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. Honestly, it was frustrating because I had done everything by myself: from the permission to contacting the filmmakers, then translating the subtitles into Spanish language, synchronizing the times… It was a lot of work for only one person, but since I don’t give up, I organized a second edition of the Dollar Baby Festival. This time in Seville, to reach a wider audience. I put all my heart and all my soul into it, but sometimes that’s not enough.
Luckily, the story has a happy ending. Shortly after, the organizers of the King On Screen asked me to be a part of the organization at the Dollar Baby Festival in Argentina and I accepted. We’ve organized several editions from then and all of them were a success. I really want to collaborate with them again.
My job in all editions of King On Screen was to translate the subtitles into Spanish and synchronize the timing of the dialogues. But in the last edition I couldn’t do this due to a serious hearing problem. Due to Covid, the festival was going to be held online. We were the first to organize a festival in this way. We got permission from Mr. King’s office. It was wonderful, but at the same time I felt bad because due to my health I couldn’t participate online, something I would have loved. But Ariel Bosi, who knew about my hearing problem, was very generous with me and found me a new job: he asked me to contact the filmmakers whose DB films were going to be screened that day. Also, on the day of the screening I was in the chat responding to fans as much as possible. It was an atypical schedule for me, they were in Argentina and I was in Spain, but everything went perfectly. It was a pleasant experience and I am very glad that they counted on me.
SKSM: What are you proud of? (Private and/or Stephen King related)
Oscar Garrido: I am a collaborator in the most read digital magazine about Stephen King work in Spanish language. This is something that is a pleasure for me, as is collaborating for this website. I’m getting rave reviews for that. As I mentioned, I had a health problem that made me abandon some projects in which I felt very comfortable, but I had to accept life as it came to me and I faced it without fear and with the help of my family. Having done so many things like what I have said makes me feel proud. But what I am most proud of is having met so many people who share the passion for Stephen King as me. Ariel Bosi wrote Todo sobre Stephen King and this is the best book about Stephen King in Spanish. I helped him in the chapter about DB films and he thanked me in his book. Bernd Lautenslager offered me to collaborate for this website that I love so much. Danny Paap (Dutch Stephen King fan club) is probably the person who knows the most about Dollar Baby films that I know. He is a true encyclopedia, so to speak and he taught me a lot more than I already knew about them.
But what I am most proud of is having accepted my health problem. I know I won’t be able to do everything I could do before, but I feel happy with what I do. There is still a world to discover, despite the adversities that come my way. I try to be a positive person.
SKSM: Have you ever met Stephen King?
Oscar Garrido: I met him in Paris, France. It was during the event for his new book Dr. Sleep in the French capital. I was lucky enough to see him twice in a short time. I took away a great memory. Something that I will never forget is how Mr. King came up with the idea of writing the story That Bus is Another World. It was when he saw a crowd of people gathered at the door of the Grand Rex. Well, I was one of the people in that crowd. It’s not the King’s best story, but I have a special affection for it. A few days before that I went to the signing event at the MK2 Bibliothèque,(Facebook) also in Paris, France.
The trip from my town to Paris is almost 1,500 kilometers and it was a real odyssey. From Plasencia to Vigo I went by bus and I didn’t sleep nothing that night. When I was falling asleep there was a police check with a drug search included. The altercation lasted almost half an hour. The police put a trained dog on the bus to find the drugs and a woman was fine for carrying a small stash of some kind of drug. She was sitting just two seats to the right behind mine. She spent the rest of the trip crying and I couldn’t sleep.When I arrived to Vigo it was daylight and I met up with the people I had arranged to go to Paris to see Mr. King. Among those people was King’s translator into Spanish. I spent the night in Vigo, but I barely slept six hours because we had to go to Porto to take a plane flight to Paris and we left in the middle of the night. When we arrived to Paris we checked into the hotel we had reserved and then went to see the most important places of the city. We spent that night in a people row at the MK2 Bibliothèque, the place where Stephen King would sign copies of his Dr Sleep novel the next morning. It was as cold as I can remember in my life, so sleeping was impossible… again. When it was my turn for King to sign my book, I had only slept about 6 hours in three days, so I said a simple “Hi” to Mr. King, who kindly replied “Bonjour” (Good morning in French). I mean, I’d been waiting my whole life to see Mr. King, and all I could say in that moment was that. As soon as the event was over, I went straight to bed, to sleep. I’ve got photos but I will never share because I look like one of those zombies from a Georges Romero movie. 😛 That happened on November 13, 2013. Something curious is what Mr. King said next day for one of the French TV stations: “They were all Spaniards.” Well, there were really only about seven or eight Spaniards. There were many people from Italy. I guess Mr. King may have been mistaken due to the similarity of both languages.
Three days later, on November 16, we checked in another hotel to be closer to where King would be speaking about his most recent novel. I already rested and visited Paris from side to side and ready to watch Mr King at the Grand Rex. By the way, the video can be seen on YouTube. There, only King’s Spanish translator and I stayed, but Toni Ramos who is the guitarist of La Caja de Pandora, a well-known Spanish pop/rock band, joined us. We became friends and a couple of years ago he asked me to review what was going to be his first novel, titled La estación de las luces. I also had the honor of meeting Deborah Blackman, the editor of Random House Mondadori (King’s publishing house in Spain). Talking about the event again, Mr. King answered questions from the audience at the end of the show as he always does. Mr. King is not only a great writer, he is also a very nice person. He was very kind throughout his stay in Paris. Even today still hurts me that I only said a simple “Hi.” in that moment. I wish I had told him that I am the organizer of the Dollar Baby Fest in Spain and I would have liked to thank him for everything he has done for all of us. However, I took away a great memory and I will keep it forever.
SKSM: You love cycling, can we expect a Stationary Bike film adaptation or is it just a coincidence?
Oscar Garrido: Hahaha. I didn’t see it coming. Well, I ride a bike just like a hobby. I’m at the right weight. No cholesterol, triglycerides or anything like that. Luckily, my passion for cycling has nothing to do with what happens to Richard Sefkitz in the story.
I’m a member of a cycling club called Biciclistas & Domingueros here in my lovely town.
I recommend practicing this sport to people who have any health problems, especially anxiety or depression. It is an activity that makes you forget what you are going through and you really disconnect from everything.
SKSM: What is in the top 5 on your bucket list? (Everything is possible and nothing is too strange)
Oscar Garrido: Family, health and love is all that I need. That’s what it’s about.
SKSM: What are you doing nowadays?
Oscar Garrido: I can’t talk about my current projects but I can say that I continue to collaborate on Insomnia and SKSM.
Sometimes I review a novel or just read it and give my opinion to the writer. Other times I write reviews of movies and books. A little bit of this and a little bit of that, you know.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Oscar Garrido: I guess no one is surprised if I say I don’t like social networks, but there are people who are surprised that I don’t understand much about cars. I like cars, but not conversations about cars. It doesn’t matter to me whether the car runs at 200 kph or goes to 100 kph in 0.3 seconds or this or that, you know. For me it is a vehicle that takes me from one place to another, the rest is secondary.
But without a doubt, what surprises people most about me is that I hate Summer. I don’t like the heat. I don’t like mosquitoes. I don’t like sweat. I don’t like having to do everything during the less hot hours of the day. I like to leave my home to walking when I feel like it and that can’t be at any hour in Summer.
SKSM: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Oscar Garrido: I’ve been going through a lot lately so I don’t like to think about the future. I prefer to live in the present and I will walk step by step and day by day. Whatever has to happen, will do.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to our readers?
Oscar Garrido: Thanks for this opportunity!
SKSM: Would you like to add something else to this interview?
Oscar Garrido: If you have the opportunity to watch a Dollar Baby Festival, do it. Some of these filmmakers shot masterpieces that deserve to be seen. And please leave a comment below ?