He wrote the script in Joseph T. Kramer’s Role Play Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Patrick Thompson: My name is Patrick Thompson and I’m a filmmaker from the Fargo, North Dakota area, tucked deep into the Midwest. Primarily I work as a freelance cinematographer and editor, but I also write/direct/edit/act in many personal projects with a great group of talented friends.
SKSM: When did you make Role play? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Patrick Thompson: We made Role Play back in September of 2011. It only took about 5 days of production spread out across 2 weeks. Luckily, I have a few friends who are avid Dungeon and Dragon players and had a wealth of material to use for props and set dressing, which saved us plenty on our budget. We didn’t need to purchase much else for the production so our budget ended up being below $500. Overall, shooting couldn’t have went smoother, though post-production has taken a little longer than we would’ve hoped.
SKSM: How come you picked Rest stop to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Patrick Thompson: What I like about Rest Stop is the lack of supernatural elements. While I love King’s reality-bending stories, I wanted a villain that we all live with everyday, ourselves. Every human being has a capacity for evil, this story examines that concept a bit.
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?
Patrick Thompson: My friend, Maxwell Heesch, filmed his Dollar Baby, Everything’s Eventual, in my warehouse a year before starting Role Play. After helping on his production, I immediately wanted to produce my own. King has so many fantastic tales that sadly, many people might not come across. That’s why I think it’s so great that Dollar Babies gives us all another outlet to spread these amazing stories.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Patrick Thompson: We shot the rest stop section of the story in a city RV and camp area at the height of their busy season. Though we put up as many warnings as we could to warn people they were walking into a film set, that did stop at least a dozen people from walking in and wondering what strange kind of assault was taking place in the women’s bathroom.
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?
Patrick Thompson: I really do wish all Dollar Babies would be available for everyone to see. I’ve only seen a handful, but they were incredible and would have loved to share them immediately if I was able. An Internet release would be best since it would allow for the most exposure and ease of sharing. Who knows, maybe some day…
SKSM: What “good or bad” reference have you received on your film?
Patrick Thompson: As we close in on picture lock, we have only shared our current cut with close friends and peers. However, the reaction has been quite positive so far. After final scoring and voice-overs are finished, we hope everyone enjoys it as well.
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)?
Patrick Thompson: We would’ve loved to have him behind the scenes! Subjecting him to the North Dakotan weather might be asking a bit much though. Hopefully he’ll get a chance to take a look once it hits the festival circuit!
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?
Patrick Thompson: I would love to adapt another story in the future. My writing partner, Claudine Huffman, and I nearly chose Popsy as our Dollar Baby, but felt that one requires a bigger budget than we had access to. It’s just a great, creepy short story that would make an equally great short film, in my opinion.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to your fans?
Patrick Thompson: Thank you, Oscar! And thanks to everyone for reading!