He is the filmmaker of That Feeling Dollar Baby film.
SKSM: May you introduce yourself to our readers? Who are you and what do you do?
Paul Inman: Well, before I do let me take this moment to say thank you for giving me, and the rest of us, this opportunity to have our voices heard and thank you for helping nurture and build a supportive community around these Dollar Baby films. I’d be remiss if I didn’t show my gratitude. So, thank you!
My name is Paul Inman. I’m married to my best friend, Kim, and we have one child who amazes me everyday. We also have a dog who is very spoiled – as she should be.
I’m a music teacher by trade. Music is my first love and it was through music I learned how to be a storyteller. I’m not sure that I would go as far as to call myself a filmmaker before I would call myself a storyteller. And I don’t know if I would be so bold to say I was a writer either – even though I do plenty of that (I have also written and published a full-length novel titled Ageless – shameless self-promotion to be sure). It all falls back to the magic of telling a good story.
I’ve done my share of creative things over the years, and I imagine that I’ll continue. My hope is that I move people in some way.
SKSM: How would you decide that shooting movies was your mission?
Paul Inman: When I was in college my friends and I bought a used video camera from a pawn shop. We also bought a VHS tape (yes, I’m old – or at least I feel that way sometimes) so we could document our “adventures.” With that VHS tape and video camera, we made our first film. It was a terrible parody of The Blair Witch Project. We had no plot or plan, there was no character development, or anything resembling an actual film, but it was the spark that lit the fire inside of me. There was a passion that couldn’t be matched with music alone. But I learned that no matter what I did, whether it was making a podcast, or writing a song, or making a goofy b-movie with my friends, I’d found what I needed to do with my life; create.
So, I have.
Music, movies, books, scripts, podcasts, and whatever interests me.
SKSM: In addition to filmmaker you wear a lot of hats in this Dollar Baby film. Could you tell more about it?
Paul Inman: We’ve chosen to adapt the short “That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is In French” – first collected in Everything’s Eventual – into a short film that we’re calling That Feeling. In the production of That Feeling I’ve taken on many roles as is customary in independent filmmaking. Some by choice and some by necessity. We live in a time in which more content is put out every day than one could watch in their entire lifetime. And almost everyone has to be able to do everything.
I knew when this first came to be that I was going to be the producer, writer, director, and editor. It’s wonderful to have so much control over what the final product can be. It’s also exhausting. Producing something of this size is a completely different beast than a 5-10 minute short film.
I was lucky enough to surround myself with some amazing people. I had a great 1st AD, Marshall Wells, who kept us moving forward. We also had some very talented – and dedicated – cast and crew that kept me motivated through this whole journey. I knew that the harder I pushed myself the better this film will be and the prouder those people can be of their excellent work.
SKSM: Could you tell our readers the status of That Feeling or some updates?
Paul Inman: That Feeling wrapped principle photography in early January, 2021 and is currently in post-production. I’m working to lock the edit before I dive into the VFX, and sound, and pass it along to our amazing composer Gary Thomas. The movie isn’t a movie to me until it has a soundtrack and Gary is one of the best out there.
SKSM: Who would be involved in this project?
Paul Inman: We had two wonderful leads in Cait Salvino and Ian Blanco. The supporting actors were outstanding as well! I think there were a total of 13 speaking roles and another 4 or 5 non-speaking as well as round 40-50 extras. Everyone was amazing and gave their all in every take.
We were extremely fortunate to work with a great crew made of a terrific group of college-aged filmmakers along with some filmmaking friends of mine!
SKSM: Why did you pick “That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is In French” to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Paul Inman: The main character, Carol, is an interestingly flawed character. We learn so much about her life in those 12 or so pages; from the bond that she has with her family, to the cold, collapsing marriage, seemingly hanging on by a thread of what was once love, to the oppressive hold that religion can have over certain people – it really is a masterclass of turning a little into a lot.
Also, for whatever reason, I’m drawn to stories that are non-linear like this one. I could be in the minority when it comes to that, LOL. I feel like there are so many ways that this story could unfold and still keep the powerful meaning behind it. The idea that deja vu could be more is always an intriguing trope. It doesn’t hurt that there are subtle parallels to The Dark Tower series, either.
SKSM: King uses a lot of internalization and a lot of flashbacks in the story. In my opinión, it’s not easy to adapt this story. What are the biggest problems you had while filming?
Paul Inman: You are right. There are a lot of difficulties when adapting this story. For example, the majority of the original short story is presented as the inner thoughts of the main character. Inner thoughts can be difficult in a visual medium like filmmaking. Sure, we can do voiceovers to represent those inner thoughts, but, especially visually, this isn’t always the most effective way to create an engaging film.
My friend, Ben Higgins, helped shape the story that became the adaptation. He was a great sounding board for my ideas to adapt this story into a short film. Without giving too much away, I think that we found a way to balance the visually interesting while staying true to the spirit of the inner dialogue. I’m happy to share that the adaptation has kept a lot of the source material that was originally written by Stephen King. We expanded on some of the ideas as well, this is an adaptation after all.
As for the filming… I think that nailing down an airplane was one of the most difficult tasks. We had less than 7 days before rolling the camera and the plane wasn’t locked. That was a little bit nerve-wracking, to say the least. In the end, where there’s a plane, there’s a plan.
SKSM: When the film is done, where would you like the premiere of your Dollar Baby film to be?
Paul Inman: Great question! In these strange Covid times normal premiers are basically out the window.
I’d love to premiere That Feeling in the first ever online Stephen King Dollar Baby Film Festival that’s being put together in April, 2021. It would be amazing to have a worldwide debut online where everyone can view it at least once. I’m not sure that I can get the post-production finished in time, however. But I’m willing to try!
SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?
Paul Inman: I love Stephen King! Five feet to my left, is a book shelf that holds more than 50 first edition novels dating all the way back to the early 1980s. Of course, I have all of the earlier books too, only those aren’t first editions. They are a little too costly right now! LOL.
The Dark Tower series stands out as some of my favorite books. I also really enjoyed the Institute (one of his newer books). The Talisman (with Peter Straub) is an excellent book as well. You can really see how the “other worlds” developed for The Dark Tower series in that book. I like all the most popular ones too.
As for adaptations, I really like the excellent character work in Stand By Me based on “The Body,” Shawshank Redemption is amazing, The Green Mile is equally as amazing (might even be better) and I enjoyed The Mist a lot as well.
SKSM: How did you find out that King sold the movie rights to some of his stories for just $1?
Paul Inman: Wow, at this point I can’t remember. I imagine I found it online several years ago. I feel like it was through the official website… maybe.
What I do remember is that when I found out about it I was instantly enamoured with the idea of being able to create a Stephen King film. I never pursued it until recently because I was always afraid I would fail. I still have a little bit of that healthy fear in the back of my mind. Even if this film is considered a failure in the eyes of the viewers, I know that I’ve succeeded beyond my wildest imagination just by making it this far.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Paul Inman: Funny question! I guess people would be surprised to know that I am a classically trained vocalist and I was in a rap group that recorded a few independent albums in the early 2000s. How’s that for juxtaposition???
SKSM: What advice would you give to those people who want to be filmmakers?
Paul Inman: My advice is to learn as much as you can about the art of filmmaking. We live in a time where everything you’ve ever wanted to know is at your fingertips. Take the time to study it and learn how to do the things that you love. There’s nothing wrong with picking up a camera and filming things, it’s a great way to open the door. To be the best you can be, you need to learn the right way and the wrong way to do it. That way each decision you make is calculated and educated when it comes to your films.
Learn about people and what makes us perfectly flawed humans, because the flashiest visuals won’t matter if no one cares about the people on the screen.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to our readers?
Paul Inman: This is an amazing community and I’m proud to be part of it. Thank you for giving me a little bit of your precious time. And thank you for inviting me to do this interview. Grateful doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel.
SKSM: Would you like to add something else to this interview?
Paul Inman: Again, thanks so much for this opportunity!