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?
Paul Mortsolf: I am a writer/director and the co-founder of 7 Faces Films. I am a family man that loves movies. I work with a consulting company in the construction industry while working on film projects in my off time. The owner of the company knows that making films is a passion of mine and allows me the flexibility I need to work with them and my projects. I have an amazing support system with that and my wife and children.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker?
Paul Mortsolf: I have always wanted to write and started writing screenplays about fifteen years ago. After getting some positive traction with some of my writing I was hired to adapt a short story for a director and helped with the shoot. I learned a lot and a good friend of mine asked me if I wanted to make “Rest Stop” with him because I already had the script. The more we discussed what we would need to do, the more he would ask me if I wanted to direct it. I was hesitant at first but he eventually convinced me that I was the right person for the project. I fell in love with directing and I believe that it made me a better writer along the way.
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?
Paul Mortsolf: The majority of “Rest Stop was filmed over three days March of 2018 with one day of pick up shots in June of 2018. The production went relatively smoothly. We had a few hiccups with a camera rig that put us behind one night. We had a small but great crew that just wanted to help. Everyone pitched in and we had a lot of fun. We ended up with a total budget of $8,500.00.
SKSM: How come you picked Rest Stop to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Paul Mortsolf: I loved “Rest Stop” the first time that I read it. I really like how it captured a snapshot in someone’s life. It is a powerful moment that changes the life for three people. It really speaks to me, especially now. We all have moments where we have a choice. The choice to help someone in need or walk away. I would like to think that in this situation that I would do the same and help someone.
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?
Paul Mortsolf: I had heard about it a few years prior to looking into it myself. I always thought that it was just for people that were in film school. Once I found out that anyone could get the rights, I looked it up right away and saw that Rest Stop was on the list. I requested the rights at that moment.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Paul Mortsolf: The second night of shooting was really cold and we were shooting outside of a rest area in Yucaipa. We had a small canopy set up with a heater behind the building for the actors to keep warm. The DP was having problems with the camera rig and we were running behind. I was worried and stressed. At this time I figured that I needed to let the actors know that it would be another hour maybe of just sitting before we could get moving, I came around the corner to sound of laughter. Jessica, Lane, and Justin are interviewing each other on Facebook live and having a great time. It made me feel good that they were having so much fun and it gave me a big boost of positive energy I needed that night.
Another special moment was meeting Amanda Wyss for the first time. She is so nice and such a fantastic actor. It just so happens that when getting everything together for the wardrobe that my wife had a dress that was the size we needed for Amanda’s scene. So the first time I met her just out of wardrobe, I’m a little bit in shock. Here is a woman that I have been a fan of for most of my life and she is wearing a dress that my wife wore to homecoming in high school.
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?
Paul Mortsolf: I would love for all of the Stephen King fans around the world to see this someday. I hope that if we can be shown in as many festivals as possible. Maybe one day there can be a Dollar Baby DVD collection for the fans with any and all proceeds going to charity.
SKSM: Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?
Paul Mortsolf: None in particular but we I’m looking into a few at the moment. I would really like to get into Austin because I’m already planning on being at the festival this year. Any festival that is willing to show it is great for me. I want as many as posible to see it.
SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?
Paul Mortsolf: I am a huge Stephen King fan. My personal favorites are the “Dark Tower” series, “The Dark Half”, and “The Stand”. “Duma Key” was a brilliant novel that I couldn’t put down.
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)?
Paul Mortsolf: I didn’t have any direct contact with Mr. King but I plan on sending him a thank you letter along with a DVD of the completed film. I hope that he enjoys what I have done with the story.
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?
Paul Mortsolf: Nothing in the Works right now but I would love to bring another one of his stories to the screen. I would love to do an updated version of “The Dark Half”. Really bring in the internet age and social media into play with it. I think that with that you can really dig deeper and darker with the dual personality of the main character. It would be a lot of fun.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Paul Mortsolf: I’m in pre-production on a super natural horror film that brings back the majority of the cast of “Rest Stop”. I hope to shoot it this summer while “Rest Stop” is in it’s festival run. There is another short film that it is post-production right now that we are just going to drop on our website once it is finished.
SKSM: What one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Paul Mortsolf: Most people when they meet me don’t think of me as a horror movie guy. It really surprises people when they read some of my work for the first time.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Paul Mortsolf: I would like to thank them for taking the time to read this and I hope that they enjoy the film. At the end of the day, I’m a fan too.
SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?
Paul Mortsolf: I would like to thank you first of all for reaching out to me. This has been an honor for me because I see how much you support the fans and the film makers. Secondly, check out our website www.sevenfacesfilms.com to see what is coming up next. You can sign up for email updates about what festivals we are going to be shown in and new projects coming up.