He is the man behind Harvey’s Dream Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Quinn Spicker: I was born just outside of Vancouver, Canada, and have lived my whole life here so far. I had a relatively normal childhood, and then at the age of 12 I began to get very interested in juggling, and I learned by watching videos on the internet. Soon after, I joined a youth circus in Vancouver and performed with them for several years, eventually setting a juggling Guinness world record. I loved performing for people.
But over time I began to be interesting in not only entertaining audiences, but also creating art and telling human stories. I think this is what led me to filmmaking, and I starting doing short films in high school. Upon graduation I applied for several film schools and was accepted into Simon Fraser University. Over the past four years at SFU I have written and directed six short films, of which Harvey’s Dream is one.
SKSM: When did you make Harvey’s dream? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Quinn Spicker: Harvey’s Dream was shot in early 2012, and then was edited and finished for May of 2012. The production was an excellent experience. We shot over two days and the entire film cost less than $200 to make. In fact, my only expenses on the film were food for the cast and crew (except for the $1 story rights). People volunteered their time, I shot using my school’s camera and equipment, and I used my grandma’s house as a location.
There was a crew of just 4 people, including myself, and then there were also two actors. Having two full days to spend in a single location was a luxury because it allowed me to spend time with the actors crafting their performances, and it allowed my cinematographer to take a great deal of care with the lighting and shot composition.
SKSM: How did you find out that King sold the movie rights to some of his stories for just $1? Was it just a wikd guess or did you know it before you sent him the check?
Quinn Spicker: I often read the screenplays of produced movies—I feel that studying the work of great screenplays is part of my education as a filmmaker. One day, I was reading the screenplay for the Shawshank Redemption, and the screenwriter/director Frank Darabont had written a preface. In the preface he spoke of how before Shawshank Redemption he directed an adaptation of a Stephen King short story while in university, and he did it by writing to Mr. King and purchasing the rights for $1. I wanted to see if this was still something that King did, and in fact it was!
SKSM: How come you picked Harvey’s dream to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Quinn Spicker: After getting the idea that I wanted to do a Stephen King short story as my next film, I sat down and read every short story King had written. I liked a great many of them, and it was hard to choose which one I wanted to do. But I eventually settled on Harvey’s Dream because I loved that it was such a simple story, but with such powerful emotional resonance. I felt that it would be a perfect project for me to hone my skills working with actors and exploring dark emotions.
I loved that although the story is very dark, at its core it is about the joy of life. At the beginning of the story the main character Janet is questioning the worth of life, and through the death of her daughter she realizes how precious life really is.
SKSM: Was any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Quinn Spicker: An amusing story is that I was worried about finding a vehicle with a wrecked bumper to serve as the neighbour’s vehicle that is seen out the window by the characters. Then, a few weeks before the screening my friend accidentally smashed his bumper while doing a sloppy parking job, and although this was really bad for him it was very convenient for me because I was able to use his van in the film!
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?
Quinn Spicker: I would love for as many people as possible to be able to see the film, and I will definitely be looking into the possibility of an internet release once the film’s festival run is completed.
SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?
Quinn Spicker: The reception to the film has been very positive. I was lucky enough to have it selected to play at several top Canadian film festivals, including the Montreal World Film Festival, the Whistler Film Festival, and the Victoria Film Festival.
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)?
Quinn Spicker: Upon completion of the film I mailed a DVD to Mr. King’s office, and I am told that he does try to watch every one of his films when he has the time. I am thrilled to think that he will watch the film, and I hope that he enjoys it! However, I did not have any personal contact with him during the making of the film.
SKSM: Do you have any plans for making more movies based on Stephen King’s stories? If you could pick -at least- one stroy to shoot, which one would it be and why?
Quinn Spicker: As I have now graduated from university I am no longer eligible for the $1 rights, so I do not have any current plans for any more movies based on Stephen King’s stories. However, I am aiming to be a feature filmmaker, and one day hope to tackle a longer piece of Mr. King’s work as a feature film.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to your fans?
Quinn Spicker: Just that this has been a really fun process, and I am honored that people are interested in the film!
SKSM: Do you have anything you’d like to add?
Quinn Spicker: Not that I can think of right now, but please let me know if you have any follow-up questions.