Robert David Cochrane
He is the man behind Luckey Quarter Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Robert David Cochrane: Born in Seattle, Washington on June 4, 1970, but I refer to myself as a native of the San Francisco Bay Area. I grew up in the east bay suburb of Walnut Creek from 1975-1988, graduating from Ygnacio Valley High School. I was a varsity athlete in football, basketball and track. I earned my B.A.degree in broadcast journalism from San Diego State University in 1992. I pursued my dream of becoming a sports broadcaster but found my interests more varied than the narrow focus of sports and moved on. After working on cruise ships in Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera and the Caribbean for two years as a disc jockey, I docked in Los Angeles to attend UCLA‘s prestigious screenwriting school.
Since graduating, I have written 20 feature scripts. Three of them have been produced into independent films: “All or Nothing“, Sugarbed Films (1998), “The Playaz Court“, Artisan Entertainment (2000) and “The long road home“, Bro n ‘Stine Productions — my own production company — (2003).
I have acted in lead roles in all three productions and made my directorial and solo producing debut with “the long road home” (WINNER — BEST FEATURE, audience award New York Independent Film and Video Festival, July 2003). “All or Nothing” is currently being considered for distribution; “The Playaz Court” was released to home video/DVD in the U.S. and Canada in Sept. 2002 by Artisan Entertainment and plays currently on Pay Per View and on Black Starz Cable Network. I recently adapted and directed two Stephen King pieces: A)”Luckey Quarter” (from King’s latest collection, “Everything’s Eventual“) and “Roland meets Brown” an exerpt from “The Gunslinger” (Grand Prize Winner in the American Gunslinger Contest).
I currently perform as Caesar at Caesars Palace on the weekends and have been featured on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, The Travel Channel and MTV. I am also in several local and national commercials.
During the summer of 2002, I wrote, directed, edited and co-produced a commercial and other promotional media for Nevada Democratic Gubernatorial candidate, Chris Petrella.
I am in pre-production with two projects:
1)”Boys of Summer“, a documentary following a father with Parkinson Disease and his son around the country to see all 30 Major League Ballparks (website: http:// homepage.mac.com/bromack/).
2) “Broken Reality“, a feature I am co-directing, producing and starring in. (scheduled to begin shooting in Oct./Nov ’04).
In addition, I will begin teaching acting classes (in conjunction with the non-profit group Women in Film), am co-founder/owner of Las Vegas Link, the only casting breakdown service in Las Vegas, working on several children’s books with my father and am recording an album of songs he has written and performed.
SKSM: When did you make Luckey Quarter?
Robert David Cochrane: Shot in July 2003 (3 VERY HOT days)
SKSM: Can you tell me a little about the production?
Robert David Cochrane: The production came together very suddenly. I got the rights to the project in January 2003. I hired a producer, Steve Mandel to find the money (we projected $10,000 as the budget). The great difficulty in that is, by definition, the rights to the story are “non- commercial” — meaning there’s no money to be made off of it. It’s hard to attract investors in that light. Mr. Mandel never found that money, but he did get some people and product involved that were instrumental in making the project go.
Things got rolling very quickly in June — with a deadline to finish the project by late July to take advantage of some available editing suites (as television is on hiatus over most of the summer). The film was shot in time, but, because of difficulties in post- production, the opportunity to use those facilities was lost. I have since been slowly piecing the film together with the help of some extremely generous and talented people. It has come together beautifully.
SKSM: How come you picked Luckey Quarter to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Robert David Cochrane: I identified with the lead character, Darlene, right away. I felt for her struggle with the idea of hope — and the pain that one can experience allowing for it (or not allowing for it). It seemed like one of the stories Mr. King writes that people overlook because it’s not blood and guts horror. It’s very human. It’s about hope and faith. It reminded me, in that light, of “The Shawshank Redemption“. Also, the story is simple, takes place in Nevada and I have a background/connection with some casinos — so the producer side of me was thinking — “I can do this”.
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?
Robert David Cochrane: I did a lot of reserach into this. As a long time “CR”, I read with special interest his notes to all of us. In those notes, in a certain piece (which I leave up to the true “CR” to find) he tells about the process of getting a “Dollar Baby”. I followed this process with two of the greatest assets I have: hope and persistance. It was certainly not a wild guess when I sent him a check. There is a process to follow and, again, I encourage anyone interested in it to really study his works, be respectful and follow the process.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Robert David Cochrane: The most special moment (or moments) was (were) sitting with Elise Robertson, a wonderful actress who portrayed Darlene, and discovering layer after layer to her character and the story. Discovery is one of my favorite elements of any artistic process and finding little moments of magic throughout was a thrill. She brought so much to the character and was extremely open to my suggestions and never complained under what were sometimes difficult situations.
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 video release would be possible?
Robert David Cochrane: I have a meeting with Mr. King coming up in New York soon. I will know more about the future of “Luckey Quarter” after that. Fans should keep checking in to the message boards at www.bronstineproductions.com for more updates.
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)?
Robert David Cochrane: I have yet to meet Mr. King (on any level – beyond the intimate relationship of writer/ reader and writer/adapter-director) personally.
He will see the movie (or at least have the opportunity to do so) before I meet him in New York.
SKSM: Do you have any plans for making more movies based on Stephen King’s stories?
Robert David Cochrane: I have great hope.
SKSM: If you could pick – at least – one story to shoot, which one would it be and why?
Robert David Cochrane: Like the rest of the world lining up, it has long been my feeling that I would be part of Mr. King’s ka-tet in making The Dark Tower into some form of movie experience. There is so much going on in that series and I feel such a deep connection to/with it that it would be the thrill and honor of a lifetime to be involved in whatever manner ka (and King) sees fit. He has said the books will have at least a five year life of their own after the seventh and final book is published. I think that’s a great idea — a gestation period, if you will. After that…it is what it is. I think winning the American Gunslinger Contest and the way I handled that work will hopefully show my dedication, passion and care for the content.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything else you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Robert David Cochrane: Mr. King has long been my favorite writer. I have also felt a sense of destiny in terms of our creative paths — knowing that somewhere along the line we would cross. Perhaps this is the depth of it, but something tells me otherwise. I look forward to working with him to help entertain, frighten (when necessary — and sometimes it is) and ultimately, shine light upon the world with hope, faith and wink of naughtiness.
Robert David Cochrane