He is the filmmaker of The Hammer Dollar Baby film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Roman Alekseev: My name is Roman Alekseev and I am from Russia. I live in the city of St. Petersburg. I work in the Okko online cinema as a technical support specialist. Directing is my hobby.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker?
Roman Alekseev: At first I dreamed of becoming a writer. It sounds like a clich?, but I was inspired by Mr. King. Then I came to try myself as a screenwriter, and only then I thought about directing and even enrolled in evening training. It was then that I shot my first adaptation of The Man Who Loved Flowers. The film was visually better than Hammer, but no different from the story.
SKSM: When did you make The hammer? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Roman Alekseev: To make a film and pay the team, I sold a smartphone, but then there was isolation and I had to improvise. I shot the film in a couple of days on my wife’s smartphone and she also played the main role. The film cost almost nothing. My goal was to surprise with the concept, since I thought that others would make the story exactly the same. Hope I was able to surprise.
SKSM: How come you picked The man who loved flowers to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Roman Alekseev: I already shot a film based on this story, but it was an unofficial adaptation. I read the story and was surprised that the author was able to catch me waiting. The end was unpredictable. I fell in love with the story and it was then that I began to take my first steps in directing. I decided that I would shoot a film for myself and it would be a great skill training.
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?
Roman Alekseev: When I made that movie, I didn’t know King was selling rights for a dollar. Andrey Popov wrote to me and asked if it was possible to take my film to participate in Dollar Baby, and I replied that it was possible. Then, having delved deeper into the topic, I decided that I would remove the official film adaptation and bought the rights to The Man Who Loved Flowers. This is how the “Hammer” appeared.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Roman Alekseev: It’s funny that the adaptation was completely different. The film has changed beyond recognition and a lot had to be thrown out, but then it was decided to change everything from scratch. The idea of ??bait for a maniac came up unexpectedly, but now I want to expand this idea. I’ve always liked stories about strong women.
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?
Roman Alekseev: I would really like everyone to be able to see my film for free, but according to the terms, I cannot show it anywhere. I would also love to know what King thinks about my film. Feedback is always good. Art should belong to the people!
SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?
Roman Alekseev: Reviews were generally mixed. Those who read the story liked the film, but there were people who simply did not understand it. Many were confused by the vertical format of the shooting. I drew conclusions and will try to fix everything in the future.
SKSM: Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?
Roman Alekseev: The film is already participating in various festivals, but due to the ratings, I doubted its promotion.
SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?
Roman Alekseev: Apart from the obvious adaptations of The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, I like It, Carrie, Pet Sematary. The Dark Tower series has stolen my heart forever. I would very much like to see her adaptation.
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)?
Roman Alekseev: Alas, no. Communication was through an assistant. I would really like him to see the film and express his opinion, but I understand that such a busy person simply will not have time. He probably doesn’t even know about my existence.
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?
Roman Alekseev: I would like to make a film based on the “Grandfather” story, but the rights to it are not being sold. I really like the concept. The story could scare me.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Roman Alekseev: Now I’m writing a script for a full-length film, and then I’m going to ask the studios for money to shoot. Hope it works out.
SKSM: What one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Roman Alekseev: Do not know. I didn’t communicate with other people. I hope they don’t think anything bad.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Roman Alekseev: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to answer the questions! I want to say this: Never stop being afraid of the monsters under the bed!
SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?
Roman Alekseev: Yes, if someone wants to watch my film, then write and I will try to arrange an individual session 🙂