He is the man behind Grey Matter Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Sean Dimitrie: My name is Sean Dimitrie I have produced over 40 albums and toured the world as a dj for the last 20 years about 3 years ago I decided to go back to school at Vancouver Film School where I studied digital design and more specifically motion design.
SKSM: When did you make Grey matter? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Sean Dimitrie: Well I have to say this all started after reading a book by film maker Robert Rodriguez called a “Rebel Without a Crew” being I had a musical background and have produced many albums and scored music for films and worked as a Boom Op on sets and commercials I had some technical skills already, I decided to learn more about film making with a hands on approach.
I was in pre production for a few months before we started filming, I first contacted a screenplay writer through a LinkedIn search and found Phoenix Rivera I sort of cold called and pitched her the idea, she contacted Stephen’s office and secured an agreement to adapt the story to a screenplay, later I secured a contract and started storyboarding the short as a 42 page comic book. Because the story called for a snow storm and I live in Vancouver (that doesn’t get snow) we decided to shoot the film in a small town outside Toronto Ontario last February. I used the Farmers Almanac to help predict when we would have snow, surprisingly we did get that snowstorm on the night I scheduled the actors for that scene. The film was shot on a Canon 60D with a couple lenses and three LED flash lights for lighting, I studied Film Noir during this time to learn about lighting and camera techniques as I was on a budget of about $2000. Which most of was spent on food for the filming over 7 days and nights on 9 locations.
SKSM: How come you picked Gray matter to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Sean Dimitrie: Grey Matter wasn’t my first choice I actually got the rights to “My Pretty Pony” first but found it to hard to pre visualize the story and because it was a time piece thought it might be too expensive to make. I liked Grey matter because it had some action and some call for VFX’s, I also found the story related to my upbringing a little because of the drinking the town we filmed in is very depressed and full of alcoholics and bars..
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?
Sean Dimitrie: No I found out about it through researching on the Internet, I actually thought it was a scam at first but after finding the Facebook group and asking people about it I started doing some more research and found some shorts to actually watch, I have always been a fan of Stephen King and kind of grew up reading the paper backs in the 80’s and of course I am huge horror film fan since the late 70’s I remember seeing the Shinning at the drive in and I have watched most of the films over the years.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Sean Dimitrie: Well casting senor citizens is a tough as is but when they get sick before shooting it adds a whole new level of stress I had to re cast my main character Henry just 7 days before the shoot! mind you we had already booked locations and plan tickets with our air miles etc so we had to find someone pronto…. I have to say John Thyret was awesome he came to the set with his lines memorized and prepared; I thought he did a convincing job. Also I was lucky that he was in the military and had experience handling guns and was a theater actor for many decades, so the film was sort of on his bucket list and he was very excited to do it.
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 an internet/dvd release would be possible?
Sean Dimitrie: Well if anyone see’s it I would be over the moon, I am just happy that I actually completed it, it was a lot of work and I almost didn’t finish it, being that I wore all the hats in this from producing, story boarding, directing, editing, and all the licensing of music, I also composed some music, titles, VFX etc.. You can imagine the amount of time this took out of my regular life job, etc… But it is quite the achievement and I mostly happy with what we achieved on basically no budget, it’s a B grade horror flick sort of a art film presented in a film noir style.
SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?
Sean Dimitrie: I haven’t received any reviews yet only the cast and my parents have seen it.
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)?
Sean Dimitrie: Nope not yet I still have to mail him a copy to complete the agreement we have.
SKSM: What are you working nowadays?
Sean Dimitrie: I am working with a 14-year-old girl named Maya Rae just about to release her debut jazz album and my day job as a creative lead at a software company. But I am also looking for the next story to make into a film; I would love to do a comedy maybe I can meet my next collaborator(s) through this!
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?
Sean Dimitrie: I think the next film I make has to be of an original story because of the amount of work that it takes to make a film I need to be able to monetize it next time. But I learned so much and so much fun with this project, it really was a crash course in film making; I now know how to do every part of making a film in just one year.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to your fans?
Sean Dimitrie: Fans?! Well I am not sure I have any yet in this arena but if you haven’t read the book “Rebel Without a Crew” by director Robert Rodriguez do it it’s very inspiring. And just go out and do it time is now, you can never regret investing in yourself and learning new skills.