He is the filmmaker behind All That You Love Will Be Carried Away Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Seth Friedman: My name is Seth Friedman, I am a filmmaker and a sophomore in college.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker?
Seth Friedman: For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved stories and movies in particular. I remember seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark, and (SPOILER ALERT) when the Nazi’s faces melted off, I was fascinated with how they did that. I did research and went deep into the behind the scenes footage to learn about how it was done without killing the actor. From that, my passion for cinema was born.
SKSM: When did you make All that you love will be carried away? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Seth Friedman: The process of making All That You Love Will Be Carried Away was very interesting. I applied for the story through Stephen King’s website and got access much faster than I had expected. From the time I got the rights to the end of post-production was about a year and a half.
SKSM: How come you picked All that you love will be carried away to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Seth Friedman: Originally, I had permission to make Here There Be Tygers, but the story wasn’t resonating with me as much as King’s other stories. I decided to look over the list of stories once again and found All That You Love Will Be Carried Away. It was perfect. I like to create a new challenge for myself with each new film I make and filming a single character in a single location with little dialogue seemed like the perfect way to push myself. Beyond that, I saw an opportunity to inject my own personality and experiences into the character. I struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, so I decided to give Alfie the same struggle. Making Alfie into a man who is afraid of germs yet spends his life in ratty motels and gas station bathrooms became a fascinatingly cathartic paradox for me.
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?
Seth Friedman: My friend, George Long, who you previously interviewed, brought this program to my attention and I was certain that he was kidding. I did some more research and found out that this wasn’t a joke at all. I went on to the website and applied through their forum, and to my surprise, they granted me the rights!
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Seth Friedman: I can talk for hours about production, but I would be doing a huge disservice to the film if I didn’t mention Sam Smith, the cinematographer, who made the film look and feel like it does. Also, Charles Richard “Chuck” Landers really brought a lot of ideas and stories to the role of Alfie Zimmer. Chuck had never acted before but had always enthralled me with every story he has told me. We met up for what was supposed to be an hour to discuss the script but ended up turning into four and a half hours of sharing stories back and forth.
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?
Seth Friedman: Honestly, I find it very frustrating. Don’t get me wrong, I think the Dollar Baby program is incredible, but that is its only flaw. I can’t quantify how many times someone has asked to see the film and I had to explain to them the legal issues (and I am by no means a lawyer).
SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?
Seth Friedman: The film is very particular. I designed the script to be paced so that we, the audience, feel the emotions alongside Alfie. When he is sad or bored, so are we (but hopefully not too bored). Life on the road for Alfie is slow and full of little moments. I tried to maintain King’s brilliance as much as possible, while making it my own. The performance of Chuck Landers really has resonated with audiences. When I recorded his screen test, I knew that he was going to elevate the script far beyond anything I could’ve hoped.
SKSM: Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?
Seth Friedman: So far, the film premiered at The AMC Empire in Times Square, as well as Cincinnati, Rochester, and Amsterdam.
SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?
Seth Friedman: I am a massive King fan. I love seeing the different ways that his works can be interpreted. When we were making the film, we discussed two ways of adapting his material: Kubrickian or Darabont-esque. Frank Darabont has made some of the best King adaptations (from Shawshank to Green Mile, or his own Dollar Baby short film), which Kubrick’s The Shining really only brushes on the original work. The range of adaptation between these two landmark filmmakers is astonishing, and it is very interesting to see where the newest adaptations fall.
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)?
Seth Friedman: I’ve heard stories of King reaching out to some filmmakers, and even having a shelf holding the DVDs of his favorite Dollar Baby films, but I have not personally had contact with him. I included my information in the DVD case I sent him but have not heard back. Who knows? Maybe I’ll hear from him the moment I finish this interview.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Seth Friedman: Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, many of my project have been put on hold or cancelled. I was getting ready to shoot a short film loosely based on The Body (and inspired by the tone of the film adaptation, Stand By Me), which follows two kids who accidentally discover the body of Jimmy Hoffa. Aside from that, I have a number of very exciting projects I am trying to develop, but at this time nothing is confirmed.
SKSM: What one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Seth Friedman: After watching my films, it is natural for people to think I am a bummer of a person, but I actually write stand-up comedy with a friend who performs regularly in Los Angeles.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Seth Friedman: Thank you for reaching out! I am always excited to discuss this project, which holds a special place in my heart. I would encourage anyone who is interested in filmmaking (or even if you’re slightly interested in filmmaking) to apply for the rights to a King story. It will permanently change the way you see movies and literature.
SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?
Seth Friedman: I suppose I will use this as the place to shamelessly plug my first feature length film. I was lucky enough to once again work with Chuck Landers, Sam Smith, and tons of great people. The film follows disgraced screenwriter Thomas Clark (Chuck Landers) as he fights to clear his name and release his masterpiece. (Link: https://youtu.be/MTChAoiZvGo)