He is the man behind The Things They Left Behind Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
Stéphane Valette: My name is Stephane Valette, I’m 28 years old and I am a young French screenwriter and director. Before becoming a director, I worked in different positions including grip tech and editing which gave me a global view of film production. When making a film, I think it’s very important to be involved in all aspects of production.
SKSM: How did the project of filming The Things they left behind started?
Stéphane Valette: This film falls under the category of Dollar Babies. Stephen King offered to acquire the non-exclusive rights to some of his stories for a symbolic dollar, just as we did for The Things They Left Behind. Therefor we could adapt the film legally and freely with the OK from its master! When Guillaume offered me to join him on the project, I said yes right away!
SKSM: Why did you choose that particular story to adapt. Did you had another story in mind?
Stéphane Valette: It is the psychological side of this story that truly touched us. The 9/11 catastrophe shocked the whole world. We were particularly interested in the character Scott, a traumatized man that unfortunately like many other Americans struggled to morn. Like with most of his works, Stephen King added a fantastic side to the story. This ambiguity between true shock and fantastical reappearances was an interesting way to treat the psychological trauma after 9/11.
SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?
Stéphane Valette: I too enjoy Stephen King. Like Guillaume, I have read many of his novels. At the moment I am following the TV series Under The Dome, an adaptation of a novel by the same name. From time to time Guillaume and I like to watch (or rewatch) old Stephen King adaptations. Most recently we wiped the dust off « The Langoliers ». Admittedly, the film aged poorly especially in respect to the special effects, but the story remains just as fascinating.
SKSM: What are you working at nowadays?
Stéphane Valette: I like to try different things. I am currently writing for several different projects. I’m working on two series, one comedy and the other science fiction as well as a fantastic feature film inspired by a chilling news story.
SKSM: Can you tell us about the filming steps. How long is it planned to take? How many people are involved in it? Funny things that happened so far? (Bloopers, etc).
Stéphane Valette: We were lucky enough to be able to film in a large Parisian apartment, which allowed us to concentrate all of the filming to one place. In an effort to move quickly and efficiently we chose the natural light esthetic, knowing that we could do some touching up in postproduction. In addition, we voluntarily gave the film a 16mm feel in order to break the digital aspect, and the softness of Canon 7D images.
SKSM: Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?
Stéphane Valette: We would like to do as many festivals abroad as possible, especially in the United States as we are treating a catastrophe that changed the face of America.
SKSM: Once the production is finished, are you planning to adapt another Stephen King story? Which one?
Stéphane Valette: I don’t believe I will adapt another Stephen King novel. The written projects I mentioned earlier take up most of my time.
SKSM: Something you’d like to tell our readers?
Stéphane Valette: While the film is moving in a bit of a different direction, we tried to conserve the heart of a Stephen King novel. I hope that you will enjoy it.