She is the filmmaker of Dedication Dollar Baby film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Tyna Ezenma: My name is Tyna Ezenma, from Nigeria west Africa. I describe myself as a creative artist. My first degree was in visual arts so techinally I paint and draw, before going into photography, textile design, currently I found myself in the movie industry, specializing in directing and producing.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker?
Tyna Ezenma: I first thought about it in 2010 after visiting Cannes when they were setting up for that year’s film festival. I finally saw the need in 2013 during a photography exhibition in ArtMonaco that I wasn’t able to completely tell my stories in still photographs.
SKSM: When did you make Dedication? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Tyna Ezenma: It was my film school project for Advanced directing class in 2017, the adaptation took me two weeks and the pre production was about a month and we shot it in 3 days. The total cost was about $4600.
SKSM: How come you picked Dedication to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Tyna Ezenma: The story actually chose, I wrote to Stephen King’s office that I wanted to adapt one of his Dollar babies, I had like two other stories but he asked me to try Dedication as nobody has ever done it. I love challenges so I took it. After reading it I was attracted to the mystery and voodoo involved in the story as it is something that I can easily relate as an African.
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?
Tyna Ezenma: Growing up I was a huge fan of his novels, one day I just went to his website and saw that he offers his stories to students for just $1, I just abandon the script I was working on to request for his. I sent him a dollar cash.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Tyna Ezenma: I wouldn’t say there was any funny time as I was so tensed and nervous throught the production, I lived in my night wear for 3 days straight why writing it.
SKSM: Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?
Tyna Ezenma: It was selected and screened in Cannes film festival in 2018, it was screened on UCLA campus, in Netherland for his fans, In New york in museum and other film festivals. Part of the contract doesn’t allow us to make profits off the project without seeking a different permission from him. To me it was a learning stage since I am into that genre of film making.
SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?
Tyna Ezenma: I got mostly good reviews in terms of acting, cinematography, directing and storytelling. The bad review will be that some people needed to watch it twice to fully understand it.
SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?
Tyna Ezenma: Yes I am one of his die hard fans, I have read most of his books but in terms of adaptation I will go with The Shinning and 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)?
Tyna Ezenma: There was no personal connection apart from the emails handed by his staff but the contract was from him. Yes I sent a DVD copy to him and I think he likes it because if he doesn’t we will all have heard by now. He is very outspoken.
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?
Tyna Ezenma: I would love to shoot the feature version of Dedication, it was a 62 page story that I had to condense to a 12 page short script. My reason will be given a enough funds and time to tell the full story will be amazing.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Tyna Ezenma: After film school I have produced and directed 2 short movies and a web series, currently in post production for my 1st and 2nd feature films.
SKSM: What one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Tyna Ezenma: That I can read an average of 60 scripts a month and I am a big fan of Korean dramas.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Tyna Ezenma: Thank you for the honor, I will say keep your dreams alive and if you can think it you can do it.