He is the filmmaker of In The Deathroom Dollar Baby film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Vyacheslav Vlasov: I was born and raised in Russia in the small city of Astrakhan, which is known all over the world as a fishing city, fishing, as well as red and black caviar. My parents have a not very popular, but necessary profession. My mother is a medic, and my father is a firefighter. In 2021, I graduated from the “Astrakhan State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering“. Now I am a certified fire safety specialist, just like my father. But despite this, I hope that I will be able to break into the real world of cinema and directing!
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker?
Vyacheslav Vlasov: Since childhood, I have had a great interest in films and cartoons. When I was 5 years old, I manually drew frames for my cartoon, and played them on a movie projector that my father gave me. There were problems with the Internet in our small town, and there were no creative schools where I could develop my animation skills, so I was engaged in training on my own. Later, a computer appeared in our family, and with the help of such standard programs as paint and movie maker, I created my own cartoons.
Later, when I was 11 years old, I saw a documentary on television about the Russian director Leonid Gaidai (Ivan Vasilievich: Back to the Future). After that, I fell in love with the entire shooting process of the film. Later, my parents bought me a cassette camera, and I began to develop my camerawork skills and shoot my first short films, namely, I wrote scripts, prepared props, and of course forced my friends to be actors xD
SKSM: When did you make In the deathroom? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Vyacheslav Vlasov: It took a lot of time and effort to create the film «In The Deathroom». Thanks to the fact that I agreed to cooperate with me on a free basis, and also our sponsors helped us, who provided us with equipment, equipment, lights, microphones, etc., I managed to save a lot of money. In total, it took $200 to create the film. As it turned out, in our small city of Astrakhan, they love Stephen King, which is probably why I managed to find sponsors and people who were ready to give us props, premises, etc. for free.
We shot «In The Deathroom» on different days and at different times of the year. This caused some difficulties, since the weather in our country is unpredictable. We wanted to shoot the scene wait (according to the script, it should be dry and warm), but on the day of filming, snow fell and it got terribly cold. We postponed the chase scene for half a year. As a result, it took us 6 days in different months and seasons.
SKSM: How come you picked In the deathroom to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Vyacheslav Vlasov: At that time, I was very interested in this story. Several characters are in a closed space, where no one sees or hears them, and solve the problems of the country’s government. It was interesting to show all the torments and experiences of the main character, especially in the Russian realities of the 90s.
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?
Vyacheslav Vlasov: When I graduated from the St. Petersburg School of Television, I started looking for some useful information for myself on the Internet. How can I move forward as a director? And so, on one of the American sites, I found out that Stephen King still sells the rights to his stories for just $ 1, and you can easily contact them.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Vyacheslav Vlasov: We shot “In The Deathroom” at different times and in different seasons of the year. According to the script that I wrote based on a story by Stephen King, there should have been snow in the last scene where the main character buys and lights a Marlboro. I was very worried about this, because it happened that snow never fell all winter. But I was very lucky, because unexpectedly for everyone in our city, snow fell in November and we quickly took the cameras and ran to shoot that very last scene.
It was also very nice that we managed to contact the famous Russian dubbing actor Peter Glants (the Russian voice of Deadpool, Ben Stiller, etc.), who voiced the newsreader in our film.
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?
Vyacheslav Vlasov: It’s a shame to realize that not everyone will be able to watch “In The Deathroom“. The whole city is watching you, rejoicing in your victories and supporting you in your failures, but at the same time they can’t look at the film. I really hope that soon I will be able to agree with the office of Stephen King and publish the film in the public domain. But I think that it will not be soon.
SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?
Vyacheslav Vlasov: Mostly I received positive reviews. It’s amazing that everyone evaluates the film differently. Someone says that the actor does not play his role well, someone is satisfied with it, but complains about the sound in the film. Someone likes the music, but does not like the volume of the sound. How many people have so many opinions 🙂
SKSM: Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?
Vyacheslav Vlasov: I want to participate in the One Dollar Baby Russia festival, as well as other Russian and foreign festivals. I also hope that one day there will be a film festival in our small town, where I will be able to show “In The Deathroom“.
SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?
Vyacheslav Vlasov: Yes, I love the work of Stephen King. One of the favorite adaptations is Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining”, Frank Darabont’s “The Green Mile”, and Rob Reiner’s “Misery”
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)?
Vyacheslav Vlasov: Unfortunately not. I sent the finished film on a DVD with a beautiful design and a letter. I hope that there will be at least some answer from the King of Horrors!
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?
Vyacheslav Vlasov: At the moment, my plans include shooting a film based on my own script. Maybe sometime in the future I will take part in One Dollar Baby again. It would be interesting to work on “Stationary Bike”. It is very difficult to show a psychological struggle with oneself in the film, but I love complexity and am ready to face them.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Vyacheslav Vlasov: Now I am promoting «In The Deathroom» at film festivals and writing a script for a new feature film that I would like to shoot. The main task is to find producers and film studios who would agree to cooperate with me.
SKSM: What one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Vyacheslav Vlasov: Everything is amazing for our small town, and of course I was no exception. Many people in our city do not know about the Dollar Baby project and therefore were very surprised that a young guy from the province was able to sign a contract with Stephen King. Regional news, newspapers and television were immediately interested in me.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Vyacheslav Vlasov: I hope that you enjoyed this interview. I really hope that in the future everyone will be able to appreciate not only my film, but also the films of other directors shot as part of the One dollar baby project. This will give future directors more motivation to work on their debut films.
SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?
Vyacheslav Vlasov: Thank you to Oscar Garrido and all those people who are interested in One dollar baby and gives an opportunity to newcomers in the field of cinema to express themselves and tell people about their film.