He is the man behind Morning Deliveries Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: May you introduce yourself to our readers? Who are you and what do you do?
Will Patrick Roberts: My name is Will Patrick Roberts and I am the producer of the film ‘Morning Deliveries’ based on the Stephen King short story from the 1985 book ‘Skeleton Crew’. I am based in North Wales, UK.
SKSM: How would you decide that shoot movies was your mission?
Will Patrick Roberts: I have worked as a runner, extra, writer, editor, photographer, security, set decorator and more on various film and TV productions like King Arthur (Warner. Bros), Spike Island, Outpost 2, Apocalypse and Separate Lies.
This is my first effort as a producer and will be my first short film. I have always been writing films, drawing storyboards, hundreds of sketches and ideas, always plotting or designing. I focused on writing for a long time, submitting to competitions and film companies to no avail. Actually one script ‘Deadbeats’ – a low-budget Beetlejuice knock-off set in a Victorian cemetery – was optioned but never produced.
SKSM: Could you tell our readers the status of Morning Deliveries or some updates?
Will Patrick Roberts: In October 2018 I applied for the rights to make Morning Deliveries and, to my surprise, a week later I recieved a response ‘from the office of Stephen King’. On Halloween night 2018 I signed and returned the contract and started making plans.
My initial and maybe too obvious original impulse was to make a quite typical stalk and slash based on or inspired by the story. I was watching the two ‘ABC’s of Death’ horror compilation films over and over before I started writing a version. I must have watched 100 other short horror films too.
I don’t know why, but that version was abandoned. The film we are currently producing is very different and somewhere the decision was made to scrap the spin-off version and stick to the original text, word for word. As ominous and unfinished as it is.
The version we are working on still has Slasher elements but is more art-house inspired. I’m shooting it on VHS to give it a real grain, a dirty, greasy vibe like Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer or Driller Killer.
SKSM: Who would be involved into this project?
Will Patrick Roberts: One of the first things I did once getting the final go ahead was to contact Steve Swindon at Tape, a local film and arts centre, based in Old Colwyn, North Wales. I have been a huge fan of Tape and their projects and events since they opened in 2008. Steve is a cool guy, I remember one of the first things we spoke about was a shared love of the film Man Bites Dog.
I met with Steve Swindon and local film-maker and writer Andrew Turner at Tape and spit balled a few ideas with them when the project was in no shape or form. I then attended a screening of their film British Winters which blew me away. I found it really inspiring. A community effort and a great production. That was great preparation and put me in the zone for producing my first short film.
Local artist Lloyd Evans helped me go through the original story with a fine comb and drag out any images we thought could make for interesting visuals. These pre – production stages were a lot of fun even if 80% of the ideas or five different short scripts were honed then deleted. I’m happy with how it has evolved.
The Film will star Landon Sweeney as Spike Milligan and we are still casting for other roles.
SKSM: How come you picked Morning Deliveries to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Will Patrick Roberts: The main character Spike Milligan. To have such a shady, demonic character mooching about in our streets, creeping up on our doorsteps as we sleep is a disturbing thought. And the poison milk. As someone who once found a slug in their sandwich, halfway through eating, I think the thought of someone or something contaminating your food is a terrifying and real fear.
The tarantula too.
SKSM: I guess it’s very soon to asking this question but… where the premiere will be? Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?
Will Patrick Roberts: I want the film to be screened between September and Halloween. I love that time of year when horror for horror fans gets that added buzz.
SKSM: Did you know that this story has already been filmed as Dollar Baby? Have you seen any of these adaptations? If so, what do you think about it?
Will Patrick Roberts: I did see that someone launched a fundraising campaign to make a version of Morning Deliveries but I am not aware if that project was completed. If it has has I would definitely like to see it but maybe after we have finished our version. Just incase it’s so good it destroys the good faith I need at present to finish this one.
SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?
Will Patrick Roberts: I am a huge Stephen King fan. In my house growing up we had every Bruce Springsteen record and every Stephen King book. There were other musicians and authors but they were the main two.
When I was 12 I got The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub for my birthday and the protagonist in the book, Jack Sawyer, was 12 years old. I remember the journey into that story vividly, even now. I tried to read it again recently but stopped because I didn’t want to taint the memory of that journey. It would be a different book now. I can’t wait for someone to adapt that.
SKSM: How did you find out that King sold the movie rights to some of his stories for just $1?
Will Patrick Roberts: I remember reading it once a long time ago and thinking ‘Oh. Lucky dogs’
SKSM: What are you working nowadays?
Will Patrick Roberts: I work as a manager 9-5 and do freelance media around that job. I haven’t been chasing film or TV crew work since acquiring the rights to this project. This has been my focus for the best part of a year.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Will Patrick Roberts: I have Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi as The Blues Brothers tattooed on my arm. A silly decision made after a few ciders when I was 16. I like the film but now they are with me for life.
SKSM: What advice would you give to those people who want to be filmmakers?
Will Patrick Roberts: Watch every DVD commentary. The lower the budget the better. Even if you don’t like the film there’s no better source of inspiration than an informative and technical dvd commentary.
I hope if DVD becomes obsolete they store all the commentaries somewhere. Especially the Driller Killer commentary by Abel Ferrera. He is a wise king.
Shane Meadows, Guillermo Del Toro, the Evil Dead films. When I studied film they focused on things like the religious symbolism of Blade Runner or the significance of Tatoos in feminist cinema, which is great and cool but what I really wanted to know at that time was how the hell they bang a film together. How do you plan a production.
I’d also watch Bad Taste by Peter Jackson on repeat and then with the volume off.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to our readers?
Will Patrick Roberts: I hope that we can deliver a strange and freaky short film worthy of your time and if you think it’s no good, I hope that inspires you to step up and get creative and make your own film.
SKSM: Would you like to add something else to this interview?
Will Patrick Roberts: We have just started a Kickstarter for the project which you can get involved with here. There is an opportunity to become an associate producer or even appear in the film… Thanks again.
Stephen King ‘Morning Deliveries’ by Will Roberts » Incredible Start! We are well on our way! — Kickstarter https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/will82rob/stephen-king-morning-deliveries/posts/2549809?ref=ksr_email_creator_project_update_copy