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He is the Composer of Kyle Dunbar‘s Mute Dollar Baby film.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh: I’m Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh, most people call me Nate. I’ve been playing instruments since before I could talk, mainly drums and guitar. At this point I’m the drummer/writer for bands Colony, Across The Wasteland, and Hussar. Ranging genres from progressive rock, pop punk, tech-death metal. Within my years taking this professionally I’ve also been honoured with session work and hired gigs, as well as a loyal group of students. Aside from my drumming career my truest passion is writing, I have a solo project called Aghast Imminence. I write all instruments, stacked with synth layers and orchestration. It’s my outlet for writing the craziest, wackiest, most beautiful music I could ever want to hear.

SKSM: How did you become involved with Mute?

Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh: Funny enough I started a relationship with a really great girl, she heard some of my music I wrote for my solo project and thought it would be great for her brother Kyle’s films. That’s when she told me all about him and his movies, especially Mute which he was currently working on. I send her the tune, she shows Kyle and he put it in the movie. Before him and I met in person he reached out about the tune and moving forward with a potential soundtrack. Of course I jumped at the opportunity! After meeting with him and Rebecca and discussing the soundtrack, I had a really clear vision of how I wanted whatever I wrote to sound.

SKSM: How did you get started as a composer and what do you do on production?

Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh: From a young age I’ve always wrote songs. I started my first official band Colony when I was in Grade 10. At this point I was writing more so progressive rock/metal tunes with pretty simple structure. I’ve always loved odd time signatures, so in the era of my life my writing was similar to Tool, Rush, Mastodon. Till I finished high school, I stuck in that style of writing very progressive rock/metal vibes, adding different genres in the mix, exploring different harmonies and tones. But it wasn’t till I went off to college for music my writing really became what it is now and what Im most proud of. Being able to record at home was a world of different. Now I could write a riff on a guitar and patch it a violin or a flute etc, I could add huge chords and atmosphere in the background to songs I had already wrote. Having this at my finger tips opened up an entirely new world! As for production, I do it all myself for soundtracks. For album recordings I get my work mixed and mastered by someone else.

SKSM: How did you get started to wrote the Soundtrack for Mute?

Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh: Like I stated earlier, my writing of the soundtrack began with a song I wrote for my solo project. From there on I just wrote naturally as I would, on a guitar or a keyboard. Recorded the parts. From there I notated them in a score and patched that to synths, orchestration, and atmospheric tones. That what how I captured the feeling and vibe Kyle and Rebecca were going for.

SKSM: Is this your most challenging audio so far?

Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh: This is the 2nd soundtrack I’ve done, my first was for a podcast Endless Vigilance. With soundtracks, I have no stress, or challenge whatsoever. I just write how I naturally would. The only time that can be a challenge is making sure the director is happy and you captured the feeling they wanted. But I’ve been fortunate enough to have everyone happy with my work.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the music that you would like to tell me about?

Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh: Nothing too crazy, but it had been 2 years since doing my last soundtrack so it was unique to see just natural how it would differ from the first. The first soundtrack I went a little too crazy initially, put too many layers etc. I basically wrote the tracks as complete songs, where as a soundtrack you have to be in the background, there to set a mood for a viewer/listener to feel while still being able to focus on the film or podcast. Having this knowledge made writing this soundtrack a lot more natural in that sense too. Which for me the key was to know when to stop writing and when to stop adding layers.

SKSM: After Mute did you write more music? If so what?

Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh: I’m constantly writing music. Aside from writing within the bands I play for, I’ve easily wrote over 4 albums worth of material. I always have at least 3 project files on the go. It’s a constant craft, you can only become a better writer the more you write. In terms of soundtracks and hired work, with covid too it’s been a little slow. Although within the next few months I will be ready to record an album for Aghast Imminence my solo project. I had a few songs from months ago I just finished, as well as a few new ones I just wrote. They all fit the same vibe, so keep your eyes and ears out for that within the next year!

SKSM: What are you working nowadays?

Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh: Aside from everything musical, for day jobs I’ve worked construction jobs, retail, contracting. Currently I’m a supervisor at a dispensary. In Canada cannabis is legal, pot shops everywhere. It’s a good gig to have, the store I work at is low staff so feels very family oriented in the way of how close we are and how well we get along, also my Aunt is my GM so it’s literally family oriented for me. For high school me I’m working my dream job, but even now it’s one thing that pairs perfectly with music.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh: I am a fan of Stephen King’s work, the story lines and concepts are unlike no other. Personally speaking I’m not the biggest reader my mind wanders a bit too much that I have a hard time finishing books, or I end up spacing out and having to re-read. Ive read The Shining, it was incredible! I also have Nightshift which is awesome, I’m a huge fan of his short stories. In terms of the movies, TV specials, and TV shows I’ve loved everything I’ve seen which is a big chunk of the selection. I recently finished Mr.Mercedes the show, that blew my mind! I also recently saw the 90’s rendition of The Shining the TV special, that was superb as well, I found it a lot more accurate to the book compared to the movie. Which for me is a bold statement because I’ve always loved the movie!

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh: I have a bacon strip tattoo… I eat 80% vegetarian. Obviously I still eat bacon

SKSM: What advice would you give to those people who want to be musicians?

Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh: I’ll try to make this short… practice everyday minimum 2 hours, practice to a metronome, learn your favourite songs, listen to every genre, learn every genre and style, find people with instruments to jam with, go to open mics and jam nights to connect and learn from local musicians. Key at this point is to find people better than you, jam with them and you’ll skyrocket! Learn from as many people and as many outlets as you can.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything else you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh: I appreciate you all, especially if you’ve read this far! Enjoy the film Mute, it’s a really great piece of work along with everything else Kyle and Rebecca have done!

 

She played in Paul Inman‘s That Feeling Dollar Baby film as Caroline Shelton.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Cait Salvino: I am originally from a suburb outside of Chicago. I recently made the move to the southeast on a whim during Covid when my plans to Los Angeles changed. I was able to dive into the TV / FILM world here in Nashville/ Atlanta, which has been a great start transitioning from the Chicago theatre scene. Right now, I am auditioning and training in Atlanta and Los Angeles. It’s a journey but I feel very lucky to have two amazing agents and a lovely community here in the Southeast.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actress?

Cait Salvino: I’ve done theatre since I was little and always loved the escape and creativity in being a completely different character on stage. But I did not realize I wanted to pursue acting as a career until a few years ago. I guess I never thought this dream of mine could be a reality. I studied Communications with a focus in Journalism Broadcasting and a minor in Theatre at John Carroll University. One of my professors and mentor to this day, Robert Noll always pointed out to me that being an actress is possible and that my talent is real. He first opened my eyes when I was 22. From there I interned at a talent agency but still thinking being a Sports Broadcaster was more “socially acceptable” at the time. However, it kicked me in the butt when I was working at a Cubs fundraiser in Chicago and interviewed some local celebs. One of the celebs was an actress. After interviewing her, I knew I needed to be in the craft on a different level. Not being the one that shares the work, but being in the work.

SKSM: How did you become involved in That Feeling Dollar Baby film?

Cait Salvino: As soon as I was settled in Nashville, I started submitting for films left and right. That Feeling stood out to me because of Stephen King of course but when I received the audition sides, the writing was excellent. As an actress, that is the most important aspect of the work. When the writing is good and the story is something to tell, then I can do my job better. I can form the story better in my head, which allows me to have more freedom as an artist!

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Cait Salvino: Everyone has trials and tribulations in life. It’s what makes us human. This story expresses the darkness one’s mind can go through when you feel stuck, especially in a relationship. Women need to know that they can be strong enough to let go of people or choices that are unhealthy for them. No one is alone. Every person has struggles.

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Cait Salvino: I auditioned via self tape! And then call backs were a live zoom.

SKSM: You worked with Paul Inman on this film, how was that?

Cait Salvino: Paul is phenomenal. You know a director is so good when he doesn’t tell you how to say a line a certain way but asks “how does that make you feel?” Or “what is going through your mind at this very moment?” He allowed me to have that freedom I mentioned earlier. He’s patient and understanding. He is a director and writer with true authentic passion.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Cait Salvino: I was getting ready for a very emotional scene so I went into a closet and played a song by Billie Eilish. As soon as I was in character and stood off set, our assistant director asked if I was okay? He seemed really worried. Haha That’s when you know you’re doing your job right as an actor in a horror film.

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Cait Salvino: Paul and I are still in touch! And his lovely wife Kim. I stayed at their new house when filming so I definitely loved getting to know them and establishing an authentic relationship with them. They are couple goals! Ian and I also stay in touch. We’re both actors in the Southeast market! Hoping we run into each other soon in Atlanta or New Orleans! And of course, Social media has been the best way to stay connected with the cast and crew. Love seeing my homepage with their personal and professional lives. It was truly a family on set. I felt so welcomed by everyone, especially the Myrtle Beach locals in the film.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Cait Salvino: Auditioning, training, auditioning, and more uhhh more auditioning. It’s a journey in this industry!

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Cait Salvino: Yes, of course!!! Right when I got casted, I started watching so many interviews with him and studied his past work. I learned a lot about his personal life and his skills as a writer. This helped me relate the short story to him and my own life.

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Cait Salvino: Hmmmm… That I trained in a lot more comedy acting, which after watching this film will be pretty surprising for folks! I got this role just months after completing the Acting Conservatory at The Second City in Chicago!

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Cait Salvino: Read, learn, embrace who you are and never stop growing. Oh and embrace your weirdness! Someday it might get you a job!… in a FILM!

He played in Kyle Dunbar‘s Mute Dollar Baby film as The Hitchhiker.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Alexandre Stoupenkov: I am a 27 year old guy who lives in Richmond Hill Ontario, I’ve been working a full time job in the AudioVisual/IT Department at a College in Toronto for the last three years. Before my job in AV/IT, I attended Humber College and studied Film and TV production, even though I am not working day to day in the film industry I am doing my best to not give up my dream of making great films – I’m always writing new scripts, making new drawings, models, props, and acting and directing films when I get the time.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?

Alexandre Stoupenkov: When I was in Kindergarten I was perplexed as to whether I wanted to be a cop or an actor because of all the movies about pólice officers I was watching- mostly including Arnold Schwarzenegger. I knew every line of dialog from every Arnold film, and that’s what was amazing about his work, it got me invested in him, it was Arnold’s ability to be the selling point of every film, whether he was a cop, a special forces guy or pregnant, he was what made people want to see the film. I was lucky to have been able to see a few of his films in theatres before he became governor and he had a big influence on me, not just in terms of acting, but in terms of how to approach life. For a long time when I would play pretend, I would imagine I was Arnold, specifically the Terminator, but I would also like to pretend I was his other characters, in drama class I would enjoy acting and eventually I had a shot at playing the lead character our school play at Lillian Public School. I landed the role: King of Karnika, the villain of the play, to me that was the lead part- afterall, I was the ruler of the kingdom. Ever since then, I have been involved in dramatic peices, everything from musicals, video projects to films project and other expressive media.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Mute Dollar Baby film?

Alexandre Stoupenkov: Kyle had called me and told me he and Rebecca would be adapting a Stephen King story, a Dollar Baby, I was ecstatic for them, then he told me that they wanted me to play the HitchHiker, I was even more pumped. Kyle and I have been working together since we were in High School at King City Secondary – we met in the drama club, or the Drama Hall as we called it, and ever since we’ve been working together, it’s been about 12, going on 13 years.

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Alexandre Stoupenkov: It’s very campfireish, it has a nice slow burn quality to it that we have lost in our films today – today’s films seem to always be keen on showing the typcial tropes at approximately the same time stamps- this story avoids those sort of tropes and absorbs you into Monette’s life and his confession, it takes you on a trip just like the trip he had and we are very close to him- it’s very real and human. The ending is great too and they say a story or film is only as good as its ending

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Alexandre Stoupenkov: I didn’t have to audition for it, the part was more or less written for me. Kyle and I were always fans of the classic Hitckhiker story, namely the “Hitcher” starring Rutger Hauer. We had always wanted to do a Hitchhiker story, and have me as the Hitcher/Hitch Hiker and fortunately “Mute” was the story we would end up doing.

SKSM: You worked with Kyle Dunbar on this film, how was that?

Alexandre Stoupenkov: I wish I was asked that question more often for people to hear my response- Kyle is in my eyes one of the greatest directors I know, if not the greatest. I had not known anything about directing films before I met him, I listened to interviews from James Cameron and Stanley Kubrick- but those guys were very technically oriented and in a way, micro-managers. Kyle showed me an entirely different approach to directing- he showed me that the less you pollute an actor’s head, the more they are able to give you an authentic performance, he also showed me that getting stuck on something because of how perfect you want it to be is never worth it. When Kyle directs, you almost feel like he knows how easily we can get lost in the sauce and he keeps his eye on the ball- charácter motivation and story are key – he has always told me that the most important thing is to write your ideas down (because if you don’t write them, they don’t exist) and to tell your story at all costs, do not get lost in re-doing something until everyone is tired and unmotivated.

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Alexandre Stoupenkov:  Roman Lapshin the Director of Photography and I are childhood Friends, we started making short films together when we were in 8th grade, to this day we pursue our goal of making films and videos. Andrew Bee and I are Friends, we don’t hang out too often but every time I see him on a set, I feel great because he is one of those guys who does this stuff for more than just money or fame and it radiates from him. Rebecca is also a friend of mine, I was introduced through Kyle – we have worked on a few films together, and acted together in a short – “HouseKreeping” – Rebecca is also one of those actors who does it for way more than the money or fame- it’s weird how the best actors are in it to show truth and the human condition rather than to boast themselves.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Alexandre Stoupenkov: I’m working a script for an adventure story, directing a few music videos- editing those music videos – I’m working on a few corporate videos for AV systems at the College I work at as well.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Alexandre Stoupenkov: I’m ashamed to say I’m another modern North American who doesn’t do as much reading as I should- I read a lot of theological and political work but novels and narratives have always been something I have enjoyed writing- I was exposed to great stories and story tellers in high school, our teachers would read us classic books like “The Lord of the Flies”, “Macbeth” and even further back in elementary we were often read stories written by Robert Munsch, who actually visited our school, Lillian PS. At our school we had been given many assignments on storytelling and writing and I fell in love with writing stories and the inspiration that comes with them. My mom and dad however have read countless amounts of Stephen King’s work and would tell me his stories in detail when we’d go on road trips and to restaurants – “The Dark Tower”, “The Stand”, “DreamCatcher” “The Mist” were some I remember. I also was exposed to the film adaptations of his work, although I heard he doesn’t like too many of them and understandably so- when something is designed for one médium and transfered into another, a lot of information and feel is lost. I feel that Mute doesn’t suffer from that as much as other Stephen King adaptations because of how similar it feels to a good book.

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Alexandre Stoupenkov: Although I love filmmaking, I don’t like team sports – for me, physical activity is more enjoyable when not done as a collective – filmmaking however is fun for me because it is a community of people building something together, much like a team sport.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Alexandre Stoupenkov: Thank you for having me – all I can say is – the industry is growing and shrinking at the same time, all the work we see on Netflix may seem like a lot but it’s just the tip of the iceberg, films are much more than just something you should watch when you’re bored or trying to get to sleep – they are art – they are supposed to be introspective and examine the human condition – a lot of mainstream films seek to hammer in a current socio/political idea, rather than to tell a great story – As George Orwell said, “all art is propaganda”. The importance, he went on, is to distinguish between “good” and “bad” propaganda.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Alexandre Stoupenkov: I enjoyed your questions and felt honored to be interviewed, thank you. Hopefully we cross paths again!

She played in Kyle Dunbar‘s Mute Dollar Baby film as Kelsie Ann.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Rebecca Callender: My name is Rebecca Callender and I am an actor and filmmaker from Toronto, Ontario.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actress?

Rebecca Callender: When I was younger I would love to watch the blooper reels at the end of movies like Liar, Liar or There’s Something About Mary. I would find it hilarious seeing these actors break character and laugh, then struggle to keep a straight face, especially if you could also hear crew members off camera laugh as well. It just seemed like so much fun and I remember thinking when I was little: if that’s a job then I want to do that!

SKSM: How did you become involved in Mute Dollar Baby film?

Rebecca Callender: Kyle Dunbar approached me about doing a Dollar Baby, something I knew he had an interest in doing for a while. I remember when we sat down to look at all the Dollar Babies that were available, Mute was the first one we started with. We looked through all the selections to find a story that was both sinister and practical to shoot due to pandemic restrictions. Finally after looking through all the stories, we came back to our very first selection, Mute!

SKSM: You have many titles in the film. Could you talk about your work as a producer and editor?

Rebecca Callender: Producing and editing the film was such a rewarding experience because I got to absorb the story and the characters through multiple scopes. I have a lot of fun finding as many pieces as I can to make the sets or characters look and feel as real possible. I know as an actor how much it helps when you feel the set is almost performing with you. Editing was really cool because once we would film a scene, the next one wouldn’t be for another month, in that time we would be editing the scene we just shot. So each time we would finish shooting, it was like we found all these missing puzzle pieces and it would be so exciting and satisfying to finally place them.

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Rebecca Callender: I think there is something about the word “hitchhiker” that sparks a lot of curiosity. The act of picking up a hitchhiker creates such a specific and rare opportunity for anything to happen: good company, friendship, silence, love, death. And that’s what I like about this story- whether you are reading Mute or watching it, you are constantly wondering what exactly happens with this hitchhiker for this man to end up in a Priest’s home trying to confess.

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Rebecca Callender: I did not have to audition for the role of Kelsie Ann because we knew that her appearance in the film was going to be through the form of a photograph. Once we casted the role of Barbara, we felt there was enough of a visual resemblance for me to pass as her daughter.

SKSM: You worked with Kyle Dunbar on this film, how was that?

Rebecca Callender: Always a pleasure working with Kyle Dunbar. What I love most about working with him is his openness to collaborate, which I feel is so important when making a film. You can really tell that Kyle is doing this because he truly loves telling stories, and I think he has the most fun when telling it with other people. You can really sense the passion and respect that Kyle has for Stephen King and his stories. He would read other King stories and constantly come back and have ideas for Easter eggs to put in Mute (which we did). Making a film with Kyle is the experience it should be: fun.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Rebecca Callender: There were many great moments throughout the making of this film. One of my favourite days in particular was actually the very first thing we did which was the Barbara and Cowboy Bob polaroids. The couple we casted were so great to work with. They already had that wild and playful chemistry that Barb and Cowboy Bob have so we had a really fun time with their scenes.

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Rebecca Callender: I do keep in contact with many of them, some I’m going forward with shooting something very soon. Many of the cast and crew I had worked with in the past, like the actor who plays the Mute, Alexandre Stoupenkov, he and I were in a short film together in 2019. But it was also great to work with people for the first time, like our sound recordist, Dave Murray- he is one of the people I will be working with again very soon!

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Rebecca Callender: I am currently working on some feature screenplays as well as writing more shorts of my own. Kyle Dunbar and I have a few future projects we are wanting to make. I continue to work as an actor but the editing experience I had from this film makes me want to grab as many opportunities as I can as an editor going forward. It is definitely a helpful perspective to have an as actor as well.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Rebecca Callender: Yes I am! He really knows how to get the reader to understand the thought process behind his characters and why they do what they do! In fact it is one of the hardest things about adapting a Stephen King story, there are some things that are best understood through thought and a thought can sometimes be very hard to turn into a visual. Pet Sematary is one of my favourites, along with It, Cujo, and Christine and if given the opportunity to do another Dollar Baby I would love to try L.T.’s Theory of Pets.

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Rebecca Callender: I am really good at Minesweeper!

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Rebecca Callender: Thanks, fellow fans! I appreciate your time and I hope it is well spent watching Mute.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Rebecca Callender: Thank you Óscar for your time and questions. It is a pleasure to be a part of the archives!

He played in Kyle Dunbar‘s Mute Dollar Baby film as Monette.

SKSM: Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

Andrew Bee: Yes, my name is Andrew Bee and I am an actor in Toronto, Canada.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Mute Dollar Baby film?

Andrew Bee: A friend of mine knew that I had done one already (Big Wheels, 2020), and wanted to direct Mute. OF COURSE I SAID YES.

SKSM: What was the most difficult part for you in this film?

Andrew Bee: The most difficult part by far was when Kyle Dunbar (the writer, director) told me he had to cut it from around 28 minutes down to around 22. All that lost dialoge of mine that he had to cut!

What I loved so much was the enormous amount of dialogue that I had to learn.

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Andrew Bee: This is a story about a rather boring man who ends up having a very unique experience with completely unexpected consequences and I feel that this makes it very engaging for an audience.

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Andrew Bee: Kyle and I have known each other for several years and he knew the role was perfect for me. He just sent me his adaptation and I loved it.

SKSM: You worked with Kyle Dunbar on this film, how was that?

Andrew Bee: What I like so much about working with Kyle is that we both have darkness in us and understand each other well.

SKSM: Can you tell us about the filming steps? Funny things that happened so far (Bloopers, etc).

Andrew Bee: Actually, this shoot went extremely well. A great thing for me was the committment of our sound guy, Dave Murray. He crammed himself in the trunk of the car for all the driving scenes to give us the best possible sound. That was amazing.

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Andrew Bee: I am in contact with Kyle a lot.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Andrew Bee: I am filming a role in a feature this August, and prepping another short film.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Something you’d like to tell our readers?

Andrew Bee: Thank you for your support of the Dollar Baby Program. It is such an incredibly generous thing for Stephen King to do and to have a worldwide audience is fantastic for filmmakers.

He is the filmmaker of Mute Dollar Baby film.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Kyle Dunbar: My name is Kyle Dunbar and I am a film director, writer and producer based out of Toronto, Canada.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker?

Kyle Dunbar: Movies had always been in my life from a very young age, Disney and horror in particular. But it wasn’t until I was twelve and saw Snatch by Guy Ritchie, that was when I really wanted to go hands-on and experiment with storytelling.

SKSM: When did you make Mute? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?

Kyle Dunbar: I had signed for the rights to Mute in August 2020. The budget was just over $3,000. We shot it in segments from late September 2020 to early February 2021 in various locations just a couple of hours north of Toronto. We really wanted the places you see in the film to have that “Maine-look” most of his movies have.

SKSM: How come you picked Mute to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?

Kyle Dunbar: I enjoy nearly all of Stephen King’s stories, so it was difficult for me to choose one to make, but I knew I wanted something dark. Mute has that classic hitchhiker tale to it, but with a little more backstory. You give an act of kindness to someone and that person may repay the favour in their own act, but it may not be of “kindness”. I also like the back and forth between storylines, one dealing with the present, the other flashing to the past. The style King chose for this reminded me a lot of one of his Nightshift stories, The Boogeyman, so I wanted to draw some similarities from the Psychiatrist in that story to the Priest in my version of Mute. More of a fan-boy doing than anything.

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?

Kyle Dunbar: I had first heard of the Dollar Baby program when I was in high school. I never made a move on it, but I had always wanted to. I would check up on the Dollar Baby site now and again to see what stories were available since they change from time to time. I remember through college playing with the idea of adapting A Very Tight Place after seeing it was available. I also remember being bummed when it was no longer available, I waited too long. But it remained in the back of my mind to do one. In 2019 I had heard that a friend of mine, Andrew Bee would be acting in the Dollar Baby project, Big Wheels (2020) by Andrew Simpson, and that gave me a huge dose of inspiration to see how they worked with King’s material. So the idea of doing a Dollar Baby was looming more than ever. In summertime of 2020 I had time to catch up on some Stephen King short stories. I didn’t visit many people or have many visitors over the lockdowns, but one of the few visits I did have, a friend of mine randomly brought up the Dollar Baby site. I took this as another message and the time seemed right to make a project since I could reach out to some of the actors and crew I was interested in working with.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Kyle Dunbar: The whole process was special, from sending the dollar to now sending the DVD. I am very fortunate to work alongside Rebecca Callender, Andrew Bee and the cast and crew for giving their time to the project. Even the stressful moments making the film I have to take as part of the process that made the film what it is. I have too many funny moments to recount unfortunately, we’d be here all day!

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?

Kyle Dunbar: I hadn’t considered that many King fans aren’t going to be able to see it. I went into the program knowing that I would be limited on what would be done with the final product. Something like an internet or DVD release would be great. Even someday to have all the Dollar Baby films up for viewing on stephenkingshortmovies.com, maybe! But I am grateful that the film gave the cast and crew an experience, it can make a festival run, and in the end be sent to Stephen King’s collection.

SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?

Kyle Dunbar: Viewers seem to like the slow-burn pace. I have heard it is very unconventional and a throwback to the late 80’s early 90’s horror. To me this is a good review!

SKSM: Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?

Kyle Dunbar: Nothing in particular. I just want to have it seen by as many people as I can. But horror festivals are always a fun time.

SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?

Kyle Dunbar: A humungous fan. For books The Sun DogInsomniaThinner and The Library Policemen. For his shorts there are too many to name. MiseryChristineThe Dead Zone and Stand By Me have got to be his best movie adaptations (I’m leaving Shawshank out, because we all know with that one). And I have a very special place for the original Creepshow (1982).

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)?

Kyle Dunbar: I didn’t have any personal contact with Stephen King, but the DVD is on the way, I hope he enjoys it.

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?

Kyle Dunbar: Give me The Sun Dog! I couldn’t put it down and I think it is his scariest. After I finished it I thought why isn’t this story more well-known? We know of Cujo and Pennywise, but this villain has a lot of potential and I have many ideas where to take those characters. I have also always had an itch to remake Thinner. That also has another great plot and I feel I have an ending in mind that is different than both the book and the movie that was made in 1996.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Kyle Dunbar: An anthology movie is an ongoing brainchild. I am also working on a mixed martial arts inspired horror feature and 2 other screenplays that I would like to make.

SKSM: What one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Kyle Dunbar: I have an obsession with the tv sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Kyle Dunbar: Thank you everyone for taking the time to read the interview. And be sure to check out Mute (2021) wherever and however you can. I hope the fans find it satisfying.
And thank you Óscar for allowing me the time to talk about my version of Muteand for putting together this special community for Stephen King fans and filmmakers.

SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?

Kyle Dunbar: I am always open for collaborations on projects from concept to screen. If anyone has any ideas for features and shorts they would like to workshop, please send them to easysalmonpictures@gmail.com

 

 

She played in L.A. Dubos‘ All That You Love Will Be Carried Away Dollar Baby film as Mauras.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Eszter Ambrózi: My name is Eszter, I’m a 26-year-old Hungarian actress from Vienna. I’m currently juggling a few things: studying acting in Vienna and managing a small team in a bank – so there’s some corporate work that fills out my weekdays but my passion lies in my creative work. I have a podcast and I direct, photograph and model whenever I get the chance.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actress?

Eszter Ambrózi: My mum started taking me to the theatre and the opera at a very young age. I remember the effect a piece had on me, the daze you leave the theatre in. After performing in a play at school for the first time and realising what it felt like to create this magic, I knew this was the only thing that would fulfil me.

SKSM: How did you become involved in All that you love will be carried away Dollar Baby film?

Eszter Ambrózi: Through my friend Dan Cardoso.

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Eszter Ambrózi: I think discovering a persons fascination with something out of the ordinary is always interesting to the viewer. Do we have such strange fascinations we might not even be aware of? Are they also helping us through difficult parts of our lives? What about this gives us comfort? This, mixed in with the story of a man who has lost all hope to go on living and puts his life in the hands of a flashing light makes a tragic and captivating combination.

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Eszter Ambrózi: I had to audition with voice files.

SKSM: You worked with L.A. Dubos on this film, how was that?

Eszter Ambrózi: Very smooth. My part was done remotely, seeing as I am Mauras voice over the phone.

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Eszter Ambrózi: Unfortunately, I didn’t get to know anyone in person – of course I am still in touch with my friend Dan Cardoso.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Eszter Ambrózi: I’m working on some short films and photo shoots this summer but starting fall, I will focus on my studies again.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Eszter Ambrózi: Yes – horror has fascinated me from a very young age and I started reading Stephen King secretly. I am currently listening to “It” as an audiobook and it’s a completely new experience!

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Eszter Ambrózi: I am the mother of 43 house plants on 25 square metres. My goal is to make my apartment resemble a jungle.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Eszter Ambrózi: I love the idea of the Dollar Baby films – I love the fact that young creators get the chance to work on their craft and make such a renowned and fantastic authors stories come to life. I love the audience who watches them and wants to see what the next generation of filmmakers and audiovisual storytellers bring to the table – thank you.

He played in Paul Inman‘s That Feeling Dollar Baby film as Will Shelton.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Ian N. Blanco: My name is Ian Blanco. I’m was born and raised in New Orleans to some of the greatest parents in the world. My Mom is from Mississippi and my Dad, Costa Rica. From an early age I was interested in performance and spent my school years in pursuit of both academic and artistic endeavors. I went to NOCCA arts high school and began training in Musical theater and continued such training at Wright State University in Dayton, OH. I’ve been lucky enough to have spent my entire adult life employed as an actor. I’ve performed in nearly every state and internationally in Europe, China, UAE, and Taiwan. I love being active either on stage or in recreational sports or with simple exercise. I love food, especially canjun and creole. However, Family is what I treasure most. My wife and I met in a production of Grease! and we’ve been performing together up until the Covid 19 shutdown. But in the dark, light can be found. We discovered we were pregnant and now have a beautiful 7 month old baby girl. Being a father has been one of the most fulfilling experiences in my life.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?

Ian N. Blanco: My family raised me on some of those golden age movies with Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. I was always outgoing and performing on my own. Then I had to pick an after school program in kindergarten and went with dance since my brother was already in music. I was cast as a leading role in my first performance and was immediately hooked. My artistic pursuit evolved to musical theater as I wanted more opportunities to perform. So now I’m a Actor, Dancer, Singer!

SKSM: How did you become involved in That Feeling Dollar Baby film?

Ian N. Blanco: My wife and I had recently moved down to Myrtle Beach from New York due to the pandemic and pregnancy to be near her family. I joined Backstage in hopes of finding more film/tv or voice over work as they normally require less time and travel. I wanted to be with my wife and daughter as much as posible. So when I saw a local production, I jumped on the opportunity. Thankfully Paul liked my audition and hired me after the callbacks.

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Ian N. Blanco: It has this great sense of disorentation. It throws you around as you keep revisiting moments in the story. It’s like a thriller mystery as your mind tries to piece the puzzle together.

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Ian N. Blanco: I audtioned for the role. Paul and I hadn’t meet before this production.

SKSM: You worked with Paul Inman on this film, how was that?

Ian N. Blanco: It was great! It was my first time as a lead role in a film. I had fun getting to be front and center for a lot of the ideas around the visuals and scene work. Paul did a great job of listening to everyone. I felt like my opinión mattered even if my idea was turned down because we took time to discuss it.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Ian N. Blanco: We had this one day where we shot on a plane sitting at the airport here in Myrtle Beach. When we got close to the last couple of shots, we started hearing a helicopter. It was a helicopter tour that was stationed right next to the airport. The problem was that it was just a short loop into our audio range as the copter lands that happened every 5-8 mins. Which is a nightmare for audio since the background noise needs to stay consistent througout a scene. After several takes we finally figured out the time and would wait for the copter to land and rush to get the shot. ONe of those things that is so ridiculously frustrating, it becomes funny.

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Ian N. Blanco: I’ve kept tabs with some of the crew through Instagram, but have mostly kept in contact with my costar Cait. We both are pushing into the fim genre and so we’ve sent each other tips and advice as we progress in our careers.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Ian N. Blanco: I’m having fun being a father while finding projects here and there. I got another lead role that filmed in my hometown of New Orleans and have done a few voice over projects. With the U.S. starting to reopen, live theater is coming back and I’m looking to get back on stage after more than year of absence from it.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Ian N. Blanco: I’m not much of a reader to be honest. However, I do love nearly every movie based on his stories and I have done some delving into his meta world that connects all his stories together.

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Ian N. Blanco: I’m not sure it is much of a surprise, but I’m a proud Eagle Scout. I was involved with the scouts up until Hurricane Katrina. After we finally moved back to New Orleans two years later, I just didn’t have time to return to my troop.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Ian N. Blanco: Thank you for supporting projects like these. It allows artists like myself to work and provide wonderful stories for fans like you. I hope you enjoy this production as mush as I enjoyed making it.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Ian N. Blanco: Yeah! My wife was able to get a featured role in the film shortly after birthing our child! She looks amazing!

He is the fillmmaker of The Man Who Loved Flowers Dollar Baby film.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Cameron Grimm: Sure, I am Cameron Grimm. I am the CEO/President of 5 after 5 Studios (formerly 5 After 5 Productions when we filmed “The Man Who Loved Flowers”. I am also the president of our other companies SteelBridge Entertainment and Spook House Entertainment for our Horror/Sci Fi side of house.

I have been in the business for 6 years and “The Man Who Loved Flowers” was our first film back in 2017. I am currently expanding my film making by attending Full Sail University in Digital Cinematography. I do everything from Writing and Directing to Cinematographer. I do all in house post production from editing, color grading, sound design and special effects.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker?

Cameron Grimm: This has always been the dream. Since I was little enough to watch live action film I knew it was a love for me. In 8th grade (we won’t talk about how long ago that was lol) I had a english teacher that really pushed my creative writing. He saw something in me. When “Scream” came out in 1996 it opened up my eyes. I wanted to create and write film like it.

The filmmaker side dream came little after. I use to watch all the behind the scenes on DVDs to asborb everything. Then when I finished my first script it 2000 it was all about how do I make it. 2001 I graduated high school and the world trade center happend in New York City. I enlisted in the US Navy and my film making dream was on hold until I got out in 2006.

SKSM: When did you make The man who loved flowers? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?

Cameron Grimm: So, “The Man Who Loved Flowers’ was filmed in 2017. It was filmed over two weekends in September. Plus an added weekend for B Roll. The production was amazing. We had a great cast and crew that all came to me when they heard I was making it. It didn’t cost a whole lot maybe 500 dollars between some props and food and drink. A lot of companies in Greenfield, IN donated or helped. We got flowers from the flower shop donated. The pizza place offered to feed our cast. The businesses let us film inside what we needed.

We had people sitting on the 3rd story window sills of downtown buildings. There were people that booked patio seats to eat dinner and watch us film. We felt like the biggest thing happening in a long time there.

Now it only took a few weekends to film but what felt like a lifetime to edit it. Why? Because we had to redo it 4 times. Something I learned in film with this. It was a great story but edited in the order of events in the story. It didn’t make sense on film. We redid it 3 times to figure out on the 4th we needed to reshape the timeline of events and edit it in a way to retell the story. I think that is what threw me off on other versions of this story filmed. It doesn’t work in its natural form no matter how good it was written. We changed that. We filmed in September 2017 and finished edit in May of 2018.

SKSM: How come you picked The man who loved flowers to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?

Cameron Grimm: Honestly it wasn’t my first choice. My first choice was “Graduation Afternoon” I loved that story for the normal day that turned into catastophy in NYC. Yet, I didn’t have the special effect knowledge for the destruction of NYC.

2nd choice was “Uncle Otto’s Truck”. I loved that story and setting but we didn’t have access to a truck that I felt was perfect for the story.

“The Man Who Loved Flowers” was number three. I guess they said third time is a charm. I loved the simplicity of the setting but we had to modernize it because it was set in the 70s. I loved the Doctor Jeckyll Mr Hyde character. He is happy and in love and they he is terrifying in the end. A back in forth inside the character.

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?

Cameron Grimm: I have a good friend who is a avid King fan. He has a full bookshelf of just King books all signed. So in different editions. He told me about the rights to his story. I emailed him my love for his work, the story and how we wanted to film it. That we were a company built on volunteers who film for the love and the dream. Week later we had our contract in hand.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Cameron Grimm: Yeah, So we had to find some sidewalk with appeal. Was for the little girl jump roping and for the journey of the young man. We were in front of these houses. I was affraid the owner would come out and yell at us for being near their property.

So the owner comes out and talks to my Executive Producer. He then stands and watches for a bit. I went up to my Executive Producer and was like “Is he mad?

“Nope, he knew what we were doing. He is so excited we chose his house to be in the movie.” Sigh relieved.

There was one other. In the story they play stick ball. They don’t do that here anymore. So we changed it to baseball and used city baseball fields at the park. When my cinematographer and sound arrived they were floored. They thought I would have like 5 kids playing baseball.

No we two full bleachers of extras for fans. We had 2 full teams on the field. We had extra kids warming up outside the diamond and in other diamonds. They couldnt believed we pulled that many people.

Funny thing is we pulled that off mostly in one day, getting that many there.

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?

Cameron Grimm: It’s hard. I understand that things need protected. Yet, if it was good enough for King or his team. Then I don’t see why couldn’t be allowed in some function. No matter how hard it is. The experience, the lessons learned, and the jump start are all well worth it. It jumped started my career. I just left my day job to run my film companies full time now.

SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?

Cameron Grimm: We showed it at one festival a small one in Indianapolis to some good feedback.

SKSM: Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?

Cameron Grimm: We only shown it at the one festival in Indianapolis years ago. Now that its 3 to 4 years old. It’s hard to get in anything now.

SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?

Cameron Grimm: I am of some of his work. My first book of his as a kid was Nightmares and Dreamscapes. My favorite ones of his. I love Rose Red, The Shining (both versions), Under the Dome.

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)?

Cameron Grimm: I hadn’t had any contact with him. That would be awesome though. I really wish I could get his feedback on ours. Just because we had to change the order up to tell the story the best we could. Since it was different, I would love to know if hated it or liked it.

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?

Cameron Grimm: Children of the corn, defintely. There is many reasons. One it’s older and the special effects wasn’t out back then that could be today. Two, I think I have a style that could really tell that story well. Three, there is so much corn here in Indiana. And finally my wife said “No one can make that film good” Challange Accepted lol

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Cameron Grimm: Oh geez a lot. Especially since we own 3 companies in film now.

We are finishing up post production on our first full feature “I Only Want You” It is a christian film but its very dark and tragic.

We have one more weekend of filming our 30 minute short “The Doorman”. A horror suspense which features Lynn Lowry from the 1970s “The Crazies

Then we are in development of a Christmas Film we want on Hallmark. That we were asked if we would be interested in doing a Christmas film. I said Why not lol.

I am also in development of Alien takeover film, a few shorts. We also have been talking to an author that moved her from NYC about developing some books of his. We’re still in discussions on.

SKSM: What one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Cameron Grimm: I spoke earlier about how I went in the Navy. Well I am an 80% disabled veteran and diabetic. Film sometimes is hard for me to move. If I do to much I might tighten up for the next day of film. My love of film doesn’t stop me. I keep moving and fighting through no matter the pain and problems.

Couple weeks ago we did the 48 Hour Film Project. I messed the nerve up in my leg. It was asleep for 12 hours and yet I still hobbled and got what was needed for the film. We made a great film for all the issues.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Cameron Grimm: I love what I do. Passion can drive so many things. Things you never knew would be possible. I thought the King film would be the only thing I would do  when I filmed it. Now its all I do is film and spend time with my family. My wife and 4 kids. I find the balance between both.

SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?

Cameron Grimm: Well, film is hard to reach people. Why we appreciate formats like yours. With rebranding we lost our old pages and began new. We really would love the people do subscribe to our YouTube so we can show all the new content we are soon to put out. Indie Film always needs support from so many people and places.

We’re on most social media sites if you want to find us. Without all the lovers of film out there. We wouldnt be able to do what we do. We do it for all of you.

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