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He is the filmmaker of Rest Stop Dollar Baby film.

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

Cameron Schwartz: My name’s Cameron Schwartz. I live in Atlanta, GA. I’ve been working in the film industry for 13 years, first starting in Los Angeles in 2009, before moving back to Atlanta in 2011. I’m a camera assistant (2nd AC) and have been doing camera for 10 years now.

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

Cameron Schwartz: I think for most filmmakers, their love of movies starts at a young age. And the same goes for me. When I was about 4 or 5, I was obsessed with Rob Reiner’s “Princess Bride.” I would watch it any chance I got. And that goes for the Indiana Jones Trilogy, which I owned on VHS.

Also, I was lucky enough to see Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” when it first premiered in theaters in 1993. For me, I loved the escapism that those movies provided me.

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

Cameron Schwartz: We filmed Rest Stop. July, 2018. We shot at a private school near Chastain Park in Georgia. The actual Rest Area was found by my exceptional Locations Manager Melanie Antos. It was located in Covington, GA.

We originally were slated to complete all of our scenes at the rest area over one night. In hindsight, this was overly optimistic. We had a strict 12 hour limit at the rest area. And given the amount of shots and sequences needed there, including all the establishing shots with the technocrane and the interiors with the aftermath, we made the decision to come back for one more day.

I can’t remember the exact amount, but the film cost around $60,000 to make.

Principal photography lasted five days and then, about a week or two later we came back to the school for some pick-up shots.

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

Cameron Schwartz: I actually picked three dollar babies by Stephen King, but Rest Stop was the one that I felt I could realistically film. I loved the idea that this everyday person could overcome his fear and finally stand up to something. But, with any adaptation from book to screen, you have to flesh out certain parts of the story. And for me, I needed to build a more complete backstory for our character “John Dykstra.” Which is why I added all the scenes with the Dean of the College and John’s competitor “Roger Billings” for the Chair of the Department. In addition to that, I wanted to create a little more conflict for the character of “John Dykstra” along the way so his anger is always building and reaching this boiling point, so when he does flick the switch and become Rick Hardin, it feels warranted.

And I think one of the biggest draws for me in this story is this concept of standing up to bullies. Now, what John Dykstra does in the film takes it a little too far, but, that’s the fictional aspect of it.

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 Schwartz: Well, I had finished filming a short film in 2016 and by 2018, I was searching for ideas for my next one. I had succumbed to writer’s block and was becoming quite frustrated. My girlfriend at the time suggested I look into Stephen King’s Dollar Babies. I had never heard of them before. But as I found his site and read through the stories, my enthusiasm was reinstated. And on top of all of that, the fact that I only had to pay $1 for the rights for a year was something I couldn’t pass on.

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

Cameron Schwartz: I would have to say the most special moment was celebrating my birthday on one of our shooting days. We were at the school filming the Dean scenes. My dad was there, in costume, doing background crosses for the hallway shots. At lunch, unbeknownst to me, my parents had bought a cake and made a very heartfelt speech to the cast and crew talking about how special it was for them and me to be spending my birthday doing what I truly loved.

It was quite memorable.

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

Cameron Schwartz: I haven’t received any bad reviews luckily. One YouTuber did say they were a little disappointed in the change in dialogue at the Rest Stop, but overall thought the film was fun.

I’m sure whoever watches my film will have their own criticisms for how I adapted King’s story. But I think that just comes with the territory of adapting books to film. At the end of the day, as a filmmaker, you just have to stick to your guns and tell the story the way you’d want it told.

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

Cameron Schwartz: The film has made the rounds at smaller festivals and has won various awards.

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

Cameron Schwartz: I know fans will probably hate this, but I’m not a huge King fan. I think I probably saw his movie adaptations before I even discovered his novels. But, I will say, as I grew older, I began reading more of his work, and I enjoyed it very much. I mean, he’s a master, no doubt about it. And I’m lucky enough to have been given the chance to adapt one of his stories.

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 Schwartz: I unfortunately never had any real contact with the master himself. I’m not sure if he’s seen it or not. I really hope he has and I would jump at the opportunity to speak with him and get his thoughts on the film.

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 Schwartz: As of now, I don’t have any plans to shoot any more stories by Stephen King. But, I know there are a lot of adaptations coming our way very soon, and I’m extremely excited about that!

If I had to pick a story to shoot, I would say King’s “Finders Keepers” is an intriguing one. It’s similar in some ways to “Rest Stop” and in others it shares similarities with “Misery,” which is a great novel and an exceptional film.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Cameron Schwartz: I just finished camera assisting on the fourth season of an HBO comic book series called “Doom Patrol.”

And I am currently writing the script for my next short. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will be trying my hand at horror and this one is a full on creature feature.

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

Cameron Schwartz: Well, if viewers of my films pay close attention to my main credits, they will notice that I compose the scores for my films. Starting with my short “The Formula” and continuing to the present, I have written and composed the score to every one of my projects.

Music to me is just as important as the visual, and I’m lucky enough to be able to write the music the way I hear it. Again, looking back on my childhood experiences with movies, the biggest influence is the collaboration between Stephen Spielberg and John Williams. So, my music is always influenced by what John Williams has done for the films of Spielberg and George Lucas for that matter.

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 Schwartz: Well, in Rest Stop, there are Stephen King easter eggs hidden throughout the film. One is the library where our main character has his group meetup. Also, I would suggest listening closely to the radio broadcast that John Dykstra listens to in his car. It may provide clues to another King story.

SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?

Cameron Schwartz: I would just like to say, thank you Oscar for reaching out to me. I think what you’re doing is great and shedding more light on Stephen King’s Dollar Babies is a great thing. I hope more aspiring filmmakers will take advantage of what King is offering because it’s a very rare thing to find in Hollywood.


He is the Producer of David Chien‘s Restare Dollar Baby film.

SKSM: May you introduce yourself to our readers?

A. J. Vargas: Greetings. My name is AJ Vargas. I work in the tv & film production management arena. I enjoy producing short films on the side to fuel my passions as a Producer.

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

A. J. Vargas: I’ve always had a love for cinema since I was a child (movie fanatic here). I always knew I wanted a career in filmmaking even at a young age.

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

A. J. Vargas: The director (David Chien) had placed an ad on a Facebook filmmaking group looking for a Producer to collaborate with for his Stephen King dollar baby short film adaptation of Rest Stop. I’ve been a HUGE Stephen King fan since reading his novels in middle school. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to adapt one of his short stories as a Producer. It definitelty was a bucket list item!

SKSM: Can you tell us about your work in the film?

A. J. Vargas: I was very involved in casting, locations, and production management, making sure David’s vision for this short film adaptation could be achieved.

SKSM: What was it like to work with David Chien on this film?

A.J. Vargas: I had an excellent working relationship with David. He’s a very talented writer / director. We were a great fit the minute we met to discuss his Rest Stop short film adaptation and we were on the same page with everything throughout pre-production and production. It was a true collaborative process and I’m very proud of the work he did on Restare both visually and with our actors.

SKSM: Was there any funny things that happened while filming (Bloopers, etc)?

A. J. Vargas: Oh yes. Here’s a fun behind-the-scenes story. There is a scene in our film that takes place in a hotel hallway. Since we were a very micro budget production we could not afford to shoot at a real hotel. There was some scrambling to figure out where we could shoot that scene. I happened to find a company in downtown Los Angeles that rents out used set flat facades. So we rented two hallway set flats that were used in Warren Beatty’s “Rules Don’t Apply.” I booked a small studio stage in North Hollywood, we assembled the set flats in there and lit / shot our hallway scene. That actually worked out better because we had complete control over the set. It would have been difficult to pull that off if we had shot that scene in a real hotel hallway. That was me putting my Producer thinking cap on 😉

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

A. J. Vargas: I’ve been a Stephen King fan ever since reading his books in middle school. Horror has always been my favorite genre and Stephen King is the crown jewel of horror authors.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

A. J. Vargas: I worked at Marvel Studios for 5 years, managing visual development on their Phase 3 and Phase 4 movies. I’m at a start-up studio these days (Six Studios) developing Raymond E. Feist’s “Riftwar Saga” as a potential live action streaming series. It’s a really great project. Right up my alley.

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

A. J. Vargas: Thanks for the interview. Restare was produced and shot in 2018. The intention was to get it into some film festivals. Unfortanately that didn’t work our for us, I believe a lot of these film festivals weren’t familiar with Stephen King dollar baby short film adaptations. But I never gave up on our film. I was thrilled to get into this year’s Stephen King Rules Dollar Baby Film Festival. It was very rewarding to get that recognition. As for your readers, if any of them have interests in filmmaking, make the time to fuel those passions.



He is the filmmaker of Stationary Bike. Richard Enya story Dollar Baby film.

SKSM: May you introduce yourself to our readers? Who are you and what do you do?

Robert McSweeney: My name is Robert McSweeney, and I am an independent filmmaker.

SKSM: How would you decide that shooting movies was your mission?

Robert McSweeney: When I was a Little kid and MTV came out I seen a AC/DC video and knew that  I wanted to be the guy behind the camera. Well life happened and that dream got puto n hold. Finally at the age of 48 I decided I was going to chase that dream. I enrolled in Full Sail University in the Digital Cinematography program. I had to make a couple school narrative projects and I got the movie making bug.

SKSM: Could you tell our readers the status of Stationary Bike or some updates?

Robert McSweeney: We are almost finished with filming. It will be in post-production August 2022.

SKSM: Who will be involved in this project?

Robert McSweeney: I am staring in this film. I play Richard Enya a pod caster who needs to lose some weight. I am the Director, Set Decorator, Casting, Cinematography, Producer.
Eric Celentano is our Director of Photography and Lead Gaff.
Jordan Hood plays ScarKro a blood thirsty scarecrow.
Jordan Engle plays Bastion the killer clown.
Juanita Merriman plays worker.
Kazket Bound is our composer/score guy.

SKSM: Why did you pick “Stationary Bike” to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?

Robert McSweeney: I choose Stationary Bike because until I learned of the Dollar Baby program I never heard of it.
A lot of the plot takes place in the leads head so it left a lot of room for visuals. Finally I just felt it ya know. As I was listening to the audio book I was envisioning the story and how I wanted to tell.

SKSM: Due to Stephen King uses a lot of internalization in this story. What are the biggest challenges you might have when shooting?

Robert McSweeney: One big challenge I have had is keeping the cast. I have had to recast and rewrite this project three times. I have a solid crew and an amazing unheard-of cast. If you like good old fashion B flicks you will love this.

SKSM: Where would you like the premiere of Stationary Bike film to be?

Robert McSweeney: If I could rub a magic lamp and have it anywhere I would pick the 48 Lounge in New York City

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

Robert McSweeney: I am a huge Stephen King fan. My favorite adaptations are 3) Carrie 2) Pet Cemetary 1) Christine

SKSM: How did you find out that King sold the movie rights to some of his stories for just $1?

Robert McSweeney: I found the Dollar Baby program completely on accident. I was searching for grants for filmmakers in Washington State.

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

Robert McSweeney: I am BBQ pit master, and when I was 18 I was a cook in a 5 star restaurant.

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

Robert McSweeney: I would say if they want to learn the basics go to Full Sail University’s Digital Cinematography online program. That, and that there’s nothing to it but to do it. Don’t let budgets stop you from making content.  The funding will come later.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to our readers?

Robert McSweeney: Thank you for taking the time to read this. I had a lot of fun and hope to do it again




Title: Mute (?) Flag of Australia.svg
Runtime: 25′
Director: Jordan Wilkinson
Cast: Pauline Clayton, Michael Dion, Steve Mack, Declan Nicholls.
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Title: All that you love  (?) Bandera de Estados Unidos
Runtime: ?
Director: Warren Duncan
Script: Warren Duncan
Cast: Michael Albrecht
Web imdb Facebook Twitter Crowdfunding

He is the filmmaker of Garrish Dollar Baby film.

SKSM: Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

A.J. Gribble: Hello, I’m A.J. Gribble and I’m the director of Garrish! Started making films when I was about 14 with an iPod and haven’t stopped since.

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

A.J. Gribble: We made Garrish back in May-June 2019. Honestly, filming only took a few days. It was about a few months after we premiered Cain Rose Up that we started writing and filming. It didn’t cost anything to make it haha! It was filmed on my iPhone 7 with a stabilizer and a few attachable lenses. We just used whatever we could that wouldn’t cost any money and I kinda just pointed and shot then on to the next scene.

SKSM: Garrish is the Cain Rose Up prequel. Why did you film the prequel later?

A.J. Gribble: We didn’t think of making a prequel. We made Cain Rose Up first. After it premiered, I thought about filming an extra scene to add in as a flashback. And the more I talked about it with the lead Natasha Bogutzki, she started thinking of more ideas and that eventually turned into a whole script for a prequel film. So after we wrote it after only like 3 days we just went out and filmed! It just sort of… happened haha!!

SKSM: How the casting process went?

A.J. Gribble: The casting was really easy. It was just a mix of actors that Natasha knew from the plays that she’s done and people I knew and it was really easy.

SKSM: How did you get the permission to film in a real college?

A.J. Gribble: I’m apart of the radio station at King’s College. The station manager Sue Henry, helped me get permission to film and King’s was really supportive of the movie being filmed there.

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

A.J. Gribble: Oh man… Lights always going out during a scene. Too many cars passing by in the background and ruining a take. Filming after a huge storm in a cemetery is not fun! Also just me tripping with the camera in my hand… I never claimed to be the best filmmaker out there!

One thing I would love to tell is about a member of the cast, Joe Blizman. We filmed with him for the dinner scene for only a few hours. It was his first time acting, he’s always wanted to do it and he was so excited and nervous. He was so proud after it was over and even made a blog post about it and was… just so excited. And then a few days after we filmed with him, he died. It was just so sudden and heartbreaking. He’ll live forever through this movie and he’ll always be remembered.

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

A.J. Gribble: There’s been a lot of good reviews for this film. It premiered at the Stephen King Rules film festival last year and that was a lot of fun! A lot of talented filmmakers and people at that festival. When Garrish premiered on the second day, a lot of people in the chat seemed to really liked it and get into it! So I was really happy to see that. A lot of people praising my directing, writing, Natasha’s acting and and then rest of the cast. The score of the film by OneManStanding. Just… everything that I worked hard on, they praised and I’m forever grateful.

Of course, there was a good amount of not so good reviews out there. And because I don’t have that much confidence in myself, I need to look at the bad criticisms to humble myself and see what I can do to improve.

SKSM: What’s the next to A.J. Gribble?

A.J. Gribble: What’s next for me?…. That’s the big question, isn’t it? Haha! Finishing up a script at the moment and hoping to start filming this summer! It’s very different to what I’ve done already so I’m excited.

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

A.J. Gribble: Thank you for having me back! This was fun. To the fans… keep on supporting indie filmmaking! It’s such a big and great community and everyone appreciates it when you take the time to watch their movies and talk with them about it. It means a lot, especially to me. Keep on rocking!