Lights. . . Cameras . . . BAG OF BONES!

Dread Central has posted some great news: Bag Of Bones begins filming in Nova Scotia July 6th, 2011 and will continue through to August 31, 2011.  But pre-production stated today!  At the helm is director Mick Garris, who has filmed several other King projects.  http://www.dreadcentral.com/news/44744/stephen-kings-bag-bones-begins-filming-july
I am excited that this will be a mini-series, as if gives King's work room to breath.  However, I hope it maintains a little more energy than Desperation did.

Shawshank: Make it a vacation!

Bob Downing, writing for Akron Beacon Journal, has an interesting article about the shooting locations for the Shawshank Redemption.  No, it was not filmed in Maine!  Try. . . Mansfield, Ohio.

Downing reveals, "If you're looking for a movie-themed last minute road trip this Memorial Day weekend, the Shawshank Trail, with 12 stops in three counties, might be just the ticket. The drive-it-yourself Hollywood tour, mostly around Mansfield in Richland County — some three hours from Detroit — celebrates the 1994 film "The Shawshank Redemption" with Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. It has its own website, brochure, map and special offers for visitors."

The notes in this article are great.  Want to see the tree where the letter was hidden?  You can pay it a visit. . . only it's on private property!  And what about the prison itself?  Yep!  You can visit there, too! 

Downing explains, "The Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society offers Sunday afternoon tours. . . . The Hollywood tour includes a peek at Dufresne's tunnel, which is two feet in diameter. The sewage Dufresne crawled through in the film was concocted from chocolate syrup, sawdust and water.  You can also see the warden's office and the carving on the ceiling that reads "Brooks was here. So was Red."

And I was wondering where to spend my summer vacation!

This is under the heading: "If You Go"



The Shawshank Trail
Mansfield & Richland County Convention & Visitors Bureau
124 N. Main St., Mansfield, Ohio 44902
(419) 525-1300 or (800) 642-8282; www.mansfieldtourism.com/shawshank


Ohio State Reformatory
100 Reformatory Road, Mansfield, Ohio 44905
Tickets for the Sunday and weekday tours are $8 for adults and $6 for children 7 to 17.
(419) 522-2644; www.mrps.org or www.mansfieldtourism.com.

Malabar Farm
4050 Bromfield Road, Lucas, Ohio 44843
Tour fee is $4 for adults, $3.60 for 55 and older and $2 for students 6 through 18.

The Full Article Is Here:


http://www.detnews.com/article/20110528/LIFESTYLE07/105280303/1034/ENT/Fans-can-escape-to-Shawshank

1978 The Stand Journal 9: Welcome Edgar Allan Poe To The World Of The Stand!


King's love for Edgar Allan Poe can be spotted in a lot of his work (follow the tag at the end of this post for more).  The theme of revenge in Dolan's Cadllic is quite reminiscent of “The Cask of Amontillado."  King honored Poe's short story The Tell Tale Heart with his short story The Old Dudes Ticker.

Note these similarities between the Cask of Amontillado and Dolan's Cadillac:

1. Both are stories of revenge.
2. Both use the idea of being buried alive. Dolan in his car, Fortunato is buried in the wall.
3. Both are told in the first person.
4. Both Dolan and Fortunato die very slowly.
5. Both Fortunato and Dolan have similiar pleas:

Poe writes:  “For the love of God, Montresor!”  "Yes”, I said, “for the love of God!”
King writes:  “For the love of God!” he shrieked. “For the love of God, Robinson!”  “Yes,” I said, smiling. “For the love of God.”


Welcome Edgar Allan Poe To THE STAND:

In the scenes when The Judge is making his way toward Las Vegas, he encounters some a crow.  The lines about the crow are direct references to Poe's The Raven.

Here's some snapshots from The Stand, chapter 51,
Tap tap tap on the window . . .
Tap tap Tap like the raven that had flown in to roost on the bust of Pallas.
Will I get any idea what chinks there might be in the dark man's armor?  Nevermore.
Will I get back safe?
nevermore.
tap, tape, tap. 
  • Like The Raven, the judge is very lonely.  The lonely man in the Raven is filled with sorrow for his lost Lenore.  The judge misses The Freezone.  In fact, he is so lonely, he compares himself to Cain, outcast by God.
  • The lonely man in The Raven distracts his mind with books.  As the Judge rests, he occupies his mind by reading.
  • The lonely man is interrupted by a "tapping."  As cited above, the King section of The Stand is blocked by "tapping" both at the beginning and the end of the section.
  • Both men are interrupted by a bird: A Raven / A Crow.  Crows in King's work represent omens.
  • The raven perched on the bust of Pallas.  That is the goddess of wisdom in Greek mythology.  King writes: "Tap tap tap like the raven that had flown in to roost on the bust of Pallas."  (p.629, pb)
  • When the lonely man asks the name of the Raven, it answers "Nevermore."  The same line repeated several times to The Judge.
  • The lonely man understands that the bird does not speak for wisdom, but has been taught "by some unhappy master."  Likewise, The Crow is not a crow, but the Dark Man!
  • My mom noted that the meter of this section matches Poe's as well.
Read The Raven here: http://www.heise.de/ix/raven/Literature/Lore/TheRaven.html

Jason Sacks Review: One For The Road



I was unaware this book existed until i read Jason Sacks' review!  It is an illustrated short story: One For The Road.  Sacks writes: The book isn't quite comics; it’s illustrated fiction with the text of the story appearing on one page and the art appearing on the opposite page. In that way, this story avoids one of the great flaws that many adaptations of King's work share: that readers don't get to enjoy King's evocative and entertaining phrasing.


He also notes, "King's work has always been well known for its verisimilitude with the writer’s wonderful ability to capture the colloquial way that people actually speak. That realism is ideal for this story, as it's told by a small-town bartender in an out-of-a-way bar on the night of a horrific blizzard. If the book had been done as an adaptation of King's work rather than as a prose-and-pictures presentation, readers would simply not be able to enjoy the dialectical realism of King's narrative."


Full review here: http://www.comicsbulletin.com/reviews/130633411553584.htm

NEWS: I AM THE DOORWAY

Mark Mcfarlane, who is doing "I AM THE DOORWAY" had some really exciting news.  The adaptation was orginally supposed to be a "short" . . . but a big change is under way.  Mark is now reworking the script to make it a feature film!  Mark says, "As of now it is being developed as a feature film!"

What's that mean to us?  Two things:
1. The project is getting bigger.
2. As Mark says, "audiences may have to wait a bit longer to see it."

We can't wait!

Howard: The Dark Tower Is Moving Forward


EW has posted an interview with Ron Howard, which includes some Dark Tower news.  Howard says, "“We had to pull back to our September start date due to budget delays and ongoing story development and logistical issues, but Dark Tower is moving forward." 

Good to know!  He says that they should start in Spring, and then Howard drops this strange news -- " I can’t really say who’ll be in it yet, but Javier Bardem has shown a great deal of interest."  A great deal of interest?  I thought they had signed him.  I guess I thought this was all more cemented than it appears to be.

http://insidemovies.ew.com/2011/05/24/ron-howard-dark-tower/

Joe Hill Movie: Twittering From The Circus Of The Dead



This story looks totally awesome!  "Twittering From The Circus of The Dead" is a short story by Joe Hill.  What's unique about the story is that it is written entirely as tweets from a teenage girl.  The story trails a family on a cross country trip that goes "horribly wrong."  Of course, any of us who took family vacations as kids already know. . . they ALL go horribly wrong!

 Hollywoodreporter says that Mandalay has picked up the film rights to Twittering from the Circus of the Dead. "The company is moving fast putting the creative pieces together, tapping Chris Borrelli to write the adaptation and is in negotiations with Todd Lincoln to direct."



http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/mandalay-picks-up-rights-joe-191102?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+thr%2Ffilm+%28The+Hollywood+Reporter+-+Movies%29

Covers for CD IT

This is from Lilja's Library -- easily the best Stephen King website on earth.  These are pictures of the gift, limited and lettered editions of the CD IT.  http://www.liljas-library.com/


IT Cemetery Dance Special Edition


How exciting is this!  25 years after IT was first released, Cemetery Dance is issuing a special edition.  Not only that, it will sport new artwork and a new afterword by Stephen King. 

This is from Cemetery Dance. 

It: The 25th Anniversary Special Limited Edition


Featuring a brand new afterword by Stephen King, full-color wrap-around color artwork by Glen Orbik, and nearly thirty original color and black & white interior illustrations by Alan M. Clark and Erin Wells!


IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR COLLECTORS:
Now that we've had a chance to look at the orders, the Deluxe Lettered Edition sold out within 25 minutes of being announced. Thank you for your interest in this special edition!


About this Deluxe Special Edition:
Cemetery Dance Publications is very pleased to announce our Special Deluxe Limited Edition of Stephen King's classic novel It, which he calls his "final exam on Famous Monsters" in his brand new afterword to this oversized special edition!


This is easily the biggest, most lavish production Cemetery Dance Publications has ever undertaken. Glen Orbik painted the gorgeous wrap-around cover artwork, Alan M. Clark and Erin Wells created nearly thirty exclusive interior illustrations including black & white drawings and color paintings, and we hired the designer of the Limited Editions of The Secretary of Dreams, Blockade Billy, Riding the Bullet, and Full Dark, No Stars to create a unique interior design unlike any book we've ever published!


This fine collectible volume will be available in three states this fall, all of them printed in two colors and bound in fine materials that go beyond the scope and quality of our other much-acclaimed Stephen King special editions. Already deep in production, the exclusive Cemetery Dance Special Limited Edition of It by Stephen King will be the perfect addition to any collection. We expect strong demand for this collectible given the popularity of the novel, so don't wait to place your order or you might miss out!


Special Features Exclusive to this Collector's Edition:


• brand new afterword by Stephen King detailing why he wrote the book
• deluxe oversized design (7 inches X 10 inches) featuring two color interior printing
• epic wrap-around full color cover artwork by Glen Orbik
• nearly thirty pieces of color and black & white interior artwork by Alan M. Clark and Erin Wells
• interior color artwork will be printed on a high-quality glossy stock and tipped into the book
• high-quality embossed endpapers and fine bindings for all three editions
• full-color signature sheets with exclusive color artwork in the signed editions
• a page count so high it pushes the limits of our printer — easily our largest book ever!
• extremely collectible print run that is a tiny fraction of the MILLIONS of copies of this novel you've seen in bookstores over the last 25 years — and you will NOT find our edition in chain bookstores!

Lohan Reacts to King Comment


With news of a Carrie Remake (again), Stephen King quipped that it would be fun to cast.  He sarcastically suggested that Lindsay Lohan would be a good pic.  Well. . . word got back to Lindsay!  And according to TMZ, Lohan "is a big fan of King's work."

TMZ says that their sources report she was "stoked when she heard king mention her name and thinks working with king would be epic."  But she'd really like a role in. . . the Dark Tower!

http://www.tmz.com/2011/05/23/lindsay-lohan-carrie-stephen-king-remake-film/

Is Radio An Overlooked Medium?



I have previously detailed a few of Stephen King's work that has been adapted to radio.  I love that format!  Did you know that the Martian Chronicles was originally done as a series of radio plays, long before it became a mini series.

Know what would be cool. . . a Stephen King radio playhouse.  Consider:

1. Everything is scarier on the radio.  Just listen to "Lights out everybody."
2. Radio can take you more places on a cheaper budget.
3. Radio drama's often go on and on for many episodes.  They are not locked in to a single episode.
4. Stars on the radio don't demand a trillion dollars.

Just suggesting that with all the Dark Tower drama about budget -- maybe there is another (better) format that had been largely overlooked in the Stephen King universe.  Hard to do a modern story on the radio?  Did you know that Lucas put all three of the true Star Wars movies to radio?  Yep!  And the first one was something like six hours!  It is great.

Radio doesn't cut out any other medium.  But it does open the door to some greater creativity.  Frankly, I would love to travel with Larry Underwood through the Lincoln tunnel on radio.  Now that would be scary.  It just can't be done visually -- but I'll bet it can be done as a radio play. 

Imagine Christine as a radio drama.  All that music in the background!  Car sounds.  You'll get to know the sound of Christine's engine quickly.

Even though radio drama's don't really play so much on. . . radio. . . that should not shut out the format.  In fact, with mp3, I listen to more radio now than ever.  It is a format that Dickens' works have been well represented. 

Works already in radio format: Misery, Pet Sematary, The Mist 3D sound.

For a fuller treatment of the subject, see my earlier article.  http://talkstephenking.blogspot.com/2010/02/stephen-king-radio-dramas.html

May 21 2011 End Of The World


I Belive Time Has An End. . . Just Not Today

Today is the day!  Harold Camping has announced that the end of the world is. . . well, about 3 hours ago.  According to Camping, there was supposed to be a super big earthquake in New Zealand that would start rock and rolling across planet earth and arrive at California at 6pm PST.  It's good when God operates on Pacific Standard Time, isn't it? 

Camping is a false prophet.  I'm a evangelical, Bible believing follower of Jesus.  Yes, I believe in The Second Coming and a final judgment.  I suspect the world will not end today.  In fact, on any other day, I would say, "Maybe."  But today, I imagine the Lord will let Mr. Camping sweat. 

For sincere believers, Camping is an irritation. The Bible says that if someone falsely makes a prophecy in the name of the Lord, they should be stoned (the old fashioned way!).  I think Mr. Camping will be hiding in doors quite a bit in the days to come.

YO!  What I really like is that false prophet Camping thinks God needs HIM to do an advertising campaign for the Parousia (visible coming of Christ).  Camping has T-Shirts, buttons -- I ordered my own "free" bumper stickers.  But, they never came.  I was bummed.  My fine collection of heresy will have to do without. 

I read this (and like it) --
 St. Francis of Assisi, while hoeing in his garden, was once reportedly asked what he would do if he knew that Christ was coming back that very day.  He answered, “I’d keep right on hoeing.” So, it stands to reason, he would probably be hoeing today.


End Of The World Movies

I was interested in a news article that cited several "End of the World" movies.  I realized. . . I like end of the world movies.  Funny thing, this article didn't catch The Stand. 

Here are a few favorite SK End of the World stories:


  • The Stand.  Plagues -- the Darkman (sometimes actually called the anti-Christ) -- this is heavy duty.
  • Maximum Overdrive.  Earth passes through a comet, and now our cars are angry with us.  Blenders are also on the slightly upset side.
  • The Dark Tower.  Come on, you know this story is really about the end of days, right?  If the Tower falls. . .
  • Cell.  Don't answer that phone, or you may discover you have a strange craving for human flesh.
  • The Mist.  The movie makes this less mysterious, but in the novel it seems possible that the entire world has been covered in the eerie mist.
Not SK End of the World Movies I Like:


  • Deep Impact.  My favorite of the "something big is going to hit earth" movies.  Only, it backs down from its own idea.  As if the movie scared itself!  Original idea: A huge comet will hit earth.  Humans will survive underground in an elaborate cave system called "The Ark."  But, instead, just a little comet hits, and so people just climb up into the hills to survive.  Ahhh, if only surviving the end of days were so easy.  But still, it's a good movie.
  • ID4 (Independence Day).  This movie is great!  I mean, really great.  The president flys a fighter against an alien invasion force.  The real gem is Will Smith chewing out the alien corpse as he drags him through the Grand Canyon.
  • Mars Attacks.  I went to the theater thinking this was a serious film.  I was really bummed it was so campy (Camping).  But now it's one of those movies I love.  Root for the bad guys, it's more fun. 
  • The Martian Chronicles.  This one is the big one!  Ray Bradbury actually lets earth have it.  I mean, KA-BOOM!  The mini-series was scripted by Richard Matheson, and though slow at points, I find it a lot of fun.  This story gives the end of the world a unique twist.  Humans travel to Mars, accidentally kill all the Martians.  Humans begin to colonize Mars, but the project never gets beyond the initial phases before earth blows itself up!  Thus, humanities future lies on Mars.  It's good stuff, trust me.
  • War of the Worlds.  Seems Mars has a big role in the end of the world, doesn't it?  We should nuke them first -- preemptive strike.  I like the classic version.  I am not a fan of H.G. Wells writing.  But that old movie was great!  End of the world?  Yep, it's there!  My favorite scene is the guys standing in front of the spaceship waving a white flag.  "Everyone knows the white flag," they reason.  Now, the new one is okay, but it's hard to stomach Tom Cruise -- and that girl screams through the entire movie.
  • Day After Tomorrow.  Who can't enjoy a movie where global warming leads to huge storms, snow and ice?  It was called "Global WARMING" right? 
  • The Matrix.  This movie has a wonderful moment in it when you realize that the world you see is not the world that is!  The world as we know it ended, and lives on only in group imagination. 
  • I Am Legend.  This movie is based on a short novel by Richard Matheson. 
  • The Walking Dead.
I just can't swallow Armageddon.  Sorry.  I find myself asking: Why did they put guns on the space module?  Also not a big fan of 2012.  Honestly, I didn't really understand most of it.  I'm the kid in the back of the class, "Excuse me. . . I don't get it." Also worthy of mention is The Core -- But, it's not worthy of much mention!  Does Walle count as end of the world?  I don't even know if it counts as a real movie.

I have not seen: Reign of Fire, Left Behind, End of Days, 12 Monkeys, Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later, The Children of Men (but it looks cool).

Books that never became movies, I offer just one: Swan Song.  Hey, where's the Swan Song movie?  Man!  Carrie is on remake #4, and we still don't have a Swan Song movie?

By the way -- CDC (Center For Disease Control) is saying we should be prepared for Zombies.  Shouldn't they be worrying about things like -- disease? The primary concern with Zombies is not disease, it's being eaten!  Certainly you don't want to french kiss a zombie, but when encountering one, your primary concern is not disease -- it's "can I run faster than this thing?"  Do these people drink Kool aid with Mr. Camping? 
I'm sure I forgot A LOT. . . so go ahead, what end of the world movies / books / TV shows do you love?

Carrie Fun To Cast

Stephen King recently said that though he doesn't see the reason for a new Carrie movie, it would be "fun to cast."  His suggestion for Carrie White -- how about Lindsay Lohan?  (I assume he's wanting her to play Carrie.  She seems more like Sue Snell to me).

Freakingnews.com has another suggestion. . . Britney.  Once again, I must say that Carrie has way too much class for Britney, either.


http://www.freakingnews.com/Britney-Carrie-by-Stephen-King-Pictures-39004.asp

King Talks To EW About CARRIE Remake


EW has a great quote from King about news of the Carrie remake.  Like all of us, I think he's left scratching his head as to why such a project is necessary.  In fact, he says the movie was better than the book! 

King says, “I’ve heard rumblings about a Carrie remake, as I have about The Stand and It. Who knows if it will happen? The real question is why, when the original was so good? I mean, not Casablanca, or anything, but a really good horror-suspense film, much better than the book. Piper Laurie really got her teeth into the bad-mom thing."

And then there's this wonderful gem: "Although Lindsay Lohan as Carrie White… hmmm. It would certainly be fun to cast.”


http://insidemovies.ew.com/2011/05/20/stephen-king-carrie-remake/

Eric Balfour Talks Haven Season 2


Here's a long -- and interesting -- interview with Eric Balfour (from collider.com).  He's been a busy boy!  While talking season two of Haven, he is asked if he would like to direct.  Answer is, he'd love to!  But, the rules is the show has to use Canadian actors.

Balfour promises that Duke will discover a love interest in season two.  He also says that his character will not be quite as confident as we're used to.  Balfour promises a character who "really pushes Duke's buttons. . ."  I can't wait!

Balfour says, "I’m just hopeful that the second season improves on what we did in the first season, but you never really know until it’s all said and done, and on the screen."  Yes!

Check out the full interview here: http://collider.com/eric-balfour-interview-do-not-disturb-haven/91593/

It's Carrie -- Again


Remember at the end of Carrie a hand reached up from the grave?  It was just a dream, right?  Well, maybe Carrie just isn't dead yet!

Hollywood Reporter offers this news: "MGM and Screen Gems are partnering up for the new take on the Stephen King book and have hired Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to pen the new script."

Of course, Carrie was brought to screen in 1979.  Then there was Rage, Carrie 2.  Then there was the Carrie miniseries, which I liked a lot.  But, in case the story hasn't already been told. . . why not!  Another carrie.  Great. 

So, it scores up like this:
                       Carrie: 4               Dark Tower: 0


http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/

Painting: Stephen King Before He Writes

I find this painting hilarious!  Wonderful and very creative.


the caption reads: This is what I imagine he looks like right before he seizes upon an idea for a new horror novel.

http://www.galleryoftheabsurd.com/2011/05/a-portrait-of-stephen-king.html

Pictures Of FDNS Alternate Covers

Here are 3 pictures of the alternate covers Cemetery Dance considered for Full Dak No Stars.  Used with permission from CD.  The ariticle they have with this is great.  See all of the pictures, and the article here: http://www.cemeterydance.com/extras/full-dark-no-stars-covers/

I like the above cover a lot!  Look at the blood coming out of the suitcase.


Reader 19: Review of Herman Wouk Is Still Alive



Look what landed in my mailbox today! I think reader 19 has been reading too much Hard Case Crime. Anyway, here's the review -- from whatever smoke filled office this dude typed it up in. Hey, Reader 19 -- get a computer!  

Review: Herman Woulk Is still Alive

by Reader 19


Holy guacamole – I’ll tell you this – Stephen King’s short story gripped me as tight as my great aunt Thelma used to at our annual family reunion. Nearly gave me a bloody nose.


The story centers on two women, Brenda and Jasmine. They're the type you can find at any laundry mat in America. These poor souls have seven children between them and the combined parenting skills of Alvin Marsh from IT.


Brenda is the big winner of the lottery – the good variety of lottery, not the Shirley Jackson kind. It’s not a humongous pay out, though – nothing that will make Trump jealous. Now, our not so big lotto winners head out on a road trip. These are just the kind of people you want to go on a long trip with.


Now, hold on to your britches, the story does have wings! But I'm not going to tell you how it takes flight.  Just know that there's a road trip and there's a couple of old poets . . . and the two come together as nicely as Clark Gable ad Vivian Leigh did in Gone with the Wind.  Glory Hallelujah, sparks will fly!  If you haven't read the government literature about drinking and driving, this little bed time story from Mr. King might do the trick.


Because Stephen King has the power of time travel, he has already told the reader what’s going to happen. Sorta makes you want to flick them on the page as you read – yell: “Don’t go, moron’s!”


So what does any of this have to do with Mr. Herman Woulk? Hey, brother, lose lips sink ships. Do your own reading. This story is more twisted at the end than a six flags roller coaster. Read the story, it’s totally messed up and you’ll probably like it. If you don’t, mail your copy to Herman Woulk – he’s still alive, ya know?


Talk Stephen King acknowledges that this review told you almost nothing. Reader 19 will be banished to the wastelands.

The Red Leather Letter

This is interesting!

Peter Hansen wrote to tell me about a letter is rumored to appear in some of the red leather editions of King's books.  Hansen explains:

I'm an avid collector of Stephen King, with a bunch of rare items, a collection growing quite often. However, some items that are not so easy to get hold on, is a one-page letter by King, put in some of the red leather SK Library books. It's titled From the Desk of Stephen King and is from 1998. Do you have that letter in one of your books?


I do have a scan of a four-page letter titled A Note from Stephen King. There is also rumors of a third letter titled Welcome to the Library from about 1990 or so. It could be a mis-title or an early title for one of the above letters; or it's own stand-alone letter.
 
If anyone has one of these letters, please contact me (davidattalkstephenking@yahoo.com).  A scan of the letter Hansen has access to is posted below.  It is very readable if you click on the image.
 

Alternate Covers For Full Dark

I love Cemetery Dance!  They might be the coolest publisher on the planet.  Because they're not a big giant monster publisher, they are very fan friendly.  An email today from Cemetery Dance discussed the alternate designs for the cover of the special edition of Full Dark No Stars.

So how does a publisher choose a book cover?  Well, for Cemetery Dance, it's a labor of love!

Cemetery Dance writes: A lot of collectors never get to see "behind the scenes" of the creation of a Limited Edition book, so Cemetery Dance Managing Editor Brian James Freeman thought it would be fun to discuss how the cover artwork and design for our most recent Stephen King book came to be.


Right now you can view EIGHT different drafts of the cover artwork by Tomislav Tikulin, along with the dozens of cover design options we considered, and also read some details about how the process worked in Brian's new post on our website: The Full Dark, No Stars Covers That Might Have Been.

Check it out here: http://www.cemeterydance.com/extras/full-dark-no-stars-covers/

Strange Maine on the air



I really like the Strange Maine blog.  They give some great insights to Stephen King territory.  Tonight (10-11pm) Michelle Souliere will be interviewed on WMPG, 90.9 FM and 104.1 FM.

Michelle writes, "The Who knows what will surface? The show customarily features a mix of soundtracks, novelties, spoken word, experimental, and instrumentals from all genres, especially jazz, surf, and r&b, but the Strange Maine interview show creates a neat hybrid of these elements with extensive interview segments interspersed. Nifty dandy!!!"  Nifty dandy indeed, Michelle!

For those of us not in the Portland area, listen online here: http://wmpg.org/include/listenlive.htm

Check out the Strange Maine blog, http://strangemaine.blogspot.com/2011/05/tonight-strange-maine-on-wmpg.html

Warning: Stephen King might be scary

Picture: http://www.herdaily.com/blogimg/parenting/scared%20child.jpg



Books by American novelist Stephen King are leaving some Western Bay children and teenagers traumatised, fearing death and in need of intensive therapy."

Really!  So Stephen King is scary.  That's news worthy.  But says who?  What is his authority on this?  Well, he does have a source.  Try child psychotherapist Augustina Driessen.  She has treated "at least five young people, aged 12 to 18, who had become withdrawn, anxious and fearful they were going to die after reading King's horror stories." 

Symptoms?  Sure there are symptoms.  Driessen cites the following: "It causes a lot of anxiety, fear and traumatises them.  They were absolutely scared that they were going to die now so they needed intensive therapy and their whole mind was just consumed with it."

Wait, the symptoms get more specific: "Some young people became withdrawn, didn't do their homework or were refusing to attend school."  Jeez-a-loo! (as Frank Barone would say)  Where was Stephen King when I was a teen?  Oh yeah -- He was in my school backpack!  I didn't think of using a fear induced state induced by Stephen King to stay home.

How did this intense fear get discovered?  Driessen explains: "When their parents sat them down to discuss what was wrong, their fears emerged.  -- It would come out in a crying session, 'I'm so scared, I'm scared I'm going to die'."

From there the article delves into the true depths of the story -- interviewing librarians and book store keepers about the appropriateness of "children" reading Stephen King. 

Now note:

1. Driessen doesn't say what King books the children were reading.  But I really super duper do appreciate her letting us know that Stephen King is scary.

2. All reported cases were patients of Augustina Driessen.  No other doctor is cited. No other cases are referred to. So kids in New York, California, London aren't freaking out.  Just New Zealand.  Just this town.  Just this doctor.  But the journalist doesn't once say, "Well, how come psychotherapist all over the world aren't reporting the same thing?"  The fact that not a single secondary source (someone with a Dr. before their name) is cited is telling, ain't it?  Now I'm not really saying anything at all about Driessen; she has to address what comes up in counceling.  I am asking why a reporter wouldn't call around and say ask other professionals if they are seeing the same thing. 

3. Did you catch the ages of these "children"?  12-18.  That's junior high and high schoolers!  That's the age I started reading King!  I mean, no kidding, my eight year old doesn't read The Shining.  But I was a young teen when I read The Stand.

4. It's not like Stephen King is the new boy in town.  If King is so dangerous for young people, and especially his older stuff (as one person in the article is cited) -- then shouldn't children have been getting "traumatized" for years?  Shouldn't teenagers have been staying home for years, missing school, ditching.  . . . WAIT A MINUTE!  That's the reason we all missed our senior year of High School!  It was King's fault!  Someone call Farris Beuller quick.  "Mom, I can't go to school today.  I'm scared of Zombies and Vampires.  I think I'll stay home, in my room, where it's nice and dark, and I'm surrounded by these Stephen King books."


Well, with this alarming bit of information (minus a second opinion), McPherson marched right over to King's New Zealand publisher.  The unstated question is: Why isn't the publisher warning people that Stephen King is scary?  Imagine this guys wide eyed stare.  Finally, the publisher responds, "It's really up to the people who control the children.-- While we're certainly responsible for what we put in the market, and we don't knowingly put material into the market that will damage people, we can't be trying to control exactly who gets to it.

The publisher then says that in his thirty years of publishing, he is "not aware of a single writer in a general genre being singled out in such a manner."  And then he says this, "Unless it was for a particular reason, so I'm surprised -- I think it just comes out of nowhere this kind of comment."

See!  It does come out of no where, doesn't it!  Five cases, all in the same country, all to the same psychotherapist.

So, I hope this helps.  There might soon be a world wide panic of "children" (16 year olds) skipping school because of Stephen King.  Oh, and you should get the memo: Stephen King sometimes writes scary stuff. 

http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz/local/news/horror-tales-trigger-trauma/3951847/

Dark Tower start date pushed to February

Deadline reports that Universal has pushed filming of the Dark Tower to February.  This is to help them get the budget under control -- presumably so that the script can be rewritten.  Deadline explain that Universal is under the gun, since it must "must greenlight the film by July, or the rights revert back to the author and the filmmakers." 

http://www.deadline.com/2011/05/universal-pushes-dark-tower-attempts-to-trim-budget/

The Dark Tower gets a budget cut



Last week we got reports that Universal was having stomach problems over The Dark Tower.  The problem?  Money. 

The news is posted below from Hollywood Reporter; first let me rant -- I'll feel better.  The sad thing is that Universal knows that Stephen King fans will line up to see whatever they throw up on the screen.  They don't have to give us anything along the lines of Lord of the Rings.  They can hand out some Ed Wood level stuff, and we'll all go pay $10 each to see it.  There.  I feel better. 

Here's what Hollywood Reporter posted:

Dark Tower is staying at Universal.  At least for now.

The massive Universal-Imagine-NBC adaptation of Stephen King's mystical Western opus hit snags last week with some reports claiming that project was in turnaround.

The project did hit budgetary snags and the fall start date was shelved. But Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman have regrouped to try to bring the budget down.

Insiders say the end result is that Goldsman is now rewriting the script to reflect a lower price point. No start date has been given although it will certainly not be the fall.

What that does to the involvement of Javier Bardem, who was attached to star in the first movie and the first TV arc, is unclear.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/dark-tower-stay-at-universal-188326

Blogger Update

I really do like blogger.  Every now and then, it drives me just a little crazy. 

Blogger was down yesterday, probably to do much needed repairs.  The result, however, was most blogs lost their past few days worth of entries.  That was true here.  However, the lost entries have been restored.  What I cannot restore are your comments.  Sorry.

It's like someone rebooted blogger back to Monday.

Alan wake -- Something Is On Its Way


Alan Wake -- the video game that has touches throughout of the Stephen King universe -- is set for an update/upgrade or something like that. I would be more specific, but Remedy is not exactly laying all their cards on the table at the moment.

Remedy posted this explanation: "Fans of the franchise will be excited to learn that yes, more Wake is coming! But to be absolutely certain to avoid confusion, this next Wake installment will not be Alan Wake 2. But neither will it be DLC. The rest we're saving for our official announcement when we'll actually SHOW YOU."

http://www.joystiq.com/2011/05/10/new-alan-wake-confirmed-but-its-not-alan-wake-2/

Post Tribune: King Fan Interview

This is a really neat interview! Dave Gard is a town councilman who has endured great loss -- but, as the interview reveals, his faith has helped him cope. And. . . he's a big Stephen King fan! And, how appropriate! I mean, his name is "Gard" (Tommyknockers.)


The interview opens with this quote from The Shawshank Redemption, “I guess I just miss my friend.”

Here is a little bit of the interview:

“I basically read to clear my mind. Now, I pretty much read when I travel. If I fly from here to California, I’ll finish a 600-page paperback on the way there and another one on the way back.”
Favorite Stephen King novel?
“ ‘The Stand,’ without a doubt; I’ve read it a dozen times.”

Favorite movie?
“ ‘The Shawshank Redemption.’ I’m absolutely powerless to change the channel when it comes on the TV, no matter where it starts. I cannot change the channel. I know every line.”

Why is he powerless in the face of Shawshank Redemption? The end of the article explains it -- "Dave Gard is a religious man. He told me his faith is what gets him through rough times. He doesn’t know how people can live without faith. You see, Dave lives alone now. He’s not only a guy who lost his father and brother at young ages, he also lost his best friend, the mother of his children. Debbie died of ovarian cancer on Oct. 31, 2006."

Check out the whole thing at: http://posttrib.suntimes.com/5293363-537/jeff-manes-keeping-faith-when-times-get-tough.html

Interesting Thought On THE STAND MOVIE


David Konow at TG Daily has an interesting pot about The Stand movie. I'm not spotting a lot of news, but there are some good Garris quotes. Also, if Konow is correct, The Stand would be a series of movies.

http://www.tgdaily.com/games-and-entertainment-features/55872-the-stand-coming-soon-to-a-theater-near-you?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+tgdaily_all_sections+%28TG+Daily+-+All+News%29

Jae Lee to illustrate Wind Through The Keyhole



Donald M. Grant has put out an email announcing that Jae Lee has signed on to illustrate The Wind Through the Keyhole.

Lilja's Library cites the moderator at the S.K. message board:
Jae Lee has signed on to illustrate Stephen's next Dark Tower book, The Wind Through the Keyhole, which will be published as a limited edition by Donald M. Grant Publisher. Orders are not yet being taken and a final release date has not been established. For more details about this upcoming limited edition, please visit Donald M. Grant Publisher.


Check out more of Jae Lee's work here:

http://theartofjaelee.com/index.php

Spring 2012 The Wind Through The Keyhole

Here is the announcement from King's Dark Tower publisher, Donald M. Grant:


THE DARK TOWER: THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE by

STEPHEN KING


We are not taking orders at this time, do not have prices and have not set a release date. Please do not call or email us asking for more information than is posted here. Updates will be announced in future issues of our newsletter and also posted here. We also advise you to sign up for Stephen King's newsletter at stephenking.com.

Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc. will, in the Spring of 2012 be publishing limited editions of this new Dark Tower novel by Stephen King which will be illustrated by Jae Lee.


Stephen King has agreed to sign 800 copies of a Deluxe Edition which will be issued in a tray case. These will also be signed by Jae Lee. In keeping with our policies of supporting long time customers, owners of Deluxe Edition copies of THE LITTLE SISTERS OF ELURIA numbered 1-800 will have the first option to buy this Deluxe Edition.


In addition there will be a limited “Artist” Edition which will be signed by Jae Lee and will be issued in a slipcase.
https://secure.grantbooks.com/z-sk-dt-twttk.html

King letter: Canadian Politics

Edmonton Sun has posted a letter signed by Stephen King.  (They obviously have checked that it is king, since the editor titled it "The Stand" and comments "Now that is a horror story."  Interesting, since this is Canadian politics.  Here's the letter. . .

THE STAND

It would be advisable for the Liberal Party to not disband. It’s the performance of Jack Layton’s party that will determine the fate of the Liberals. With Jack’s band of Quebec nationalists, communist ninja experts, and conspiracy theorists, the anti-Harper vote may swing back to the Grits in 2015.
Stephen King
(Now THAT is a horror story.)
http://www.edmontonsun.com/2011/05/06/letters-may-9-2

While Waiting For The Dark Tower

With recent reports that the Dark Tower movie has hit early snags -- namely, that certain big studios is getting scared -- I thought someone should remind us that there are plenty of other things Ron Howard and gang can work on while waiting for NBC, Universal and gang to think about how much money they're going to lose if they don't do the Dark Tower.


Here's just a few projects worth consideration:
  • Duma Key
  • Cell
  • Lisey's Story
  • Eyes of the Dragon
  • Insomnia
  • Needful Things remake (mini-series, please)
  • Rose Madder
  • The Talisman
  • Blaze
  • The Long Walk
  • 1922
  • Big Driver
  • A Good Marriage
  • From a Buick 8
So in short, I guess I am saying: Don't just sit there and wait. . . make a movie already.  It feels like it's been a long time since Hollywood has given us a really good Stephen King adaptation. 

If the whole stinkin' Dark Tower series really feels too big, just film the Wizard and Glass preview booklet that came free with Desperation -- that can't cost much!


Until then, I will read on and not be discouraged about the Dark Tower. 

Maybe there is a storage room somewhere where we can go back in time and change the producers minds on this. . .

Road To The Dark Tower Getting Bumpy


Mike Fleming at Dread Central says that Universal Pictures has put the Dark Tower pre-production staff on "hiatus."  That doesn't sound good!  The problem?  Well, you guessed it -- the budget!  Fleming writes that they are discussing "ways to bring down the budget of the ambitious adaptation of the Stephen King novel series The Dark Tower." http://www.deadline.com/hollywood/

Just great.  Exactly what we need -- for Universal to start slashing the budget before a single frame is shot.  Blane The Mono made out of cardboard boxes.  I hope we don't end up with a Dark Tower cartoon or something like that.

You know what happened. . . right?  Someone finally read the books!  They said, "We signed on to WHAT?  This thing is huge!  Robot wolves, recreate New York of 1999.  Holy smoke, Batman, we even have to rebuild the World Trade Center for this puppy!  Oh, and did you guys over at budget know that this Dark Tower thingy isn't just a metaphor. . . there really is a Dark Tower!  How are we going to build that?  Not to mention, Javier is pitching a fit about us cutting his right fingers off."

Stephen King Fancast


Here's a neat blog I just became aware of!  They are also on Twitter and Facebook. 

King included in book: Man With A Pan


It appears Stephen King has contributed to John Donohue's book "Man with a Pan."  Is it "that" Stephen King?  I mean, there is a baseball player Stephen King.  There is also a popular economist named Stephen King.  But it isn't them.  The links go back to King's website.  Interesting, because I didn't know anything about this. 

Editor John Donohue writes:
"For the past two or three years (it's been so long that I lost track), I've been working on "Man with a Pan: Culinary Adventures of Fathers who Cook for their Families." The book is a recipe and essay collection featuring contributions from the likes of Mario Batali, Mark Bittman, Mark Kurlansky, Stephen King, and Jim Harrison, as well as interviews with a fireman, a high-school guidance counselor, an economist, a bond trader, a carpenter, and other working dads who tend the stove. It has cartoons, too.

"Creating the book has been one of the most challenging and gratifying things I've ever done. I'm hoping that it will inspire many more fathers to pick up the spatula and start enjoying time in the kitchen."

Interview With Tim Heintzman

My friend, Tim Heintzman, is doing a two week seminar on Stephen King in Crowsnest Pass, Canada. Tim has a great passion for Stephen King's work. I hope you enjoy my interview with him!



TSK: Hi Tim, thank you for agreeing to share with me about your upcoming class. Tell me a little about yourself.

Tim: I am 50 years old and currently work in the construction/carpentry industry in the “Crowsnest Pass” in South-West Alberta. My wife, Dixie, and I moved here 9 years ago for an expected 2-3 year stay, and have not left. When asked if I have a hobby, my response is “yes, I am an avid reader, studier and collector of Stephen King”


TSK: When did you start reading Stephen King?
Tim: In the summer of 1982 (June or July), I found a used paperback edition of “The Shining”. You know, the one with the shiny cover. Once I met the Torance family and the Overlook Hotel, that was it… I was hooked. I started to look for other King titles and have never stopped.

TSK: Do you only read King, or do you collect? Do you have some favorite pieces? Does your family support your King habit?
TIM: I have been reading King since 1982 and have been a serious collector since 1991/92. I made the conscious decision to be a collector on a “Beer Budget” as opposed to a “Champaign Budget”. Meaning I could not, or would not be able to, afford the high end specialty items. The signed Ltd’s, and early first editions etc.. I decided to go after other rare and unusual items in the “King Universe”. Such as first appearances of short fiction, uncollected fiction, newsletters, interviews, magazine appearances and the vast selection of “reference related” materials available. My collection now numbers well over 1,000 pieces and is growing all the time.


Favourite pieces???… Whew!!! That would be tough, as there are many. Top 3… The nearly complete (short only 4 of 55) series of “Castle Rock: The Stephen King Newsletter”; The Stephen King Illustrated Companion by Bev Vincent; and, my black cover and white cover true first editions of “Firestarter” paperbacks (only the true “completists” are even aware of these). The favourite part of my collection is the vast variety of different types of items and media that are represented.


As for family support, many of my first hardcovers came from presents from family members who knew of my passion for King’s books. My wife (Dixie) had a special plaque made for my collection for our first Christmas together (2002), and it now sits out front and at the top of my collection.


TSK: For me, the Stand makes a huge personal connection. The same with The Shining. Which of King’s books connect with you most?
Tim: The Shining was my first, and the one that had me hooked, but the one with the most impact was “The Stand”. I fell for so many characters in that book and was enthralled with the whole scope of it… it felt so real. But it was my fourth or fifth King book, “Nightshift”, that really got me as well. His short stories are excellent little adventures of their own and great “short escapes” from reality.


TSK: Your class looks awesome! What made you decide to teach a class on Stephen King?
Tim: I was leafing through the spring calendar for a local association that offers night classes/courses (signed up for e-bay courses), when I noticed an ad looking for instructors. I felt that the topic of Stephen King and his work would qualify for a “general interest” subject and decided to suggest a class. They thought it might be interesting as well, and… we put it together.


As for qualifications to offer such a program; I have been reading King for nearly 30 years and a serious collector for 20 years. I have a reference library that includes some 40 books, numerous video interviews and 2 significant CD ROM’s on King and his work. But, most importantly, I am always willing and happy to share my passion and enthusiasm for my hobby with fellow King fans.


TSK: Tell me more about the class. I sure do wish I could attend!
Tim: It is my aim to focus on the unknown and obscure aspects of his mega career, those things that the average fan does not know about. I will discuss his childhood and early writing efforts. The origins of “Carrie” and its publication. The use (how and why) of “Richard Bachman”. The many movies and series based on his work and the “Dollar Babies”. The many audio editions of his books that are available. His involvement with “The Rock Bottom Remainders”, the rock and band he is a member of. His other musical collaborations, both completed and in the works. His career as a columnist for Entertainment Weekly. The large selection of reference related books and works featuring King and his work. The current list of his works being done in comics and graphic formats. The publication histories to some of his novel in terms of Limited Editions and unique editions.

There really is a lot of unique topics and subjects to be explored in the world of Stephen King that I could include.


TSK: Without a doubt, the best fan site out there is Hans Lilja’s "Lilja’s Library." You’ve had some recent communication with him, what was that like?
Tim: As a follower of his site and receiving his newsletter for many years, it was nice to get his encouragement and offer of support. I agree that his site is the best out there and e-mailing with him is awesome!!! I felt a real privilege to be included at that level of the “King community”

TSK: I know you’re from Canada. Is King pretty popular in your parts?
Tim: Oh Yeah!!! Just like in any other corner of the world, there are Stephen King fans in Canada too… I have many family members, friends and acquaintances who are all King fans and “Constant Readers”


TSK: Tell me more about Crowsnest Pass.
Tim: The Municipality of The Crowsnest Pass is made up of five separate towns/communities within a close geographic area at, and around, the base of the world famous Turtle Mountain. It was the site of a mountain slide (known as The Frank Slide) that covered a portion of the small town of Frank, Alberta in 1903. We are at the South end of the Canadian Rockies, in the very South-West corner of the province of Alberta, Canada. It is a wonderful place for any outdoor sportsman of any season. Hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, mountain climbing, skiing, snowmobiling, ATV’ing, you name it… The Pass has it.

The total population of the 5 towns is just around 7,000, but in mid-July every year, that grows to over 25.000 during our annual “Rum Runner Days” weekend that celebrates the rich history of our heritage and the days of “prohibition” in the 1920’s when there were liquor smugglers in the area. The highlight of the weekend is our famous “Thunder in the Valley” fireworks show that is really spectacular.


TSK: Do you find that a lot of people misunderstand King and his work?
Tim: Yeah, I feel some do, not a lot…, but some. I feel they don’t get past the “horror” title and are not aware of the many other facets to King’s abilities and his impact on current society and popular culture. Think of a high school prom, and up come images from Carrie. Think of the name Cujo, and up come images of a rabid dog. His imaginations and works, have impacted so many different forms of media that affect every part of society – every demographic of every age group around the world…


TSK: Just to be random. . . I see the King movies are also going to be addressed in your seminar. Tell me, what do you think is the best adaptation of a King story? And the worst? (My vote on worst always goes to Sleepwalkers) What do you generally think of the King movies
Tim: As a general rule, I have enjoyed most of the many King adaptations out there (first rule of thumb is to read the book or story FIRST), but some do fall short… My top would have to be “Stand by Me” with the trio of Darabont films (Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and The Mist) coming in next. Frank Darabont just has a knack for finding the story and presenting it visually… Least favourites would be “Children of the Corn”(any) and “Dreamcatcher” fell short of expectations.

TSK: Thank you so much for your time. 

Link: CHRISTINE review


I enjoyed Steven Brandt's energetic review of Christine in at SF Site.  He is reviewing the book's audio edition, which is also how I read Christine.  Though sometimes long and awkward at points, I absolutely fell in love with this novel.  (See my Christine Journal).

I like this: "Lots of authors have written about haunted houses, but I can think of only one story about a haunted car. I love the way King personifies Christine: the snarling mouth of her grill, the slender curves of her body, the furious scream of her engine, and especially the glowing dashboard dials, like two eyes that watch whoever is inside the car. It becomes entirely too easy to think of Christine as Arnie's girl, his protector and his jealous lover."

Brandt note the strength of King's writing and character building.  That's interesting, since many people do not think Christine is well written.  When i recently read Christine, the power of King's writing also stood out to me. 

Discussing the relationship between Dennis and Arnie, Brandt writes, "It is the special nature of that friendship that makes Christine such a tragedy, and further serves to illustrate the almost human nature of the car. What else could come between such close friends besides a girl?"

http://www.sfsite.com/05a/ch343.htm

Electric King and his "License to steal"


picture: http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=SH&Date=20110503&Category=ARTICLE&ArtNo=110509829&Ref=AR&Profile=2055

What does the author of Christine and From A Buick 8 -- the director of Maximum Overdrive --drive?  Probably a gas guzzler, right?  A Hummer!  . . . nope!  Try: a Chevrolet Volt. 

Well, he wishes!  Truth is, it's his wife's car!  He gave it to her as a birthday gift.  King says he's sorry he gave it to her, because he enjoys driving it so much! 

King was spotted plugging in to a free electric-vehicle charging station.  Michael Pollick at the Herald-Tribune has a great article titled "Master of horror Stephen King likes his Chevy Volt and Sarasota." 

King is flat out energetically joyful about the thing!  Get this quote:
"I just love it because every time you do it, it is like saying to the oil cartel, 'Here, stick this in your eye.  -- It is like a license to steal."
And all good. . . until the earth passes through a coment.

http://www.heraldtribune.com/

thanks to Bryant Burnette

Interview With Christopher Birk, director Willa


Talk Stephen King: Hi, thank you for taking the time to let me interview you. Please tell me more about you and your work.


Christopher Birk: My name is Christopher Birk. I've lived in New York City since 2007 and have been working as an actor. I could tell you about the things I've acted in but if you're interested in that you can check out my website, www.christopherbirk.com . WILLA is my debut as a director and I am very excited about it. I cannot even remember how long I have wanted to make one of Stephen King's stories come to life and now I am actually doing it.


TSK: Tell me a little about Alpha Tree Productions.

BIRK: I created Alpha Tree Productions in January this year so I think it's safe to say that we are still pretty young.

First and foremost I wanted to create a network of people who were actually interested in working together and helping each other out in the industry we live and breathe for.

But I naturally also wanted to prove that we could do our own productions, hence 'WILLA' and the short movie 'ALONE' we just finished shooting. The hope is that in the future we will do, not only our own productions, but be the platform for others in the network to get together to make some art happen. I started the company after years as an actor having worked with people where we always talk about how we 'should do something' and then, unfortunately, it doesn't happen. Well with this company it will!


TSK: You chose to film Stephen King’s short story, Willa. How did you obtain the rights to it? Is this a famous "Dollar Baby"?

BIRK: Yes it is a dollar baby. Stephen King is very generous with rights to his work. I simply contacted his people and after explaining my vision for WILLA I got all rights but distribution and the use of his name in my title.


TSK: Why did you choose Willa?

BIRK: I know it's cliche but it chose me I feel. The minute I read the story I saw the whole movie in my head and it hasn't left my brain since - it has only gotten stronger. So the only way to get it out of my head is to get it out to the world. Oh, and did I mention that I really love the story as well?


TSK: How difficult was it for you to write the script?

BIRK: It's not terribly hard (I feel) to adapt it when the story is already there. Since I am by no means an experienced screenwriter I have collaborated with a bunch of people who are much more experienced. With their help, notes, suggestions and guidelines I have created sub stories, more natural language and merging/creation of characters - all without sliding away from the core story.


TSK: How long do you anticipate the movie to be?

BIRK: It's impossible to say right now. I would 'like' it to be a nice 100 minutes but I'm sure MY version will be longer. It will natually be shaved down to a suitable size before I throw it out there but I'm sure I will have my own version as well.


TSK: I know you are looking to generate some cash flow in order to begin work. What kind of money do you need? Is it millions, billions or national debt type stuff?

BIRK: I tried to be realistic and were aiming at 250 million dollars! . . .
No, of course not. Actually, initially, I planned to do it 'Blair Witch' style and for no money at all but I wanted to see if I could blow it up just a little so I could do nicer camera, sound, etc. So we aimed at a budget of 20,000 dollars. An amount that makes a lot of 'serious' people laugh out loud but I really don't believe it has to all be about money when you want to tell a story.

TSK: Wow, I'm glad you didn't do it Blair With style!  So it’s the kind of thing that every contribution will make a big difference! How can someone give to this project?

BIRK: Oh definitely. Though we have an official budget we can adjust. For me the important thing is to make the movie happen even if we don't get the amount we want. I don't like to be restrained by money. Though it is necessary, of course, you can really do a lot for a little. Naturally every dollar helps and with more money people can be paid more, equipment can be driven instead of carried, etc etc etc. And anyone interested can donate right here: http://alphatreeproductions.com/Willadonations.html. This link also leads to the official website where you can read a lot more about it.


TSK: Is this a for profit film?

BIRK: My contract with Stephen King forbids me to make money (except for festival prizes etc) but he will see the finished film and in the case that he likes it enough we will negotiate the rights to distribute it in whatever form he wants.


TSK: I know you’re a big fan of Stephen King. Are you also a collector?


BIRK: Very big fan yes! I don't have everything he has written and I must admit I actually think I've seen more films based on his work than I have read his actual books. I have read a lot though and there seems to be at least one movie done of everything he has done. Maybe that's why I so clearly saw WILLA in my head.
TSK: What venue’s do you think will be open to showing Willa?


BIRK: Good question. I have not even thought of that. There are a lot of elements in the story that will appeal to almost everyone, not just fans or horror lovers. So when the time comes I certainly think we can show it in most places, provided we get ourselves a rating.

TSK: I see a great cast lined up. How difficult has casting been?

BIRK: It was difficult because there were so many who submitted and I would have loved to see every person audition. We did try to get as many people as possible to do video auditions because we simply didn't have enough space at the actual personal auditions. Both main characters, Willa and David, were found through video auditions. On the other hand it was easy. There were a lot of the roles we didn't even have to worry about. When we saw people audition we simply knew, without doubt that we had found the right person.

TSK: Do you have a favorite director?


BIRK: As with so many other things it's very difficult to naim one. If I can mention my top 3 it would be Taylor Hackford, who directed the brilliant movie adaptation of Dolores Claiborne, Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia) and Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy)

TSK: Thank you so much!  I look forward to seeing Willa, as I think most Stephen King fans will.