Hell of a birthday gift…

Posted: October 8, 2010 in film, life, Stephen King, writing

I suppose if I am to shed light on my day-to-day existence, I should share this monumental moment that ended up being one Hell of a birthday gift this past August.

My birthday (25th, BTW) fell on a Monday this year, which produced the appropriate groan of “Son of a bitch, it’s my birthday and the work week’s just starting”.  However, after powering up my Mac and opening up my email, I discovered a gem of an email that brightened the entire week, and then some.

A message from Stephen King’s office.  Yes, THAT Stephen King.  This requires some explanation, and I’m more than happy to provide it…

A little over a year ago, I picked up King’s latest collection of short stories entitled Just After Sunset (at the D&E in Outlook, of all places).  I blazed my way through it, but one story in particular caught my eye and stayed with me long after reading it.  Fast forward almost a year later, and I re-read the same story.  It was then that I became fully committed to adapting it into a short film, and I contacted King’s people requesting permission to do so.

That email on my birthday was the response I got.  It contained a contract which I was to sign, along with a witness, and I also was to include one American dollar.  On the Friday of that week, I sent everything on its way and I now have the rights to the story, which I’ve been feverishly writing notes on before I get down to scripting it.

The short story in question is called Mute.  It’s a quick read at just over 30 pages and has a total of five characters, with two of them being very minor and more of an afterthought.  Without giving too much away in describing it – although who am I to stop you from going out and reading it yourself – Mute is about a man driving along the highway in Anywhere, USA and thinking about all the trouble he’s been having at home.  He stops to pick up a hitchhiker who is deaf and mute and ends up using his new passenger as stress relief, venting about his problems and his worries about the future.  Of course, being a Stephen King story, there might be some tragedy involved and things may not be what they seem.

Mute is one of those stories that reminds me of a good Hitchcock tale.  The questions that it raises about morality and forgiveness really hooked me and the content and characters just scream “MOVIE!!!” when I read it.  I hope I can do it justice.

If all goes to plan, I’ll be shooting this just after the new year, either late in January or early February.  In the meantime, I’m looking at a pre-production cycle entailing the writing process, location scouting, casting auditions, budget raising and equipment rentals/purchases.  Oh my, the excitement that awaits me.

-DR

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