HOLLYWOOD better watch out – there’s a new Dollar Baby filmmaker in town, and he’s from Busby.
Former Cardonald College student and freelance film buff Stephen Thacker has secured the rights to adapt a Stephen King short story for the big screen, with the action filmed entirely in East Renfrewshire.
The famous author’s Dollar Baby scheme allows aspiring filmmakers to use his tales of terror for their own projects, all for a princely sum of $1.
Stephen (27) told The Extra: “I graduated two years ago and have been working in television, but I’m always looking for things to do – this is really my calling card, to get my name out as a filmmaker.
“I’m a big fan of Stephen King, so when I noticed he was doing the Dollar Baby scheme, I jumped at the chance and wrote to him”.
Stephen’s short will make it back to the writer himself, and high profile success stories mean that he’s hopeful for bigger and better things to come – after all, Frank Darabont first met Stephen King when producing a Dollar Baby film, and then went on to direct The Shawshank Redemption.
Stephen’s choice, In the Deathroom, follows former reporter Fletcher, captured by members of a dictatorship and brought in for interrogation about a communist insurgency.
Will Fletcher escape? The film won’t be released commercially, but audiences at festivals such as Cannes and Sundance – as well as Dollar Baby competitions across the world – might find out, as Stephen plans to tackle them all.
First, In the Deathroom has to be made on a shoestring budget, and with unknown actors in front of the camera.
Filming is scheduled for the end of January, using Stephen’s own home as a location, as well as spots around Clarkston and Busby.
He added: “There’s really no money spent on it at all, other than travel expenses, and the actors aren’t well-known faces – they’re just up-and-coming talent, all happy to get their names out there”.
The budding director has also purchased the rights to a second Stephen King story, and hopes to work on it later in the year – and until Hollywood calls, he’s happy to yell ‘lights, camera, action’ in Busby.