My Inspiration: Craig Douglas – The Woman in the Room | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Eston-based writer and filmmaker Craig Douglas, with the seal of approval from the author himself, is about adapt Stephen King’s psychological drama The Woman in the Room. Craig, who has his own production company called Pine Barrens Pictures, was accepted onto Stephen King’s Dollar Baby project, which allowed him to buy the rights to one of his stories for one dollar (around 76p) and hopes to begin filming in early 2021.

We caught up with Craig to find out about what inspired this project. 

Whenever I get talking to anybody about what I love, it often results in them scoffing at it or not understanding my interests whatsoever. 

I guess not everyone knows what it feels like to be interested in writing and making films? Over the years I’ve been called ‘daft’ I’ve been laughed at, made fun of, and that was from friends and some family, this all just because I’ve told people that I’m into filmmaking and script writing.

It was Friday the 30th of August, 2019. I was standing in the warehouse at my day job, a notification sounded on my phone and so I looked at the screen to see an email from a new job I had applied for. I opened up my mailbox to read “under careful consideration we’re sorry” instantly I knew I hadn’t got the job. I closed the app, checked the time and made my way to clock out at the end of my shift. Later that night I was laid watching TV in bed while catching up on the latest gossip from my wife and her own exciting job (not exciting really) and my phone beeped once again it was an email, to which I didn’t recognise the sender, not until I opened up the message. I read on to see ‘thank you for your application’ to learn that I had been accepted on the Stephen king ‘Dollar Baby’ project. I shot upright and my eyes must have lit up the room as my wife asked what was wrong, I then told her about the email to which she honestly had no idea what I was talking about.

From being a young kid I’ve always been right into films, I watched and watched and watched films by Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Martin Scorsese and Wes Craven. I mean in my older years my Mam always let me watch horror and sci-fi etc? And pushed me to read, a lot! This is where I discovered Stephen King and his novels, these helped me into that genre. But my earlier years it was my Dad that catapulted me into film, he would work rubbish shifts through the week but every so often he had a free Saturday and he would take me to The Odeon Cinema that was in Middlesbrough. Even now when I walk into a cinema I still get that same feeling? I kind of close my eyes and embrace it all, the noise, the smell of popcorn, just the whole experience. My first ever film I saw at the cinemas was Steven Spielberg’s ‘Hook’. As a fan of Peter Pan this was just unbelievable, if I’d known the cast then like I do now I think I would have been uncontrollable. I grew up watching every Robin Williams film that he released and then went back over to watch old TV shows and stand ups. I still to this day, love the guy! And still devastated he’s no longer with us. When we speak about our cinema visits my Dad often mentions about a time he took me to see ‘The Mask’ starring Jim Carrey. We got there minutes into the trailers and the lady behind the counter said it was a full house and didn’t have any seats left together. My dad looked at me and asked what did I want to do? I was that in love with film I said I would go and sit on my own and him in another single seat! Someone from the Odeon had popped in to the screen and came back to tell us there actually were two seats together so me and My Dad did get to sit together and watch the film, and we loved it! Not everyone’s cup of tea but, well you know. 

It still pains me to go by that part of Middlesbrough and see a car park, after the Odeon it was turned into a night club then was eventually demolished. 

So now, over a year later since signing my deal I’m still in the process of making my Stephen King film. As everyone will know Covid 19 put the whole world on hold, not just my film. It’s all still in motion and looking very positive. I had an interview with my local paper (Evening Gazette) or Teesside Live I think is the official name now, I asked to have local people who are interested involved with the short film, from actors, crew and now musicians. Our original deadline date was October 31st 2020 but now the production is on pause once again we have pushed the date until December 13th 2020. I didn’t have an easy hand into writing and filmmaking, I mean I have written a couple of short scripts for actors such as Sylvester McCoy (Doctor Who, The Hobbit) and Monster star Doug Jones (Hocus Pocus, Hellboy). Now I’d like to give locals the opportunity to get on to the ladder of this particular place within film and the industry.

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