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Filming begins on a short film based on Stephen King in Fredericton – New Brunswick

Filming begins on a short film based on Stephen King in Fredericton – New Brunswick
Filming begins on a short film based on Stephen King in Fredericton – New Brunswick

 


It was no ordinary day in Fredericton.

A woman was lying on the gravel, her face disfigured and the ground marked red, but no one worried. It's the second day of filming for a screen adaptation of the Stephen King film Last rung of the ladderand that was part of the filming schedule.

The short film adaptation is the brainchild of Michael Stafford, the film's director. He obtained the rights to the film for $1 through King's The Dollar Baby program, which ended on December 31, 2023.

That makes Stafford's film one of the last on the schedule.

“It means everything to me. It’s my joy, it’s my passion,” Stafford said.

The story centers on a childhood incident with a ladder in a hayloft and the suicide of main character Larry's sister, Kitty, also known as Katrina. Stafford wants to live up to audiences' expectations for a King film.

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“I hope they’re happy with it, and I did it well and I did it historically,” he said.

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Erica Whitman, who plays adult Kitty, planned some stunts, but said capturing the strong emotions of the story with her expressions was her challenge.

“Getting into the dark, twisted mind of Stephen King and playing him, it's going to be a good acting challenge, and I'm looking forward to it,” she said.

And what would a Stephen King film be without gory visuals?

Special effects and monsters

The original story doesn't include King's typical horror brands, but special effects makeup artist Marc Deveault said he's looking forward to working on some of the film's monsters — a variation on the short story.

This is not the first film he has worked on: he brought his talents to the sets of X-Men: Apocalypse, Border and that of the king Mist.

“I've worked on Stephen King before, so you want to make sure it's up to his standards,” Deveault said.

For the 10-year-old actress who plays young Kitty, Reagan MacNeil, it's another chance to get her name out there.

“I hope it goes far, because we've worked a lot so far, and it's only the second day,” she said.

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With local distribution, Stafford hopes to bring attention to New Brunswick's film scene and, one day, bring bigger television shows to the capital.

“Fredericton is starting to gain more and more momentum in terms of cinema. We hope the government will start giving us more grants so we can be like Nova Scotia,” he said.


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