Stephen King is allowing students at Blaenau Gwent Film Academy in Wales, U.K., to make a film adaptation of his short story “Stationary Bike”, all for a measly $1.
King, 71, who published the tale in 2003, has a section on his website called “Dollar Babies”, where he offers students the chance to “try their hands” at one of his stories that aren’t under contract for any movies.
Alfie Evans, 16, and Cerys Cliff, 14, will now take on the challenge after King’s secretary gave them the go-ahead.
Tutor Kevin Phillips told Mashable: “We knew already that Stephen King was excellent at supporting education establishments. [And] we came across this website where, actually, he releases many of his short stories for adaption, you know, non-profit, of course.
“We pretty much emailed his secretary, Margaret, and she came back to us in 24 hours, and we told her what we wanted to do, that it’s not for profit, that our students would be making it, and she sent us a contract through which was signed by Stephen King himself.”
“Stationary Bike” is a short story featured in King’s collection, “Just After Sunset”, and Phillips said that once the movie, which will likely be worked on by around 30 students, is done, the writer wants to see it.
“They insist that we send him a copy,” Phillips explained. “That was part of the contract — Stephen always loves to see the work and please send him a DVD when it’s all complete.
“The main thing is that it’ll be used to boost the confidence of our young, up-and-coming filmmakers to actually say that they’ve worked on a Stephen King film.
“It won’t only boost their confidence but it’ll also enhance their CVs and hopefully stand as a stepping stone to further their careers.”
King has been granting students rights to use his stories since the 1970s, with the program acting as a stepping stone for some talented individuals.
One student whom it helped, in particular, was Frank Darabont, who worked on a “Woman in the Room” adaptation in 1983. He’s since directed “The Shawshank Redemption”.