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Flowery Branch man bringing Stephen King story to screen
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Stephen Dean, pictured on Friday, is trying to crowdfund a film, "Rest Stop," based on a short story by Stephen King. The local actor and crewman hopes to film the short piece in the area and submit it to film festivals. - photo by Nick Bowman

A fan of Stephen King since “Maximum Overdrive,” Stephen Dean now has a chance to make a short film based on King’s short story, “Rest Stop.”

“We’re very nervous and excited, I’d say, about doing a good job,” Dean said.

Dean is in the process of raising funds, casting and scouting locations, saying he would like to primarily film around Oakwood and Gainesville.

“This project, being low-budget, is going to be volunteer, because if I paid minimums, we’d wipe out the budget in a few days easily,” he said.

The copyright permission is for a non-commercial short film, meaning only one copy will be sent to King. The short film will be submitted to non-profit film festivals.

“Rest Stop” is about a mystery writer who “seemingly suffers from a split personality disorder,” according to Dean’s description of the film. The writer visits a rest stop after a writer’s meeting.

“I was in law enforcement for five years, and I did see a lot of domestic violence, and kind of the catalyst for this story that kind of makes the protagonist get thrown into this predicament is a domestic-violence situation,” Dean said.

After seeing the expansion of film production in Hall County, such as “Blended” in 2013, Dean became interested in joining the field. His first work was in the background as a warlock in “The Originals,” a spin-off series from “The Vampire Diaries.”

“I strongly suggest it for anybody in the industry, because it gets you in the door,” Dean said of working in the background. “You have to build the relationships and know people, and there’s just no way to do that in a closed-door business without getting in there from the bottom up.”

Since then, he’s worked as a stand-in, a body double and crew as well as acting. He started making films more than two years ago.

“You eat what you kill. If you’re not out there killing, you’re not going to eat. You really do have to get out there and work hard at what you’re doing, and every day’s a hustle,” he said.

An Indiegogo fundraising page has been created for the project.

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