IN THE DEATHROOM Nicole Jones-Dion

As Mendocino Ono, Associate Producer IN THE DEATHROOM, am thrilled to share a blog at MendocinoOno.com, a detailed account of how Filmmaker Nicole Jones-Dion shone in the scriptwriting community on the TWITTER #scriptchat forum Sunday July 21, 2019. She chatted about current project IN THE DEATHROOM, a Stephen King adaptation “just locked” in final stages of production.

The Contract

IN THE DEATHROOM is produced under a “Dollar Babie” non-exclusive option from Stephen King with “tons of restrictions” such as: it cannot be monetized on YouTube, Amazon or other channels employed for monetization. What it is for is the demo reel where Director Nicole Jones-Dion and her talented crew can showcase their A-list bonafides. “Part of the contract with King is that we have to send him a copy of the film when it’s finished. If he likes it, he will let us use his name in the marketing. Until then, we can only say ‘Based on a short story by Stephen King’ …Fun but also a little intimidating! Since you know he will watch it, you want to do his story justice… I’m very pleased with how it turned out.”

Jones-Dion praised her crew. “Everyone knew we were sending King the film so they all brought their A-list game. Art, camera, actors, everyone is a fan.” The short film adaptation of his short story IN THE DEATHROOM is slated for film festivals, so watch for upcoming announcements on the festival circuit. For a taste of how scary Jones-Dion can thrill, see her trailer for SCARS at praxiscope.com

The Story

About the story itself Dion-Jones shared “I was drawn to the DEATHROOM story because it was fairly contained and it was a character piece. DEATHROOM has lots of good meaty roles for actors. We got some amazing performances.”

Jones-Dion enjoys working with people who are passionate about films. Her DEATHROOM crew has worked with her on previous projects. “Short films are a good testing ground to see how well you work with folks… So when you watch DEATHROOM, you’ll notice that one of the villains was also a bad guy in STASIS. A lot of STASIS peeps on this one.”

For those interested in reading the original short story, IN THE DEATHROOM is featured in the Stephen King short story collection titled “Everything’s Eventual: 14 Dark Tales”.  The mental musings that later become flashbacks are themselves a literary device that King devises with signature expertise.

Planning for Production

Scriptwriters asked Jones-Dion about her process, her thoughts behind planning for the adaptation production. They asked about the things she kept in mind as a director and producer when she was writing the script. “With any adaptation,” Jones-Dion said “I try to get to the heart of the story. What’s it about? Then… what can I show visually? This one was tricky because the story is literally all in one room and told through flashbacks. I didn’t want to rely on voiceover.”

The Locations

Scouting and securing the right film locations is never easy. Jones-Dion “never thought we’d be able to replicate a ‘Central American Jungle’ in SoCal” but she did and last month she and her crew headed out for a fresh air “day in the woods in Santa Clarita…And the mosquitoes were HUGE. Santa Clarita had the biggest mosquitoes I’d ever seen. And I’m from the south, LOL! Oh! And the woods were haunted, too! Day 3 in the woods we had zero GPS and no cell signal… Perfect for a Stephen King story!!! Yes!”

Interior DEATHROOM scenes were shot in an old WW2-era quonset hut. “I was looking for a film-friendly warehouse space to shoot and found this place called MoonHuts online. Actually it used to be a crime scene cleanup lab! And a pot growing facility… near DTLA.”

Post Production

“We’re still deep in post… For editing we did two rounds of focus group screenings.” When asked how much of the focus group feedback she used, Dion-Jones replied “I write down all the suggestions.” She uses the ones that fit budget and can elevate the story. “Focus groups are similar to doing script rewrites.” But with a budget of $30,000 (raised on Indiegogo) the filmmaker is careful about spending on reshoots, making the most of the footage and enhancing the effects in post production with editing techniques, sound, video effects and music.

The music and sound effects promise to be scary. “Harry Manfredini (Friday the 13th) is our composer and he’s great to work with. He’s scored most of my short films.”

Upcoming Projects

No scares lurk unturned under this woman’s feet. Jones-Dion is already kicking around the grave sites for her next project, a true-life poltergeist story that is “batshit crazy. It’s out to producers now so I can’t say much… but it’s crazy… I can plug the book. The pilot is adapted from ‘The Bothell Hell House’ a true story of the Demon of Seattle. There is a ‘Bothell Hell House’ sequel coming out in August… It’s on my desk for this week!” To learn more about “The Bothell Hell House” read the Kindle version, free for download at amazon.com/Bothel-Hell-House.

To follow Jones-Dion check out her fright site at praxiscope.com, facebook.com/nikijones, Instagram @praxiscope or @inthedeathroomfilm

Mendocino Ono

Deadly Romantic Comedies

Wired for Passion

We are wired for passion. Criss-crossing through our bodies are networks of electrochemical pathways that transmit messages of fun – fun – fun! Blame it on the dopamine that our bodies manufacture naturally. Dopamine is a powerful neurochemical that makes us want to do things. Fun things.

Quick Fix for Fatigue

Bored? Tired of life? Feeling run down? Need a vacation? Pick up a book and relax. Read about somebody with energy who is passionate about getting somewhere, passionate about doing something amazing. Read about somebody who believes she can do the impossible. If you fall asleep smiling about something funny that you’re reading, you’ll sleep better than if you fell asleep worrying. If you stay awake reading, walking in the shoes of heroes and heroines cleverly beating the odds, pulling victory out of defeat, you’ll feel better. You might begin to believe in yourself again.

Millennials and Boomers Crave Passion

Are you a Boomer? Millennial? X-er, Y-er, Z-er? We all love to feel good. Somewhere deep inside we know we want to feel good. That’s the dopamine that our body naturally makes and craves. We make dopamine in our bodies when we reach a goal, when we exercise and when we are even imagining exercising! So what if you don’t feel like exercising?

If it’s raining outside, or too hot, or too cold, if it’s your day off from running or going to the gym, grab a book and read something thrilling. Get that heart pumping with a good thriller. Don’t you love those twists and betrayals? I write deadly romantic comedies because I enjoy the heck out of doing it. Write once thrill you a million timex! You can imagine me grinning, thinking of watching you burst out loud with a laugh, or just knowing where you might smile. If you can imagine my grin right now, I’m grinning so hard it hurts (grin-grin). Here are some story samples I’ve written for your reading pleasure.

Heh-heh-heh.