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Stephen King Sells The Rights To His Short Stories For $1 To Student Filmmakers and Calls Them ‘Dollar Baby’ Deals

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Can I just tell you how awesome Stephen King is for a minute?

The dude can write! Short stories, novels, screenplays, memoirs — basically he can do it all.

All those things are great, but that’s not what makes Stephen King hella cool.

If you’ve ever been a budding filmmaker — I have a minor in film — you know how hard it can be to come up with ideas and legal adaptations to turn into cinematic masterpieces.

We had a small film festival at our college. I mean, it was tiny. But, people even got cease and desist letters for content and music on this small scale. It was crazy.

But, Stephen King, he is one heck of an amazing dude.

He sells the rights to some of his short stories for $1, so filmmakers starting out can have something awesome to adapt and work with!!

He calls it his Dollar Baby deal, and it’s about the coolest thing anyone has ever done to help students.

Stephen retains all the rights to the material, but he lets filmmakers use his work for a buck!!

77 was the year young filmmakers – college students, for the most part – started writing me about the stories I’d published — wanting to make short films out of them. Over the objections of my accountant, who saw all sorts of possible legal problems, I established a policy which still holds today. I will grant any student filmmaker the right to make a movie out of any short story I have written (not the novels, that would be ridiculous), so long as the film rights are still mine to assign.

Published Shooting Script For The Shawshank Redemption

This opens so many doors for filmmakers that are just starting out. It actually gives them something exciting and interesting to work with.

I ask them to sign a paper promising that no resulting film will be exhibited commercially without approval, and that they send me a videotape of the finished work. For this one-time right I ask a dollar. I have made the dollar-deal, as I call it, over my accountant’s moans and head-clutching protests sixteen or seventeen times as of this writing [1996].

Published Shooting Script For The Shawshank Redemption

Thank you, Mr. King, for being one heck of a class act. You are totally helping the next generation of filmmakers, and I call that pretty darn awesome!

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