Despite his literary career being worth millions of dollars, Stephen King did not hesitate to sell the rights to one of his stories for the meager sum of $1 so that a group of film students could make a movie adaption.
The story rights were bought by film students from the Blaenau Gwent Film Academy in Tredegar, Wales. School officials initially contacted King’s team about making a film adaption of “Stationary Bike”, one of the short stories that was published in his “Just After Sunset” collection.
The short story is about a man who buys a stationary bike as a means of fending off his high cholesterol – but as he exercises, he begins to have strange visions about his body.
King’s team wrote back to the academy and said that they could buy the rights to the story as part of the author’s Dollar Babies program which sells his unadapted stories to students and youngsters for heavily discounted prices.
King has spent the last 40 years using the program as a way of boosting the careers of young filmmakers.
“Around 1977 or so, when I started having some popular success, I saw a way to give back a little of the joy the movies had given me,” King explained, according to BBC.
Before he became a famous Hollywood filmmaker, Shawshank Redemption director Frank Darabont once participated in the program by creating an adapted version of “The Woman in the Room” in 1986.
Now, 16-year-old Alfie Evans and 14-year-old Cerys Cliff will be writing the script for “Stationary Bike.” Once the script is finished, it will be produced by 30 other film students from the academy. After that, they will hopefully be taking the finished product to film festivals.
King’s only other contractual condition for the adaption is that he receive a copy of the movie once it’s finished.
“They insist that we send him a copy. That was part of the contract — Stephen always loves to see the work and please send him a DVD when it’s all complete,” academy tutor Kevin Phillips told Mashable.
“The main thing is that it’ll be used to boost the confidence of our young, up-and-coming film-makers to actually say that they’ve worked on a Stephen King film,” he added.