Stephen King Dollar Baby: Jay Holben Paranoid
‘Paranoid’ Director Jay Holben with 1st Assistant Director Christopher Probst. Photo by Otto Kitsinger @ 2000 Lunatic Fringe Productions

Jay Holben is one of only three Dollar Baby filmmakers to have his work seen on a grand scale, outside of just the limited film festivals that the contract allows for. That is because Stephen King was so impressed with Holben’s Paranoid, that he personally called Jay. This gave Holben a chance to ask for special permission to show his Dollar Baby on the Internet during the early days of this new form of sharing your work.

Of course, while King was more than happy to agree to this request, King’s attorneys are always quick to jump into the mix and protect King’s rights and future opportunities. As a result, Holben got to screen his short Dollar Baby film on the Internet on the film sharing site iFilm during a small window but also gained another opportunity.

Jay Holben’s Paranoid was also included on a DVD as a free insert in a magazine called Total Movie and Entertainment Magazine, along with the feature length horror movie Species.

This was especially interesting since Holben took on one of King’s most interesting stories and one that seems almost impossible to adapt into a film. Paranoid: A Chant wasn’t even a short story, it was a poem about a character who believed that the government was responsible for a number of unexplained phenomena and they were coming after her because they knew that she knew. Of course, the one thing that Holben changed was making the character to a woman, where the original poem never really specified the gender at all.

Holben has gone on to create two more movies, which he considers to connect to Paranoid as a trilogy of short films about women with mental health issues. Those shorts, Descent and Alone, are both available here. In the interview from the book Dollar Deal: The Stephen King Dollar Baby Filmmakers, Holben talks about making Paranoid, getting to talk to Stephen King and showing his Dollar Baby online for the world to see.

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behind-the-lens shot-in-the-dark




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