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Stephen King Selects U.S. Army Veteran for $1 Movie Contract

Horror writer Stephen King has chosen his latest Dollar Baby movie producer; Former Army Major Howard Schellenberg of Fort Lauderdale, Florida as the recipient of a contract to produce a non-commercial movie and screenplay based on his short story, "Beachworld" for $1. Schellenberg is the first military veteran selected by Mr. King.

Stephen King Selects U.S. Army Veteran for $1 Movie Contract
Fort Lauderdale, FL, November 12, 2018 --( Military Veteran is Latest Stephen King "Dollar Baby."

Whether it was "Shawshank Redemption," "Stand by Me," "The Shining," or another blockbuster masterpiece by "The King of Horror" is irrelevant. Almost everyone has enjoyed one of Stephen King's movies, books, or short stories.

However, few but his die-hard legion of “Constant Readers” know about Stephen King’s “Dollar Babies,” a group of amateur film producers and screenwriters. These lucky amateurs, picked from the many personal requests Mr. King receives yearly, are given one short year to produce an original screenplay and/or film for non-commercial purposes based on one of his short stories.

The majority of past “Dollar Babies” have been either film students, experienced filmmakers or those associated with fine arts departments and film schools.

Army Major (Retired) Howard Schellenberg, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida is a 60-year old military veteran, an amateur writer with no previous exposure to Hollywood.

“Like probably millions of other people, I wrote a heartfelt letter to Mr. King asking for a shot at what is, in my opinion, one of his best short stories, Beachworld. I never, ever expected a reply,” said Schellenberg

Yet less than 24-hours after sending his request to Stephen King, Schellenberg had a signed contract in his hands to produce both an original screenplay and film.

He is also the first disabled veteran ever to be given this honor.

Schellenberg said, “I am fully aware of the enormous responsibility Mr. King has placed on me. He could have very easily given this to another film student or school. Instead, I'm now a ‘Stephen King Dollar Baby,’ and that's an honor I can hardly get my head around. It's just unbelievable.”

Major Schellenberg joins a large group of Dollar Babies that includes "Shawshank Redemption" writer and director Frank Darabont.

“The lesson from all this, I believe, is that we should never give up on our dreams. In high school, I desperately wanted to be a screenwriter and filmmaker, but I joined the Army to take care of my wife and kids instead. Before I knew it, I was just another ‘middle aged’ guy with a young man's aspirations,” said Major Schellenberg.

Schellenberg has just 12-months to complete both the screenplay and a short, non-commercial film. Stephen King will watch it and put to put it on his bookshelf with his other Dollar Baby movies, although it may be released to the public at some later date.

Schellenberg explained the importance of this award, saying, “The fact that my movie will be seen by him and will be sitting on Stephen King's bookshelf alongside works from Hollywood legends is legacy enough for me. I'm a simple guy who was given what I consider to be a 'Golden Ticket' from a real life Willy Wonka. It's enough. I don't need a chocolate factory to be happy.” is the non-profit, non-commercial production group assisting in production of the movie with Major Howard Schellenberg.
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