Booker High Students to Adapt Stephen King’s “The Last Rung on the Ladder” Into Film
by Rebecca Abrahamson, VPA Coordinator & AICE English General Paper Instructor at Booker High School
SARASOTA COUNTY, December 18, 2019 – Students enrolled in Booker High School’s Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) Film & Animation program will soon be adapting best-selling author Stephen King’s short story “The Last Rung on the Ladder” into a film.
The team purchased the rights to the story for just $1, as a part of King’s Dollar Baby program that allows film students non-exclusive rights to a short story for one year for that small fee. All that’s required is a winning application and a dollar. The program gives young filmmakers a chance to create a remarkable film based on the works of a modern-day master.
Booker High’s “Team Dollar Baby” is mostly comprised of sophomore and junior classes participating in the program. They will work throughout the spring on a screenplay and pre-production, and will work together with rising sophomores in summer and fall 2020 to shoot and edit the film.
Completed Dollar Baby films are all sent to King to view. One successful Dollar Baby, Frank Darabont, whose first film was an adaptation of “The Woman in the Room”, later went on to direct other King adaptations including “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Green Mile”. Both films were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, as well as multiple other awards.
“The Last Rung on a Ladder” explores a man’s guilt as he contemplates the recent suicide of his sister and the ways that he may have helped prevent her tragic demise. It is part of King’s “Night Shift” collection of short stories.
Photo credit: John Timpe
1: Myles Summerlin directs a child actor for a short film
2: Rosalea Wolff gets just the right angle during a film shoot