Maria was born March 3rd, 1986, in St. Petersburg and still lives there to this day. She says, she “loves that city with all my heart, can’t imagine any other place as my home.” Maria went to school there and later graduated with a degree in Law.
She realized it wasn’t her dream job or meant to be her future, so she studied everyday and learned Maya, Photoshop, After Effects, and other Animation & Designs programs. She studied all by herself, read books, watched tutorials. She got into the Stephen King “Dollar Baby Program” because she loved King and his works very much. She knew of the program and one day stumbled upon the “Dollar Baby” webpage and the rest is history. She felt, “Why not!” And now she is the proud filmmaker of Beachworld.
(Q) Out of all the Stephen King short stories, what attracted you most to this one?
(A) I was into science fiction theme at that time. Also, I was interested in exploring and showing in film Solitude, Loneliness, and Madness. The interesting thing about this story is that the Sand (in my opinion) is also a character, even though its presence (as a character) is implicit.
(Q) What made you decide to go with animation with this story as opposed to live-action and do you feel the “no dialogue” adds to the feel of the story as it was presented?
(A) For me – animation is the only way to tell stories. With animated films I can create everything from nothing, from scratch, from blank page. And I’m not depending on the weather, actors, filming locations, etc. Basically you can create universes in animated films As for “no dialogue” – it’s just the way I used to create films. I rarely use any dialogues, when I feel that the story can be told without words.
(Q) So many Stephen King fans want adaptations to be as close to the book as possible, how do you handle the pressure to keep the fans happy?
(A) I’m not sure how many fans are happy with my film I didn’t think about that when I was making the film. I just tried to be honest with myself and took a risk.
(Q) What was your main goal you wanted to achieve about this film?
(A) I wanted to create a good film, a unique work, with memorable atmosphere and characters, and sound.
(Q) What is your greatest moment so far with the success of Beachworld?
(A) I guess it’s people’s joy. I really enjoy when my films are watched, when the stories are told. Basically it’s all I need – I want people to watch my films. It’s like “Every actor needs an audience”. Last week I got People’s Choice Award in “Dollar Baby Film Festival Russia 2013″ (Krasnodar). I’m very happy because it’s People’s choice.
(Q) What Stephen King story would you like to adapt on a large scale?
(A) I think it would be “Lisey’s story”, or “Crouch End”.
(Q) Final question, What’s next for Maria Ivanova?
(A) Well, I’ve just completed my new animated short for ABCs OF DEATH 2 contest, it’s called “M is for Mactation”. And it’s available online. I’m still working on several of my personal projects including stop-motion animated film. And all of them are in horror\mystery\fantasy genre. Wish me luck.
I want to take this moment to thank Maria for taking this time out of her schedule to do this interview and wish her the very best of luck in her future projects. Check your local Entertainment for the “Dollar Baby Film Fest” when it comes to your area. Also, check out the “Dollar Baby Program” Fan page on Facebook for all your latest “Dollar Baby” adaptations and Film Fest Schedule’s coming soon.