For the past few months, I have had the chance to meet and correspond with Lee Chambers about ‘The Pineville Heist’ and Booboo Stewart’s involvement in this project. Lee Chambers is the co-writer, producer and director for ‘The Pineville Heist’. He is an advertising art graduate from Sault College in Canada and a film graduate from Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK. Chambers currently teaches in the Film Production Program at Confederation College in Thunder Bay. He created the award-winning Make It Short Film Project in 2005, which has attracted executive support from Academy Award winners, Paul Haggis, Denys Arcand and Roger Corman.
‘The Pineville Heist’ is a YA Crime Thriller novel based on the award-winning screenplay by Lee Chambers and Todd Gordon, which is set to have a movie debut by 2013; staring Booboo Stewart as ‘Aaron Stevens’. The book debuted on 2011 and it has already ranked Number One under Thriller and the Number One YA Mystery on Amazon on April 2012.
You can get your Amazon Kindle version of this book for just $1.99 or buy the printed version for $9.99. Also, the Audio Book Version is coming out on May 20, 2012. Listen to an excerpt by Phil Elmore on http://www.pinevilleheist.com. Follow on Twitter and on Facebook.
Read below our Exclusive Interview:
[PRT] Screenplay first and then book, why in this order?
[Chambers] I am a film director first and foremost. I am used to crafting stories in this format. I have directed tons of short films but needed to create a longer story that I can use as my feature debut. Then it takes years before the movie is out and the book seemed like a good way to share the story and build an audience early.
[PRT] I have read the book a couple of times, and I always get caught up on the highly detailed scenery and plot, did the advantage of writing the screen play first help you in any way to translate those details onto the book?
[Chambers] Oddly enough, no. The screenplay is only a blueprint. It helped me define the plot and characters. It’s a document to make a movie and doesn’t contain highly detailed visuals. That is up to a director, cinematographer and production designer to interpret. As the writer that will also direct the story, I was free to paint it up as I wanted.
[PRT] From what I know about screen plays (which is not much), I thought you had to describe the scene details in order to understand the location, aspect and even the actor’s mood. Isn’t this the default template for screen plays?
[Chambers] You can only feature what you can SEE and what you can HEAR in a screenplay. You can’t discuss emotion and mood. You can only describe what you see and hear. That’s it.
[PRT] Where is Pineville located? (there are many places with that name)
[Chambers] Pineville is all made up. Todd and I went to White Pines High School and it kinda came from that.
[PRT] Since Pineville is made up (but Pineville’s across the world exists specially in the US), do you have a specific location that you would like to shoot the movie?
[Chambers] The shooting location is based on access to funding. Therefore I’ll be tied to shooting in Northern Ontario, Canada. Unless external finances are sources and then I am going to Puerto Rico.
[PRT] Will you or Todd make a cameo appearance on the movie?
[Chambers] I doubt it. We prefer to be on the other side of the camera.
[PRT] How are you and Todd handling all the sudden success?
[Chambers] Trust me… we are still poor. Lol Just exciting for us to find people that love the story and characters.
[PRT] How does Booboo Stewart resembles Aaron?
[Chambers] Booboo is a good looking young man. He has tons of charisma and just… well… looks like how I see Aaron.
[PRT] Fantasy Casting: Who would you like or who resembles Tremblay, Carl or Miss Becker? Who can play Derek?
[Chambers] Wow. Hard question to answer. I have a long list of potential actors but – other than mentioning Booboo – I need to hold off on answering that question. Need to wait till we get deep into production and start casting the other players. Hate to mention one actor over another until Hugh Jackman signs on too (did I just say that out loud?) It’s all based on budgets and scheduling.
[PRT] I wouldn’t mind seen Hugh in the movie!! LOL
[Chambers] As long as he doesn’t want to play Amanda!
[PRT] That would be funny!!
[PRT] Any of the characters or situations that are included in the book are based on real life people/situations?
[Chambers] The key turning point with Aaron under the canoe comes from playing hide and seek when I was twelve. No one saw me… but I could see them from the waist down. Love that scene and it’s serious tension.
[PRT] That part of the book, the description of it, really took me by surprise… it was really intense and nerve wrecking.
[PRT] Are there any scenes that were cut off the book? Any extra bits that would you have like to include?
[Chambers] Every scene in the screenplay… is in the book. Of course, we have since toyed with the screenplay a bit to enhance the action. But basically, it’s the same.
[PRT] This is a Young Adult Crime Thriller novel, is this your favorite writing style? What other style would you like to try or have tried?
[Chambers] This is my first book. So was an interesting exercise, considering I am more used to screenwriting. I find I am conversational in style which I think lends itself better for the Young Adult audience.
[PRT] Since your directorial debut will be the movie adaptation of this screen play/book, will it be a faithful book to movie or we will get to see more on the back story of the town and their town’s people, like Derek, Tremblay and Carl?
[Chambers] I think the book paints the movie version as I see it in my head quite nicely. It’s a good companion piece to the screenplay. As well as entertaining reader, it will helps all creative collaborators involved in the movie version understand my vision.
[PRT] So you studied abroad, do you think studying on England influenced your writing style?
[Chambers] Probably. I’m too close to the forest to see the trees. What do you think?
[PRT] At some points in the story, I am not sure if it just me, I could “read” words/contexts which I think were influenced by Classical English Literature. But hey, that’s me!
[PRT] On the story, Aaron will be reprising the role of ‘Hamlet’, do you think Aaron’s life is similar to Hamlet’s story? Is this why this play was incorporated to the story? (of course minus, Hamlet’s death)[Side note: I do think Aaron “died” in the story to be resurrected into the new Aaron, and his father’s influence is kind of similar to Hamlet’s Dad]
[Chambers] I think you answered the question for me! Lol
[PRT] So it is true, the Hamlet/Aaron comparison? So I might understand, you were influenced by Shakespeare in the development of this story? Or any other author/story? (not just your memories)
[PRT] The story is a fast-paced action story that keeps you on the edge of your seat while reading, do you think that having so many twists and turns has made this book a top seller?
[Chambers] The book comes from a well-crafted and carefully planned screenplay. The story is engaging and keeps you on your toes. That’s what readers want in a thriller.
[PRT] I love how we the reader, gets to react to Aaron’s findings throughout the story, do you think the reader can anticipate any of the plot points or they will take the reader by surprise?
[Chambers] There are always readers that can guess but I find more of them are surprised. Which is good!
[PRT] I loved that too!
[PRT] Do you think there might be an Aaron Steven’s book series??
[Chambers] Hmm… Interesting. You aren’t the first to ask. The key is finding the right story for him that elevates the game.
[PRT] Yes please!! It would be awesome!!
[PRT] Since the movie is ‘in development’, in what stage is the movie right now? Who is the company funding the movie and/or production company?
[Chambers] As well and creating the story and then co-writing the screenplay (with Todd Gordon), I am also directing and producing, alongside an established producer in Toronto. At the moment I am the driving force, with my passion pushing it forward – each and every day. If suddenly thousands and thousands of people bought the book, I would expect that would seriously assist us in the making of the movie. The funding applications are in and hunt is on for the millions to make it. Takes time and patience is needed. We’ll get there!
[PRT] Your next book is ‘The Sum of Random Chance’ when will it be out and what is it about?
[Chambers] The Sum of Random Chance is another screenplay developed book that’s due for release in late July. It is a fantasy drama that features Cole Wilkes, an eager rookie reporter for a small town paper who stumbles upon Sara Mackey mysteriously foiling a robbery at a grocery store. Desperate for success, Cole sets out to make his name on Sara’s unique gift. From the homeless man on the street to the cafe owner where she works, Sara seems to positively affect all she meets and Cole becomes increasingly intrigued by her presence. Is Sara special in some way or are all the magical moments pure coincidence? Do the random choices we make in life lead us down a path of no return or will Cole gain a sense of self-worth before he sells her out?
[PRT] Sounds interesting, but will another robbery scene resembles the Pinevile Heist? Is YA this book’s target audience? Will it be a series?
[Chambers] No connection to Pineville at all… YA for sure. Series… nope.
Thanks to Lee Chambers for taking time of his busy schedule to “chat” with us about his latest projects, ‘The Pineville Heist’ novel, his upcoming directorial movie debut and newest novel ‘The Sum of Random Chance’.
Do you want to become a character in Lee’s Next Novel ‘The Sum of Random Chance’? If YES, click here to learn how! (press on Contest)
Can you picture Booboo Stewart as ‘Aaron Stevens’ of ‘The Pineville Heist’?
The Pineville Heist by Lee Chambers, is a fast paced thriller about a teenage boy that stumbled on a robbery, find out what happened to him and much, much more!!
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