WCU student selected for Stephen King film project

art kingIn the coming weeks, Western Carolina University senior Mike Hill may go out after dark to drive up and down the interstates. He’ll be looking at rest areas, hoping to find a brightly lit one with a deserted parking lot that lies next to a black stretch of highway. If the place looks creepy, like something out of a Stephen King story, even better — because it could be.


With only one semester left until he graduates and plenty to do for his WCU courses, Hill also is working on an independent project outside of class that he hopes will help open doors to a professional career. Through a well-known program for young filmmakers, he is making a short film based on one of King’s stories. The master of macabre himself has granted permission for Hill to make an adaptation of “Rest Stop.”

“Over the summer, I was spending a lot of time reading King’s books and stories and found out about this program, and it sounded like a good learning experience,” said Hill, a film and television production major at WCU. He submitted a proposal online, and it was accepted. Within two weeks, he had signed a contract with King’s representatives and mailed in the required $1 fee that gives the program its name, “Dollar Baby.”

“Rest Stop,” a story in the collection Just After Sunset, is about a mystery author driving alone at night on an interstate highway. He stops at a rest area where he overhears a woman being assaulted in the ladies room and has to decide whether or not to take action. 

“It’s a story about domestic violence,” said Hill, “but even more than that, it’s the story of a person who stops something evil that’s happening but in that process behaves in a way that is also evil.”

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