If a production company wanted to adapt one of Stephen King’s major works for TV or Film, they would have to pay many thousands of dollars for the chance. However, Blaenau Gwent Film Academy in Wales got the rights to produce a 2003 short story for only $1 (£0.78).

The story is “Stationary Bike,” which follows the story of a man who uses an exercise bike to try to lose weight, but in true King style, weird things start happening to him. The story forms part of King’s short story collection, “Just After Sunset.”

Welsh film school to produce ‘Stationary Bike’

CTV News spoke to Ryan Probert, the actor who will be playing the lead role in the film.

Probert said it is an exciting achievement for the community. He said in their area, opportunities like this are “few and far between.” Probert said to have a film project with Stephen King’s name attached to it is a big thing for all of them.+

The students won the production rights through one of King’s special “Dollar Baby” contracts. King has a list of 30 stories on his official website that young students and filmmakers can win the rights to for only one dollar.

Admittedly the stories are King’s lesser-known works, but this could lead to great things for the production company involved.

There is only one condition set on the use of the work – the film cannot be used in a commercial way without first getting approval from King, after receiving a DVD copy of the finished work.

Speaking of the story and his role, Probert said what starts out as being good intentions by the man using the exercise bike soon changes and becomes an obsessive ritual.

The man starts having hallucinations and some “pretty strange” things begin happening to him.

The Independent quotes Kevin Phillips, a tutor in the film programme, as saying they had emailed King’s secretary, Margaret, who responded within 24 hours. They had said in their email that students wanted to produce the film on a not-for-profit basis and they received a contract signed by the horror author himself.

‘Dollar Baby’ contracts can lead to bigger things

Frank Darabont, a well-known film director and writer, got started in 1986 with one of King’s “Dollar Baby” contracts for the story “The Woman in the Room.” That film became a semi-finalist in the Oscars. This gave Darabont the opportunity to adapt three well-known King stories into hit movies, “The Green Mile,” “The Mist” and “The Shawshank Redemption.” The Independent notes that Darabont was also a former showrunner on the AMC zombie show “The Walking Dead.”