Kickstarter is making a lot of headlines lately. From “Veronica Mars” to Zach Braff’s latest feature, there is no shortage of opinions on the value it holds as a tool to finance independent film projects. Kickstarter does represent an alternative approach to funding smaller film projects but some question whether the entrance of higher profile projects help draw more money to the smaller projects or perhaps suck up the bulk of the funding because of the familiarity that might be associated with such projects or celebrities that are associated with them. An Atlanta production and distribution company is testing the Kickstarter waters for the first time with a new project. Afterlight Pictures plans to produce the feature film "Pissed Off Clown" and raise production funds through Kickstarter.
Zeke Flatten will direct from a script by Adam Minarovich whose latest script “Pawn Shop Chronicles” was directed by Wayne Kramer and will be released July 12th. Rob Pralgo (“The Vampire Diaries”, “Teen Wolf”) will star along with writer Adam Minarovich (“The Walking Dead”).
The movie follows an attorney at the top of his game who faces a childhood fear and stands up to a belligerent drunken clown at a local carnival. That action comes back to haunt him as he discovers that he confronted the wrong clown…the Pissed Off Clown.
I spoke with the director and writer about the project and their Kickstarter campaign.
1. Will this be your directorial debut?
Yes, for all intents and purposes this will be my directing debut. I have directed a few commercials and music videos but never anything longer than 4 minutes; all my experience has been on the producing end.
2. What attracted you to this script?
First of all, Adam's writing is just so damn good. Who wouldn't want to direct something he wrote? Especially for their directorial debut. A little over a year ago I started looking at scripts for something to direct. Early in that process I read "Pissed Off Clown" and immediately fell in love with it but after I talked with Adam I learned that it was loosely tied up with a big Hollywood director and I moved on. Then, last September I produced a film called "Remnants" starring Tom Sizemore and Adam co-starring in the movie. Shortly after we wrapped Adam emailed me to say that "Pissed Off Clown" no longer had this Hollywood director attached and it was available...and off to the races we went.
3. Why did you choose to go the Kickstarter route?
Up until very recently, my impression of Kickstarter campaigns was more of small projects (mainly shorts) that people would get their close network of family and friends to kick in some money to get the project made.... definitely not mainstream and sometimes thought of as less legitimate. But over the past several months there have been some extremely successful campaigns for feature films which made me start to look into it a little more. What is really appealing about the crowd funding route is there are no investors that we have to satisfy or who have creative control; you don't have to balance creative decisions versus business decisions and you can make the film ultimately that you think the audience wants. Secondly, the indie film world is changing so dramatically, especially when it comes to distribution. This made me start looking at different ways to sell/promote independent films and that is what a Kickstarter campaign is; it's the presale of merchandise to fund the project.
1. Talk about your recent experience with your script “Pawn Shop Chronicles”?
Pawn Shop Chronicles was very exciting. I had just finished working on “The Walking Dead” when I got the word it was going to get made. I was shocked that Norman Reedus was going to be in it since we had just worked together and I had even mentioned the script to him.
I was blown away with the ensemble cast that came together to make the film and I was a huge Wayne Kramer fan so that was the cherry on top. I was able to go to Louisiana and do a small role in the film and it was unreal to see all the things I had written coming to life. The film is not for everyone, but I think the people who get it will really like it. There are lots of tonal shifts and it is very NON PC, but everything in it, no matter how bad it sounds, actually has a point and presents something to think about.
2. What was the inspiration for “Pissed Off Clown”?
A good friend of mine, Actor Robert Pralgo, and I have talked for a long time about a project for us to do together. I tried to think of several ways I could stalk or torment him in a thriller mixed with black comedy. After much thinking, coming after him in a clown suit seemed like a dark, creepy yet humorous way to go about it.
There are a lot of stupid clown movies, and some great ones. I didn't just want this to be a "poster" movie that people would watch because of the funny title. Don't get me wrong, that helps, but I wanted this to be a true “edge of your seat” thriller. I think we have come up with something that will definitely entertain, disturb, and make our audience laugh at some points.
For more information on “Pissed Off Clown”, you can visit the Kickstater page for the movie here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1866302783/pissed-off-clown-written-by-adam-minarovich