Interview

w/The Production Team of Clowntown

Nick Lotz

​Los Angeles. Cleveland. New York. One of these things is not like the other, namely, the middle one, namely, CLE, namely, it’s not on the same level as these other two cities when it comes to the business of making movies.

Clowntown, which premiered last Friday at the Capitol Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio, is the first in a new wave of films that have been created in Ohio, starred local Ohio talent, and (naturally) host their premieres here (in Ohio) as well.
           
The film is, well, its fun. It doesn’t pretend to be something it isn’t and holds strong as a cheesy horror flick throughout. It’s going direct to video and in all likelihood won’t win any awards, but I’d still recommend you see it.

I had the opportunity to interview the screenwriter and producer Jeff Miller, executive producer Ron Lee, and sound engineer David Kirst at the premiere last weekend, an exceptional privilege allowed to few in this city.
 
Jeff Miller (Screenwriter / Producer)
 
When writing the film, why did you want to make a movie about clowns?
 
I had just read the story in the papers in October of 2014 about the Bakersfield, California clowns and people were dressing up as clowns and scaring kids. They were carrying machetes or bats or crowbars and they had chased a couple kids and the sheriff was warning people about it. That was kind of the inspiration. I thought, ‘This is a great movie. It writes itself.’ Tom Nagel and Brian Nagel and I were developing scripts and we had a couple scripts that we didn’t feel great about and I said ‘What about clowns?’ We all loved it. We said lets do Clowntown.
 
What made you decide to write it the way that you did?
 
I’m a big fan of 80’s and 70’s horror films, you know, ike John Carpenter, so I just wanted to do something in that vein. Tom and I talked about whether the clowns should be supernatural or real people and decided to leave it kind of vague ...kind of like Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
 
What’s your next project?
 
We’re developing a story called Toybox.  It’s made with the same Clowntown gang.
 
David Kirst (Sound Engineer/Tow Truck Driver)
 
David Kirst was my tow truck driver on the way home from Columbus. He did the sound engineering for the film, and got me on the press list, as well as got my car back to Cleveland.
 
First off, thank you David.
 
What did you think of the final product?
 
I like how it dragged on at the beginning, and made you comfortable before jerking you into the horror action. We just signed on to do Halloween masks next year for the Clowns from Clowntown, and Lebron James has this TV show, "Cleveland Hustles," and they filmed at the same place we filmed the rooftop scene. There’s a lot of great things coming on.
 
Ron Lee (Executive Producer)
 
All the clown stuff that’s happening in the country, we did not do it * wink wink *