Sunday night I came home to a weird surprise. I get an email from a Kevin Kangas, and he says he's the writer and director of a little movie that I totally ripped to shreds called "Fear of Clowns".
Almost immedately I began calling the F.B.I to put me in protective custody but further on in the email he tells me he thought my scathing review was funny and for the most part agreed, that the movie didn't turn out quite the way he expected it. I thanked him for not having me killed and ask if he'd like to partake in a Q&A session and surprisingly enough, he agreed.
I'm not a hard hitting journalist, so I dunno if my questions were any good. I felt compeled to have him explain the plot holes in the film but I decided that probably would get boring and stupid and just tried to get some behind the scenes info.
Oh and during said email exchange, he told me he just finished making (Seriously, unless he's totally pulling my leg) Fear of Clowns 2, which he promises will be nothing like the first and have more guts and boobs. Guess I'll have to just see this for myself. Onto the Q&A!!
1. What was your inspiration for writing "Fear of
I wanted to do an old-school horror movie, like Halloween, but I didn't just want to throw a mask on somebody. As I was thinking about it I remembered one of my friends is deathly afraid of clowns, and it just clicked from there. My brother designed the clown and we moved ahead with it. (For better or worse...)
2. I saw in the movie you had a throwaway character read Stephen King's "It". Were you trying to improve on his story or are you such a fan of the novel and/or movie that you felt compeled to make your own?
Improve on King? And IT in particular? Holy crap, are you high? :) IT is probably my favorite King book, and I just wanted to kind of say hi to it, kind of nod at it. I figured most of the horror people watching the film would kind of chuckle at it. I also was pretty sure King wouldn't sue me over it.
3. Since you said yourself the film was on a no budget, did you just cast friends and/or family to be in the movie? Or were they just actors who needed a big break?
Well, most of them are actual actors, but not professionally(they all had regular day jobs to pay the bills). So you cast the best you can. There were a couple of instances where I didn't get as strong an actor as I would have hoped, but there's not a lot you can do when you're working that cheaply.
4. Usually no budget movies are done in a rush. Were you under some deadline to have the entire movie completed or were you able to take your time?
The actual shoot was 18 shooting days over a 21 day schedule. That's pretty tight to get all of that stuff done. After that I could take my time in the editing room, as we didn't even have a distributor at that point, but I knew I was in trouble once I started putting the footage together. It was too long and I was going to have to cut stuff--and once I did there was a lot of things that weren't going to make sense.
5. How did this film get picked up by Lionsgate?
Well, a rep from Lionsgate saw the poster and teaser online, and they called me. It was pretty surreal. I thought it was a joke at first. But then I talked to them on the phone, got a rep, and it moved from there. But let me tell you, things have changed dramatically in the distribution world, so we're not even positive FOC2 will be coming through Lionsgate. They're trying to become a major studio now instead of a mini-major, which is what they've been. So they're scaling back their low-budget stuff.
6. You mentioned [in the previous emails] that the kid was hard to work with. Exactly what problems did you have?
Well, he's a kid--they have short attention spans, and Jack(the kid) tended to smile all the time. It's not his fault--he was freakin' six years old. I think at that age I was just trying not to wet my pants. And he's gotta act around this 6'2 clown, and it turned out he wasn't scared at all. He'd smile at Mark(the clown) and it was hard getting him to have realistic facial expressions.
7. Switching gears, how did you come about my review?
One of my cast had it forwarded it to them by a fan, and they sent it to me. I'm not sure how that original person found it.
8. Honestly, what was your first reaction and/or thoughts when you first read my review of "Fear of Clowns"?
The thing is this: I'll be the first to say FOC was a mess. It's obvious. The great thing is that a lot of people still seem to enjoy it. Sure, far more people seem to hate it, but there's still a lot of them that email me and seemed to really like it.
But I'm used to reading bad reviews. And I've heard FAR worse. It's never nice reading people trash something you spent 3 years of your life on, but you need thick skin if you're going to do it and put it out there.
On the other hand, a lot of what you said was not only true but really funny. The captions to the pics were great--I laughed out loud at "If I pissed all that, I'd go see a doctor right away."
There's 2 kinds of reviews in my eyes: The ones with ridiculous gripes, and the ones with honest criticism, and I think yours(for the most part) was honest criticism, even if you're a bit angry about it.
9. Why a sequel of Fear of Clowns?
Lionsgate mentioned they'd be interested, and offered to fund part of it, and the bigger part was that I thought I'd have a chance to fix what went wrong in the first. A little redemption. I didn't actually agree, though, until I hit upon a story that interested me.
10. Finally, can I be in one of your movies?
If you're in the area you can be an extra. I'm only using real actors from now on(you'll notice the difference in FOC2, I promise you).
Thank you so much for answering these, as lame as they
No sweat! I'll try to burn that screener this week and get it out to you.
He promised (or threatened?) to let me have a sneak peek at FOC2, so be on the lookout for that. Special thanks goes to Mr. Kangas for, yet again, not sending hitmen that we never met before after me, or even worse Shivers the Clown himself. If you need to be reminded how mean I was to Kevin and this movie, check out the review here.