Recently, SINFUL CELLULOID’s Summer Van Der Wolf got to speak with Tom Nagel, the director of the upcoming CLOWNTOWN.
SC: While you’ve done shorts before, this is your first feature film. What got you into directing?
TN: Growing up, I had been acting ion films since I was a kid, and I think the seed was planted then. I would always be in and around the set when I wasn’t acting. I was really excited to work with Zack Snyder on MAN OF STEEL, observed a lot and learned a lot from that. I’m finding that, as an actor, as you get older you find what you’re good at. I tried directing a couple shorts, and it just clicked and I knew this was something that I wanted to keep doing.
SC: Any difficulties shooting in the abandoned town out in Ohio?
TN: I think that, working on B-Films, there’s always something that’s bound to happen. My biggest concern with shooting in Ohio was the rain, but it actually only rained one night, so we only had to go an extra day. It would rain all day, and then right at 5 o’clock, it would clear up. We were pretty lucky in that regard. The warehouse and junkyard were sometimes difficult, as they didn’t have power so we were running lots of extension cords. We had an issue one night, when we were filming a rooftop fight scene, and there was lightning! So we had to keep a look out, any sign of lightning and we would carry everything 5 floors downstairs and do interior shots or shoot out a window or something. It was just that back and forth, dodging lightning. We finally got it though and no one was hurt.
SC: Any plans for a sequel?
TN: I have definitely thought about it. We don’t have a script yet, and I mean, nothing’s greenlit. I think it would be a pleasure to go back to CLOWNTOWN again. Hopefully the movie does well enough that we can get something going for a CLOWNTOWN 2. Fingers crossed!
SC: The clowns in your film are all very different from each other, and I want to say almost supernatural? Paranormal? Was that the intent, and what was the inspiration for that?
TN: I’m glad you caught that. I didn’t want to copy the typical jolly clown, but I didn’t want to go so far in the other direction that they were unrecognizable as clowns. I was working with the designers to get a look that would accentuate each actor’s physical traits. Like Chris Hahn, the Machete Clown, he’s this big guy, so we used that as inspiration for his design. We wanted these clowns to have characterization despite having no dialogue. If we do get to revisit CLOWNTOWN, I’d love to get into the possibility of different types of clowns and exploring how the clowns are.
SC: So, aside from CLOWNTOWN, what’s next for you?
TN: Right now, we’re actually working on a screenplay. We’ve got a working title, so that will probably change. I can’t tell you too much about it, but it’s going to be a supernatural thriller. We’ll be announcing that sometime in the future. Right now it’s mainly traveling for the CLOWNTOWN premieres there, and supporting that.
CLOWNTOWN will be in theatres on Sept. 30th, and on DVD and VOD Oct. 4th, 2016.