LEGLESSCORPSE: Let’s start with this one: Do you have anything to do with those recent creepy clown sightings that have been all up in the news recently?
TOM NAGEL: No, we don’t have anything to do with all the recent clown sightings. It is crazy all this is happening with CLOWNTOWN and other clown films coming out though.
LC: Why do you think clowns are so creepy? What is it about them that terrifies so many people?
TN: It’s crazy because we all know how much clowns scare people. I am not one of them actually. I do find them creepy though. I am not sure if it’s something that has been passed on from hearing they are creepy or if it’s just something about seeing a grown man dressed up in crazy colors with makeup on. Maybe it’s the creepy laughing or their over happiness that they have. I do know people that had bad experiences with clowns as children and it stuck with them. They are absolutely terrified of clowns.
LC: Can you tell us a little about how this project came together?
TN: It started with my brother Brian Nagel and I. We set out to shoot some short films with the hopes of shooting a feature. After finishing some short films I reached out to my friend Jeff Miller, who is a producer. I sent him some of our shorts and after watching them, he agreed to come on board and produce a feature film. Jeff, Brian and I were the ones that came up with the concept of CLOWNTOWN. After a few other ideas, we thought of doing a killer clown film and we all loved it! ClownTown was then born.
LC: What about the timing? Your film is coming out at basically the same time as Rob Zombie’s new killer clown movie, 31. Did you plan it that way? Is it a happy accident? Or is it an unfortunate accident? Will his movie help yours get noticed or will it steal its thunder?
TN: We obviously knew Rob Zombie had some kind of clown film in the making but didn’t know when it would be done and if ours would be done at the same time. I think overall is helps. Our film is a lower budget indie film compared to his and I think it just brings clowns to the forefront, which helps us. Our film is different from Rob’s too so I don’t see much competition. With all the clown sightings, Rob Zombie’s film, Eli Roth’s CLOWN and other stuff out there I think we got a little lucky with clowns being a hot topic right now.
LC: So this one is “inspired by actual events?” Do tell!
TN: There are stories of Clowns that terrorized Bakers Field, CA. There are many rumors and stories about it on the news, but what I believe started it, was a woman started taking pictures of her husband dressed as a clown. After that there were reports of sightings of clowns roaming the streets, terrorizing people, holding random weapons such as baseball bats and crowbars.
LC: What made you decide to make a Horror movie with clowns? Do clowns scare YOU?
TN: Clowns actually do not scare me personally, but I do find them creepy. I knew I wanted to make a horror film and when we came up with the idea of clowns it just stuck. I hadn’t really seen a good clown film since Steven King’s IT and thought it would be a blast to make a film about killer clowns. Which it was! We had a great time making this film.
LC: Was the shoot a trial by ordeal, a genuine pleasure, or something in between?
TN: It was a lot of hard work which making any movie is. But it was one of the best experiences of my life. The cast and crew we had were incredible and we worked so well as a team. I have worked on some big sets and nothing compared to the comradery we all shared in making CLOWNTOWN.
TN: Well, right now we are in development of a supernatural thriller with the working title of THE TOYBOX. We will be announcing more on that this fall so keep an eye out. As far as clowns I would love to revisit maybe a CLOWNTOWN 2! Hopefully the film does well and we can make that happen.
I certainly appreciate Mr. Nagel for taking the time to chat with me! CLOWNTOWN will hit select theaters on September 30th and will be available on VOD and DVD on October 4th. Watch for our review of it here at the ‘Corpse!
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