BEHIND THE SCENES AND Q&A > CLOWN LOVE
Q&A WITH DIRECTOR JOE WHELSKI
1. What is your background in sketch/comedy/film?
I've been a lover of comedy my whole life. Gene Wilder, Monty Python, and MASH got me going as a kid, and I never looked back. Oddly, much of my early acting and film career was drenched in drama. I'm not sure if that's a "guy" thing, but one day I sat back and said to myself, "It's so much nicer to laugh than it is to cry." Of course, I never really said that - that would be creepy - but I did start telling the stories I wanted to in a style I would describe as darkly comedic. I've been writing, producing, and directing indie films for ten years now, and I look forward to what the next decade has in store. There's so many issues in the world these days, and I think it's the filmmaker's job to incorporate those issues into their work and get the audience thinking a bit. Comedy is the perfect vehicle for that.
2. Tell us about some of the challenges of making your film.
Every shoot has its fair share of challenges, and "Clown Love" was no different. Coordinating the schedules of my crew and cast of seven was a bit of a juggle (pun intended). I lost several of my actors for a few hours on the shoot day because they got a chance to audition with a legendary playwright. Since I'm an actor myself, I respect that kind of big opportunity. But to accommodate those auditions, I had to totally reorder my shot list, which of course affected the logistics of the shoot. For instance, I had to use artificial lighting for some of the shots I'd originally planned to do in natural daylight. I also had had to cut down the total number of shots because there just wasn't time to get everything I wanted. In comedy, you can get away with telling a lot of the story in master shots and medium shots, so it ended up working out in the end.
3. What would you do differently if you were to make this film again?
If I had a time machine, I would first go to meet Humphrey Bogart. But since I don't drink, he probably wouldn't have much to say to me. I would then spread out the "Clown Love" shoot over two days, mostly so I would be able to spend more time getting the full arsenal of shots that I originally had envisioned. Due to scheduling conflicts, everything had to be shot in one marathon day. Doing that, you always miss something. Maybe to an audience it's not a huge deal, but as a filmmaker, you think about it. I also really wanted a small marching band to parade through the house during the final scene, but maybe I can add that to a future video!
4. What's next for you? What's your next film project going to look like?
I'm in the process of shopping around "Mating Dome," my sci-fi comedy feature script that I met with Warner Brothers Studios and various producers on. I have potential national commercials for the Shark Angels and for World Rhino Day on the slate (I'm a big animal lover!). In addition, I have another video for the Magnet Video Lab that I'm super excited about. And of course, I always love to work with new folks - so drop me a line, dear readers!
5. Tell us about the Magnet Video lab and its role in making this film happen
I was actually accepted into the Magnet Video Lab on my birthday, and it couldn't have been a better present. It's so crucial for filmmakers to have a community of folks who share a common vision and work ethic. The Magnet produces some of the best comedy in NYC, and now we're expanding their video reach. My fellow labbers were instrumental in the making of "Clown Love," and were with me every step of the way. We have an exceptional group of talented comedic filmmakers, so mark your calendars for our next screening on June 1 at the Magnet Theater!
A visit to the circus awakens long suppressed desires in a young affluent couple.
A Whelski & Aguilar Production
Written & Directed by Joe Whelski
Filmed by Alain Aguilar
Starring Natalie Frost, Jason Pierre, Alexander Pepperman, Penny O’Brien, Amy Scanlon, Jim Turner, Wesley Volcy, Stevie Tosh
Editing by Joe Whelski
Crew: Jake Shifman
Music from shockwave-sound.com
Costumes from Abracadabra, NYC
No clowns were harmed in the production of this video.
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