Rob Dimension, the creator of "Mumbles The Clown" in NO CLOWNING AROUND was kind enough took some time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions about No Clowning Around for Death Ensemble. Here is the chilling result...
DE: You have been a horror host in the past, how much experience of your hosting days came in handy and what was the difference between shooting a host segment and a short film?
RD: Originally, when we shot Late Night at the Horror Hotel, Matthew Burd was the director. He also co-directs No Clowning Around and did the editing too. Matt and I have a real good working relationship and he kind of knows what I’m looking for and I trust him. When we would get together to tape a show, we would usually tape two shows and it could take almost 10 hours. Shooting the segments required set up and we moved stuff around, although the set was small, it was a pain to shoot around. Like making a movie, we had a script and tried to follow it the best we could. I think the atmosphere for the tv show was more relaxed; the film had a darker mood and I tried to stay quiet and even separated myself from others in-between some scenes.
With the film, we had to deal with a lot more to deal with. The weather was a hassle whenever we shot outside. Luckily, the houses that we used for the film were less than two blocks away. Matt and I had learned a lot since the TV show so we were more prepared. If anything, I think we both grew and just had a better handle on things. I made sure we had storyboards, while he made sure we had shot lists…something we never did with the TV show. I just think we were ready for this.
DE: You've said numerous times you were heavily inspired by John Carpenter's Halloween. How much of the classic film helped you create Mumbles?
RD: I am a huge John Carpenter fan. It’s weird, I don’t really remember, as I wrote this, to have anything in mind. I was depressed and was looking for an outlet. The film is full of metaphors that are personal to me. Mumbles in a sense is me, usually joking but hurting bad mentally. Mr Peepers is my conscience and Lenny really is all the outside nonsense that was risking me losing everything. I wrote this in two days, then sent about 15 pages to Matt and he put the story into screenplay form.
When he first read it, he was really up for the challenge. The few people I sent the screenplay too ahead of time just likened it to a Tales from the Creep episode. For me, it was light taking a weight off my shoulders…it was on the last day of filming, it was Sept 18th, my forty-second birthday, that was the day I finally felt I took my life back.
DE: We've had clowns in horror before, how is Mumbles any different from the others such as Pennywise from IT or the Killer Klowns from Outer Space?
RD: If anything, Mumbles represents those that are bullied. I think a lot of people will associate with him because, too many, they can relate to dealing with loss. A lot of the comments I’ve heard is that the makeup on Mumbles almost disappears as the film progresses, so you’re watching someone find his own happiness, as twisted as it is
DE: In NCA, pro wrestler and your cohost for the Xtreme OddCouple podcast plays a real jerk. How much of Corino's heel(bad guy in wrestling terms) past helped you decide he was right for the role of the jerk Lenny?
RD: He is my best friend and it only seemed perfect to have him in that role. Wrestlers have a tendency in movies to over act. The role was always his, it just made sense. Steve and I talked a lot about how to approach the Lenny character, in my opinion, he nailed it. He played it great. I was very proud of his work. Over the filming, he has found the love of his life and I’m very happy for him, plus, things for me have just gotten so much better. The positives have made it all just icing on the cake. We shared an #AirToast via twitter just to enjoy the moment.
DE: Please take us through your writing process and how you were able to turn an idea into a full fledged film.
RD: I sat on my couch, just miserable. I started to write my feelings…it really just started as a story, but the more I wrote, the more I felt like this could become something. The process took me two days and my excitement continued to grow. Once we had things laid out, I posted we were looking for donations to get this made and the donations poured in almost immediately. In two days, we raised the two thousand we needed to get this started. I knew Matt was ready, Steve and Kim were lined up, I got Sal (who voiced Pigamortis on Late Night at the Horror Hotel) involved and we shot for four days, about sixty hours of filming.
DE: Music is very important to horror films and the music in NCA is very impressive for a low budget short film. How did you acquire the music for your film?
RD: We were extremely fortunate. Matt has a few horror shorts under his belt and had Sean Bercaw and Steve Vil already, having done some soundtrack work prior, then Matt enlisted Lords of the Highway. The music really helps make this film better, as a really strong soundtrack should. These guys all have serious talent and I expect some great things from all of them in the future. I was so happy to have them involved. One thing Matt and I agreed upon when we started, we wanted original music. If you’re going to go through the process of making a film, you should go all the way and really make the project yours.
DE: Can we see Mumbles in a future project (full length, prequel, sequel)?
RD: At this time, I can’t say. We are planning an announcement soon. One complaint that a lot of people have with the movie is it’s not a feature. For me, this is flattering…we did our job…we left you wanting more. Pro Wrestling 101.
DE: it seems all merchandising and promotional supplements have been homemade. Any talks for any further merchandising from any companies?
RD: Like most Independent’s we are low to no budget…we do everything we can in house to help on costs. If the right offer came along, I would definitely look into it. Right now, we have posters, buttons, t-shirts and the DVD available but, we are always looking for more items to use to market ourselves.
DE: What does the future hold for you as a writer, director and an actor?
RD: As a writer? I love writing..like enjoy the hell out of it. Its expression for me, a release and I love writing about whatever is on my mind. Typically, it’s bullshit. This coming year, I plan on writing at least one other project. People can read my blog atwww.RobDimension.com. As a director, I’m not sure…directing is very difficult. I know what I typically want when I am working on a project but with No Clowning Around, Matt really steered the ship. It was emotionally draining to film some of the content we filmed. It was personal and when I cried, I really was crying…not from an acting stand point, but just because I was wrapped up in it. As an actor I’d like to do more work. I think most think I’m a comedy guy, but hopefully after the Mumbles role, they can see I have some depth. It’s hard for me to judge…I look at the reviews and listen to what people say about the movie itself, because its mine…I almost pass over the compliments on the acting, it’s last on my list to worry about when hearing reactions.
DE: One final question. We'd like to play a game of Marry, Love, Kill...Your choices are Laurie Strode circa 1978, Morticia Addams and Moira from American Horror Story.
RD: I think you have to choose Laurie as the one to marry, she was so wholesome and kind. Hard to find a lady like that…I’m lucky..haha…and smart. Ok, love might be Morticia, even though I’m a Munsters guy. Morticia was extremely sexy and seemed genuine so I think I could love her. Sadly, Moira, although highly attractive…would have to go…but maybe I can get a pity bang before off’ing her?
I want to thank Rob Dimension for taking his time to sit down and answer our questions. And on a personal note, thank you for being my first interview here on this site.