FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
IFTA AWARDS 2024
A troupe of failed clowns and an intrepid reporter embark on a chaotic road trip of self-discovery after a mysterious solar event plunges the world into anarchy.
Director: George Kane Writer: Demian Fox, George Kane, Shane O'Brien Producers: Morgan Bushe, James Dean
Q: What was the genesis of this film, and how did it evolve over the course of development to production and completion?
- Demian Fox, James Walmsley, Shane O'Brien (Writers): "Apocalypse Clown began life as a play in the Dublin Fringe which was basically an hour long argument between three clowns following a disastrous show. Over the next ten years and about fifty rewrites it finally emerged as a feature film which is basically a 104 minute argument between four clowns and a journalist following an apocalyptic event."
Q: What did you feel was the most fulfilling element of working on this film?
- George Kane (Director): "On a personal level, it was hugely meaningful to finally roll cameras surrounded by friends, unexpectedly close to my home town of Celbridge. I’ve spent past 15 years directing comedy around the UK and it was surreal and lovely to end up shooting my first proper feature in places like Maynooth and Donadea Forest Park! Creatively, it was a joy to get a chance to make something so unusual and off-the-wall without interference, and to finally hear the laughs we’d been working towards since 2013. Dressing George Snr as a clown was also a high point…"
- Demian, James and Shane: "The most fulfilling element of working on the film was being sent photos of people enjoying it as we intended. In an Etihad business class seat with a miniature bottle of Baileys."
Q: What do you hope audiences will take away from the film?
- George: "I want people to spend 100 unpredictable minutes laughing themselves stupid and wondering “where did this come from??” Silly, ambitious cinema comedies are thin on the ground these days – and I hoped we could evoke some of the spirit of Mel Brooks, the Marx Brothers, Monty Python… and do it in a way that no Irish film has done before. And maybe its existence might inspire other Irish comedy creators to pursue the projects they assumed no-one would allow them to make!"
Q: To what extent was your on-screen talent vital to the success of the film?
- Demian, James and Shane: "You can have the funniest script in the world, but it's worthless without an incredibly talented cast to bring it to life. Luckily, ours turned out to be amazingly funny. With one notable exception which we won't dwell on."
Q: What’s the most interesting/inspiring piece of feedback you’ve received from people who have seen the film?
- Demian, James and Shane: "The most inspiring feedback we received was from real life clowns, many of whom said it was the closest thing they'd ever seen to what clowning is actually like."
Q: Can you speak to the growth in the Irish film industry in recent years and how it helped your film get off the ground?
- Demian, James and Shane: "There are very few film industries that would have nurtured a film like ours and seen it to completion. The growth and success of the industry in recent years has meant that there is space for every kind of voice and story – even one as ridiculous as ours."
Q: Tell us a little bit about your journey as a filmmaker to get to where you are now?
- Demian, James and Shane: "Our journey as filmmakers has been a lot like the movie we ended up making. A bunch of clowns trudging through the wilderness watching their dreams die while they argue. With the occasional knife fight, but ultimately a happy ending."
- George: "My ambition was always split between wanting to make comedy TV and direct films, so I’ve tried to keep film projects rolling and developing while I got busy working in television. I spent a lot of time self-producing and directing comedy pilots, sketches and short films that allowed me to connect with producers and make some sort of name for myself. Television has given me acres of on-set experience, taught me how to plan and run my days efficiently and made me a better and more confident director of actors. With my TV CV and Apocalypse Clown behind me, I feel I can now push forward as an even more ambitious film-maker with a new momentum and weight behind me."
Q: Why is it important to see your work represented at the IFTAs and to be acknowledged by your peers in the Irish film community?
- George: "Having the IFTAs acknowledge our work means an awful lot as Irish film-makers – especially having made such a ludicrous piece of work! Comedy is needed and desired, but not often valued. It’s been said ad nauseum, but comedy is hard and rarely, if ever, gets the same attention as the big weighty dramas during awards season. A nod from IFTA would show us that the hard work and ingenuity of our cast, crew and creative team hasn’t gone unnoticed. Consideration by IFTA and our peers would let us know that we pulled off something funny and original and valued, and encourage us to do it all over again."