Adam Krause Brought Us Gags

Aug. 18, 2016
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There are times when I’m almost sure that each one of us is alone in the universe, toiling in chaos, victims of a big accident. But then an even bigger coincidence comes along, and something deep within the mystery winks at me, and I go on believing. Never underestimate those winks.

That was certainly the case with the Green Bay clown. I saw Facebook pics of Gags on a Sunday, wrote a farce that was posted on a Monday, and on a Tuesday, the revelation came that it was all a promotion masterminded by filmmaker Adam Krause...

"I know that guy!" I exclaimed. The universe had winked.

I was overjoyed and brimming with questions, so I had to contact an old friend from college to get the scoop on the harlequin I’m so glad is a short-film character and not a serial killer.

What inspired you to make Gags? 

Real-world headlines. "Clown Roaming" is actually a thing. The Wasco Clown, the Chicago-Cemetery Clown—people actually do this. The first time I came across one of these stories, back in 2014, I thought, “That’s going to make a sweet horror film.” But then nothing came out. Then a few more real-life incidents popped up with the clowns staging even more elaborate scares, and finally I said, “Screw it. I’m making the movie myself.”

I'm finding that apart from artistic talent, convincing people to care is a talent of its own, so I was amazed by this marketing strategy. Can you elaborate on your unique approach?

My intention all along was to keep the film under wraps in order to pull off the viral marketing campaign. It worked wonderfully because the universe that exists in my movie is the universe that I actually created in real life that first week the pics went viral. My characters are a group of 20-somethings that go out one night in Green Bay during a citywide buzz thanks to this Gags the Clown, who’s been spotted numerous times around town. Everyone is talking about it and wondering what the motive is—and this is exactly what happened a few weeks ago when we first released the pics.

I knew the idea of a roaming clown could easily go viral. So, from the start I knew that was going to be the way I brought attention to the film. But I can’t stress enough how blown away I am that the strategy worked as well as it did. I shared the first post on August 1st. After five days, our initial post was shared over 8,970 times. Word of Gags spread all over the world, with stories appearing in Ireland, Germany, and Spain, among many others.

Do you prefer gory or psychological horror?

I really enjoy films with a premise that could easily be pulled from today’s headlines, and those tend to be more psychological. For instance, Gags utilizes the found-footage aesthetic, which fits the phenomenon since these roaming clowns get recognized by amateur cellphone videos and pictures.

Why do you enjoy being scared?

I don’t know, man. Some personalities just click with it, I guess. I will say that I was able to come to terms with it better once I started attending horror festivals and gatherings and saw first-hand that horror buffs are some of the nicest, warmest, most level-headed individuals I’ve ever met. They’re creative and passionate. I’ve befriended enough of these individuals to the point where I don’t care to answer the “why” anymore because I don’t look at it as a bad thing.

For striving artists working on a modest budget, are you more driven by the hope of bigger, better things or the pure enjoyment of the process? 

Honestly, I’ve acquired more knowledge, met more inspirational people and have had more success as a filmmaker after I let go of the toxic idea that either people are paying you money to make movies or you’re nothing. Just because I’m not in LA working in the industry doesn’t mean I can’t write my ideas down and turn them into a movie if the desire strikes.

Obviously, the hope for bigger and better things is always there. But that’s part of the fun, too. Pushing yourself to make something that could get noticed on a larger scale than just a few local film festivals.

When will Gags be made available?  

Gags will be finished by late September/early October. Local screenings will be planned shortly after with a film festival run to follow.

Right now, your best bet to follow the film is the Facebook page. It’s updated daily with Gags sightings, behind-the-scenes photos, fan art, film details, etc. A website will soon follow and that will be listed on the FB page as well. 

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