Interview with Shooting Clerks director Chris Downie

Shooting Clerks, no it’s not the story of my conquest against those grumpy b*stards at Sainsburys. It’s an Indiegogo campaign from Scottish indie film director Chris Downie. Downie is a freelance director that has spent the last few years producing biopic shorts with his friends for Kevin Smith’s YouTube channel “SmodCo Internet Television”.

Director Kevin Smith

Chris has accrued a team of trained actors and pro-filmmakers along with producers Brett Murray and Felix Kay to make their Kevin Smith biopic Shooting Clerks; “The true life story of how convenience store clerk Kevin Smith made his seminal feature film and the people who aided him in his indie crusade”. Which Kevin Smith? The bloke from Xena: Warrior Princess? NO! It’s the Fatman on Batman, the host of AMC’s Comic Book Men and of course THE director of Clerks.

We were lucky enough to drop a line with Chris from Auld Reekie Media and quiz him about this dream project.

MCMBuzz: First of all, let’s get the obvious question out of the way! – How were you first introduced to Kevin Smith’s work?

Chris: I was first exposed to Kevin Smith by a friend, at age 13. The film in question was Dogma. I had seen ads for the flick on TV and the premise of two fallen angels captured my imagination. After that I was hooked. I managed to get a hold of a bootleg copy of Chasing Amy after that but it would be a few years before I saw Clerks.

MCMBuzz: Prior to the Shooting Clerks project, you shot several shorts based on other events from Smith’s life. What about Smith’s life have you found so attractive?

Chris: I guess it’s the same reason people watch his films and listen to his podcasts, he’s interesting. That’s the reason most fans are fans, because the person they are passionate about is interesting enough to follow. It’s the fanatics that you have to watch out for, they follow folk for real.

MCMBuzz: How did Kevin Smith react when you told him that you were making a biopic on the journey he had making Clerks?

Chris: He has said on numerous occasions how flattered he is and how inspiring our ‘wee’ projects seem. When he found out about the feature he instantly tweeted/FB’d our Facebook page, thus garnering our first dollop of exposure.

MCMBuzz: Regarding the casting it looks as if your universe would be colliding with Smith’s View Askewniverse. Original cast members from Clerks (Ernie O’Donnell, Scott Schiaffo etc.) will be making an appearance, which has got to be exciting! What do they think of the project?

Chris: I can’t really speak for everyone involved but Scott and Ernie seem excited. Everyone involved, and even those who aren’t, have been very supportive, especially during the campaign’s preparation period.

MCMBuzz: Regarding filming locations, your previous films were filmed in Scotland, with Smith’s universe being based in New Jersey and your cast being spread across the world – where are you hoping to film?

Chris: We’ll be shooting all interiors in Scotland. Exteriors will be shot in New Jersey, where our second unit director Chris Murray is based, and Vancouver, where our co-producer Felix Kay runs his side of things.

 

So there you go! A little bit more light has been shed on this very interesting project. I personally would love to see this film go ahead and I’ve put my money where my mouth is! If you’re on the fence regarding the project then consider some of the perks. Contributing £10 entitles you to “RST Video Membership” – a download of the final film as well as series podcasts recorded during production. For a physical copy of the film it will cost you £20, but the most alluring perk has to be “The Walt Flanagan”; that gives you a copy of the film with the “For Love of Smod” Short Film Collection as well as a background role in the film. All of this for £200 of your British pounds!

If you want to support Chris and Auld Reekie Media in their campaign then visit their Indiegogo.com page. We’ve included the campaign video from the crew and the ringing endorsement from the Comic Book Man himself Kevin Smith! The campaign has until 2nd April to be successfully funded. If the campaign falls short of its goal, Chris has stated that they will still go ahead with the film.

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Source: IndieGoGo | Auld Reekie Media

Pictures: Christopher Downie (Auld Reekie Media)

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