Chewin the Fat
by Bay Ragni
Interview w/ Star of “No Clowning Around”
Rob Dimension, the self-proclaimed “Social Media Whore” who has been involved in the world of toys & collectibles, professional wrestling, 2 weekly podcast, TV show host, horror convention star & panel host, and now add to the resume movie writer, director, & actor.
Rob has gone deep into himself for this latest project, a movie. The movie ‘No Clowning Around” which stars Rob in the lead role, as a depressed and troubled clown, really brings out a lot of himself into the character.
I have to honestly say, usually when you hear of people doing an independent film, and you see a trailer you will see bad acting, bad production, bad story, just a bad package, and you can tell it is an independent.
When you watch this trailer, I am sure you will be both impressed and intrigued to see the whole thing like myself.
I was honestly quite surprised by how good this looks.
So with that, here is my interview with the #SocialMediaWhore……………Rob Dimension
Make sure to watch the trailer at the end of the interview.
Bay, it’s pretty crazy. As a lifelong fan of the Horror genre; to be able to create something, it’s really overwhelming.
Last year I hit a snag in my life, both professionally and personally. I had a Tv show (Late Night at the Horror Hotel) that was being seen in different markets across the US, plus had a strong following online and one day it stopped. We ran into numerous production problems and it really stopped being fun. At home, my life was a mess; marriage is work and sometimes giving up seems like a good option. I was middle aged, depressed and felt like I was in a cloud.
Luckily, my Wife (Kim) and I rediscovered love and remembered why we were together for nearly twenty years. Professionally I had started getting more roles in TV and film, plus the Extreme Odd Couple Podcast (www.XOCPodcast.com) with Steve Corino really developed a strong following. It was almost a roller coaster ride; No Clowning Around was inspired by depression.
The story is very personal for me; the characters and events that happen are metaphors for my own life.
Did you write, direct, produce, edit it all yourself?
I started to write; two days later I was looking at about twenty pages of story/script. I contacted Matthew Burd who had done some earlier episodes of our Tv show, plus I’ve known for over ten years; he penned a screenplay that just fine tuned the story and made it so visual.
Matt has several short films under his belt and I knew he really had a grasp on the story; Matt and I co-directed the film and Matt is handling the editing process. As for producing, we had a group of people donate to the project and we were funded within two days. Without everyone’s help, this would not have been possible.
The clown was a visual for me. Even though I’ve been involved with professional wrestling for over twelve years, I never considered myself a real part of it. My heart always was in comedy and entertainment; the clown paint was me…while I’m supposed to make people smile, I was devastated on the inside.
Professional Wrestling had its really good fall from grace story in “The Wrestler”; No Clowning Around is almost what my mind envisioned. Professional wrestling has some much sorrow in the business; it’s out there, in the open. I just didn’t feel it would be sympatric enough of a story for what I was trying to capture.
Was Mumbles the Clown based on anyone?
In a nut shell, The Mumbles the Clown character is really me. Ed is Mumbles; he once had a local Tv show and he lost it. The love of his life, Trixie, has her own problems and Ed must deal with the spiral of his life going down the tubes. I think once you see it, you will see why it was a clown and how the story can relatable…well, minus the murder…haha.
I’ve accepted that this is opening myself up, but I’m hoping that people will see the true message – You can’t beat depression but, you can look at it and rise above it.
Do you think people will say, another scary clown……….What makes Mumbles different than the others?
I don’t look at Mumbles as scary; he’s not a killer clown, he’s just a guy that can’t catch a break. I’m a fan of the killer clown sub genre within Horror. I have friends that have made some great killer clown movies; this just won’t fill that void. I think we are Drama, Dark Comedy and then Horror.
How long was the actual filming?
We were able to film in only four days but we spent sixty hours on set. Every day was fifteen hours. For the most part, the weather was cooperative. We had one particular scene that we ended up reshooting and it rained both times. We filmed in the Bangor, Pa area and had a small cast and crew; it made moving things along a lot easier.
My biggest problem was trying to co-direct and act in the film. I would consult with Matt the night before, then make storyboards and Matt would make shot lists; together we worked super smooth.
I never felt like “help me”, but it is a lot of pressure and can take a toll on you. One minute you’re acting or maybe even crying for the camera, the next minute, you’re moving furniture, prepping the set or adjusting the lighting. We were fortunate to have a tremendous crew; everyone really went above and beyond.
Both your wife and best friend costar in “No Clowning Around” with you, was it easier to work with them, or was it difficult since you were all acting and in character?
I had been working with Kim quite a bit leading up to the filming; I felt comfortable with how she was rehearsing. The best advice I can give anyone is to just relax, let down your guard and don’t act. Once you “try” to act, you’re doomed. Matt was helpful and would never “settle” on a take; often making us re-shoot to get it just right.
One particular scene with Kim really affected me; it called for my character to cry and in the moment, literally I wept for those two takes. It was emotional and almost was freeing, like I finally was beating depression.
With Corino, I can only say; he nailed it. When I wrote the character, I wrote it for him but still made him audition for the role; making him really work for it. Once he was working for it, I saw he really wanted to be a part of it. He was prepared and ready; was so proud of him.
Which part did you enjoy more to be in front of or behind the camera?
That’s a great question…I think a little of both. I have some more stories to tell, I have some things I want to shoot but, I still love acting. I just think the best idea for me would be, base my decision on each project and choose one, either direct or act. Doing both was just too much.
I also really want to write more; for film or even take a crack at a novel perhaps. I love writing and getting ideas out of my head that keep me up at night or might make people wonder what’s going on in my brain..haha.
Will there be a red carpet premiere of the movie on a big screen?
There sure will! Once we pin down an exact release date in December we will then move forward with a premier event. We are looking at the beginning of December right now, the night would consist of No Clowning Around, possibly another short, some Q&A’s and then we would run a fun Horror genre film for everyone to enjoy. We are looking for a venue within the Philadelphia/South Jersey area; we have a few in mind and hope everyone can make it out.
The idea for this 30 minute short is to prove we can have a story to tell, and then move on to working towards more funds to make this a feature film. The story is one chapter in Ed’s life; he has a lot of story to tell, the budget needed would be nearly six times the money we raised for this. I have the entire story written out; it’s just seeing if people WANT to see the entire story.
Out of all you have done in entertainment, wrestling, podcast host, etc., is this your proudest accomplishment thus far?
Without a doubt! The great thing about life is never putting a limit on what can be accomplished; I continue to push the boundaries and I encourage others to do the same. I will never just settle. I want to look back and have years of effort with, hopefully, success. I don’t think I will ever be satisfied until I succeed at the next thing on my plate.
What are the movies that influenced you to really dive into the world of horror?
Watching Halloween at a young age really opened my eyes to the genre. Corino has called me “A Smart mark of Horror” because of how I see things, analyze and obsess…haha…I guess that’s true. Having video stores accessible at a young age was a playground to see what was out there. Foreign horror, to the exploitation films, even the shot on video era made me fall in love with Horror. The box art of the VHS tapes often made me give films a chance that I typically wouldn’t. It was a different time to be raised; for that, I’m very thankful.
I went to a Catholic school until I was in eighth grade and I can remember in seventh grade getting into major trouble when I turned in a Halloween II book report, complete with graphic cover art. Too me, they just didn’t get it; I was in over my head as a kid and still go bat shit crazy for Halloween today.
What’s next for the self-proclaimed, Social Media Whore?
Probably more tweeting…haha. People can follow me on Twitter @RobDimension. I am that nerd who live tweets during The Walking Dead or gives my random opinion on the Michael Myers mask from part 5. I also have a 3 minute episode program called “Dimension’s Monster Chronicles” in development for next year; the premise is trailers, reviews and comedy, oh and some puppets!
Hopefully, No Clowning Around gets enough support and people care enough to want to see more of Ed’s story; I would LOVE to tell it.
Rob, thanks for your time, we wish you all the luck in the world with everything, and cannot wait to finally see “No Clowning Around”, anything you would like to add, and tell the fans?
Bay, thank you Sir. People can listen to me each and every week on the Extreme Odd Couple Podcast with Steve Corino (www.XOCPodcast.com) and also on Monster-Mania Radio with Monster-Mania promoter Dave Hagan (www.MonsterManiaRadio.net) – both shows are available on iTunes and Stitcher Radio. Please can stay on top of No Clowning Around by “liking” the Facebook page www.Facebook.com/NoClowningAround or going right to the website www.NoClowningAround.com
We will be offering pre orders for the DVD and the Limited edition (of 48) VHS of No Clowning Around on those mentioned sites as well as www.RobDimension.com
Thanks for giving me the time to get the word out, if anything I hope it helps someone who is feeling crappy realize you can accomplish things.
And here it is………..The Official Trailer of “No Clowning Around”
No Clowning Around Website
No Clowning Around Facebook Page