Indie Director Brings Killer Clowns to 15 Second Film Challenge


There’s been a lot of talk about scary clowns this October. While we don’t exactly advocate terrorizing your neighborhood in a curly wig and striped trousers, we can get behind supporting filmmaking challenges –   like the 15 Second Horror Challenge​Paul McErlean created Funny Things for the challenge, tapping into the current fear of clowns that’s gripping the world. Paul is primarily a photographer, who found that the distinctive look and colors of clowns were a natural transition to film.


“The shorter run time means you have to be more selective about your content and aware of what is essential to tell your story. With a photograph you have a different challenge, everything is so carefully considered you have to tell what story you can without movement. I really liked the idea of combining the two.” Paul said about the horror filmmaking challenge

The eerie clown short’s affect was assisted by makeup artist Mark Leeming. “The concept for Buffo the clown was harking back to the pure scariest that was the 80’s.  Simple gory ghouls and monsters that provided the big scares.  I used liquid latex and tissue paper to create the clowns ripped diamond shaped eyes.  This was then painted with kids face paints and Sclera contacts were used to create that creepy unnerving look.  The clown costume was an old Halloween one we had already used before.” he told us.


Screenwriter and Producer Simon Mayor was certainly influenced by the neighborhood clowns hitting the news, tapping into our real life fears. “People are dressing up and scaring people, attacking or robbing them. It’s all very creepy, and feels like something out of a horror film already. Because this is already in the public consciousness we’ve been able to take a simple concept and allow the audience to fill in the gaps.”  he explained.