Indie ‘Clown Town’ series to premiere Feb. 8 in Montclair

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By Rebecca Panico | Published Jan. 30, 2017

Louis Bacigalupo hadn’t considered there would be a nationwide clown scare last year when he shot “Clown Town,” a movie featuring actors dressed in clown makeup.

There were obviously some challenges during shooting.

“There was a rowboat scene,” said Bacigalupo, who was covered in fake blood for the shoot. “We get on the boat, we push off, and the cops roll up. And we’re like ‘oh my god,’ we’re like five f—ing clowns in a rowboat. Like, after all this crazy clown shit you hear on the news.”

Bacigalupo is a former communication major at Kean who dropped out to pursue acting school instead. He now studies at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.

He and Louis Nicastro, currently a criminal justice major at Kean, put together the five-part series which will be aired on Vimeo for free after premiering at local concert venues this February.

“I’m good at organizing,” said Nicastro, who co-produced the movie with Bacigalupo. If something’s off…I can see it, I visualize and then I tell them. I dictate, like ‘hey, maybe you should try this, try that.’”

Shot in Lake Hopatcong and set in Montclair, the movie follows the story of Lew, played by Bacigalupo, when he returns from a psychiatric ward after a suicide attempt. Everyone appears as clowns to him upon his return.

Lew falls for Lola, played by Maya Murphy, who asks him to kill her boyfriend, played by Charles DePiero. Not in the right state of mind, Lew holds him hostage in his room for weeks, feeding him beer and applesauce.

Bacigalupo said he got the inspiration to write the independent, dark comedy while drinking at a bar one night and observing his other “despondent” actor friends. He questioned whether all his artistic friends were really happy.

“So that’s where I got the idea for ‘Clown Town,’ where I’d write about all these people that look happy because they’re clowns, but they’re just miserable,” he said.

There were six main actors, with Nicastro playing an extra. The film had a small budget of about $200, most of which went to beer on the set, Bacigalupo said.

The movie is set to premiere at the Meatlocker in Montclair on Feb. 8 at 9 p.m., where all parts of the series will be shown as a feature-length movie.

Rebecca Panico may be reached at Follow The Tower on Twitter@KeanTower. Find The Tower on Facebook.

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