The Clown

The Clown
written and directed
Debra Cohen
TRT: 16 minutes
Ryan Clardy as Alvin
Maureen O'Boyle as Deirdre

Assistant Director - Julia Aldana
'Lone Harvest' - Music by Kevin MacLeod

The Clown is a wonderful short film about 2 long-time friends, Deirdre and Alvin. Deirdre stops by Alvin's apartment for a short visit, and when she walks into his living room she finds all his clown outfits and toys have been pulled out of long-buried boxes. As she waits for him to come out she plays with his clown stuff.

Alvin is in the midst of reliving his dream of joining the circus and becoming a clown. The two friends connect on the level of their respective dreams for what they want in life, and find that they go about realizing their dreams in different ways.

How do any of us bring our secret dreams out to the world? There is a bit of madness about our dreams, yet do we have a choice?

How The Clown came to be ... I studied Screenwriting at the New School in 2007. What I started but soon got stuck in was an autobiographical screenplay. Then, working with some of the same themes as the initial screenplay, I wrote the step outline and also a few scenes for a fictional screenplay. The characters Alvin and Deirdre first made their presence known and they started to develop.

During Spring 2008, while I was in the Advanced Directing course at the New School, I morphed that screenplay into the short film, The Clown, developing the characters and their friendship further. I compacted action from several scenes and added new action as well. In the process the theme shifted focus a bit and I developed much of the dialog now in the film.

Everyone lives in his own fantasy world, but most people don't understand that.
Noone perceives the real world. Each person simply calls his private, personal fantasies the truth.
The difference is that I know I live in a fantasy world.
I prefer it that way and resent anything that disturbs my vision.

- Federico Fellini

The Clown was screened on Sunday, April 5th, 2009, as part of the NewFilmMakers Spring 2009 Festival at Anthology Film Archives in the East Village.

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Last modified July 2012.