AUSTIN VAN PAY | ENTERTAINMENT COLUMNIST
The clown phenomenon has swept the nation indefinitely, but one clown in particular hits close to home here in Green Bay. Ever since the first Facebook post at 2 a.m. on August 1, Gags the Green Bay Clown has been an unexpected viral hit, getting more than 500 shares within a day of the first sighting post. Many were left to wonder: who is this clown? Why does he just walk around creepily at night with these four black balloons. Is he crazy?
To many locals’ relief, these questions were answered in time by director and Green Bay native Adam Krause. Adam waited for the right time to let the truth come out surrounding the clown and did this through both social media outlets and a multitude of radio interviews. The character Gags was to be the star of his own short film simply titled “Gags.” This ingenious marketing technique created local, nationwide and even worldwide interest. The social media campaign was fascinating and very creative on Adam’s part and definitely created a ton of buzz for this character and short film.
On October 3 at 8 p.m., the short film for this infamous clown was finally unveiled, and, luckily, I was able to be a part of it!
The night began with me and other fans having the chance to snap a photo with the creepy balloon-toting clown himself. Soon, event attendees were asked to take their seats and were treated to a music video for the song “Tanked” performed by Green Bay rock band “He-Nis-Ra” which features a short appearance from Gags.
Following the music video, a montage was played showing the many different reactions from around the world to the Gags phenomenon. Ranging from YouTube to the Huffington Post, these reactions were both hilarious and interesting to re-visit. This montage was a perfect way to introduce the short film and give background surrounding the public’s view of this menacing clown. As the applause grew louder, the title “Gags” appeared on screen and the public was finally able to view the short film for the first time!
I have to say, director Adam Krause did a great job using different locations in the Green Bay area to evoke a creepy vibe. With a runtime of around 16 minutes, “Gags” was a short treat that left me wanting more. The performances were pretty well done, and Gags was as creepy as ever with his blank clown stare and four black balloons. I loved the creative way they went with this character as the film progressed, and I think it’s worth checking out if you are a fan of horror.
The premiere event was concluded with a Q&A with director Adam and the cast and crew. I thought it was a great way to get to get a personal idea of Adam’s vision as well as hear the experiences of dealing with the buzz of the character and what it was like to be in the actual film. I was fortunate enough to be able to ask Adam if he had any favorite horror films or found footage films and if they inspired the film. Adam responded by mentioning films like “IT,” “Clownhouse” and found-footage legend “The Blair Witch Project.”
This event was an inexpensive and fantastic way to premiere the film. Both the event and the character itself brought something very unique to the Green Bay area. I’m looking forward to attending more premieres, as well as seeing if Adam has anything more in store for Gags.
Look out for more “Gags” showings this month and be sure to go like the Gags – The Green Bay Clown Facebook page if you’re interested in learning more!