Terry Serio in ‘On Halloween’
Filmmaker Timothy Boyle decided to shoot a micro-budgeted horror movie about a killer clown in between two other projects.
Operating virtually as a one-man band, Boyle wrote, produced, directed and photographed On Halloween. His associate producer Jeremy Cook was on hand at times to help move the lights and organise the cast.
“It was just me, my camera and my actors on set,” the filmmaker tells IF. “It was actually liberating, the best experience of my career and the closest thing I’ve ever had to truly experiencing being an auteur.”
Inspired by the creepy clown sightings of 2016, which prompted some people to go clown hunting, he assembled a cast including Giselle van der Wiel, Brandon Paterson, Conor Fogarty, Terry Serio, Ivan Topic, Aaron J March, Patch May and Ezekiel Simat.
Giselle plays Jordan Madden, a journalist in search of the truth behind a series of strange and brutal Halloween killings. She is supported by her cameraman Jimmy (March) and her husband Steve (May).
Topic, Robert Harrell and James Pratt play cops who are tracking down the killer clown. Paterson, Fogarty, Simat, Daniel Cummings and Anna Bauert are college students who go clown hunting. The clowns are played by Serio and Telen Rodwell.
The initial shoot took 18 days straight. Boyle then went home, re-wrote the script and resumed filming for 30 days. The cast speak with US accents because Boyle thinks that will maximise the chances of a US sale, aiming, naturally, for a Halloween release.
After the shoot he edited the movie at home, assembled a cut and showed it to Brad Hurt, the editor on his yet-to-completed The Half Dead, who came on board to continue editing.
He is heading to the US this weekend to meet with sales agents he has got to know – On Halloween is his fifth feature – and a few producers.
He intends to screen the film for Australian distributors in May and has already spoken to a number of independent cinemas, hoping for a limited theatrical release on or around Halloween.
Giselle van der Wiel and Ivan Topic.
The head of production house Boiling Point Pictures, his first film, The Big Night Out, was released in 1998, followed by Pros and Ex-Cons in 2005 and The Plex in 2008.
His fourth film, superhero adventure The Half Dead, stars Tasma Walton, Steve Bastoni, Terry Serio, Jay Laga’aia, Peter Phelps, Tiarnie Coupland and John Rhys Davies. Alas, that project has been stuck in post-production for several years as he has struggled to raise the funds for visual effects.
In the meantime he wrote another film, working title Disturbance, which he likens to Ghostbusters meets Poltergeist meets Village of the Damned.
He sent the script to some A-list actors and got a lot of interest but realised that if he shot that he would have two projects in post with no concrete plan on how to finish either.
Hence he embarked on On Halloween. “I’m not sure if I’ll ever get a chance to make another film like this,” he says. “This was pitched as my side project, the movie I made because my other film, my ‘real movie’ was taking too long to finish.
“But I’ve fallen in love with this film and I’m super excited to see the reaction when the first teaser trailer drops in the next few weeks.
“If you’d ever ask me a few years ago, would I ever consider making a creepy clown movie, my answer would honestly involve me laughing at you and thinking you had lost your mind. Now all I hope is there will be a sequel.”