“It’s been my dream to tell the story of the making of the movie.”
The last several years have seen a rise in exhaustive fan-made documentaries for franchises like Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Hellraiser. And individual movies have also gotten the fan doc treatment, including Fright Night and Pet Sematary. Today we’re excited to exclusively report that the makers of the two latter docs are teaming up to explore all things IT.
From Dead Mouse Productions, producers of You’re So Cool, Brewster! The Story of Fright Night and John Campopiano, director of Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary, comes the ultimate documentary for the miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s IT. As fans of the 1990 film know, the home video releases came packaged with nothing in the form of special features aside from a commentary, and Campopiano and Gary Smart are looking to remedy that.
The documentary is already in pre-production, and the two creative forces sent over some comments for us to share here on Bloody Disgusting. What can you expect? Read on!
“As a super fan of Stephen King’s IT for as long as I can remember, it’s been my dream to tell the story of the making of the movie and to unpack why Tim Curry’s portrayal of Pennywise the Clown has resonated so deeply with so many people for the last two and a half decades,” wrote Campopiano. “That said, after the Pet Sematary documentary that Justin White and I made, Unearthed & Untold—which took nearly four years to make—I was so exhausted that I had pretty much come to terms with the idea that I wouldn’t make another retrospective film again. The process, while enjoyable and extremely rewarding, was so draining, expensive, and time consuming that I had a hard time imagining doing it all over again.”
“That was, until I connected with Gary Smart, a fellow filmmaker whom I’ve known for several years and whose similar work in the vein of horror documentaries I’ve admired,” he continued. “Gary and I connected earlier this autumn and expressed a mutual interest in telling the story of IT. What’s more, after meeting Tim Curry this past October and finding great success with a series of cast and crew oral history interviews for Dread Central, it started to feel as though the stars were beginning to align.”
“Joining forces with Gary and his team to tackle the making of Stephen King’s IT has already been exciting and we’ve only just begun. As with any documentary of this kind, the gold really lies within the people and places responsible for bringing a film to life: cast, crew, and the film’s locations. Going a step further, it would be impossible to examine IT and Pennywise without also looking at the phenomena of coulrophobia, i.e., fear of clowns.”
“For me as a child growing up in the 80s and 90s there were a few horror films and characters that defined my cinema tastes,” added Smart. “Stephen King’s IT was one of them. I first came across Pennywise the Clown in 1990 at the age of 8 when I saw the premiere of the miniseries on UK TV. From that moment Pennywise was up there with Freddy, Pinhead, Michael Myers, Jason, Leatherface, and Chucky. Tim Curry’s portrayal of Pennywise was not only a highlight of the miniseries but horror in general.”
“Over the last few years I’ve been extremely lucky to be involved with some amazing projects. From being asked by Thommy Hutson to write ‘More Brains!’ to setting up my own company and producing ‘Leviathan’, ‘You’re so cool, Brewster!’ and more recently ‘RoboDoc.’ As a huge fan of Pet Sematary I followed John’s progress with his documentary, ‘Unearthed & Untold’, and recall speaking to him in 2012 when he asked me for some advice on making docs (if only he knew that I was pretty much making it up as I went along).”
“Whilst making ‘You’re so cool, Brewster!’ Chris Griffiths, Adam Evans and I had discussed with Tommy Lee Wallace and Bart Mixon the possibility of an IT documentary, however, before we knew it we were already deep into pre-production on ‘RoboDoc’ and shelved the idea.”
“Then recently the idea resurfaced and I knew instantly that there was one man who could write the doc and co-produce with me (with Chris directing) and that was John Campopiano. On his first doc he really added extra layers to ensure that the narrative flow was not only interesting but also engaging. Working on an IT documentary has been a dream and I’m really looking forward to sinking my teeth into this project in 2017 and celebrating not only a classic piece of horror but also a wonderful performance by the great Tim Curry.”
Campopiano told me that he’s already uncovered a wealth of never-before-seen photos from the production of the miniseries that he can’t wait to show off. And we can’t wait to see them.
Be sure to follow the Dead Mouse Productions Facebook page for the latest updates!