Written by Patti Pauley
In case you’ve been hiding away in dark, damp sewer somewhere trying to make things float, then maybe you might have missed the fact an incredible Pennywise documentary is on its way from the filmmakers of Unearthed and Untold: The Path of Pet Sematary and You’re So Cool Brewster: The Story of Fright Night with now the focus on one of scariest damned things to ever come out of Stephen King’s brilliantly twisted mind; Pennywise: The Story of IT.
Don’t even act like you don’t want IT...
Directed by Chris Griffiths, and produced by Gary Smart and John Campopiano, the sensation of the story behind the Stephen King cult favorite miniseries from 1990 is getting the deadlights shined on it with a full two hours of never before seen footage. Campopiano, who also serves as the doc’s writer, talked to iHorror about this highly anticipated project, his deep connection with the 1990 film, and some exciting new perks available for anyone still wanting to back the documentary.
PP: Both the novel and film of Stephen Kings IT speaks volumes of both terror and personal struggle with fans. What is it about IT that has driven you personally to be involved with this doc?
JC: My team joined forces in a pretty organic way late in 2016. We all had an interest in telling the story of IT and taking a deeper look at Pennywise and coulrophobia. Truthfully, I’ve thought about doing a doc on IT for years but with so much source material (an epic book, a long made-for-tv miniseries) I just didn’t know if it was possible. When I connected with Gary and Chris in November 2016 and we discussed possibility working together, it seems my question was answered. All of us love the book and the miniseries and–perhaps the major driving factor of why we’re doing this–is that we have a nostalgic connection to it. Well saw it (probably far too) young and it left a lasting impression on us. Tim’s portrayal of Pennywise is so memorable and so much a part of the modern horror day fabric, that felt now was the time to finally tell the story and give fans the behind-the-scenes insights they’ve never had before.
PP: When did the idea for a Pennywise doc first come about? Tell me the story of that first conversation.
JC: I was talking with Bart Mixon (special effects makeup artist on IT) on the phone when he mentioned having hours of behind-the-scenes footage from the set of IT stashed away somewhere on VHS. Trying to keep my composure and not let my excitement come through on the phone, I said, “Hm…how interesting.” He then said that another filmmaker had inquired about it and had shown interest in doing something with it for a possible documentary on IT. That person ended up being Dead Mouse Productions director, Chris Griffiths, and so last fall I sent him a message saying something to the effect of, “Hey– I’m another huge fan of IT and have just come off my first documentary film project. If you’d ever be interested in collaborating on something I’d love to talk.” A short time thereafter Gary Smart reached out to me and after our first Skype call knew right away that we’d be collaborating on something special. And here we are!
PP: The campaign on Indiegogo states that the doc will contain over 2 hours of unseen set footage. Without giving too much away, can you elaborate on what we can expect?
JC: Sure. The footage showcases a lot of the behind-the-scenes prep for certain iconic scenes in IT. A lot of the cast are present including the painstaking process of building the spider from Part II. Of course, Tim appears in a lot of the footage—the best parts, obviously—and it’s our plan to get as much of that into the doc as possible.
PP: With that pretty sweet picture you’ve provided, it’s quite clear you’ve been a horror fan for some time. Do you recall what your first horror movie was?
JC: I don’t recall my first horror film, however, I do remember a few that I saw all around the same time (and pretty young at that). Little Monsters (while not a straight horror film) was one that scared me a lot as a kid. In all honesty, IT was another one. JAWS, too. With IT, it was one of the first instances I can remember of being too scared to finish a film but then re-visiting it just a year or two later (when I was a little older) and forcing myself to sit all the way through. I had crossed that threshold of being just too plain scared to being still scared but loving the rush it gave me. There are so many memorable scenes in IT but the scene with Georgie will always be a favorite because that was the one that sent me out of the room on that first viewing. Ugh, just barely into Part I–what a wimp.
PP: And finally, IT has notoriously sparked a fear of clowns into millions worldwide. Did Pennywise scare you initially as a kid?
JC: Yes, absolutely. Not only did the clown scare me but I think the film made me even more terrified of sewers and drains. Clowns are scary, and Pennywise certainly didn’t do anything to help ease that fear, but with a clown, you can easily avoid them. If you see one, go the other way. But with sewer drains there’s just no telling what’s down there. That scene with Beverly Marsh and the balloon that comes up from her bathroom sink. That really disturbed me as a kid. The fact that IT could turn something as mundane as a sink drain into something scary is a testament to the impact of the movie and the genius of King’s imagination.
SNEAK PEEK! Here’s a little something you’ve probably never seen but might love: Tim Curry in full Pennywise makeup on set and taking direction from director Tommy Lee Wallace (in the white hat). You can expect TONS of never before seen set footage from IT in our upcoming documentary. Have you preordered your Blu-ray or DVD copy yet? There’s still time! 👉LINK IN BIO 🎈 . . #pennywisedoc #pennywisetheclown #pennywise #it #itmovie #itthemovie #tommyleewallace #timcurry #clowns #coulrophobia #horror #horrorfilm #horrormovies #horrorjunkie #documentary #behindthescenes #1990 #comingsoon #indiegogo #independentfilm
While the campaign to get the Stephen King’s IT fan’s ultimate visual orgasm off the ground has been fully funded at this time, the crew who have worked tirelessly to bring us the best possible and in-depth documentary on that child terrorizing demon of the ages have put together a handful of all NEW incentives available for a very limited time in an effort to give us an even better film than ever anticipated. And man, oh man… If you haven’t hopped on this runaway paper boat yet, now would be a good time folks. Because YOU could be the proud owner of the ULTIMATE Tim Curry dream package!
This amazing exclusive offer includes 3 signed photos from Tim Curry himself, a copy of the limited Blu-ray, exclusive Pennywise Tee, social network thanks, and your name in the doc credits!
Another really cool added perk is the online production diary that allows you to literally give you day to day details on the documentary journey, while also giving you access to production photos, video diaries, and upcoming promos including the trailer.
There are only nine days left to get in on the Pennywise perks boils and ghouls as the campaign is coming to a close very soon! Head on over to the IndieGoGo page by clicking here to claim one of these limited edition items before it’s too late!