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Oklahoma filmmaker pays homage to 'Clerks'
James Nghiem admits he was a bit naive when he took on his first full-blown film project.
Originally devised as a shot-for-shot remake of Kevin Smith's 1994 cult comedy hit “Clerks,” the Norman comedian/musician's “Clerks Too” instead became a 37-minute short about one man's misguided quest to create a shot-for-shot remake of “Clerks.”
“Honestly, I think at the time I just didn't have anything to do. Like I thought I could do it in like a week. I thought ‘Clerks' was kind of a simplistic production,” said Nghiem, who works as a freelance video editor. “I was just coming off a job, and I just didn't have anything to do. I didn't have a script written, but I still wanted to be active.”
Nghiem, who turns 29 on Jan. 5, began joking that he was going to remake “Clerks,” and people loved the idea. So he decided to try it.
“It was really hard. It was a lot harder than I thought. I don't know, I didn't realize the amount of organization skills it would take to put this thing together. Because in my brain, everybody's seen ‘Clerks' and they could just show up and do the movie super-easy,” said Nghiem, who is releasing the movie under the indie comedy label he founded, Robot Saves City.
Plus, he had a tough time finding convenience stores where he would keep shooting his homage to Smith's black-and-white breakthrough film.
Nghiem's directorial debut will premiere Saturday night after “The Post-Apocalypse Bash,” a stand-up comedy show at City Arts Center featuring some of the funnymen who appeared in the film.
“‘Clerks' is one of my favorite movies from when I was a kid. Also, I wanted to get like everybody in the comedy scene involved. And if I was gonna redo a movie that had just like a million random parts, I would think of ‘Clerks' 'cause there's like a ton of small parts that people just pop in, say a line and disappear,” he said.