PM360 recently spoke to Clayton Scott, an Editor in Creative Services at EVERSANA INTOUCH, about making his first feature-length film Below the Fold.
PM360: What made you want to get into filmmaking?
Clayton Scott: Where I grew up, the closest theater was about 40 minutes away, but I loved films and asked to go all the time. However, I started actually making them in high school when we got an assignment and were given an option to do a paper or a video. Of course, I decided to try a video and that’s when the bug bit me. I just loved putting video, images, and music together—and it grew from there.
What was the inspiration behind your independent film Below the Fold?
I’m from a small town 40 minutes away from Skidmore, Missouri, a 300-person town notorious for mysterious and violent true crimes and we would always hear these crazy stories. One of the big ones was this town bully, Ken Rex McElroy, who terrorized this town for decades, but always got off because people were too scared to testify. Then one day in 1981, he was murdered in broad daylight. No one was ever convicted, despite there being like 40 to 60 witnesses. Later, there was Wendy Gillenwater who was beaten to death beyond belief by her boyfriend. Then Branson Perry, a 20-year-old man, went to get jumper cables to fix his dad’s truck and was never seen again. And in 2004, Bobbie Jo Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant, was murdered and her baby was cut out and taken.
Even driving through this town, it just has this ominous feeling like you are being watched that I have never felt in any other small town. I wanted to bring that aspect to a journalism-type thriller similar to Zodiac or All the President’s Men, and decided on a fictional story of a missing girl set it in this real town with its eerie history.
What was the experience like when you finally premiered the film at Panic Fest in April 2021?
That was awesome. We were supposed to premiere a year earlier at the Kansas City Film Festival, but then COVID hit. They were going to do the festival online, but we passed because I wanted people to experience the film on the big screen. It was worth it. The film went over really well and it was so gratifying after the long road to get there. Now, people can watch it on Amazon, if you have a subscription, and some other places with ads. You can find where it’s available or purchase a DVD at: https://linktr.ee/belowthefoldmovie.
What’s next for you?
I’m working a new script called Flyover, which will be a psychological horror/drama. Currently, I’m scouting locations and trying to make the story the best I can. I definitely plan to keep making films, even with a full-time job, and would love to get a new movie out every five years. This one has a supernatural element and will require more effects, but I’m excited for the challenge.