Positively Tennessee: Clowning around on the big screen

Positively Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville-based director, writer and actress has just wrapped her first full feature film, an uplifting comedy called “Best Clowns.” It’s about a clown competition like “American Idol.” WATE 6 On Your Side met her, in character, at one of the locations you’ll see in the movie. It’s a true local landmark.

Driving by on Kingston Pike in West Knoxville, you can’t miss the orange dinosaur and wise old owl. They’re just part of the character and vintage charm of Sir Goony’s Miniature Golf.

“I go ‘wow’ someone wants to make a movie here at Sir Goony’s?” Owner Johnny Stringfield said of the proposal by director and writer Ashley Shelton.

The location hit right at the heart of the star of the new film. Shelton portrays “Sundrop” the clown.

The film was shot on location at Sir Goony’s and other landmarks in our area by some big names in the industry.

“Kern Shelton who shot the movie, he’s an Oscar-nominated cinematographer; and I also think I have some people who are pretty well known, I think, in the movie too, so that’ll be kind of a surprise,” Ashley said. “I wanted to touch on sentimental things in my own life. It just feels good to be here, and it reminds me of being a kid so that’s what this is about.”

Ashley comes from a long line of clowns in the family. But think about it, you either love a clown or you don’t. All but one of Tiffany Anderson’s kids think clowns are cool.

“I think he probably doesn’t because of the movies, the ‘It’ and all of that,” Anderson said.

“There’s no positive movie influences with clowns in it,” Ashley said. “So it was really important for me to advocate for clowns. They’re entertainers. I feel they are really important to the world, especially right now.

“I want to go as far as Sundrop the clown will take me, and hopefully, Sundrop will premiere at Sundance, that’s our hope!”

The Sundance Film Festival is in January. Look for ‘Best Clowns,’ the movie, to be released next year.

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