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Behind the Scenes of "The Octo Circus"

Updated on October 23, 2011
Ross Directs and Films
Ross Directs and Films

Octo Mom Gives Birth To Eight Babies!

In January 2009, Nadya Suleman shocked the world by giving birth to eight babies and the name of Octo Mom.

Shortly thereafter, I was talking to and laughing with my sister over the phone about the hoopla. I had blurted out, “She’s like a clown car.” All of a sudden I heard the circus music playing in my head and envisioned babies with clown faces popping out left and right.

A crazy, hysterical birth of an idea had formed.

Clown Babies

All eight babies were hand-painted by Ross.
All eight babies were hand-painted by Ross. | Source

The Set

At first I was trying to acquire a hospital or medical room to film in. Filmmaking is all about resources. I didn’t have much for this film, nor did I have any money for a true budget. So the shoot eventually took place in my own apartment. With all the props laid out it left very little room to move around. I had moved my bed from the bedroom into the front area of my apartment.

All Actors Are Clowns

Ross Directs a Bunch of Clowns
Ross Directs a Bunch of Clowns
Sean Kinney as Howdy Clown
Sean Kinney as Howdy Clown | Source

Props, Set Dressing & Wardrobe

The props, set dressing and wardrobe were crucial to making the set-up and look of the film very real. I ordered an actual divider used in hospitals to stand beside the bed. I placed a clock on the wall. Sean Kinney, who plays Howdy the Clown, also produced the film with me. Sean helped me find some props. We found this perfect, fake medical stand for IVs and bags. Mariya Stepanyan printed up some medical artwork to help the wall be official looking. This artwork was usually covered in the film, but better to have it. I ended up filming it and using it as a separate opening shot. Most of the scrubs were bought downtown for a cheap five dollars each. The doctor's coat, main scrub and Stethoscope was borrowed from my brother-in-law, Yosef, who happens to be pursuing a nursing career.

The irony and humor in the film is that it opens very seriously. People need to believe they’re viewing a hospital room. Sound effects of the EEG machine add to the realism. Then we quickly reveal that these are not your ordinary people involved with the birthing process.

Ross Poses With Clowns
Ross Poses With Clowns

The Characters

The characters include three nurses, a clown couple and a doctor.

You can imagine how crazy the birth of the many babies is, but it’s the build up using that sets you up for the laugh of your life!

The Nurses

Andrea Pandazedes as Nurse In Charge. Should have called her the OBGYN. Details.
Andrea Pandazedes as Nurse In Charge. Should have called her the OBGYN. Details. | Source
Tara Macken (Left), Jebbel Arce (Right)
Tara Macken (Left), Jebbel Arce (Right) | Source

The Clowns

Lisa Clumeck (Mrs. Clown), Sean Kinney (Howdy Clown)
Lisa Clumeck (Mrs. Clown), Sean Kinney (Howdy Clown) | Source
Robert Kilinger (Dr. Mime)
Robert Kilinger (Dr. Mime)

Some Thank Yous

There are some people I’d like to thank here as I did on the IMDB page. In particular, Christiane Cargill added an amazing music composition. My nephew, Ethan, and Sean and Christaine’s son, Zaiden, added a laugh or giggle track. I’d like to thank Austin Basis for letting me borrow his baseball glove. Other thanks to Claire Partin and Marie Tang. Edie Magoun, thanks for your input. My sister for sharing a very funny phone conversation and my parents for their never-ending support!

And of course....Nadya Suleman for inspiring me think up this circus.

What are you looking at?


“The Octo Circus” is a little film that’s a spoof on society. It's jam-packed with props and gags. Just when you think you've heard and seen everything something extraordinary comes along.

Stop Clowning Around!

Sean also has a great background of working as a professional clown and the knowledge of applying clown make-up. It came in handy.
Sean also has a great background of working as a professional clown and the knowledge of applying clown make-up. It came in handy.

“The Octo Circus” was uploaded toYou Tubeon May 9, 2009 and has reached thousands of hits.


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