Reedsburg filmmaker returns to comedic roots
Klifford Barkus is returning to his comedic roots with his fourth film, The Survivors Guide of a Newspaper Carrier, after delving into darker material in his last film.
Barkus, who recently moved to Baraboo from Reedsburg, produced his latest film based on events Barkus faced as a newspaper delivery person.
Barkus delivered newspapers for the Baraboo News Republic, Wisconsin State Journal, and Reedsburg Times-Press for five years. The film tells the story of a newspaper delivery person attempting to complete his route while late on deadline. Throughout the 8-minute film Barkus said his character “takes certain steps” to finish the route in one piece.
The film’s trailer is on his YouTube channel, Space Kadet Entertainment. Barkus said he’s submitted the film to several film festivals, and won awards including a number 1 spot in the Top Ten Films of the Week for the Direct Monthly Online Festival, and a finalist for the Independent Talents International Film Festival in January.
Barkus said The Survivors Guide of a Newspaper Carrier is pending review from other film festivals, so he can’t release the full film to the public yet.
His goal for the film is to show viewers the daily interactions and challenges he faced as a newspaper carrier, delivering newspapers, and working with customers, with a comedic twist.
“People don’t realize there’s so much that goes on behind being a newspaper carrier than throwing a newspaper to the customer,” Barkus said. “I’ve seen some things, I’ve heard some stories… (I)n my mind I’m like ‘how can I make this funny?.’”
Barkus is no stranger to the comedy genre. His first film, Laundry Day, tells the story of a man’s journey searching for a pair of underwear. His second film, Midwest Problems, tells the story of a man stuck on the side of the road during a Wisconsin winter storm. Last Resort touches on the topic of a man wrestling with the idea of suicide. Transitioning back into comedy wasn’t a challenge, he said.
Barkus released Last Resort to the public through his YouTube channel. He feels the film has “done its purpose” since he’s made the film public to spread awareness of the topic of suicide. Since he’s made the film public he said he’s received “a lot of feedback” on social media from other filmmakers and viewers.
In addition to producing films, Barkus said he’s been busy auditioning for various acting gigs. He would like to “reboot” Laundry Day and revisit other dark topics in future films. He has ideas up his sleeve for another dark topic, including a film about a male prostitute, and a dark comedic film based on a recent dream where he ended up in prison.
“I’d like to start another one but I’m not too sure when and how right now,” Barkus said.