Fear Itself: Season 1 is finally heading to DVD on September 15th. NBC's chilling anthology series was an offshoot of Showtime's very popular collaborative experiment Masters of Horror, and like that show, Fear Itself allowed some of horror's biggest and best known directors to create their own self-contained stories that tied into a bigger mythology. Created by Masters of Horror's Mick Garris, this latest horrifying shocker of a series also utilized some of the biggest horror writers working today. John Landis, Breck Eisner, Stuart Gordon, and Darren Lynn Bousman are just some of the famous names that helped create this thirteen-episode experience in sheer terror. Also throwing his directorial hand into the mix is Ronny Yu, best known for concocting such spook house staples as Freddy vs. Jason and Bride Of Chucky. Yu, working with acclaimed sci-fi and horror writer Dan Knauf, crafted the third episode entitled "Family Man". Starring Colin Ferguson and Clifton Collins, Jr., the story follows a responsible family man who becomes trapped in the body of a brutal, imprisoned killer after a fatal car accident. We recently met up with Yu to talk about the release of the DVD, as well as the series itself. Here is what he had to say:
How did you get involved with Fear Itself? Were you originally supposed to direct an episode of Masters of Horror?
Ronny Yu: Wow. It was a long time ago. What happened was the executive producers came along in 2007 with a script called Family Man and I told them I would do it.
what was the schedule in shooting this episode? Was it pretty quick? How did it all work out?
Ronny Yu: Oh, it almost reminded me of my days in Hong Kong on these low-budget movies. We had two cameras going all the time and it was great. I've had that experience before in Hong Kong, by doing these guerrilla warfare type of films (Laughs).
So it took you back to your roots then?
Ronny Yu: Yeah, yeah. What's crazy is sometimes you're only able to cast a person the night before. You have to get to the studios, everybody, get a consensus and then get a deal made, because we were up in Canada and everyone's in L.A. so we were just trying to push everything through. Clifton Collins Jr., we didn't even sign a contract before he flew up to Canada to start shooting (Laughs). It was crazy.
Are the episodes on DVD altered from the versions we saw on TV?
Ronny Yu: Yeah. I remember when we were in the editing room and I think we had two different versions and played around with it. The ending, though, is always the same. We'd play around with it a couple of times.
I was wondering if you had a favorite episode aside from your own?
Ronny Yu: I don't want to sound like I'm tooting my own horn, but I like to think that my episode is the coolest. Let me tell you a funny story. We were cutting our work in the same building and, I didn't know it was John Landis, but there were these loud comments and he would laugh a lot and yell a lot. I said to my editor, 'Who the hell is this guy?' Well I met John about 10 years ago and I ran up and banged on the door and said 'Shut the h*** up." John Landis opened the door and said, 'Oh Yu. It's you! You've been a stranger, you haven't called in 10 years.' I think his episode Is a lot of fun too.
Is there anything that you're developing right now that you can talk about?
Ronny Yu: You know, this situation with the economy, and everybody is so scared in investing in movies. They've been sending me scripts and all that, but it's just the same-old-same-old. I try to make something different every time so I'm just trying hard to find something. Right now I'm getting close to my movies In China and I think everybody is in China now. Fox, Warners, Columbia, everybody has offices in China now. I read a script called Black Moon Rising, you know like the song, and it was fantastic. It was written by this young kid from Australia and it's werewolves against vampires. They're all in human form and somewhere in the middle of Australia, there's this bank and these vampires try to rob this bank and the bank is owned by the werewolves (Laughs). It's like a tongue-in-cheek thing, not a serious thing, but it was pretty funny that the bank robbers are vampires and the owner of the bank is a werewolf. There's a human element in it so that's something I might develop a little bit further.
So, finally, what would you like to say to horror fans about what they should expect when Fear Itself hits the shelves on DVD?
Ronny Yu: It's creepy. It's creepy and Family Man is the creepiest and coolest.
Excellent. Well that's about all I have for you, Ronny. Thanks so much for your time and the best of luck with that new film. It sounds awesome.
Ronny Yu: All right. Thank you.
Take a look at Ronny Yu's episode Family Man and the rest of Fear Itself when the DVD set hits the shelves on September 15.