Tara Reid and Anthony Ferrante Talk Sharknado, airing tonight on SYFY, July 11 at 9pm
Like many of the Syfy original movies before it, the name Sharknado really says it all. It's a tornado filled with sharks, and you'll get to see exactly what that looks like when the movie debuts Thursday, July 11 at 9 PM ET on Syfy. Star Tara Reid and director Anthony C. Ferrante recently held a conference call to discuss this outrageous concept and how they executed it.
When asked how much CGI they used for the sharks, as opposed to practical effects, Anthony C. Ferrante revealed that it was a mixture of both.
"We knew we had to set a number of visual effect shots that we had. And I know I wanted to do some practical effects because I come from a practical background. I like having physical things and I think the actors like to have things they can touch and that are tangible. We built sort of a partial shark. That was probably just about as problematic as it was on Jaws. But it was cool for certain things that we needed. But it had a lot of issues when we were trying to make it float in the water. But the practical fins that we used I think were really good and actually I think helped the actors a lot, particularly when we're out in the ocean and we had the fin like kind of floating right alongside. I am veering on a surfboard and, you know, the reaction there were pretty - it kind of freaked them out a little bit even he knew it was fake. And then, of course, we tried to shoot a movie about a hurricane in Los Angeles where, you know, literally the time since we started shooting there's only been four days of rain. So there's a lot of practical rain that we did for tight shots and then a lot of times I was just yelling at the actors saying shark, shark and I lost my voice a couple times as probably Tara can attest."
Tara Reid also spoke about the amount of green screen work they did, where they had to pretend there were sharks all around them.
"I was going to say that there was so much green screen. You just had to just use your imagination and pretend that there were sharks everywhere. You know what I mean and sometimes it felt ridiculous because you didn't know what was going on. But yes, I think we did the best job we can and I think we had a lot of fun doing it."
She also spoke about the tone, saying that while it is obviously a comedy, there are a few serious moments.
"I think it is a comedy because it's so crazy. I mean, it is silly and there's only a certain amount of barriers you could go into. You can't take it so serious when it's absolutely the sharks flying in the sky. It's so out there that it's actually really funny. I think you're going to see it and the whole theme of it is so out there that it is funny. I mean, there are moments of seriousness, but when you really look at it, you can't really take this movie serious. You know, I think it's a case of, okay, you're going to watch and have a good time and laugh."
Anthony C. Ferrante also commented on the tone.
"I think the key to these things is there are two ways to go; One where you're very self-referential and you're very aware and it's very campy because everybody's in on the joke. And then there's what we approached with Sharknado is that the concept is so out there, if we ground a little bit the story and the actors and the situations the humor for me it's the best humor in any kind of movie action, comedy, whatever comes from character situations and how they react and how they deal with it versus suddenly someone's telling a joke in the middle of this and say hey we know this if funny. I think everybody did a great job in walking that balance because, I mean, there are lines said in the movie that, you know, you're obviously going, 'How do you say those lines?' The actors had to say those lines and sell it and believe it. And so I think that Sharknado's this interesting balance. I mean, it's ridiculous and, you know, I guess probably the most insane scene in the entire film is with Ian Ziering chain-sawing himself out of the shark and Ian fully committed to that. He fully committed. We had a practical belly we created and he committed to it. I think when everybody commits to this kind of thing and accepts it, then we all can have fun as we're making the movie and I think the audience can have fun as well."
Sharknado debuts tonight, Thursday, July 11 at 9 PM ET on Syfy.