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Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

This is an interview that took place on July 22, 2014 with Tara Reid, Ian Ziering, Vivica A. Fox and Anthony Ferrante from Sharknado 2.

Sharknado 2

Question:
You guys use a lot of blood and guts and other things like that in this movie. Can you talk about kind of working with that and the green screen and all those kind of things?

Tara Reid:
I think when people see the sharks they think there's a lot more green screen than there really was. There really wasn't too much green screen at all in the film. It's more of a - you know, CGI different special effects but not really green screen. So if you were acting with sharks that were coming at you but nothing was coming at you but you were still, like, outside in the city and - you know, it wasn't like you were acting behind a green screen. So it was just filling in the blanks and kind of believing in the director that he promises sharks, so you react to the sharks as well as you're imagination could make them.

Vivica A. Fox:
I also like to give credit to our director, Anthony, because he was very descriptive in what was happening and what kind of sharks were coming at us.

Anthony Ferrante:
Ian had some green screen stuff, but Tara's right; most of it's practical. When we get into the green screen it gets into the more complicated stuff like when Ian's flying to the sky and everything. Man, Ian is an action star. You put him in that harness and he's there for, like, I think an hour just doing acrobatic things. I had to do some pick up stuff last year where I was a double and I was in the harness for, like, 20 minutes and I was, like, in pain. So a lot of kudos to Ian for managing those harness rigs.

Ian Ziering:
Thanks, Anthony. You know, working in a virtual environment where at first as an actor you're really doing something that in the instant feels like an action but once you see the completed movie it's actually a reaction. So what's nice is when you have a director who can help tell the story, help illuminate what's happening around you so you can have trust in the fact that whatever you're doing is not going to be ridiculous, your actions are going to be substantiated because it all gets filled in afterwards. It's all about having the trust.

Anthony Ferrante:
And there were some instances that too on this movie, like, the first movie was a big learning curve for everybody and while everything worked out and while it all looked great we learned a lot off of that first movie. And then you watch everybody in this one Ian was just doing things like I'm going to move my foot here and then they can put a shark jumping up at me when I'm on top of the taxi cab. And that's what we did???we put a shark there.

After going through the motions of this stuff you really start understanding what can be done. And we have a pretty amazing visual effects team. We shot late February and we just delivered it a few weeks ago. They did over 700 visual effects shots and that was in less than two months. And there's some pretty damn impressive shots in this film. So you know, they do a lot of work to make this stuff happen and to payoff all the hard word the actors did on set.

Question:
When you went in to do the first Sharknado movie did you have any idea it was going to become this massive pop culture event? And why do you think it has resonated with so many people?

Tara Reid:
We definitely didn't know it was going to become what happened. It was definitely shocking for all of us. We had no clue signing on to the movie that this would be this phenomenon. So you know, it was great and kind of shocking experience. And it turned into something wonderful. Now to be a part of the franchise has been incredible. But yes, we definitely, we got real lucky.

Anthony Ferrante:
It's hard with these things. You just try to make the best project possible and what happened on this thing, it's lightening in a bottle. We didn't tell people to show up and make it a Twitter phenomenon. It just happened. And that's kind of cool. You very rarely get those opportunities like that where people just want to embrace you just because you're there. And that was kind of - it was kind of special. And helped because now we got to make a second movie and we got to make a bigger and better movie after that. So it's fun.

Question:
What can we expect from the second movie?

Tara Reid:
More sharks.

Vivica A. Fox:
Lots of action. A lot of cameos, a lot of cameos. I mean I was really pleasantly surprised how many people wanted to be a part of this film when they saw it. It's like, famous faces just keep popping up. And it's just an awesome surprise.

Anthony Ferrante:
I think the key with the second movie is we wanted to kind of amp up what we did, we already did a lot in the first movie for the budget and the schedule. I think one of the reasons why it stood out just because we were pushing the budget and the schedule the maximum. So we pretty much had the same kind of schedule in this one and we were trying to do twice as much as pushing as we did on the first one. It's a lot of heavy lifting to kind of make these things look fantastic and we don't have a $200 million budget to pull it off. But we have a lot of the imagination from our writers under Levin, from our cast and from our crew and producers and Syfy to let us play in this playground.

One of the best things that Syfy said, there were actually two great things they said when we were developing. One, they started saying, well, we're set it in summer but any weird weather when you're shooting in February make it part of the story, which liberated us. So we didn't have to go, we have to hide the snow. And that really adds to the look and feel of the movie. The second thing is they said we want you to shoot this movie in New York, shoot it in New York. We don't want you to go to Canada. We don't want you shoot in the back lots in LA. We want to shoot in New York. And I think that makes this movie look gargantuan and it feels authentic. And I think that's what makes this one really special because we're right there in the thick of New York.

Tara Reid:
And I think New York City has its own personality itself. So adding the personality of New York into this film really added a magical element into the film.

Question:
A couple minutes ago you mentioned the celebrity cameos that are in this film. Can you name a few of them?

Vivica A. Fox:
Sure, we had Matt Lauer, gosh, Kelly Ripa, Michael Strahan, and lots more that you have to stay tuned to see.

Anthony Ferrante:
Judah Friedlander was one of the big Twitter followers that night who's from 30 Rock and he was writing some really funny stuff. We kind of became friends with him and he really wanted to be in the second movie and he's one of - he actually was only hired for one line in Sharknado 2 and I called Judah up and going, I don't want to waste you with one line. If we can give you a bigger part would you do it? He's like, of course.

We combined three characters at the ballpark into one character so we could keep him around a little longer in the movie. But a lot of the film was we would get calls, like, the night before going, this actor's available, let's put him in the movie. And like, okay. And then suddenly you're writing something for that actor. I keep calling these movies living organisms because you have a script but you go on the set and it's, like things are changing or you don't have this truck or you don't have that and you have to kind of make it work. You can't pawn off not getting what you did that day on Day 70 because you don't have a Day 70. So here we are, this is what we got, let's make some magic.

And that includes we have a new actor that showed up and we don't have a part, let's write a part for them because I always wanted the cameos to be integrated into the film, not just be somebody random that gets killed. Not that we don't do that, but I wanted as much as possible to give all these people characters.

Question:
In the first film you put a shark pretty much everywhere you could think of. So for this film, where else can you put a shark?

Tara Reid:
I mean they could go anywhere. Sharknado is wherever it comes. So they could go anywhere from inside hospitals to the Met Stadiums to subways to the street to you name it, a shark could be there. The Empire State Building.

Anthony Ferrante:
I think the misnomer about Sharknado is people get hung up on the fact that sharks can't exist in a tornado and tornados can't do what they do and all that stuff. And the simple explanation on our end is that it's a Sharknado; it's like our Frankenstein, our Freddy Krueger, our Jason. You don't question Jason getting his neck chopped off half a million times and then getting shot and getting back up again and all that stuff, that's part of the mythology. And so I think the thing that we've expected is that the Sharknado is our villain and it does what we tell it to do. So you know, if it shoots through a car window, yes, a shark can't do that but a Sharknado can. So that opens up the imagination of what you can do and we were able to do a lot of crazy stuff because we were freed by the fact that we could do anything.

Question:Tara Reid:
I think that everyone added a certain aspect to their character. I mean that's what makes characters good, an actor kind of adds their thing on top of it. But we all had a very good rapport with Anthony and there was something that we thought was missing, a character, something that we could add on to the character we found that place, which was exciting. So I think every character got to go farther and took risks and you'll see it. It worked.

Anthony Ferrante:
We also softened your character, didn't we? We softened Tara's character in this a lot too because we wanted to see the relationship between you and Fin.

Tara Reid:
Yes, that's true.

Question:
And Vivica, what was it about the film that made you want to be a part of it?

Vivica A. Fox:
Well I was saying, wow, I need a little bit of Syfy in my life and action. And wham, there came Sharknado 2. I was really presently surprised when I got the offer to play Skye. I hadn't worked with Ian since back in the day with 90210 and Tara, we had known each other for many, many years. So the opportunity to work with both of them and hearing the major success of the first Sharknado it just seemed like a win-win situation for me.

Anthony Ferrante:
We also changed the character a lot when you came on board and I was so thrilled when you came on board because we were allowed to do an idea that we had early on of making the Skye character Fin's high school sweetheart. Because we were trying to show this reuniting of Fin and April but we wanted an obstacle and, man, you guys sold that it was a blessing to have you on that film because it just gave us so much more depth.

And those little moments and the things that you guys did in the middle of the Sharknado that you don't expect someone to do in Sharknado 2. I just love that, I love that dynamic because at the heart at it if you don't care about these characters everything starts falling apart. So we had a really nice mix with everybody.

Question:
Anthony, talk about what do you think it is about Sharknado that's made it such a popular franchise?

Anthony Ferrante:
There's a lot of theories about it but I think that a lot of genre movies - and I've done a lot of them as a director, writer they're just horror films you have, you have a base audience. You know there's a certain amount of people that are going to watch them whether it's DVD, on Syfy, BluRay, on demand, whatever. There's that core audience that will seek this stuff out.

We had a core audience for this movie but somehow the mainstream became attracted to it. We had the sports community embracing us and we really didn't have any sports elements in the first movie. We had families getting together, watching it with their kids. We did not set out to make a kid movie but there are a lot of kids that love this film because it had sort of that 11-year-old spirit.

So I think what happened was that there was something silly about the title and it seemed ridiculous but when you saw the trailer it was - it looks like the big studio movie or trying to be. And so I think people were dared to watch it to see if we could fail and yet we kept delivering every ten minutes with some big action set piece. I think it was a lot of different things. We just got a lot of different people. It's a bipartisan movie, the left and right both embraced movie. There is nothing that anybody could pick apart in it and they just liked it.

It's so hard to get something like this and you can't really take it apart and say it was this or that. It's just we somehow - we were this fun little film that people didn't have to spend $50 million - $50 at a movie theater to go take their family to. They get to watch it in the privacy of their home and they had a blast. They made fun of it. They loved it. They hated it. I mean it was just great.

Question:
When you have a movie that is successful, special like Sharknado was, sometimes actors will be reluctant to do a sequel. Did you guys have any second thoughts or were you on board from the get go?

Ian Ziering:
I was on board right from the get go. You know, what's so nice about Sharknado is that it really is not competing with itself and the bar that it set initially is not unattainable. This was a low budget independent film a very campy nature. So really the only way to screw it up would be to change it. And the brilliance of Sharknado 2 is the fact that it's more of the same. It's a similar formula but it's a different experience, similar situation in a new environment. And if people liked one they're going to love two.

Tara Reid:
I agree with Ian exactly. I mean he couldn't have said it better. You know, when I read the first one and went out to dinner that night with my friends, I told them I thought the script was hilarious. Yes, sharks are flying in Beverly Hills and maiming people and jumping out of pools. And my friends are laughing so hard. They're like, are you kidding me? This is amazing, you'll have to do this. So it's so funny, you have to do it. So the next day I called my agent and I'm like, all right, let's do it. And never knowing it would become the phenomenon it did but it worked. You know, people really enjoyed it. And then we learned from the first one and I think made it even better.

Question:
What did the two of you like about working with one another?

Tara Reid:
I love working with Ian. He's very giving actor. You know, if something's not working he makes it work. I like him as a person and as an actor.

Ian Ziering:
I was very lucky to work with just a talented group. Tara everyday showed up. We got all the shots we needed to have and had all the fun that was possible working in the constraints. Vivica, another consummate professional. You know, we knew we had to get our shots everyday and we did but because everyone knew what we were up against everyone came very prepared and very ready to do the work.

And that left us at the end of some days with some extra time that it would allow Anthony to get some bonus footage, to get some shots that really were gifts. So it's great. You know, when you're working with people that understand that time is money and this film we didn't have a lot of time. So because everyone is very professional, everyone came prepared, and we actually made it happen.

Question:
Ian, I saw it at the screening they had at the Beverly Hills a few days ago, you really seem to enjoy yourself when you're there. I was wondering, such a odd situation to be showing a film, shark film, next to a swimming pool with people who have never seen it before. Can you kind of describe your experience that night? What did it feel like to you as you were watching that?

Ian Ziering:
I felt like I was at a big Hollywood premier, you know. It's kind of a surreal experience and keep in mind that this is a TV movie. And the rollout has been in the same fashion that hundred million dollar blockbusters are brought to market. The fan response, not just here in the United States but globally has been so overwhelming that this movie is doing something that the major motion picture studios try to accomplish. But we caught lightening in a bottle and that premier was the first time I saw the entire movie cut together. So because I'm a fan of the genre, because I'm a fan of the movie I enjoyed it too. I laughed at it as much as everyone else did. I was surprised and shocked just like everyone else was and then at the end of the film I was really happy because it's a really good movie.

Question:
You get to do action hero things that people don't usually get to do. You get to have chainsaws and all kinds of things to fight these sharks with. Was that just plain fun to be able to do the kind of stuff you ordinarily wouldn't get to do.

Ian Ziering:
Yes.

Vivica A. Fox:
Absolutely.

Ian Ziering:
I've always been a big fan of action-adventure and Syfy. And the fact that I've gotten to play an action hero in a science-fiction movie is really the best of both worlds. I'm a very lucky person.

Question:
Anthony, what was the genesis of Sharknado for you to begin with? Did it start with the title? Does it start somewhere else and you stumbled on to the title?

Anthony Ferrante:
I directed previously for Syfy and I've written a bunch of scripts and there's a process for pitching ideas. And Jacob Haren and I, my occasional writing partner, we had pitched a whole bunch of titles to them many years ago, one of them was Sharknado. Nothing happened with it but we both loved the title so much, just kind of tickled us.

So when I wrote a leprechaun script for Syfy, it was called Leprechaun's Revenge and now I think on DVD it's called Red Clover, I put a reference to a Sharknado in there. They were trying to cover up the leprechaun stuff and they go, we don't want to have what's happened that town over, remember, Sharknado, they never lived that down. It just popped out at that point to them and they wanted to make a Sharknado movie and they paired up with the Asylum and I had just done a film for Asylum called Hansel and Gretel and then it came full circle where I was doing Sharknado.

I mean I always believed in this concept. I liked the title a lot because it was silly but you would tell people the title and they would just start laughing. You just start coming up with ridiculous things. And so that was the genesis. And then Thunder came in and wrote a really great screen play and then the rest is history. Just so you know, we started shooting the movie - what's called Dark Skies because when they tried to go out to cast film and everything, when they put Sharknado on it nobody wanted to do it. You couldn't get anybody interested in this film because it was just - no one - no one could embrace what it was initially. And then of course, the actors were about ready to kill me when they found out that it might be called Sharknado. But they love me now, right?

Ian Ziering:
Exactly.

Tara Reid:
Yes, now it's all good.

Question:
Ian, you're telling a story about signing up for the original movie. You got a feeling about it but because your wife said you needed to work to be sure that you had insurance coverage. Is this a true story?

Ian Ziering:
That's an absolutely true story. You know, you always look for opportunities that will propel your career and, you know what, I didn't have the vision and foresight to see what the potential of this movie could be. I was reading words on a page that had several holes in it that were left to be filled by visual effects. And typically what you're working with within a low budget environment are very rudimentary visual effects. I wasn't sure if I was going to be dealing with a high level of visual effects. Was I going to be battling Sigmund the sea monster? Is this going to be closer to the Avatar level of quality?

I really just didn't think that it was going to be what it had turned out to be. But at my wife's behest she said, look it's January, you've got to make your insurance quota. I get my insurance from the union and having babies are very expensive. And of course, I want to protect my family, I'm a provider now. So I realized, well, you know what, she's right. And I thought I was taking one for the team. But then I also thought, well, what the heck, no one's ever going to see this movie. Boy was I wrong. And my wife doesn't hesitate to say I told you so now. It's great.

Question:
Did you guys see the city actually kind of became a character itself during filming?

Anthony Ferrante:
You're talking about New York becoming a character? Is that what you're asking? Yes, no, I mean definitely. I mean I'm not a New Yorker. I think Tara and Ian are from New York, correct?

Tara Reid:
New Jersey but I went to high school in New York.

Ian Ziering:
Yes, I've lived so close to New York and going there everyday, yes.

Tara Reid:
I mean it was great. It was like a really fun feeling to shoot at home basically. Like, for me, all my friends still live there. I have so many memories on each one of the streets because I still walked going to school. It was such an awesome feeling. It was great. The power of shooting in New York City is such a strong city and it does have such a personality of its own. And I really think that it adds such an element to this film and I think when you watch the movie you'll really see the power of New York City and what the city's about and how the people really come together when something goes wrong in the city to come together to save it. And I think that shows across the film.

Anthony Ferrante:
I think that was kind of one of the things in the first movie, at least in my head was that Los Angeles everybody kind of is in it for themselves and disaster strikes, we got to get our cars and get out of here. In New York, it's like when the crap hits the fan we're brothers in arms. I don't like my neighbor but together we're going to fight whatever this thing is.

Thunder's from New York so he had brought a lot of iconic graphic stuff but as we were there we started going, you know what, we got to do this. Like, there was never a pizza place in the movie. There was never a bodega and I had never heard the word bodega until I ended up in New York. We got to put a pizza place, we got to put a bodega in. So the sequence that was a hardware store, we split it between those two places. We ended up shooting at my favorite pizza place that - when I was there in New York for two months. I just loved this place. It's called Famous Amadeus Pizza. And we shot there.

And that whole scene with getting the shark into the oven came from just standing in that restaurant going, we got to do this. So there was a lot of stuff informing us as we were there and it started evolving utilizing the various aspects of New York.

Question:
I was wondering, from an acting perspective, obviously the film has a lot of humor in it. Do you guys sort of play it seriously in your mind and trying to sort of be this character or are very conscious of some of the lines that are sort of coming out that definitely will get some laughs from the audience? Do you sort of play it serious or take a laugh with it?

Vivica A. Fox:
I definitely played my character serious and then I think, like, in the moments and what were fighting against and the elements, then the comedy ensued. So I took it very serious that a Sharknado was coming and we were there to stop it.

Tara Reid:
Yes, I mean I think even though the situation seems so crazy. But you had to play it serious because if we were playing it laughing the whole time then the storyline wouldn't even make sense. It's by taking it serious in such an absurd crazy environment and that's where the jokes come in, that's where it gets funny. So I think you really do have to commit to your character and also know what you're playing and being in that situation that you're in and playing it serious then there comes the humor. So I think that's really what a lot of people did.

Anthony Ferrante:
And I think one of the other tricks with this movie and there's a lot of horror films that will be just purposely campy and over the top but I think the key actually to this whole franchise is having everybody playing it straight. I mean Ian has some very funny moments in the movie and lines but they're character driven, they're reactionary. The only people that are allowed to be funny are your comic relief characters, which are like, Judah Friedland. But even then they ground it. It's not, ???I'm making a joke.'

That was one of the things when we'd get new people coming in for cameos. A couple times they would come in and they'd be over the top when we were rehearsing. And we'd be like, no, no, no, it has to be played straight. You can be as funny as you want but you have to be in character and take the situation seriously. And I think that's part of the charm. I mean Ian, you kind of agree, right.

Ian Ziering:
Absolutely, even though the situations are absurd in the reality of the imaginary circumstances if you will you say and do things that are appropriate for the actions or the scenario. But as a spectator, as an observer, you realize how funny they are within that situation. But when you're dealing with it you have to act naturally in imaginary circumstances.

But as a spectator you realize that you get to enjoy the fun of it because you're a witness. You're not there experiencing it. So in that dichotomy, that's where really the joy of the movie exists because you have to suspend this believe to buy into what you're doing but yet you still have you foot in the real world so it gives you perspective of how absurd this movie really is.

Anthony Ferrante:
I think a perfect example of what Ian did in the first movie when he chainsawed his way out of the shark there's two ways that could have went. You could have went the Jim Carey route where it's like, I'm laughing it up. Or you do what he did which was literally committing that he just was inside of a shark and that inherently makes it funnier because it's so earnest and it's so in the moment.

And I think that's one of the charms about why people remember that sequence because it was the coldest day of the year in LA, which is hard to believe that we had a cold day. And we dumped, like, 20 gallons of water on him. He's freezing to death. He did. It was great. It was awesome. Remember all those towels and we had to pour on you right away after.

Ian Ziering:
Brutal.

Tara Reid:
That's horrible.

Question:
Did all the fan and media attention change the way you approached or viewed your jobs going into the sequel? And also, what was the vibe on the set like the second time around?

Tara Reid:
It was exciting that the first one was such a hit but I don't think that changed how we performed or affected us any way like that. We were hoping to make another good fun film that people would enjoy. But yes, the vibe on the set was great. I mean we got lucky, everyone truly got along in the movie and had a great time with each other. And I think that shows.

Vivica A. Fox:
The only element that was kind of crazy was just that it was really, really cold and there were sometimes you would be doing the scene and getting out the dialog could be a little tough. But we would just go warm up and then go back at it again.

Question:
And did you all feel a responsibility to a fan base that didn't exist the first time around?

Vivica A. Fox:
Absolutely, yes. I mean when I heard about the success of the movie, 5,000 tweets a minute, I mean the first time, I was like, wow, okay, people are really, really loving this. And they're going to be looking forward to the second one. So we wanted to deliver and make it bigger and better.

Ian Ziering:
Yes in making Sharknado 2 there was a greater amount of ease about it because where I didn't have the experience of what was possible after seeing what the visual effects artists were able to accomplish, what Anthony was able to do with the script going into Sharknado 2 I had a higher level of trust. So it was a bit more framing and enabled me to not have to worry about, am I going to look ridiculous doing this?

You know, I would do it no matter what but I had a greater amount of trust knowing that Anthony is completely capable, knowing that the visual effects artists are going to make all my actions substantiated by whatever shark it is that I'm being threatened by to make what initially was an action into a very realistic reaction. So I had a lot more fun because I wasn't ill at ease.

Question:
Do you feel more pressure the second time?

Anthony Ferrante:
Yes, I think there's a pressure just as a filmmaker. I mean I'm hard on myself I beat myself up everyday trying to pull this stuff off. So I mean there's a pressure, you can't go into the second one and just be okay. You have to be better than okay. You have to be good, great, whatever you can do to make a better experience. I think the benefit of what we did on this one is that we didn't have, like, three years in between making the movie. I mean we literally blew up in July, started talking about the sequel in August, and the script was being developed, and we were shooting in February.

So you know we were still making the first movie. But there was other things too, you know. One of the things that bothered me about the first movie was the geography. You know, I wanted to make sure if we were in New York that we were steadfast with the geography. You know, we have a lot of discussions about the Sharknado moment and I kept saying, I don't think we'll ever be able to achieve what we did in the first movie with it going into the shark, that was lightening in a bottle. But we could provide a whole bunch of other really cool moments.

So if we can come up with ten or 12 great moments maybe one of those will stand out and we'll be lucky and some of those will be the new Sharknado moments. Or maybe there's just enough stuff in this that they wont even question it, they just have fun. So it's a tricky balance but we had more confidence going into this that we could take chances and risks and do things.

Another thing that Syfy and Asylum wanted to do is they have a 12 minute teaser. Most teasers for Syfy and Asylum are about two and three minutes long. And it was in the script long and then when we turned in the rough cut it was long. And then let us have this 12 minute teaser before we even get to the main credits. And that was the trust that they gave us and let us kind of have fun in our little playground. So I think our biggest enemies are ourselves because we want to do bigger and better and greater things. And so we're always kind of striving for that but I had a blast making the movie. I loved it.

Question:
How do you prepare both physically and emotionally to actually battle a Sharknado in New York?

Ian Ziering:
Well, you have to put yourself in that imaginary circumstance. I mean if you're going to have a compelling performance you have to act naturally in that imaginary circumstance. So you know, although there is no sense memory, there's really no way to get in touch with it, that's where you have to have trust and draw on all the experiences that you've had as an actor and all the training you've had that you're bringing to the table to accomplish that.

You know again, it's working with the team of people that you have around you, Tara, and Vivica, and Mark who all helped elevate the material to the point where no one's questioning the validity of it while they're watching it, which it helps you escape. So you know, that's how you prepare. You do the best you can but when you're working with others that are towing the rope with you it just makes your job that much easier.

Question:
It seems pretty physical though. You didn't have to do any training ahead of time just to prepare that you weren't getting hurt? Or was it strictly just a stunt double or anything like that?

Ian Ziering:
I wish there was.

Anthony Ferrante:
Ian doesn't have a stunt double.

Ian Ziering:
It's only because there was no money in the budget for a stunt double. You know, it really wasn't too crazy. I mean jumping down a few stairs, the toughest thing was dealing with that chainsaw. It must have been a 45 pound chain saw. And you know, rather than swinging it through the air I would steady it and let the sharks fly through it this time because the thing it's a monster. But then also having to pull the chain start on it that's not easy to do either, to turn that sucker over took a lot. You know, I had to keep that going. So it was dealing with the chainsaw was a bit of a challenge but we did it a couple of times and we took the best shot and moved on.

Anthony Ferrante:
That whole thing with them on the fire truck, I was a little nervous because it was really cold so before I even let Ian get up there I climbed up there to see if it was steady and I brought the chainsaw up to see if he could hold it up. And I could barely hold the thing up. Again, props to Ian for managing to be on top of that thing, give a great speech, and then also hold that up for a long enough time for us to get a great shot. There's a lot of stamina involved in that.

Question:
Vivica, for a lot of people your introduction to them was Independence Day, which is also famous science fiction, fantasy, disaster film. Have you felt that Sharknado in a way was like a blast from the past?

Vivica A. Fox:
Definitely the physicality. I mean instead of this time running from aliens I was running from sharks or trying to kill a shark. So - like I said, I wanted to get some Syfy and some action back into my life again and I got Sharknado 2 and be careful what you asked for because I definitely got it. But I had a blast making this film.

Question:
And Anthony, what was it like filming in New York? I know we've had a lot of questions about New York, whether New York landmarks or cameos are going to get shark bait if you will. But I'm curious your thoughts about shooting in New York, especially, A, that it was on a tight schedule; B, that it was in February; and C, at the time Mayor De Blasio did not have a commissioner in place for film and television. I'm curious to how that fit into too.

Anthony Ferrante:
I wasn't aware of the commissioner thing. You know, everybody hated me on set because I enjoyed the cold and because, you know - the day I left for New York it was, like, 85 degrees in Los Angeles. This was in January and I was wearing shorts and I went to New York and it was freezing and I loved every minute of it except for one day. So I loved the bad weather. First movie we were shooting in blue skies and so most of the movie you're shooting the camera down and you're trying to hide things otherwise there's be more visual effects shots. And that was very frustrating as a filmmaker because we got to shoot this direction, we got to do that, we can't show that. And in New York, I was able to take the camera and point it up and shoot all these beautiful buildings and shoot this amazing city.

And you know, I fell in love with the city there. You know, Los Angeles, I've shot a few movies here but I haven't really spent a lot of time in New York and haven't shot anything prior to this in New York. So every day it was like I was a kid in the candy store. It was like tinker toys got - we got to shoot at Liberty Island. We got to shoot in Time Square. We got to shoot all around the city. Now on a normal movie you might have 100 days. We had 18 so on the last few shootings we had two hours of Liberty Island an hour on the ferries going over there. We shot at Wall Street.

We shot a bike chase. We shot a scene from Howard Stern. We shot a make up effect and that was a 12-hour day, you know. We were told that we could shoot in the heart of Time Square but you can only have, like, a crew of eight. And you only had two hours. And most people would go, no, I can't do that. And we're like, okay, great, we're going to shoot in the heart of Time Square, let's do it. We don't really think about the limitations. We embraced it and made it work. And that was the fun part about shooting in New York is that we had a great crew too. There was a crew that was with us.

Even though we were moving at, like, an insane pace they were with us and that goes with the cast. You can't make these movies unless everybody's on the same page. The moment someone isn't on the same page it all falls apart. And I had a great experience in New York. I loved everybody that we worked with and I know that everybody says that but it was fantastic. I'd love to shoot in New York again.

Question:
Did you have a lot of people in the different communities come out and see you, watch you film?

Anthony Ferrante:
Yes, that was the thing that we were talking about the difference. We had paparazzi everywhere. No one cared we were making the first movie. This one, you had to shoot around the paparazzi and the fans.

Question:
Was there some way you could describe how you prepared to react to the sharks as you encountered them the first time, either in the original or for Vivica in this movie?

Tara Reid:
In the very beginning we didn't know exactly what the sharks would look like and how good the special effects were going to be. So it was a lot scarier. You really just had to trust Anthony that these sharks were going to be there and the size of the shark and how it's coming at you so you weren't really sure. Am I looking at the right place? Am I doing it right? Is it a big shark? Is it a little shark?

And then once we saw the first one and what a great job they did it really gave you all the faith to just trust him completely in the second one. And you really see the difference and a lot more sharks and it works.

Vivica A. Fox:
I had done some green screens before with Independence Day. Then I had done a lot of training when I did Kill Bill. So the action stuff for me wasn't difficult at all and I was just really, really grateful that I started working with Ian and he was, like, so into it. It was really easy to see. He's taking this serious, we're doing this serious. And then the director, Anthony, was just so wonderful and descriptive in what was going on and what kind of sharks were attacking us and the elements. So that helped me out a lot.

Ian Ziering:
Just working in a virtual environment where there really is nothing there. You really have to trust in the director and Anthony was the one that set up the situation, don't worry, this looks like just a couple bumps on a green screen log but these are actually going to be sharks that you're going to be stepping on the backs of as you run across the street. You know, in the first movie I would have had a little trepidation in doing that but seeing what they did in the first one, having an opportunity to be jumping on the backs of sharks in the second one, well, we did it once, we did it twice, and I said, Anthony, let me have a little fun with this.

So in the third and fourth takes I'm, like, jumping and spinning and there's one where I actually did a handspring off of one of the rocks. We didn't use it in the movie but I had total trust in what was happening knowing that whatever action that I was giving forth was going to be made to look as a very realistic and appropriate reaction.

Question:
Anthony, I'm curious with the reaction, particularly on Twitter of the first movie. Did any of the comments that people were posting or tweeting have any impact on how this second film developed, the story line you took, or ideas that you may have put into it?

Anthony Ferrante:
Not necessarily. I think a lot of stuff actually came out when we did a lot of interviews with people. You know, people would go, what do you want to see in the next movie and you would come up with some, like, totally ridiculous thing. What I call the towering sharkfurno thing where you have the water below and the fire on top of the building and they meet in the middle, that was - I think I was talking to someone on the radio about that. It was like, we could do this and then it suddenly is in the movie.

A lot of this stuff came from just talking with people about crazy ideas. Wouldn't it be funny if this and that. But the Twitter followers, no one really thought at that moment, even when it was blowing up that there was going to be a sequel. You know, we just thought it was kind of a fluky thing. You know in this business it's like you get your 15 minutes and it's up and Sharknado just kept going and going. You know, we aired and then we aired again and got better ratings and got better ratings and went theatrical and went international.

So we just kept talking about it and that was kind of the cool part. But I think the good thing that happened with the Twitter is that we got validity from a lot of different people, even if they were making fun or poking fun at us everybody had a good time. So it shows that there was a bigger audience watching what we're doing. So there is an obligation and you couldn't just do the Sharknado 1 over again. You really did need to amp it up and make bigger and better and greater sequences. I think that emboldened us and allowed us more freedom to kind of push things a little further than we could have in the first movie.

I mean we definitely pushed the maximum but in the second movie we go for broke a lot of times. That last 15 minutes of the movie, I could never image selling that to anybody on the first film.

Question:
Sharknado 2 and its predecessor, they're obviously highly campy movies. Did any of you have any misgivings about participating in the film with such a preposterous storyline? Did it that it might hurt your career afterwards?

Tara Reid:
Not at all, not at all. I thought it was a wonderful opportunity. The audience has really embraced it, loved it, and they're looking forward to the sequel. I didn't think of it as career suicide or anything like that. I looked at it as a wonderful opportunity to work with a great cast and awesome director.

Question:
So do you think that there would have been a sequel to Sharknado if there wasn't social media involved?

Tara Reid:
No, probably not. I mean social media is really what took it to the next level of social media with Twitter and getting 5,000 tweets per minute and then just kind of exploded. So because of social media it really advanced it and took it to a worldwide level that we just weren't expecting. So it had a huge impact on the film.

Anthony Ferrante:
I think Asylum might have done something. They might have done a sequel but it wouldn't have been on this scale if it didn't blow up. They have the Megashark franchise and if they have a little bit of a following on these things they'll do sequels but I don't think it would have been on this grand scale. It would have been Sharknado Goes to the Beach or something and that would have been the second movie. But this gave us a different platform because it was a big deal. So we could do more and we could push it.

Question:
Did you guys learn anything about sharks from this project?

Ian Ziering:
I think you're asking the really deep questions and this is not a deep movie. Just enjoy to know you're going to have an hour and a half of just pure entertainment and have fun. If you're going to ask the deep questions then you know what, you should see The Notebook because this is not like that.

Tara Reid:
Yes, I mean it's definitely not something that we're going scuba diving and swimming with sharks or anything like that. It's more of the imagination of imaginary sharks being there. And this responding to them. But we don't get into details. It's not like National Geographic or anything.

Anthony Ferrante:
Yes, I mean there's not much research you can do because there's no such thing as a Sharknado except in our films. So you know, there was a Las Vegas exhibit with sharks that I went to before the first Sharknado because I just wanted to watch sharks move and everything. But I didn't do much research on the second one. I think we pretty much knew we threw all logic out the window.

Question:
What's your favorite shark kill out of both of the movies?

Tara Reid:
Mine is Ian's.

Ian Ziering:
Yes, I like the shark kills most where I anchor myself to the ground and allow the sharks to literally pass through the blade. You know, that's something that I did in the first movie where it was completely unrehearsed and Anthony has us running through a parking lot. He says, okay, I need you to jump around and there's going to be sharks flying out of the sky so leap and jump and dodge sharks flying. And I didn't know what to expect but knowing that they would probably paint in the appropriate reaction there's one moment where I just got on one knee and I raised the chainsaw into the air and they hit it out of the park. They had a shark fly through that.

In the second one, working with a chainsaw that is 45 pounds swinging a chainsaw through the air is a little bit more challenging. So when I stood on top of the fire truck knowing that there was a shark flying at me I thought this would be another great opportunity. But this time I did it backwards. And Anthony says, what the hell are you doing? It looks so phallic. But when we painted the shark in it's such a beautiful kill. It really is.

Anthony Ferrante:
It is a fantastic moment. Yes, we called if the phallic shot. Wow, it was great. That's probably one of my favorite kills in this movie that the animator, Dennis who did it, he originally did one pass on that where it was just kind of similar to the first movie and he got obsessed with the anatomy of a shark. And he found a half shark, like a plastic one that showed the full anatomy. And he used that as his inspiration so you get that really clean thing. And he just made a beautiful moment out of that. Thank you, Ian and Dennis.

Ian Ziering:
You know what I just teed it up, he's the one who hit it out of the park.

Question:
Vivica, Tara, do you have a favorite?

Tara Reid:
The best kill of sharks is Ian's. I mean he has the strength and he really gets them good. I mean he's awesome at it. And with the chainsaw, I mean it doesn't get really any better.

Anthony Ferrante:
You get cheers for that when you get your moment this time. There was cheers for that.

Tara Reid:
That's true. I have a good kill in this time too.

Ian Ziering:
The girls really step up. I mean Tara gets her own saw blade to wield and she takes out a shark really very valiantly. And then on top of the Bells Tower Vivica's character pulls out a sword and slices one in half and it's - you know, the women become very heroic. Give them the right tools and they're bad asses.

Anthony Ferrante:
Yes, no head trimmers for Tara this time.

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