Sharknado director Anthony C. Ferrante and stars Judah Friedlander, Mark McGrath, and Kari Wuhrer were on hand at NBC’s Summer Press Day to tease what’s to come in the sequel.
Ferrante helmed the first Sharknado, which took the social media world by storm last summer, and is back for The Second One. “We never stopped making the first movie,” he says of the quick turnaround. “It still feels like we’re making the same movie. The energy is still there.” The difference between films one and two? “How can we come up with crazier things?”
The director credits the new setting – New York – for Sharknado 2: The Second One as a way of offering new twists and turns. “If we stayed in LA it would’ve been boring,” he admits, “but in New York it’s a whole new set of tinker toys.”
Not only are there new settings, but New York offers some additional tax credits, affording them a bit larger budget. “We had a little more money because it’s New York,” Ferrante said. “But if you look at all the movies in this budget area, we pushed our budget to the max. We’re trying to make a studio movie with this small little nut. We tried to do it with this one – we went to massive locations with limited time. We shot Times Square in half a day.” He declined to answer how big Sharknado 2’s budget is, but describes it as a “nice” amount of money which they took advantage of, citing the fact that they would shoot eight pages of the script in a day.
One member of the press asked about the visual effects, which viewers had a laugh over during the original movie. Despite the film becoming a punchline in the entertainment world, Ferrante is proud of the work. He said that the team had only a few months to finish the project when big budget productions have years to make them pristine. Ferrante pointed to the ferris wheel scene in the original as a special effect that could go “toe to toe” with summer blockbusters.
With that said, there are plans for visual effects improvements. “With this one we want to perfect the tornado.”
The Sharknado 2 stars on hand at today’s event were visibly confident about the upcoming film. “Sequels do suck,” McGrath admitted, “Unless they’re shot in New York City. I’m in a band. I’m a fan. I was such a fan of the first one. I found myself in a cab on Broadway filming with Judd Hersh.”
One challenge with this film was the winter weather that relentlessly poured down on New York this past winter. The cast were bundled up in between takes, and while on camera had to act like the weather was much warmer.
“The weather was so bad,” McGrath said. “I don’t think we can articulate how bad it was. We’re making a movie that takes place in the summer.”
Wuhrer said that the down-to-earth cast is part of what makes the film so fun to watch. “When you’re unpretentious you can have so much more fun with it. You can do things you normally wouldn’t.”
Sharknado 2 airs Thursday, July 31 on Syfy.