Look out it’s a Sharknado. Now that I’ve got your attention let’s get to the important matters at hand. Sharknado’s have terrorized the country since 2013 and the man responsible is none other than Anthony C. Ferrante. I had the pleasure recently to chat with Anthony about sharks, nado’s, working with Gary Busey and other relevant topics and it’s my honor to bring you the answers to the all-important questions surrounding the Sharknado craze.
TERROR TIME: Hi Anthony and congratulations on SHARKNADO 4. It’s far and away my favorite of the series so far.
ANTHONY FERRANTE: Really? I’ve got to ask you why that is.
TT: I think you really hit the peak of keeping it light and fun this go around. Especially with the tributes to horror stars and past films. There’s no political statements or Stanley Kubrick riddle to try and solve. It’s simply a movie that everyone can have fun with and enjoy. I mean if there is a Kubrick riddle by all means let me know.
AF: Ha ha. Thank you so much. I really appreciate that compliment. We do throw so many strange things in there that I’m sure someone could do a ROOM 237 documentary where they’re like what they were saying here is that Richard Nixon was actually a space alien.
TT: Exactly. So does that mean that the Nixon administration is to blame for all the Sharknado’s plaguing the nation?
AF: Oh Yeah. They’re remnants of the administration. They’ve been dormant so it’s like a sleeper agent and they just become activated when everything is neutralized and that’s when all hell breaks loose.
TT: That right there gives you a storyline thru SHARKNADO 20.
AF: Ha ha. We just have fun with this stuff. The thing that everyone should realize is that we just want to provide a good time for people. The world is a terrible place right now with the daily news having it where every time you turn around a tragedy is happening. We’re like the Pokemon Go of movies. You can turn your brain off for two hours. You’re not spending $200 at the theatre for something you don’t know whether you will like or not and you’ll get to spend time watching this with your friends. It’s just awesome.
TT: Perfectly stated. One of the best additions to the cast this go around was Gary Busey. It seems as if everyone has a Gary Busey story. What was it like working with him on set?
AF: Gary Busey is interesting. He’s a mad genius. I think we actually broke him on this movie. We actually had a weirder concept than what he comes up with. So when we’re rehearsing it he’s asking questions about the Sharknado’s and wanting to know what an Astro Pod does. I started to realize how ridiculous it was trying to explain what it all was. He really wanted to understand it all because it helps him as a performer. I finally just told him “Gary why don’t you just improve this whole scene.” We unleased the Busey and just figured it out with the other actors later. He did this brilliant twenty-minute take and you only see a small part of it when he’s talking to April. For the DVD we constructed the ultimate Gary Busey, Tara Reid, David Hasselhoff scene where you get to see his process. We were watching it last night and it’s just so funny to see how amazing he is. You’ve got to tame him a little bit but there we just unleashed it.
TT: My only complaint about the movie is I was fully expecting Gary to ride a Sharknado throughout the countryside in the film. Did the sharks have it in the contract where they did not interact with him out of fear or safety concerns?
AF: Every time we get done with one of these films we start talking about what we want to do with the next one. I wouldn’t rule out that happening at some point. We love David Hasselhoff and we left him on the moon in the third one. Anything is possible in the SHARKNADO movies.
TT: A touching tribute to which I raised my drink to the screen is the tip of the hat to Gunnar Hansen.
AF: Hey If you’re going thru Texas you’ve got to have a chainsaw massacre. What better place for Finn to find a chainsaw? That tribute was special and Dan Yeager did us a favor and it was our loving tribute to Gunnar and we have Caroline Williams to honor Chainsaw 2. I’m a big horror film fan and I really got a chance to pay tribute to my love of Chainsaw and of course my other horror tribute this go around was CHRISTINE.
TT: Yes. That was a fantastic moment seeing Ian Ziering driving Christine.
AF: How we got Christine in this movie wasn’t pretty and we had to lose a lot of stuff but I was the only one adamant about Christine being in the film. We made a few compromises but we made it happen. Bill Gibson brought Christine down with his team and we made it happen. I was very protective of how the car looked even with the color correction. We had to show the bright red paint and our music supervisor Rachel Anderson has a connection that enabled us to license authentic fifties music for the scene. It was a perfect song and it was totally in the spirit of Christine. That was a mandate as well as having Christine kill a shark.
TT: With Steve Guttenberg carrying over his role from LAVALANTULA and with the Finn character showing up in that film is there any possibility of a SyFy shared universe movie?
AF: No. The thing to realize is it’s two different companies that make the movies. Ian did the cameo in LAVALANTULA so Steve payed us back with his cameo in this one. It would never officially happen due to it being two separate companies that own the two films even though SyFy puts the films out. It was a nice little Easter egg but that’s it. Some people will get it and some won’t.
TT: I know some people bash on the Sharknado movies but you really do put care into them with things such as the tributes and hidden gems.
AF: Yeah to put it into perspective we shot this in fifteen days and turned the movie in a few days ago with over a thousand visual fx. There are some things that are a little rough around the edges but we cram a ton into these movies with a very small amount of time. I’m an asset to the industry in a way because I can make things happen with a very small amount of resources. We do care about what we do. It’s not all perfect but that’s part of the charm. We don’t set out to make something bad we set out to make something fun. One of the mandates of SHARKNADO is we are a movie that doesn’t know we can’t do that. We ignore the fact that we can’t do it and we do it.
TT: You throw every type of nado possible on the screen in this one. Was there a nado that you wanted to do but couldn’t this go around?
AF: We really did way too many. My only heartbreak is that I wish we could have made the cownado vs sharknado a bigger event. I wanted to show more of that but we just didn’t have the time.
TT: You mentioned your love of horror earlier and I’m a fan of your film, BOO. Is there a point where you want to return to horror?
AF: Thank you. I really just like to tell stories. When I was making BOO, HEADLESS HORSEMAN, and HANSEL AND GRETEL the tone of horror movies being released started to change to the torture porn stuff and it didn’t interest me. The scripts I was being offered all veered in that direction and the stuff I was interested in was more off the beaten track. SHARKNADO opened up the doors where people look at me a little differently and I get offered action and comedy because people can see that I can do that. Horror will always be my first love but it’s about doing scripts that speak to me. I have a project that’s a thriller that I might do in the Fall. The SHARKNADO movies have a place in my heart because it allows me to make people happy. It’s nice to know I can make people smile. When someone comes up to me at Comic-Con and thank me for making SHARKNADO that right there makes me smile.
TT: Is there a cameo you want to get that you haven’t been able to yet for the series of films?
AF: Bruce Campbell obviously because the character of Finn wouldn’t exist without Ash and the EVIL DEAD films. Clint Eastwood and Bill Murray are bucket list people for me. We keep talking about how Bruce Willis would be awesome to get as Finn’s long lost brother. It all comes down to timing. When you’ve got fifteen days you don’t have a ton of prep time. If we had one hundred days, it would be much easier.
TT: Those would be some amazing additions to the cast. If you were in the path of a sharknado would you hide in a storm shelter or grab a chainsaw and fight?
AF: I’d grab a chainsaw and take my chances.
TT: Thank you for the time Anthony. Where can people go online to follow you and your upcoming projects?
AF: People can follow me on Twitter @acferrante. Quint The Band is also on Twitter @QuinttheBand that’s my band and we just put out a new EP where we did our version of a Sharknado rock opera. Thank you so much for taking the time and I’m so glad you love the movie. Talk to you soon.
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I’m Orson Welles- Brad Slaton