There is no formula for how certain films capture people’s imaginations and establish a devout following. The Sharknado film trilogy has steadily grown into its cult status since its first instalment in 2013. For those unfamiliar with the series, it (unsurprisingly) follows the havoc a tornado containing sharks causes. The new instalment, Sharknado: Heart of Darkness, is a spin-off mockumentary about the origins of where the outlandish story came from. Jared Cohn plays David Moore, the filmmaker behind the original Sharknado film – the one that never seen by the general public! Andrew Darley spoke to Cohn about the new film and the success of the Sharknado world.
What sparked the idea for this spin-off?
I think this Sharknado was made because people wanted to see more Sharknado.
In terms of story, where does this film take us in relation to the trilogy so far?
This is an origin story, so this movie would actually pre-date all of the other Sharknados.
Where did the original idea of Sharknado come from and how did it develop to what it is now?
The word ‘Sharknado’ was first uttered in an old movie or TV show – I forget where but I saw a clip somewhere. The movie idea came from the production company, The Asylum, alongside the actual director Anthony Ferrante and the writer Thunder Levin.
Did you have any concerns of doing a spin-off from the main series?
Not really, when I was first heard about it I knew this would be cool to get involved with. Why not?!!
Did it feel strange switching from being a director to actor? Are they both comfortable for you?
Yes. I’ve been acting and directing for a while so it’s not too crazy to do either at this point. Acting is certainly more nerve-wracking, but directing can be as well.
However, the key is to be prepared. Preparation will calm the nerves.
Were there any major challenges in creating the film?
Every shoot has its own challenges, when I’m acting the main challenge for me is making sure I don’t suck!
Given that it’s shot as a mockumentary, do you have any favourites that may have been reference points?
I sort of absorb cultural things into a giant mish-mosh in my head, that isn’t more of one element than the other. I incorporated different characters and things I saw or read into the work. It was mostly improvised so I probably said some weird things.
Do you think Sharknado makes a point in not taking art and film so seriously and just enjoy a movie for what it is?
I think a lot of genre movies take that liberty.
What are some of your favourite B-Movies, monsters or otherwise?
I’m a big fan of a lot of what The Asylum does. I just did a werewolf movie and that was fun. I like any monster or genre as long as it’s done well. I enjoyed MegaShark Vs. Giant Octopus a lot. Although, I am a fan of the Sharktopus series.
They are both quality genre films that certainly have a place in the market. Mega Shark Vs. Mecha Shark was a personal favorite.
Do you think fans will be surprised by this film?
Yeah, I think they will either love or hate it.
Why do you think Sharknado has become the cult hit that it has become?
I think it came at just the right time, people really have an appreciation for crazy things. I think if this came out 5 years ago, people wouldn’t have responded. Right now, the world is in such a weird state that Sharknado actually makes a lot of sense.
Sharknado: Heart of Sharkness is out now on DVD through The Asylum.