<em>Oh Hell No!</em>: Chats with <em>Sharknado 3</em>'s Anthony C. Ferrante & David Lowery, Plus Hemming, Marta Pacek Exclusives and Introducing Dagmar

A few days ago, Iowa duo Dagmar's first video, "Tumbleweed," premiered with Bitch Media and the artists are already shooting their next video, "What Do You Want," another track from their self-titled debut album.
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photo credit: Colin Buzza

A few days ago, Iowa duo Dagmar's first video, "Tumbleweed," premiered with Bitch Media and the artists are already shooting their next clip, "What Do You Want," another track from their debut album, Afterlight.

According to Dagmar's Gemma Cohen...

"Creating a visual experience with our music expands our relationship with each song in new ways. This process allows us to reevaluate what they mean to us, and establish deeper connections with each other and our director, Alana Waksman."

Dagmar co-founder Miranda Mallard discusses the album...

"The songs on the album were created in response to some major life challenges we've experienced over the past two years--writing them has been a way of processing and healing. On the other side of these hurdles, we've discovered a newfound light, hence our album title. We hope this music can help other people to find their own silver linings."




A Conversation with Director Anthony C. Ferrante

Mike Ragogna: Anthony, Sharknado 3, of course, means there are now three of them. Oh hell no!

Anthony C. Ferrante: Oh hell yes!

MR: How much footage was wasted on reshoots or additional takes because you, Ian Ziering, Tara Reid and the whole set were laughing your asses off so hard?

ACF: Surprisingly, there's very little waste. With 18 days to shoot these things, we have to keep moving or the movie doesn't get done. We do have fun making them, but it's also a ton of work. Most studio movies have 100 days plus to do their thing. So hopefully that puts things into perspective.

MR: In what ways is this movie more of a classic than Jaws?

ACF: Nothing can top Jaws, not even a Sharknado, though, we do have a few moments that even a Jaws sequel would be too afraid to try.

MR: What adrenaline-pumping challenges and absurd scenarios are you inflicting upon poor Fin and April this time around? Beyond Sharknado 2: The Second One, how large did the sharks--and shark count--grow? Most importantly, how do David Hasselhoff and Bo Derek help to save the day?

ACF: We cram four movies into one with this one--so instead of destroying one city, we go after the entire East Coast. And just when you think, "Oh, this movie is going to be this," we take a detour and do something even stranger. Luckily, we have Fin--Ian Ziering--and April--Tara Reid--to kick ass throughout. Fin has more weapons to play with and he's becoming a bit of a shark killing expert. And how can you not love a pregnant April in the middle of a Sharknado? Bo Derek was great--her and Tara worked really well together and The Hoff gives a great performance as Fin's crotchety old dad who has the key to saving the day!

MR: Okay, let's pretend there's any seriousness to the filming and directing of a Sharknado. I guess that's the question--is there any seriousness in the filming and directing of a Sharknado?

ACF: You can't make a movie and not take it seriously because you have a budget and schedule on the line and have to deliver. We have fun making them and we want the audience to have fun as well, but you can't create the insanity of these movies without having a plan and trying to figure out a way to do these insane things we do with the little money and short shooting schedule that we have. And yes, the concept of a Sharknado is ridiculous, but so are superheroes flying around a city or robots on the moon. So we're fully aware of how silly it is and embrace it.

MR: Can you give a few examples of how you convert a Sharknado script's humor into the Schlock & Awe that makes it to the screen? And how do you visually create these virtual man-eaters?

ACF: The VFX department handles the CGI sharks. Some times we use practical fake sharks for reference and for close-ups, but 90 percent of the sharks in the movie are created in the computer. The humor really comes from playing everything straight and making the sense of humor dry. I was obsessed with this concept of George Washington Shark Face and storyboarded it and even had a conceptual design done so we got it right and it's one of my favorite parts of the movie. Some of the character humor happens on set organically. It's a weird balance, but when all else fails, the characters have to be playing it as real as possible, and you let the Sharknado be the ridiculous part of the film.

MR: What are the budgets like for a Sharknado?

ACF: Think of crafts service budget for one day on The Avengers: Age Of Ultron and that's probably what we had for the latest Sharknado movie.

MR: Did you have any Sharknado scenes or concepts that the studio wouldn't approve so you threatened to walk and they caved? How spoiled or fussy has being the director of the Sharknado trilogy made you?

ACF: There's no time to be spoiled or fussy. You hit the ground running and have four months from start to finish to deliver. If you stopped to be a diva, there would be no movie. As for stuff we didn't get to do, there was a huge motorcycle sequence scripted for three that we didn't have time to shoot. It stayed in the script for the longest time, but we all secretly knew it wasn't going to survive. Ultimately, it proved to be too complex, ambitious and cost prohibitive to do it justice, so we had to table that for now.

MR: Let's talk about the soundtrack a bit. Did you work closely with any or most of the artists? David Lowery perhaps?

ACF: Lakeshore Records did a bang-up job compiling a great group of artists alongside music supervisor Rachel Anderson-Lebron. When I heard Camper Van Beethoven was contributing two tracks, I was in awe since they're one of my favorite bands.

MR: And then there's this band called...Quint, is it? How did your band come together?

ACF: Robbie Rist and I have been doing music for over 10 years. We've written songs for all of my movies and with every film we would change the name of the band as a joke. When Sharknado came around, we decided to call ourselves Quint, because of the Robert Shaw character in Jaws. When "(The Ballad of) Sharknado" song kind of blew up, we decided to keep Quint as our permanent name. The fun part for doing songs for these movies, is it's like writing a musical in a way, because we'll tie the lyrics into things going on in the film, even if you only hear a small portion of it. For this movie, we did a song "Crash," which was written for the teen characters in the film and a really cool bluesy rockin' track called "Bad Ass," which is Fin's theme song for this movie.

MR: In your opinion, have you ever directed anything as outrageous as a Sharknado? And in future Sharknados, which there inevitably will be, when you start having sharks pop out of amusement park misters, might there be a need for an intervention?

ACF: I was known as a horror director for many years and I love doing horror and suspense films. However, many of the short films I used to do alternated between horror and comedies. I've always liked crazy concepts and Sharknado afforded me the best of both worlds--absolute carnage and mayhem matched with pure silliness. As for an intervention, until all the sharknados are destroyed, you need people like myself, Thunder Levin, Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Cassie Scerbo, and the good folks at the Asylum and SyFy to continue saving the world from them.

MR: What advice do you have for future directors who want to participate in a shark attack film franchise?

ACF: Watch Jaws and know what greatness is, because no matter how hard you try, you will never be able to top what Steven Spielberg did with that film. Then go make the best movie possible and do your own thing. Make it scary, make it fun, cross-breed sharks with another weather anomaly, but do you own thing and pray people don't compare you to Jaws.

MR: What do you say to a Sharknado hater, as if such a person could exist?

ACF: As long as people are talking about your movies, whether it's love or hate, you've done your job. The haters are going to hate, but if you manage to entertain everyone else with a silly popcorn movie done on a beer budget, then you've succeeded.

MR: So how many more Sharknados will you be subjecting us...are you planning?

ACF: As long as the fans still want them, I think they'll continue to be made. Clearly, there's still more stories to tell and cities to destroy, so until this movie world has been completely obliterated by Sharknados, I think they'll be around for a long time.

A Conversation with David Lowery

Mike Ragogna: Sharknado 3? David! How could you?

David Lowery: How couldn't we? In 1987, CVB put out an EP. In the liner notes, we listed one of the tunes as being from a fake horror film soundtrack called Vampire Surfers. This was pre-internet so it was difficult to fact check and our joke was dutifully repeated in the press.

MR: So is the soundtrack more shock-and-schlock filled than the movie itself? And how did you choose these lucky musical candidates?

DL: Well, this being SyFy the budget was unlimited. They could have had literally anyone for the soundtrack. U2, Rolling Stones, Re-animated Artificial Intelligence Quantum Computer Generated Hologram of Captain Beefheart. But the director, producer and Lakeshore soundtracks thought we could keep it true to the low budget garage feel of the first picture.

MR: As far as the soundtrack itself, how many shark-inspired musical cues are there? Thousands, right?

DL: Since each shark is CGI generated from single dimensional Space Filling Curve; the cues are infinite but contained within a movie of finite area and length. That's a mathematics joke. Print it as is. You'll be a hero to topologists everywhere. The people of Sardinia will be cheering in the streets holding aloft pictures of Giuseppe Peano once this piece goes live.

MR: Yay Sardinia! What's your favorite scene in the movie and most importantly, do any sharks pop out of water coolers, water balloons, sprinkler systems or bottled water?

DL: Sharks emerging from water bottles? Sprinkler systems? Nobody would believe that.

MR: You do remember that you're a member of the critically loved bands Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, right?

DL: Really? The critically acclaimed band that wrote "Take the Skinheads Bowling" and "ZZ Top goes to Egypt?" There were a lot of drugs back in the 1980s. I don't remember that...but if you say so.

MR: How many studios down the hall complained to management from your uncontrollable laughter?

DL: The SyFy budget was limitless. We had Skywalker Ranch on lockout for three weeks. The National Guard evacuated everyone from The Point Reyes to San Rafael. No one was around to complain. We made everyone in West Marin sign non-disclosure agreements...not 'cause they could hear or see anything. It was simply 'cause it seemed like it would be fun to be dicks to really really rich people.

MR: How many sharks attacked during the musical creative process? How hard do you now hate on these aquatic death machines? How badly have you been traumatized, like do you think you'll ever drink a Fuji again?

DL: It depends what you mean by "attack."

MR: So for the serious question, how did you choose the soundtrack's music?

DL: Aw damn! Serious? Really? I was having so much fun with this. Mostly we listened to the original film. It struck the right tone. I hate overbearing soundtracks. Seriously? For the first track "Long Way To Go," we were trying to go classic pop punk, but mixed with Rush. Or maybe The Buggles. Actually I just made that up, but it sounds about right. Having fun, summertime, good times, mellow fun. You know the calm before the Sharknado. The second track is loosely based on "Palace of the Peacock" by Wilson Harris. Print that and Caribbean literature professors will riot in the streets.

MR: Do you have any advice for artists? You could include ways to avoid shark attacks or involvement with future Sharknado movies if you'd like.

DL: The best defense against shark attack is a diet.

MR: Can you picture participating in Sharknaniggans ever again?

DL: Absolutely. It was a blast.



photo credit: Linda Perry

According to Hemming's crew...

"Some of My Friends" is off the self-titled debut album Hemming, coming out July 24th on Custard Records. Hemming (aka Candice Martello) believes that people come in and out of your life for a reason and weather you end up keeping in touch or not you knew each other when you needed to know each other and that plays an important part in getting you to where you need to go, and that is what "Some of My Friends" is all about. Each line in the song is about one of Martello's real life friends many of whom are featured in this video. Following the release of the album Hemming will be headed out on tour with Chris Cornell this fall supporting him on his acoustic "Higher Truth" tour.



photo credit: David Gilliver

This new video for the song "Sometimes You Lose" is taken from Marta Pacek's 2014 Canadian/Australian release Voodoo Dolls and False Alarms. This is the first single to hit the U.S. and she'll be touring in support of the album in September.

According to Marta...

"The video was relatively simple to shoot being that it was all shot in one location (our producers living room). The real effort came from getting the ambiance of the room right and the director Josh Haggarty working on getting me in the right frame of mind so I was feeling and moving in the correct tone for the song. I think the final magic comes from the subtle editing by Oscar Navarro especially using the plate shots and what I would describe as the visual delay effects he used throughout the video. To me, they do a great job of conveying the and cloudiness the protagonist was feeling in the video."

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