Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Things To Do

Director of 'Sharknado' talks favorite Sharkmoments before Tampa screening

Anthony C. Ferrante can't escape that other shark movie directed by that other guy.

Not that anyone confuses the Sharknado franchise with Jaws, or Ferrante with Steven Spielberg, even after directing all four schlock-tacular Syfy channel movies. His fifth, Sharknado: Global Swarming, debuts in August.

That's one more than the Jaws franchise. Four more than Spielberg, but Ferrante isn't counting. He's just proud that since 2013's phenomenal debut, his Sharknado movies are mentioned in the same breath as Jaws, for better or worse.

"It's an honor but it's also kind of ironic," Ferrante said by phone from Los Angeles. "The weird thing is that you have this Jaws franchise that is the crown jewel and we just kind of dismantled 40 years of terror with one silly movie...

"One guy told me: 'Jaws made my kids afraid to go into the water and Sharknado made it okay for them because they could laugh at sharks.'"

TAKE THE KIDS: Shark Con comes to Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa

Ferrante visits Tampa on other shark business. He'll attend Friday's 10 p.m. screening of Sharknado at Tampa Theatre, conducting a post-show Q&A. On Saturday he's a speaker at Shark-Con 4 at the Florida State Fairgrounds, also taking questions.

Someone, sometime this weekend will drop the J-word. Ferrante's good with that. As a former entertainment journalist, he understands the hook. Ferrante even interviewed Spielberg a few times, years before Sharknado, making no contact since.

Almost.

The filmmakers sort of crossed paths in 2015 when Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! filmed at Universal Studios Orlando, when the theme park still included a Jaws exhibit.

"We did have to ask (Spielberg's) Amblin (Entertainment) to use it in the movie," Ferrante said. "They gave us permission, which to me is the closest thing to touching the feet of Spielberg."

Ferrante isn't a one-trick shark, with a couple conventional thrillers to his credit. However, none have drawn attention like the Sharknado series that, with its worst debuts, pulls nearly 3 million viewers.

"The most important thing as a filmmaker is that people see your movies," Ferrante said. "Whether they're making fun of them or enjoying them or whatever, they're talking about it. That allows you to grow."

Maybe into a Marvel or DC gig?

"I'd be game for that," Ferrante said. "The great thing about Sharknado is that it opened the door for people to look at me in a different way: 'Oh, he can handle visual effects, he can handle humor.' And there's still drama and actors acting in these movies when there aren't sharks flying around."

For now, Ferrante enjoys keeping Syfy's fin-in-cheek franchise swimming. Global Swarming expands the preposterous ichthy-meteorological danger worldwide under the patriotic tagline: Make America Bait Again.

"I always go back to what someone said about the first movie: It's a movie that doesn't know you can't do that" Ferrante said. "We're still living up to that mantra."

FERRANTE'S FAVORITE CLIPS

As the dorsal fin steering Syfy's Sharknado franchise, director Anthony C. Ferrante knows his schlock. We asked Ferrante to comment on his favorite moments from the first four movies, and a hint of what's coming in Sharknado 5: Global Swarming, debuting in August.

Sharknado (2013)

Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) jumping with a chainsaw into a flying shark: "That actually was the defining moment of Sharknado, that said: Okay, we're willing to go anywhere... This is not your typical shark movie. We're willing to embrace the silly."

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014)

"We're in New York, so it's a combination of two things: (Fin's) big speech on the fire truck followed by him slicing the shark in two in slow motion. That's just another one of those really, really cool, fun moments."

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (2015)

"Sharks in space. We went there. That would have been a whole movie itself in another franchise."

Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens (2016)

"The thing I love about four is Tara (Reid's April Wexler) becoming a superhero. I don't think people expected us to do that... to take her and see that evolution was a cool thing."

Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (2017)

"To be able to film in London and Italy, you know, Trevi Fountain and London Bridge, it adds authenticity, which is what we've tried to do since Sharknado 2."

Contact Steve Persall at [email protected] or (727) 893-8365. Follow @StevePersall.

MORE THINGS TO DO

MUSIC: Our Top Concert Picks

DINING: Where to Eat This Week

FOLLOW: Things To Do Updates on Facebook

MORE EVENTS: Search By Date, Price and Neighborhood

     
Comments

Tuesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballIllinois at Michigan State7 p.m.ESPNWest Virginia at Baylor7 p.m.ESPN2Mississippi State at Texas A&M7 p.m.SECBoston College at N.C. State7 p.m.FSFCreighton at Butler7 p.m.FS1Rhode Island at La Salle7 p.m.CBSSNRutgers at Ohio St...
Updated: 6 hours ago
SoundBytes: Glass Animals, Katt Williams, Natalie Prass, Lee Ann Womack and more

SoundBytes: Glass Animals, Katt Williams, Natalie Prass, Lee Ann Womack and more

— British alt-rock outfit Glass Animals is coming to the Ritz Ybor on July 24. Knox Fortune will open. Click here.— Katt Williams is returning to the USF Sun Dome on April 14. Tickets are $49 and up. Click here.— It's been a while s...
Published: 02/19/18
Review: A seemingly inexhaustible shelf life continues in ‘The Phantom of the Opera’

Review: A seemingly inexhaustible shelf life continues in ‘The Phantom of the Opera’

TAMPA Apparently, the Phantom lives forever.Thirty-two years after its premiere, one of the top-grossing musicals of all time is still packing ’em in. Sunday’s matinee at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts showed why Andrew Lloyd ...
Published: 02/19/18

Things to Do in Pasco and Hernando counties starting Feb. 23

FestivalsFlorida Bluegrass Classic: The event continues through Feb. 25 at Florida Classic Park, 5360 Lockhart Road, east of Brooksville. Featuring live entertainment on the stage from 1 to 10 p.m. daily, as well as arts and crafts, workshops, a car ...
Published: 02/19/18
18 movies that turn 40 years old in 2018

18 movies that turn 40 years old in 2018

Normally Stuck in the '80s concentrates on flicks released between Jan. 1, 1980 and Dec. 31, 1989. But in reality, many of us in '80s Nation were first exposed to movies from the late '70s on HBO or home video during our beloved decade.To us, movies ...
Published: 02/19/18
Celebs in town: ‘Animal House’ reunion party and autographs from Derrick Brooks

Celebs in town: ‘Animal House’ reunion party and autographs from Derrick Brooks

Here's a look at celebrities that are set to be in town Feb. 19-25. As always, if you happen to see someone famous, let us know on Twitter or via email.Animal House actors Tim Matheson and Otis Day will be at American Social in Tampa on Thursday for ...
Published: 02/19/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 20

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 20

The Phantom of the Opera : Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway hit returns to Tampa. With newly reinvented staging and stunning scenic design, this new version of Phantom is performed by a cast and orches...
Published: 02/19/18
What to watch this week: An appreciation post for PBS documentaries

What to watch this week: An appreciation post for PBS documentaries

This is an appreciation post for PBS and its seemingly endless slew of documentaries and historical dramas. In the era of peak TV, it's easy to forget how much engaging, quality television public media stations have to offer. Just this week, the chan...
Published: 02/19/18
'Black Panther' blows past expectations, sets box-office record

'Black Panther' blows past expectations, sets box-office record

NEW YORK — A wave of feverish anticipation, fawning critical acclaim and groundbreaking cultural meaning pushed "Black Panther" to a record-setting $192 million debut in U.S. and Canada theaters, firmly establishing the superhero sensation as a...
Published: 02/19/18
Fergie's NBA All-Star Game national anthem confuses, amuses

Fergie's NBA All-Star Game national anthem confuses, amuses

LOS ANGELES — Fergie tried something different with her national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game, and not everybody was cheering.The Black Eyed Peas singer’s slow, bluesy rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” on Sunday night...
Published: 02/19/18