With Leprechaun’s Revenge airing on Syfy in just a few days on March 17th I thought folks might enjoy learning a little more about the movie’s director Drew Daywalt so here are his answers to a few questions that I submitted to him.
Hopefully we’ll be able to get him on the podcast in the near future to talk a little more about himself and the movie. We’ve got the movie’s full description and trailer available here.
How did you get started as a director?
I have been a working screenwriter and director in Hollywood for 15 years. I used to do big studio action stuff. I’ve written for Tony Scott, Jerry Bruckheimer, Brett Ratner. Lots of high octane, young male driven action and buddy stuff. But I was in that loop in the studio system where I was making a living but nothing was getting made. So when the writer’s strike happened in 2007 -2008, I decided to make a bit of a career change. I saw how horror films were getting made so readily, and they were done on these controlled budgets. I also realized how much influence watching monster and horror films as a kid had influenced my going to work in Hollywood — and I decided I would pursue my heart’s desire and try and make a go of it in horror films.
So during the WGA strike I got together with friends and we made a bunch of horror shorts, only a few minutes long each, more like skits, and we posted them online. One of the first ones I made, BEDFELLOWS, went viral and had 2 million hits in the first week, and I knew I was onto something. It was a weird thing discovering I could scare someone.
How did you become involved with Leprechaun’s Revenge?
I was developing another, darker (straight horror) project with After Dark, when this creature feature came up and I was approved by the network as director before even knowing about Leprechaun’s Revenge.
Syfy and After Dark saw the work I did on my short films, my web series CAMERA OBSCURA (you can see it on YouTube), as well as the directing I did on MTV’S horror comedy series DEATH VALLEY and invited me aboard. I think they knew they had an unusual project on hand that needed to be scary at times, funny at others, and they liked what they’d seen from my previous work. I seem to have that rare DNA strand that allows me to do horror and comedy and that particular balancing act comes pretty naturally to me, for better or worse.
What was your biggest challenge in making this movie?
Getting the creature right. We had no money, no time and I knew I had to make myself happy because I’m a monster fanboy myself. Jeff Farley, my creature FX designer and dear friend, saved the day on this film. It was awesome. I knew that if we went full CG on the creature in the short time we had to make this film (5 months, by the way from start to finish) then the creature would look like garbage. There’s just no way to do good CG on this budget and this schedule, but if we went old school physical effects, and just enhanced it a little bit with CG, then we could pull it off. But even that was going to be tough. Jeff came in and made it work. He’s really a great joy and a creative force. There’s no “We can’t do that,” with Jeff Farley. He just rolls up his sleeves and makes it happen. It’s inspiring to work with him. I think gore hounds and creature fans will be more than pleased with his work, as well as the work of Ashley Walsh who supervised all of the gore while Jeff focused on the monster.
Do you have any other Syfy or B movie projects coming up anytime soon?
Yeah I have a very dark feature that’s more in my wheelhouse. A pretty horrific ghost story that I hope to be filming by the end of the year. There’s another thing that goes very soon, but it’s super secret and I can’t talk about it quite yet. It too is really creepy and dark. Enough fun B-movie monsters for a while, now back to feed my darker heart.
Drew’s other work can be accessed at DaywaltFearFactory.com.
We’ll be discussing Leprechaun’s Revenge on an upcoming episode of our Saturday B Movie Reel podcast.
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