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Fun With Horror had the chance to talk to Patrick Melton, Co-Writer of Danielle Panabaker‘s latest filck, Dimension Films’ ‘Piranha 3DD’. He talked about the writing process, finding a location for the film, the scope of the movie’s release and about 3D releases. Here’s what he had to say:
FWH: Well, let’s talk about your new film. Tell us about PIRANHA 3DD.
PM: Marcus and I did the production polish on the first movie. When Bob Weinstein wanted to make another one, he asked us if we had any ideas, and we did. We had the idea that down the river there was a water park and the fish get inside there. That’s sort of how it began. We thought it would be fun to have it be in the tradition of the first one with a lot of scantily clad women and archetypes of the ‘80s bikini movies thrown in to a horror movie. That was our starting point. We wanted to make it a dumpy, family owned water park that brings in celebrity lifeguards to help attract people. David Hasselhoff actually plays himself in this movie. We find him at sort of a low point in his life. He’s the former KNIGHT RIDER and former BAYWATCH star who has found himself opening a water park, for a day, in Bumblefuck, Arizona. Then, when we wrote it, we were looking inLouisiana. Believe it or not, there are only two water parks in all of Louisiana. So, we flew down to Louisiana and looked at the water parks. We stayed there and wrote in Louisiana, with Me, John Gulager (Director) and Marcus Dunstan (Co-writer). It ended up shooting in Wilmington, North Carolina, so we had to re engineer the script so it worked with all of the slides at the water park that it was shot at.
FWH: Did you spend much time on the set, or was your involvement primarily with the screenplay?
PM: At the same time, we were starting to shoot THE COLLECTION, the sequel to THE COLLECTOR. Marcus and I wrote the first two drafts. When the water park was chosen and we started moving towards production, Joel Soisson, who was a producer on FEAST and this movie ended up doing the re-writes that had to be done specifically for the cast and the location. There were certain things that couldn’t be done within the budget, so he was the one who did that work. So, it was Me, Marcus, and Joel who got the writing credit.
FWH: Do you know what the scope of the release will be for PIRANHA 3DD? Will it be limited or a wide release?
PM: In terms of a release, we are kind of a guinea pig. Dimension knows there is a demand for the movie, so we are trying this new platform, where it’s in theatres. I think it will be limited, but it will also be available on VOD. I’m not sure how that’s going to work. I don’t know if people will be as prone to see it in the theatre if it’s also available at home. Although, it will be in real 3D, in the theatres, and for VOD it obviously won’t. That’s what I’ve been told thus far is that it will be a simultaneous release in theatres and on VOD on June 1st. I don’t know how wide it will be. I suspect it’s going to be along the lines of the other releases that they have done like this. MARGIN CALL was done the same way. I don’t know how many theatres that was in, but it wasn’t bad. I suspect this will be similar to that. I’m not sure in terms of the exact numbers.
FWH: It seems strange to release a 3D movie through VOD.
PM: I agree.
FWH: It seems to take some of the wind out of the film’s sail.
PM: It was shot in 3D, too! I don’t particularly like 3D movies. I think it’s a gimmick and I think they are annoying. It’s a gimmick that was first thought of in the 1950s and is just playing out now in the same way. If you look at a lot of the marketing of films, the studios aren’t marketing the 3D. It’s become a detriment. The public got wise after a couple of 3D movies. People were staying away from them. It wasn’t helping the films, at all. However, in the case of this movie, it’s as if we are almost making a joke of it. The movie is essentially manufactured to be in 3D and to be kind of ridiculous. It seems silly that we wouldn’t exploit that, as opposed to putting it in as many theatres as possible. It’s kind of strange. THE AVENGERS is opening today and they aren’t promoting the fact that it’s in 3D. Who gives a shit that it’s in 3D? It hurts your eyes and it’s distracting. I’m going to see THE AVENGERS and I’m going to see it in 2D. I don’t think anyone is impressed by it anymore. That’s somethingHollywood studios always do. They see something that allows them to charge more money and they jump in to it without thinking of the consequences. The consequences are that there is a backlash and people don’t want to pay that much for a movie, unless it’s somewhat of an event or there is some sort of purpose behind it. I don’t need to see DINNER WITH ANDRE in 3D – although, that would be kind of sweet. (Laughs)
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