Behind the Scenes of ‘Sharknado’

Celebrity Q&A, Featured Article
on September 4, 2013
Sharknado - 2013
Sharknado stars Ian Ziering as Fin and Cassie Scerbo as Nova.

“Sharknado” was the craziest film ever! Did they use any real sharks?
—Gabriel Huertas, Las Vegas, Nevada

No real sharks, but not completely CGI either. They actually built a portion of a shark for some of the Syfy film’s practical effects—and even with all the technology that has been developed in the more than 30 years since “Jaws,” director Anthony C. Ferrante says they ran into problems similar to those Steven Spielberg had while filming his iconic thriller.

“The shark had a lot of issues when we were trying to make it float in the water,” Ferrante says. “But the practical fins that we used, I think, were really good and actually helped the actors a lot, particularly when we were out in the ocean and had the fin floating right alongside. It kind of freaked them out a little bit even though they knew it was fake.”

And despite being a film about a school of sharks who get swooped up by a tornado and then dropped on the residents of Los Angeles, it wasn’t a big gore fest, although there is a bloody scene toward the end of the movie where one of the characters gets her arms ripped off.

“If it’s a serial killer it’s kind of easy, you can do something. If it’s a monster you could do something,” Ferrante says. “In terms of killing people, the variety of things that you can do with a shark is limited. You can have a shark attack you, you can have a shark bite off a limb, but after that, it would just get redundant. So that’s why we mixed it up a little bit, and we did something clever with the Hollywood sign and, we did the thing at the end, which even though it’s not a kill it’s pretty graphic with Ian Ziering [getting swallowed by a shark and chain-sawing his way out].”

Syfy has announced there will be a “Sharknado” sequel coming next year.