Exclusive: Director Kimble Rendall Talks Sharks in a Supermarket for Bait 3D, Blowback and More
On September 18th Anchor Bay Films is set to unleash the "sharks gone amok" thriller Bait 3D on DVD, 3D Blu-ray and in a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, and we recently had the opportunity to chat with director Kimble Rendall.
Bait 3D, which has continued to surprise audiences since premiering earlier this year at the Venice Film Festival, stars Sharni Vinson, Julian McMahon, Xavier Samuel, Phoebe Tonkin and Alex Russell. It follows a group of survivors who must face down nature's ultimate predator after a tsunami leaves them stranded in a submerged supermarket with no way out.
Rendall, a second unit directing specialist after working on numerous action films including Ghost Rider, Killer Elite, the Matrix sequels and I, Robot, discussed the importance of preparation when you're shooting an ambitious horror flick like Bait as well why doing things "in camera" is always best. He also told us a bit more about his next projects- Blowback and an untitled 3D horror flick featuring deadly spiders.
Check out our exclusive interview with Rendall below, and look for Bait 3D on DVD and Blu everywhere next Tuesday, September 18th!
Dread Central: I first heard about Bait when I interviewed Russell (Mulcahy) for "Teen Wolf" in 2011 so I'm glad to see the movie is finally getting a release; can you talk about how you came aboard and working with Russell on this project?
Kimble Rendall: Well, I was a big fan of his before we ever met and even more of a fan after; Russell had been developing Bait for some time with a production company called Arclight. Russell was originally going to direct Bait but had to leave because "Teen Wolf" came up and that was a really wonderful opportunity for him. At the time I was doing second unit on The Killer Elite with (Robert) De Niro and Jason Statham; Russell called me and asked if I wanted to direct a movie about "sharks in a supermarket." I didn't even hesitate; I told him I'd be there tomorrow, and once I read the script, that's when the real excitement started to set in.
We started pre-production soon after, and that's the point where I took over as director. I worked on rewriting the script, just to work out some of the action sequences and a few of the gags, and then we went right to work on making our "sharks in a supermarket" movie.
Dread Central: This had to be a really ambitious movie to tackle - you have a lot of water to contend with, animatronic sharks, kills, dogs - pretty much everything is in there, even spiders. Did it dawn on you at all what you were in for when you came aboard Bait 3D?
Kimble Rendall: Yes, but I knew I could get everything I wanted in this movie as long as I could get a reasonable amount of prep time before shooting, which was the case here. Because I had done a lot of second unit work on a ton of action movies, I knew I wanted to do as much in camera as possible in this movie, which was tough but could be done if we prepared the right way.
I didn't want to rely on CGI at all, but because of our budget we ended up with something like three or four shots with CGI, and I think what we were able to do considering time and budget constraints is pretty remarkable. We used three animatronic sharks for Bait. There’s the full-length rubber shark that was stuck on a metal subframe, which was really cool. Then we had a half-shark, which was just mostly the shark's head, which we would use for close-ups; and then we had what we called the "glove puppet," which was what we would use if we needed a shark in the distant background. But yeah, trying to do as much in camera as possible was really important to me.
Dread Central: Just as ambitious as sharks swimming around a submerged supermarket was the fact that you were working with a rather large ensemble plus a tiny Pomeranian on top of that. He almost steals the show though (laughs).
Kimble Rendall: I know, right? (laughs) I swear, everyone loves the dog moments. But in regards to our human actors, Bait was an Australian/Singapore/Chinese co-production so we had a great mix of Australian actors and some actors from Singapore. Adrian Pang, who plays the store owner, is a fantastic theater actor in Singapore, and I thought he did a great job in this.
The rest of the cast are Australian actors who have recently become popular in America, like Sharni (Vinson) and Xavier (Samuel), so I was really fortunate on how that worked out because I certainly didn't plan it. I just knew they were talented.
Dread Central: Can you talk about the tone of the movie; I will admit I went into Bait thinking I was in for another silly creature feature, but you went a different route and gave us a few good scares and real characters to root for. Was it hard for you to balance the tone at all considering, after all, you ARE making a movie about sharks in a supermarket?
Kimble Rendall: You know, it was a combination of having lighter touches with the couple and the dog being trapped downstairs in the car and then blending those moments with the more serious events that are unfolding upstairs. I like doing both and feel like they complement each other well. I know when people hear the premise they immediately think one thing, and of course we do have some fun with this story, but we also took it seriously in regards to wanting to make a movie that fans could enjoy.
Dread Central: So what's up next for you then?
Kimble Rendall: The next project I'm working on is called Blowback; it's an action movie set in Sydney, Australia, since we don't see a lot of action movies set there. I'm also working on a 3D horror movie about spiders with the same company which should be right after that.
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