Exclusive: Tibor Takacs Talks Spiders 3D
Making its debut this week at the Los Angeles 3D Film & Music Festival, Spiders 3D is ready to bring 8-legged arachnid mayhem back to the silver screen… in 3D! Read on for our exclusive interview with the man behind this latest web of destruction!
Directed by seasoned sci-fi filmmaker Tibor Takács (The Gate, I, Madman) and starring Christina Campbell (Drive Angry, Hyenas) and veteran giant bug slayer Patrick Muldoon (Starship Troopers, Stigmata), Spiders 3D aims to mix a bit of old school, nostalgic monster movie flare with a more modern twist. Giant, mutated, evil spiders from space! It doesn’t get any better than that!
Recently Dread Central was able to chat with director Takács about Spiders 3D, his inspirations for giant alien arachnids, getting the tone right in a monster movie, what’s next on the horizon and more!
Dread: When you hear about a movie called Spiders 3D, it kind of conjures up pictures of the old school Hollywood creature features. Can you talk a little about where you got your inspirations and how this film got off the ground?
Takács: It’s sort of an evolved process. I approached Millennium about doing a moderate budget 3D movie. We could take kind of a Syfy Channel budget and turn that into a big screen 3D movie. Nu Image had some success with spider movies, and we wanted to do a giant spider movie because, well, spiders lend themselves to 3D very well, flying through the legs and everything. *laughs*
Most of the inspiration comes from current films, actually. I don’t how much this comes across in the film itself, but a lot of my inspiration actually came from films like Cloverfield. I wanted there to be a nostalgic tone, but not necessarily feel exactly like those films from the 50s. I wanted it to be an homage, but not a parody. I didn’t want people winking at the camera and stuff like that.
Dread: The film is set in New York, and I know on your relatively small budget you probably didn’t shoot there. Where did you guys film this thing?
Takács: Yeah, we couldn’t really get them to shut down the streets in New York. *laughs*
We shot in Bulgaria. They have a 6-block backlot that they call Greenwich Village that was the stand-in for New York. We used their subway system as well. It doesn’t really look like the real New York subway system, but we brought in extra set pieces to make it look a little closer to the real thing.
Dread: One of my favorite things about this movie was the designs on the spiders themselves. They were familiar, but they also had a very otherworldly look to them. Can you talk a little about how you came up with the design?
Takács: Regular spiders, no matter how exotic, are still just earthly spiders. I wanted these to be mutated spiders, alien spiders. They’re also victims of botched scientific experiments. If they were just freaks of the earth, would it be as scary? Probably not.
Dread: Can you talk a little about the cast? In a movie like this, you really need to be able to walk the line between being serious and being a little more lighthearted and funny, and I think they really nailed it. How did you go about casting?
Takács: Everybody who came on board knew what they were in for with a movie like this. I chose people that I felt could play along. There’s a certain attitude that you need to have in order to pull that off. There are so many moments where people had to react to stuff that wasn’t there. You almost need a childlike imagination to react to it, to put themselves there and take it seriously. I wanted the audience to feel like the characters were actually there.
Dread: Kind of going off that, a film like this really lives or dies by its tone. I mean, if you really think about it, it’s kind of a ridiculous situation, alien spiders attacking and all. How were you able to balance that?
Takács: This is a really tricky part. Personal taste really becomes a factor. It’s hard to bet on what the audience will feel. To me, the whole thing is a black comedy. Invasion of the Body Snatchers is one of the funniest films ever made, but also one of the scariest. You have to be able to land on certain positions.
A film I did a few years ago called Ice Spiders was supposed to be much more comedic, but the studio kept saying, “Make it more serious. Make it more serious.” With this one I got a lot more freedom to hit the notes I felt were right.
Dread: With Spiders 3D now under your belt, do you have anything exciting coming up on the horizon?
Takács: I’d like to do another 3D creature movie. I have a few things in the works, but I can’t really talk about them just yet. I’ve always loved 3D, but I never made a 3D movie before. I’d definitely like to do another one.
Dread: Since this was your first 3D movie, did you run into any challenges that you weren’t expecting?
Takács: Everything went as smoothly as it could have expected. I actually thought it was going to be a lot worse, cameras breaking down and taking hours and hours to fix, things like that. But that never really happened; we had a great crew that took care of any of the problems that came up.
I wanted to make a medium budget 3D movie, and I felt the technology was at the right point to do it. The cameras were the right size that we could almost take a 2D type approach; the technology caught up for us to be able to do it. There were a couple of tight moments, but for the most part everything went very well.
Dread: One last thing really quick. I know you said you couldn’t really get into any specifics about what’s coming up next, but when the time comes for your next project, do you think you’ll want to do a classic monster type movie, or is it going to be something a little different?
Takács: I’d like to do something a bit newer. I have to say that Cloverfield is one of my favorite movies. I’d like to do something along those lines.
Following a crash of an old Soviet space station in New York City's subway tunnel, a new species of poisonous spiders is discovered. Inadvertently the spiders mutate to gigantic proportions and wreak havoc on the entire city.
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