‘Don’t F*** in the Woods 2’ Creators Discuss Their Messy, Viral Classic [Interview]

dont fuck 2 568x320 - 'Don't F*** in the Woods 2' Creators Discuss Their Messy,  Viral Classic [Interview]

As the character Randy Meeks so famously quoted in the first Scream, “There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to successfully survive a horror movie.” And the number 1 rule is that you can never have sex.

The controversially titled Don’t F*** In the Woods blatantly warns the viewer that in the title and since its release has gathered a bit of a cult following.

With its sequel, Don’t F*** In the Woods 2 recently being released, we figured we would take a trip back into the woods and talk to Co-Writer/Director Shawn Burkett and Producer Chris Gierowski about the movies, how they came to be, and what we can expect in the future.

In the film, “The counselors of Pine Hills Summer Camp are getting the grounds ready for the season. While they set up, a mysterious girl enters the camp after a night of bloodshed. And there are things following her as well.”

Dread Central: First off, how did you come up with the title? And did people think it was more of an adult movie than a horror movie?

Shawn Burkett: Ugggh, I got so much hell from everywhere. SO MUCH HATE MAIL and death threats all over a title, which yes, the thought was going to be horror porn. But honestly, I just wanted a title that completely fit the film I wanted to make. It’s not misleading, and by reading it you know exactly what this film is going to be about.

DC: Tell us what these movies are about.

SB: It says it in the title! They’re my love letter to the genre. You see a group of horny young adults going into the woods and they get killed by a creature who goes crazy at the scent. Then you see blood and guts.

DC: Had you made other movies before this or was this your first go at it?

SB: I had made 2 features (The Sleeping Soul / Bludgeon) that were more serious in tone, but for me weren’t quite horror films, but were close.

DC: How did you go about getting the first off the ground and were there any hurdles?

SB: It took about 3 years of pure stubbornness. Oh, and crowdfunding, hate mail, death threats and a rather nasty church group attacking our Facebook page and a nest of yellow jackets attacking us while shooting.

DC: The movie harkens back to the 80s and even the 50s. I was reminded of the Creature of the Black Lagoon with a guy in a rubber suit running around.

SB: I grew up on a mixture of Universal Monsters and creature creatures from the 60s-80s. I knew from day one that I wanted a man in a suit and to be as fractal as possible.

DC: Chris, how did you become involved with the movie?

Chris Gierowski: Dread Central actually! I saw an article about how it was being crowdfunded with the headline: NSFW: The Best Movie Title Ever Has Been Created. So I figured, well if Dread Central is reporting on it, it must be legit! Haha! So I donated to the campaign and contacted Shawn to see how I could be more involved. I helped with some marketing materials and connections I had in the horror community and got more coverage on it.

SB: He also ended up donating his camera to the production so we could utilize the crowdfunding in other aspects to make the movie better. I don’t think we could have gotten it made the way it is without him.

CG: And in turn, I guess you can say we couldn’t have gotten it done without DC posting about it. So it all worked out in the end! Shawn was able to finally finish shooting and editing a week before it premiered in NYC at the FEARnyc Film Festival.

DC: After it premiered, what happened?

CG: We had a successful festival run, sent out copies to crowdfunding donors, and started to self-distribute because no one would touch it. But then piracy happened. Someone from the crowdfunding campaign pirated it and it blew up online. Became one of the most pirated movies of 2017. Everyone online was talking about it and searching IMDb. For a brief period even became one of IMDb’s top 50 overall movies behind Spider-Man Homecoming and the top 10 horror behind It. That actually helped get us to get repped by sales agency Cyfuno Ventures and then find distribution with Gravitas Ventures.

SB: And after it came out, it made all its marketing costs back within a year which we are told is unheard of. Because then we started making actual money on it.

CG: And most of that is word of mouth. Every time anyone posted about watching it on social media or reviewed it, our views spiked. This is ironic because of some of the bashing it got from haters. That just caused more people to become aware of the movie, watch it, and sales numbers went up. That’s why I always tried to thank anyone who spoke highly of it but especially the ones who bashed it. The result was the opposite of their intentions. As they say, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”

DC: So piracy was actually good in this instance?

SB: Fuck piracy! If the number of people that pirated the movie actually paid to buy copies from us, we’d probably wouldn’t need to crowdfund ever again.

CG: Indeed. But yes, the piracy did sort of put us on the map. But we had to take precautions with part 2 to minimize it from happening again.

DC: So then the obvious next step was to do a sequel?

SB: Yes and no. Haha! We made a werewolf film (Animal Inside) 5 months after DFITW was released, and then DFITW became popular to the point where we knew we wanted to make a sequel, we just weren’t sure when. At this point, an investor approached me with funding and we got the green light. But after we announced the sequel, the investor went MIA, and we had to go the crowdfunding route again.

CG: But we were able to double the budget of the first. From around $7-8k to around $14-15k.

DC: How does this one follow the first?

SB: We literally pick up the same day that the first film ends. The great thing about woods is that they can surround everything. Haha! Homes, Offices, Castles and Camps. Which following the 80’s trend, and needing new blood to feed the beasts, we knew we needed to find a camp to film at.

DC: Is it just as gory as part 1?

CG: There’s a lot of blood. We had a device we called the GoreGun 5000. Haha! But yes. Just as gory and maybe even more so. It’s definitely a splatter fest.

DC: This one is a little different than the first. Still a creature feature, but not a guy in a rubber suit. More of a Night of the Creeps/Slither homage?

SB: Stepping stones, building blocks, however you look at it, I knew I wanted to show the evolution of the creature. I loved just “a man in the suit,” but with most creature features there’s more to the monsters. Slither was for sure an influence, but so was Critters 2.

DC: Were there any hurdles with this one? Did the Pandemic cause issues?

SB: There weren’t as many hurdles for this one, other than we added a few scenes before the pandemic, and had to film during. But the pandemic allowed us to catch up on some editing and eventually filming a few additional scenes.

CG: In a way, the Pandemic helped. Since things were put on hold, we were able to do some CGI on what was already shot that polished things up. Tho the movie is still primarily practical effects.

DC: And this one is distributed by Wild Eye Releasing?

CG: Yes. We were able to have a 4 picture deal with them. They picked up DFITW2, What Happens in the Woods the DFITW Documentary which is a bonus feature on the special edition Blu-ray that comes out at the end of the year, Animal Inside, and our Bigfoot movie Stranded.

DC: Spoiler Alert: you teased a sequel at the end of the credits of part 1 and you do the same with part 2. Is there going to be a third?

CG: You know we originally kicked around the idea of making it an anthology series instead of a direct sequel. DON’T F*** IN THE CEMETERY, DON’T F*** IN A HAUNTED HOUSE, etc. But we decided to do a direct sequel.

SB: There’s potential for a third film, but it would need a bigger budget. The first film was made for $7,500, the second for $14,000, so in my head we would need $30.000 to do this trilogy justice.

dont fck 2 960x1132 - 'Don't F*** in the Woods 2' Creators Discuss Their Messy,  Viral Classic [Interview]
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