What We Do in the Shadows is creeping its way toward TV. The 2014 vampire mockumentary is probably one of the best horror-comedies in recent memory, and it only makes sense that the creators would want to expand the franchise. Ahead of the show’s release, FX brought creators Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, and Paul Simms to New York Comic Con, and what they had to say was as enlightening as it was hilarious. NOFS was lucky enough to be in the audience for the panel, here’s what we heard.
Much of the panel’s focus was on the evolution of WWDITS as a franchise. According to Clemente, he and Waititi began the idea as a simple comedy sketch. One of them would go up on stage as a vampire to tell bad stand-up jokes, then the other would heckle him. Also as a vampire. Then, Waititi and Clement turned the concept into a short film for about $200. “It’s on YouTube now,” said Clement, “It’s…ok,” he said, as the audience laughed.
When the time came to make WWDITS into a full film, times got tough. Waititi and Clement had trouble pitching it to Hollywood, they said. “That was a disaster,” specified Waititi. “They’d ask ‘Who’s in the film?’ and we’d say, ‘Oh, our friend Johnny’.” Hollywood aside, not every place was such a tough sell. In fact, in Romania the film was a huge hit. The team screened it at a film festival there, and when it was over, the crowd fully believed this vampire film had Romanian roots. “They asked what it was like coming back home,” joked Clement.
Finally, the group touched on balancing horror and comedy in the show. Writer Paul Simms told stories about times that the cast would, unsuccessfully, add some dark humor. “We’d think this thing was pretty funny,” he said, “and then look at it when we’re filming and go ‘that’s pretty grim.’” But don’t worry, horror fans. What We Do in the Shadows is still as spooky as the movie. Take it from someone who’s seen the first episode (but ,sadly, can’t talk about it).
Are you excited for the What We Do in the Shadows TV series? What aspects of the film do you hope make it onto the small screen? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit. For all your horror at NYCC coverage, and all your horror news in general, keep lurking at Nightmare on Film Street.