The Reef: Stalked Interview with filmmaker Andrew Traucki

Last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Traucki, the director of the phenomenal shark horror film The Reef, and now he is finally back for the highly anticipated sequel titled The Reef: Stalked. We talked about what drew him back into the franchise, what he currently thinks of shark movies that are usually so bad their good, and why it’s hard for audiences to take them seriously now.

AJ: Hey Andrew, how are you doing tonight?

Andrew: Yeah. Good mate.

AJ So how did you get involved with the reef stalked?

Andrew: Yeah, sure. um, I don’t know if you’re aware, but I made another film called the reef, 10 or so years ago. It did pretty well for itself, my producer and other people kept on coming up to me going, I’ve got a shark film, but I never quite really liked the scripts that were being given to me cuz they kind of fell short of what I wanted to do. I got this idea about domestic violence and then I had this idea about sharks because I know that, surfers called sharks, the man in the gray suit. So I sort of put those two together and that was enough to intrigue me to go well, that could be an idea that I’d like to make. And that could be a shock film that I wanna make, so, yeah, I went ahead and wrote that, so that’s kind of the evolution of it.

AJ: Right. And I like that approach that you did with the, the man in the gray suit was kind almost his as the invisible man kind of thing. So is that any inspiration as well? Like taken from other movies because we haven’t had a good shark movie in a long time, cause now it’s almost like a pun that a lot of them are.

Andrew: What I find with a lot of shark films, as you probably know, is that they kind of take the piss. They kind of just in there to be as stupid as possible. Like, you know, oh look, we’ve got desert sharks, we’ve got vampire sharks, we’ve got ghost sharks. Which is kind of fun. I get it. I don’t, I’m not anti that, but at the same time, it’s not my shtick, well, let’s try make this as real and as thrilling as possible in a real way. Um, so I always go for the, the tension and, and wanting to keep it real. So yeah, that’s what motivates me wanting to make a film. That’s people can sit there and go, what would I do in this situation? You know, how am I gonna get out of this rather than going, um, oh, well look at the dumb effect there or that shark. So I was, I was really motivated by just trying to make a really good thrilling story

AJ: The cast so excellent in this film as well, especially the female lead. So how did you get that group together? Cause you know, that had to be a real selling point to the audience, the, that they were experiencing mile out in the, so how that process like casting.

Andrew: Yeah, no, that’s a great question. They’re fantastic cast. And we had to get people or, you know, actors that were, you know, obviously the audience was gonna be them them, and quite frankly, in the first cut the way I’d written it, Nick was a lot more paranoid and delusional and when the editor and I looked at it, we just went, wow, she’s just too, over the top. No, one’s gonna be able to relate to this girl. Cause she’s just all the time screaming and being, you know, sort of nervous. So we really toned her down in the edit, but the casting was interesting cuz you know, obviously Theresa is the lead and we wanted to get her in first cuz she’s the, you know, the main person. So we’d cast hard for her. And once, you know, I saw her edition, I just fell in love with what, what she did and, and I thought she would be perfect for the role.

And once we’d secured her, we then went about getting the rest of the ensemble. And what was really good is that we, you know, up on set before we started shooting, um, we had a week or so with everybody there. And so not only did I rehearse them, but they just hung out and, and did things like of their own volition. They just went, oh, we’re gonna go out to dinner together tonight to bond. So by the time they actually got on set, they were pretty bonded. They were like, you know, they had that sort of thing, that friendship thing that you kind of feel and, and that, that feels real. And then from there they just, yeah, they were just wonderful. They just gave me all, everything I wanted and I just totally think they were fantastic.

AJ: How was it working with the director of photography on this film? Cause this was beautifully shot as well?

AJ: Yeah. Well I’m sure he is gonna love you for that because, um, as you can imagine, you know, in water it’s not easy. We did have two cameras rolling. That for coverage sake, uh, cause I like a lot of coverage on the director that likes editing a lot. Rather than just hold the shot for a long time, you, if you watch the film from an editing point of view, you’ll see, there’s a lot of editing. Justin was great. He, you know, we, we had long talks, you know, there was all these, as there are always on films about how you’re gonna cover it and what you’re gonna do. But yeah, we were lucky in that the, the location did have an intrinsic beauty to it. Then that, yeah, he lends it beautifully and then we used some sort of, you know, every, everyone uses drones these days, we used some drones and then some GoPro footage even cuz then you can shoot that at 4k. It all came together, but you’re right. I think it looks really nice.

AJ: And when this getting ready to come out next week, what are the main things you’re looking forward to in their spots for this film?

Andrew: Yeah. Well, you know, obviously you want an audience to connect. You’ve spent all this time making a film and it’s really, and, and if no one sees it, then it’s kind of dead. You know, it’s mass communication, it’s gotta be reach an audience. So I’m really hoping people get to see it. When they do see it, they feel that, you know, there’s a thrilling shark story there, which keeps them tense, but there’s also this other layer about grief and post traumatic stress and people banding together to overcome adversity. So, you know, hopefully they’ll get both those things. And of course there’s always the, the kicker thinking sitting while you watch the film, what would I do in this situation? Which is always one of my favorite games.

AJ: Right. Well, Andrew, thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been fun and congratulations.

Andrew: Thank you very much.

Written By: AJ Friar

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