Even though I had seen What We Do In The Shadows, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to attend the Center For Communication screening and Q&A with the co-directors/co-writers/co-awesome Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement.
You may remember Clement from the sleeper HBO hit, The Flight of the Conchords with Bret McKenzie. Since then he’s been keeping busy with roles in Muppets Most Wanted and Men In Black 3. Waititi directed and starred with Clement in Eagle VS Shark, then gained notoriety with Boy, with 11 nominations and 6 wins at the New Zealand Film Festival.
Here’s the audio from Q&A:
With their signature deadpan (excuse the pun) style, the comedy works beautifully with a live audience, as there are roars of laughter and chuckles filling every moment. It’s both obvious and unexpected hilarity. The story loosely follows four vampire flatmates in the year leading up to the Unholy Masquerade, an annual gathering. Each character has their own unique charm and the supporting characters lend their own charm.
During the Q&A, the two revealed they first had the idea over 10 years ago and made a short film. They admit that the movie was “5 weeks of fun and 14 months of editing” explaining that one cut was heavy on story, but not funny, the other was hilarious, but no story.
Clement also admitted that they owe their crew to Peter Jackson, as he let them use the second unit from The Hobbit, as well as camera equipment and some of the green screens.
The movie has already opened in New Zealand, and rather than sell to a U.S. distributor, they opted to create a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money to distribute to over 70 cities themselves. Their goal was met on February 13th and opened in New York and Los Angeles. The rollout continues to more cities every week.
The event was an advanced screening hosted by the Center For Communication with tickets free to students and faculty. After the screening a 30 minute Q&A was led by Indiewire, followed by a spread of cheeses and custom drinks.