Friday, July 12, 2013

'Sharknado' spawns a Twitter explosion and multiple PSAs

The Syfy network isn't known for its stellar movies, but despite that, one that first aired Thursday night has Twitter all a'flutter. The film is "SharkNado" and the hashtag #sharknado has become a trend on the microblogging service.

Many of the tweets mocked the film and its premise -- a tornado lifts sharks out of the ocean and deposits them in Los Angeles (to be perfectly correct that would be a waterspout, but considering how arcane the subject matter is anyway, who cares?) -- but mostly in a good-natured, nearly cultish manner.

A typical Syfy B-movie, the film starred Tara Reid, Ian Ziering ("90210"), and was directed by Anthony C. Ferrante, who was astounded by the response. He said:
I’m sitting here kind of numb. I know that what just happened is, like, one in a billion, in terms of this weird confluence of things. There wasn’t a marketing budget on this thing. It was all just the stuff we did with the trailers and just telling people about it and stuff.

But the universe took it. All these fans just embraced this crazy little movie we did and turned it into this thing which, I mean, I’m just, like thrilled. I’ve been making movies for a very long time and I’ve never had this many eyeballs on anything I’ve ever done, and having this communal experience live-tweeting. You’re not seeing it in a movie theater, but it’s even better, because I’m getting to play with people on Twitter and talk about it. Mia Farrow is watching my movie. It’s just strange and amazing. It’s a great feeling!
It was a film destined for cult status. After all, the film's tagline (see the poster above) is "Enough said!" Enough said?

A number of suggestions have been made for a sequel. They include, but of course are not limited to:
  • Wolfcano
  • Bearnami
  • Hippoquake
  • Piranicane
  • Tarantulavalanche
  • Lizard Blizzard
  • Hurricanine
  • Sharknami (perhaps the easiest)
Naturally, some are taking advantage of the "event." They are not using it as a jump start for the now-expected sequel, though. Instead, they are using "Sharknado" for PSAs.

Remembering that in May and June, tornados claimed dozens of lives in central Oklahoma, Red Cross Oklahoma tweeted:
We survived the #Sharknado! Be prepared for real situations, though. Download #RedCross Tornado & First Aid apps.
The EPA also took advantage of the situation. It tweeted:
#Climate change may lead to rising sea levels & more intense storms, but currently no science to support the occurrence of a #Sharknado
Even troubled mobile device maker HTC tried to leverage "Sharknado," tweeting:
So do we have to come up with an HTC Weather animation for a #Sharknado now?
Although a sequel is now expected, there's no guarantee of one. Ferrante said:
Uh, no one’s called me yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it would be on its way soon. I mean, what do you do after Sharknado? You’ve got to up the ante.

I don’t want to compare this to Star Wars, but if this is Star Wars, then you’ve got to make Empire Strikes Back — whatever version of that Empire Strikes Back is of a Sharknado sequel. Number twos are usually pretty damn good.
Since both Ziering and Reid survived, why not?

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