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'Sharknado' Director on Sequel: 'We Never Stopped Making the First Movie'

"We're trying to do a studio movie with a small little nut," director Anthony C. Ferrante told reporters Tuesday.

If anyone had reservations that Syfy's Sharknado sequel would fail to match up to last year's Internet phenomenon. the team behind the movie isn't worried about a sophomore slump.

"We never stopped making the first movie," director Anthony C. Ferrante told reporters Tuesday morning at NBCUniversal's summer press day in Pasadena. "That energy is still there." Syfy greenlighted the sequel mere days after Sharknado first premiered.

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Sharknado 2: The Second One, which airs Wednesday, July 30, at 9 p.m., centers on a freak weather system that turns its deadly fury on New York City, unleashing a "sharknado" on the city's population and its most iconic sites, with Fin (Ian Ziering) and April (Tara Reid) the only ones able to save the city.

Ferrante claimed the new setting (New York instead of Los Angeles) gives the sequel new life, calling the Big Apple a "new set of Tinkertoys."

But throughout the session, panelists -- which included new castmembers Mark McGrath, Kari Wuhrer and Judah Friedlander -- insisted that the story is not just about the "sharknado" and is grounded in characters. "It's not like military scientists and technobabble" though viewers will see them "blowing up tornadoes with bombs," Ferrante said. "We always try to round the characters as much as possible [and have them] reacting to the crazy stuff."

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Sharknado 2 was filmed in 18 days, the same production schedule as the original, though the budget rose -- mostly due to the New York City locale, the panelists claimed. Landmarks that will be featured include Times Square and Liberty Island, each filmed in half a day. "The first one we pushed what we could do to the max," Ferrante said. "We're trying to do a studio movie with a small little nut."

The panelists were well aware of Sharknado 2's campiness and the type of conversations surrounding the franchise, with Friedlander joking (sort of?) that it "is the most important film ever made about climate change." Other cameos include Robert Klein, Kelly Osbourne, Biz Markie, Kurt Angle, Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Kelly Oxford, Salt-N-Pepa's Pepa (Sandra Denton) and Perez Hilton.

Wuhrer went one step further, deadpanning: "We'll see you all in awards season."

Email: Philiana.Ng@THR.com
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