Grabbers Q&A with Kevin Lehane

2013/07/20 23:48:39 +00:00 | Jonathan James

We've been covering Grabbers quite a bit on Daily Dead and the horror/sci-fi comedy is now available in the US on VOD. We were given the opportunity to talk with writer Kevin Lehane about Grabbers, and he told us about his creative process, time on-set, and his thoughts on the finished movie:

How did the idea for Grabbers first come about? Was this something you had been working on for a while or did someone approach you with the story?

Kevin Lehane: No, it was something that came to me while I was backpacking around the world. I was in the Cook Islands at the time and having a hard time of it with mosquitoes. I kept being advised to eat lots of vitamin B and while I was having a few beers the thought struck that it’d be funny if mosquitoes were allergic to alcohol. After that initial light bulb moment it took me about six weeks to write the script. Once it was written my agent took it out and Jon was one of the people who wanted to make it. We hit it off and I decided he was the right man for the job.

What are some of the horror/sci-fi movies that inspired your work on Grabbers?

Kevin Lehane: Tremors, Gremlins, Them, Arachnophobia, The Fog, Alien, The Thing, there are almost too many to list. I wanted Grabbers to sit on a shelf with any of those and feel right at home.

Can you tell us about your writing process? Was this screenplay something that just poured out of you or was it something you continued to refine over time? Did a lot change between your initial drafts and the final script?

Kevin Lehane: My writing process is usually driven by my passion to see the film in a cinema on a Friday night. I write films I’d love to see and just hope for the best after that. I tend to write quickly, one at a time, and move on. I get bored very easily and am always trying to entertain myself with the stories I choose to write. Usually something coming at a genre from a very different angle and then flipping it. Grabbers poured out of me as something that I desperately wanted to see and it didn’t change very much at all, bypassing development completely, and going from script to screen in twelve months.

What was creative process like with Jon Wright? How much input did he have on the script and what changes were made because of you two and the producers working together?

Kevin Lehane: Well Jon was fantastic to work with as he let me solve whatever issue we had regarding budget or schedule or character. He’d highlight the problem and then I’d solve it which I think was very smart of him. If I had to change something because we couldn’t afford it, having me make that change meant I never lost a sense of ownership over the script and felt a part of the actual making of the film, rather than the writer of the script they were shooting. We became thick as thieves and both had the same goal. It was a lot of fun.

When you originally wrote the script, did you consider many of the technical challenges that may have been involved in getting your ideas on the big screen, such as the us of CG? Were you happy with the final product?

Kevin Lehane: As a screenwriter you think of everything. You don’t just write the dialogue. You write the whole movie. A really good script you can even hear the music while you read it. It should feel as close to watching the finished film in your mind’s eye as it will for an audience watching the finished film. So, yes, I thought of everything, but that’s part of the job, really. In terms of how difficult it would be to achieve I left that up to the producers to decide. My goal as a writer is to write from the heart and to write something that inspires everyone to want to realize it. I’m very proud of the finished film. It was a blast to work on and I think it shows when you watch it.

Were you on set for the entire production? Was there anything that had to be removed or modified from what you had in the script?

Kevin Lehane: I was not there when I was needed but when it comes to production the cast and crew follow the script so you’re really just there as a safety precaution should something need to be hastily rewritten. If I was on set I rewrote it then and there, if I wasn’t, I would write it and email it in. Really when it comes to shooting the film it’s a case of shooting the script and nothing else matters. There’s no time for improvising or dilly-dallying. Preparation is everything and we’d rehearsed a lot before we the cameras rolled.

What projects do you have coming up next? Will you continue to write genre projects for the foreseeable future?

Kevin Lehane: I go where the good ideas take me. I don’t think I’ll write another straight up monster movie like Grabbers as I feel I’ve put my spin on the genre and I have a lot more other types of stories I wanted to tell. I just love good Friday night movies and that’s where my heart and my ambitions lie. I’m working on a few things right now that we should have more news to share on soon. I don’t want to jinx them by talking about them too soon!


"On Erin Island, an idyllic fishing village off the coast of Ireland, charming but somewhat work-shy Ciaran O’Shea, is tasked with greeting Lisa Nolan, a straight-laced young officer who has arrived from the mainland. Not that there is much for them to do, aside from dealing with the occasional drunk, and that’s usually O’Shea himself. But strange doings are afoot: the crew of a fishing boat disappears, whales start appearing dead on the shore, a local lobsterman catches a strange tentacled creature in his trap. Soon it becomes clear to O’Shea and Nolan that there’s something big out there, and that it’s hungry. It’s time to rally the villagers, arm the troops…and head to the pub."

Grabbers was directed by Jon Wright and stars Richard Coyle Ruth Bradley Russel Tovey Lalor Roddy David Pearse Bronagh Gallagher Pascal Scott.