Featuring exclusive interviews with over 100 key cast and crew from every Nightmare, including creator Wes Craven and Robert Englund (“Freddy Krueger”), Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy will be available as a 2-Disc Collector’s Edition Blu-ray.
I recently spoke with Elm Street creator Wes Craven along with Daniel Farrands, Andrew Kasch and Thommy Hutson (the directors/producers and writer of Never Sleep Again) about the epic doc. Check it out below!
When you look back on something like this, what kind of feelings do you have about the franchise’s legacy in general? “I think it’s a phenomenal thing. It’s a pretty amazing cultural artifact.”
Watching the segment on the first film, that seemed like a somewhat embattled experience. How would you contrast that indie experience to the studio one today? “A film is always incredibly difficult. It’s always a battle of all sorts. With the studios, the strikes, the weather. With the community changing their mind about you being there. With actors acting up or getting sick – there’s never enough time to do it. It’s a constant struggle. But I can’t think of anything that was markedly easier than ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street.’ They’re all tough.”
Is there one installment in the franchise that sticks out as being not what you had in mind? “I thought the first sequel was the weakest of the lot. On that sequel Bob Shaye and I were still talking frequently and he was after me to direct it. I read the script and gave notes and I knew they were in a big rush to get it out around the same time the original was released. I wasn’t up to it so I just passed. It brought Freddy out of dreams and running around suburban neighborhoods. It just felt like Freddy wasn’t strong. Not to point at anybody, I think it was rushed. I like some of the other ones better. Certainly as the series went on it got more bizarre and Freddy got broader, but I’ve said enough about that in the past. And then to be asked by Bob to come back and do one final one after Freddy had been killed led to me personally discovering the concept of a meta film and that led to ‘Scream.’ It wasn’t a bad run!”
What’s the biggest challenge of putting something together that’s so epic like this? Farrands quickly responds, “The limitations of the budget and the fact that we’re working with a relatively small group of people. We’re trying to put together this massive cast. In the feature world you’d have 150 people working on a 90 minute film. Our films range from 4 – 7 hours at this point, and it’s typically a crew of fewer than ten trying to do the job of over 100. It’s certainly a labor of love.” Kasch agrees, adding, “Keeping your sanity is the hardest thing. Really it’s a small group of people doing the job of an army. We really are, between the three of us, huge fans of ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ and ‘Friday The 13th’ having just finished ‘Crystal Lake Memories.’ But we just put it all aside and but the energy and passion into these shows. And at the end of the day we’re really grateful for all of the support we get. Particularly for ‘Never Sleep Again,’ when it was brand new in terms of its length and scope no one had done anything quite like it.”
Do you do your best to remain objective, despite the fact that you probably have favorites and least favorites within the franchise? Hutson answers, “I know that everyone has their favorites. When we were doing interviews we would be playing the movies on a loop as people were coming in or setting up in the green room, and there were definitely moments where people were like, ‘don’t put in that one! Put in this one!’ But in terms of crafting the show, it wasn’t about what was your favorite – it’s what you need to craft the story.”
Numerous Special Features Also Included:
· Extended Interviews
· First Look: Heather Langenkamp’s “I Am Nancy”
· For the Love of the Glove
· Fred Heads: The Ultimate Freddy Fans
· Horror’s Hallowed Grounds: Return to Elm Street
· Freddy vs. The Angry Video Game Nerd
· Expanding the Video Game Universe: Freddy in Comic Books and Novels
· The Music of the Nightmare: Conversations with Composers and Songwriters
· Elm Street’s Poster Boy: The Art of Matthew Joseph Peak
· A Nightmare on Elm Street in 10 Minutes
· Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy Teaser Trailer
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