Foo Fighters Live

Highlights from director BJ McDonnell’s AMA about Foo Fighters movie Studio 666

By Kirri Liepins

He answered many enthusiastic fans' questions about the experience and process of making the film

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Image: BJ McDonnell / Reddit

On March 3, 2022, Studio 666 director BJ McDonnell joined Foo Fighters fans on the unofficial subreddit for an AMA (Ask Me Anything) – where he answered many enthusiastic fans’ questions about the experience and process of making the film.

Read below for highlights from the AMA, including the pending release of Studio 666 on streaming services, scenes that were removed from final cut, and a full Dream Widow album!

Q: How did the Foo’s/Dave approach you for the movie and what were your initial thoughts on the project?

A: I was approached by Dave and the producers as well as Tony Gardner ( special FX makeup artist) I knew we were gonna make a fun Band Film throwback with just the right amount of gore. I loved the idea.

Q: Whose first idea was this? How did you go about getting funding and actors? I imagine having Dave attached from the beginning helped get funding. Or do you think this project was more difficult to produce/pitch because The Foo Fighters- while a famous band- haven’t really done any major acting like this before?

A: This was Daves first idea. It was independent funding and actors were either friends of mine or Daves or other crew member contacts. We were lucky to get who we got. I think this film was more opt to happen because of the crazy idea of this. It’s a fresh idea that hasn’t been done in a really long time and especially not like this. We were all gung ho to make this.

Q: What was it like working with the Foo fighters on this project?

A: The guys were a dream come true honestly. From the start they made me and the crew feel like we have been best buddies from kindergarten. They rule!

Q: Was anyone a better actor than you expected?

A: Dave rules and I was blown away by all of them. They were totally fun and I let them just play themselves honestly. I knew we would get “Real” performances if they could just be themselves. Plus we were going for BAND MOVIE vibes.

Q: Can you tell us how was to film the opening scene? Can’t look at hammer the same way now! Lol

A: We wanted to be totally brutal. The scene was way worse but I had to trim it down.

Q: Whose death was the most fun to direct?

A: Rami and Whitney was the most fun because it was pure hilarious. It was a tad bit MESSY.

Q: How did you guys do the sawed in half during sex scene? Was that realistic silicone dummies? Was it cgi? Or a mix of both?

A: It was all practical and real blood. it was silicone bodies and a remote chainsaw blade with blood cannons. It was gnarly

Q: For the gore scenes roughly how much of it was practical vs cg? I appreciated seeing the practical effects on display!

A: Mostly all practical with a little CG help here and there. The shadow people were real but we had to overlay the faces on the bodies. The faces were also real. but we just cut them out and pasted them on the real characters. The blood is 99% all real.

Q: What type of blood and molds did you use for the practical effects? How hard was it to get the bits of Shifty mopped up, too? Also, was that a stunt butt mold or really Rami? I am not a crackpot.

A: It was silicone and makeup FX blood that is easy to clean up. Shiftys bits were easy to clean lol. It was the Rami Whitney one that was insane to clean. We had a actual river of blood flowing down the streets of Encino.

BJ McDonnell with Dave Grohl during production of Studio 666. (Credit: Andrew Stuart)
BJ McDonnell with Dave Grohl during production of Studio 666. (Credit: Andrew Stuart)

Q: How much of the movie was improvised? Taylor obviously was “meth-head acting” (LOL) but one of the things I loved most about the movie was that the guys’ camaraderie really came across. How much of that was scripted vs. just letting the guys be?

A: I let them improvise most of it. Staying on the topics of the script but I wanted them to be them. It makes the audience get a feel of who they really are and makes you feel like part of the group.

Q: Everyone I know was hoping for a Tenacious D (Jack Black and Kyle Gass of course) cameo given Dave’s history doing stuff with them, the Tribute video, Low video, Pick of Destiny, etc. Did those conversations ever happen? Was it ever talked about, maybe asking them if they wanted to be in it? Or was it just that it never seemed like there was a good way for that to happen naturally?

A: We never really talked about them being in it. However I did want to do a Avengerts [sic] type ending where after the credits we would see Tenacious D find the book by the pool at the end to set up a sequel lol.

Q: Will we ever get to hear the full 44 minute instrumental from the movie?

A: We are trying to get Roy Mayorga score to be released as well as the John Carpenter score. There is a full DREAM WIDOW album coming soon. Its HEAVY AF!

Q: Were there any scene or parts of the script that had to be cut that you wish made it into the movie?

A: There was a scene where Dave talks to his daughter Violet while he’s at a wood chipper. It was a really awesome scene but it slowed the pace a little and sadly it had to go. Maybe we will see it in deleted scenes Blu Ray? Not sure but it was a killer scene.

Q: What are your favorite one-liners in the movie?

A: I love when Pat says ” What about our band??” all innocent like. I love Nates ” Its the delivery guy, Look at all the ranch”.

Q: How soon did y’all realize Nate and Pat should be the final girls?

A: Original members are the final girls lol

Q: Was the delivery guy looking up at the house light a deliberate homage to The Exorcist? If so, bravo good sir!

A: BINGO!!!!!

Q: Will a blooper reel see the light of day? I can only imagine with that group of guys that there must be hours of fun

A: There is a hilarious blooper reel that I hope will be on the Blu Ray etc once that is released. Its so good. The guys are so funny that we had so much stuff to use.

Q: Can you speak on the hardest day of filming and how you overcame it as well as the funnest day on set.

A: Hardest day of filming was the night where it was raining and we had the looming Covid Shutdown. It became the world shutting down and we came back 6 months later to finish the film. It was brutal that night.

Q: I’m curious about any changes to the movie as a result of Covid and the shutdown. I’ve seen the film twice now and (in a good way) couldn’t tell which scenes were filmed after.

A: We had to social distance a lot from covid and it was a huge learning experience because we were the first production back. The pool sequence was after. The opening sequence, the final battle before the rain started to fall was also after. Rami and Whitneys “scene” was shot after also. Thank you for seeing it twice.

Q: Was Dave on the grill between takes BBQ’n for everyone during the filming or a little too real for that?

A: Dave actually had a BBQ for the crew and cast planned but we couldn’t do it because of Covid Regulations. He is a stellar cook.

Q: Lots of fun cameos in the movie, was there anyone you wanted to get but it didn’t work out?

A: John Travolta and Vin Diesel

Q: Hi! I’m someone who used to want to be in the film industry and learned/worked about it for 5 years! But recently the last year I got extremely burnt out to the point where I eventually gave up. So my question to you is, how do you keep from burning out in the film world? Sorry if it’s a bad question, this is something I unfortunately tend to ask everyone I know in the film industry, so I wanted a professional’s take on it too. Loved the movie. Thank you. <3. Pearl Jam high five!

A: Love you loved the film. I can totally get being burnt out in the film industry. You have to love it and be passionate about it. Being creative and getting to tell stories for a living is the fuel that keeps me going. I also love the crews and cast who are so fun to work with. I get really burnt too but I can’t imagine doing anything else. We get paid to have FUN!

Q: I loved the run video. Will you direct a music video by them again soon?

A: It is a fun video for sure. I would love to do more foo stuff anytime.

Q: When should we expect a VOD/streaming release for Studio 666?

A: I think VOD is a few weeks , if not a month away. I’m not sure on the dates yet but if you can see it in the theater go support it. Its a small horror film and films like that have a tough time in theaters. But it will at some point be available VOD.

You still have a chance to see Studio 666 in cinemas in some regions – check or your local theaters for listings. Follow BJ McDonnell on Twitter and Instagram. Finally, based on BJ’s remarks in the AMA, keep an eye out for Studio 666 to hit streaming services quite soon!