Violent Night producer Kelly McCormick on a shoot in the cold (and with real reindeer) [Exclusive Interview]

Congratulations on the film. I had a ball with it. I’m glad to see that people are now starting to have fun with it too, especially because it has this cool ensemble cast. 87north has gained a reputation as a well-oiled machine over the past few years, but I was wondering how you were able to juggle those actors with stunt crew schedules and everyone below the line. How did you put this shoot together?

Yeah, I mean, it was an amazing… I mean, I think all movies are kind of amazing achievements. This one is also pretty amazing. We shot in Winnipeg, which is difficult by the way. In the winter, which is 30 degrees … I mean, crazy, crazy cold. And I, to be honest, don’t know why everybody wanted to go up there and play with us. We feel so blessed that everyone did.

I’m very grateful that you called out the ensemble first, because I actually think that’s part of what makes it a particularly special film. I mean, obviously, Harbor is Harbor and he’s on the rise and just has this amazing progression right now in his career and he’s done all the hard work to get here and he’s the perfect Santa in that he has the star power to to lead the film, but he can also disappear into him as well, which is kind of hard to think of someone doing when there’s fame in our society and stuff like that.

And then Leguizamo leads the mean, mean side [of the film], which is phenomenal, and he’s just unreal and so perfect. We’ve been fans for a long time. David [Leitch] worked with him on the “John Wick” one, but he brought Scrooge to life in this way that you buy into all the stakes, but it’s also so corny. It’s so perfect.

And then the family is so … I mean, Edi [Patterson] and Cam [Gigandet] are so funny and then you buy the pain and the pain that Alex Hassell goes through and Alexis [Louder], and you fall for their love story in such a way. They just all believed it and came to play and I’m just so grateful. It’s such a perfect combination.

So interestingly, since you brought it up, a lot of our bad guys are actually stunt performers, and it ended up being perfect for especially this kind of movie where we made it for not a lot of money, to be honest. And then you don’t have to double those people and they deliver performances where you want Candy Cane [played by Mitra Suri] to get her in [the segment that homages] “Home alone.” It’s hard to do and hard to find. And I think we found the perfect type of stuntmen/actors/performers to play these roles.

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