The horror-comedy genre is getting an action twist with Day Shift. The film centers on a blue-collar dad who lampoons as a pool cleaner in the San Fernando Valley, but actually works as a vampire hunter.
Jamie Foxx leads the ensemble cast of Day Shift alongside Dave Franco, Snoop Dogg, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Meagan Good, Karla Souza, Steve Howey, Scott Adkins, Oliver Masucci, C.S. Lee, Eric Lange and Zion Broadnax.
Related: Day Shift's Vampire Hunters Do The 1 Thing Blade Couldn'tSCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Ahead of the film's premiere, Screen Rant spoke exclusively with director J.J. Perry to discuss Day Shift, his major genre inspirations, making his directorial debut and more.
Screen Rant: Day Shift is a lot of fun, it's got this great world, these great characters and then, of course, the awesome action. What was it about this one, though, that you wanted to make your directorial debut for?
J.J. Perry: You know, I was very content being a stunt coordinator and second-unit director, I love that job. I've been going around the world with my friends smashing things up, making a ton of dough, just having a blast. The movies that I really loved when I was growing up were Fright Night, The Lost Boys, Big Trouble in Little China and The Evil Dead. Those four for me were like that '80s kind of had to do it in camera, action, comedy, horror, the three ingredients, you can always have the upper hand on the audience when you have all three of those ingredients. As soon as I read Day Shift, and I'd read a bunch of scripts and I wasn't going to get out of the line I was in for nothing, I wanted to find the right script, I wasn't just going to try.I figured, "I'm doing great at what I'm doing, I don't need to [direct], I'm getting old. Like, I'm happy where I am." As soon as I read Day Shift, I knew I had to do it, because it had all of the things I wanted to do. It came to me from Sean Redick and Yvette Yates over at Impossible Dream, Tyler Tice had wrote it, Tyler and I worked on it for about another year before I took it to Chad Stahelski and he got me greenlit over at Netflix. But it really spoke to me, man, it was exactly what I wanted to do, it was that action-comedy-horror in the Valley, which I lived in the Valley when I got out of the Army, the Valley's almost a character in the movie. I made all the characters very familiar to me, Bud Jablonski has a nine-year-old daughter, I have a nine-year-old daughter, his wife is tough, my wife is an attorney.Seth is a millennial, I'm on the road with all these Apex athlete millennials that I love, but don't understand, so there's that dynamic too. I just wanted to make everything super familiar to me, so when I got my opportunity to deal with the actors, I didn't know I was gonna get Jamie. So I figured whoever I could get, I would be able to speak intelligently to. Getting Day Shift greenlit was a big win, getting Jamie Foxx was like winning the lottery, for me, he is one of the ultimate people. He's amazing all across the boards.
Jamie is always amazing on camera and is a lot of fun to watch in this one. We've seen both Ambulance and The Gray Man before this start to get the ball rolling on these drone-heavy action sequences, but yours, without hyperbole, I feel is the best of the bunch.
J.J. Perry: I'm sorry, what did you say, could you say that again?
It's the best of the bunch!
J.J. Perry: Thank you, man. [Chuckles]
How did that the idea to utilize that method of shooting come to you?
J.J. Perry: I'm going to tell you, like, no disrespect, but I'd make three or four action movies a year as a stunt coordinator or a second-unit director. It's going to be really hard to beat someone like us that are in the field, doing it boots on the ground. If you're a director making one movie every two years, and I'm out there making three or four movies a year doing action, it's gonna be hard to outdo us, you know what I mean?So, there's a lot of other second-unit guys and some guys out there right now that I want to pull through the door. I'm urging all of my bros behind me to find scripts that they're passionate about. So, like, no disrespect, but as a second-unit director, and I won't say any of the movies that you mentioned, but in general, 95 percent of those movies, the big action movies, the action is not directed by the directors, a small portion is. The lion's share of the action is directed by a second-unit director or two on the movie. So yeah, I didn't watch Ambulance before my movie came out, but I've been playing with drone handoff since I did the movie Skyscraper years ago.When I met Tommy Tibajia over at Wild Rabbit Drones, he's one of the kids who used to race the drones and he's also a shotmaker. Justin Yu, my wingman, is the guy who found him. As soon as we started talking, that's when we decided I'm gonna tell you right now, if you like what we did now, what we did on Day Shift, we've been R&D'ing for the sequel or whatever we do next, I will reinvent car work with that drone in my next opportunity, brother. We'll be talking about this again soon.
Day Shift Synopsis
Jamie Foxx stars as a hard working blue collar dad who just wants to provide a good life for his quick-witted daughter, but his mundane San Fernando Valley pool cleaning job is a front for his real source of income, hunting and killing vampires as part of an international Union of vampire hunters.
Check out our other interviews with Day Shift stars Dave Franco & Jamie Foxx and Steve Howey.
Day Shift is now streaming on Netflix.