"Sharknado 2" is "fun and ridiculous," says screenwriter

Ian Ziering in a scene from "Sharknado 2: The Second One." Syfy

Weather played a major role in the filming of "Sharknado 2: The Second One" and we're not just talking your typical shark storm.

The cast for the Syfy sequel had planned to start shooting in November in New York City, but production wasn't ready yet. So, everything got pushed back to March. And anyone in the area around that time knows that the temperature was frigid, and snow was plentiful.

Which made things all the more interesting.

"Sharknados are freak weather patterns. And they will bring with them all sorts of strange occurrences. It's not just sharks. It's snow in July," "Sharknado" screenwriter Thunder Levin told CBS News.

The cast, which includes returning stars Ian Ziering and Tara Reid, spent much of their time in the cold during filming.

"We shot this movie in 18 days, but the story has expanded," Ziering told CBS News. "Once [production company] The Asylum realized what they can do with a few more dollars in the budget the script reads like a $100 million blockbuster. From halfway through the first page, it starts. And it doesn't let up ever."

"Sharknado 2: The Second One" features many guest cameos, including Billy Ray Cyrus, Matt Lauer, Perez Hilton, Andy Dick, Al Roker and many more.

The TV movie debuts July 30 at 9 p.m. ET.

Read on to hear what Levin told us about the upcoming movie:

On shooting in New York: "You gotta deal with a lot of major landmarks and a lot of the tropes of New York life -- like subways and taxi cabs...So one of the things we did, we made a list and said, 'What things do we want to see happen in this project?'...And sort of thinking where we left the characters at the end of the last one and where they might go while the whole time trying to keep in mind what the fans of the first one might want from another one. And above all, just making sure it was fun and ridiculous."

On weather's effect on filming: "The East Coast had one of its worst winters in recent memory. And so we were out on the streets of New York in freezing weather. There was one day where it was five degrees. Some days it snowed. And we were out on the streets for 12 hours a day shooting what was supposed to be a summer movie...There were days the cast could hardly get their dialogue out because their mouths were freezing up. It actually got difficult to talk."

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Writer Thunder Levin arrives at the premiere of Syfy's "Sharknado" at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on Aug. 2, 2013, in Los Angeles.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

On living up to the first one: "The first one there was no pressure at all...It was just a lark. It was like, 'Let's do this crazy thing.' And nobody really paid much attention to me. And I wrote a draft and there were a few notes. But not many. On the second one, because the first 'Sharknado' had become this amazing phenomenon, everybody was paying attention. And everybody had their ideas of what it should be...And we actually had fans, which is such a wild concept. I didn't want to let them down. I wanted to make sure we didn't go too far in any one direction. At the same time, I didn't want get pretensions of grandeur and then go, 'We're making a sequel and this is going to be Oscar-worthy.' If we tried to do that it would have disappointed the fans. The same way that making it too silly would have. It was a matter of finding that same tone that we had in the first one where the actors could play it straight but the movie itself will be informed with the sense of fun and knowledge of its own ridiculousness."

On production value: "There was a bit more money put in to it but I think that was negated by the fact that we were shooting in New York and everything was more expensive....It's a bigger film. I think we got a lot more production value. But it was still shot in 18 days -- the same length as the first one. It was still blatantly a low-budget production. No one's going to look at this and think that Michael Bay or Jerry Bruckheimer were behind it."

On celebrity cameos: "There were so many celebrities tweeting on the first one, so we all just assumed there would be a bunch of celebrity cameos in the second one. So we all just threw out names of people we'd love to see. I didn't specifically write for any of those except for the guys of the "Today" show...I had to make sure that there were a bunch of smaller parts that celebrity cameos could fit in to."

On future "Sharkando" films: "There have not been any official conversations about the third one yet. None that I've been involved in, but of course I've got my own ideas about where it would go from here. I'd like it to go even bigger. I'd like to have a global apocalypse."

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