Hello everybody!

We are very excited to share that as of yesterday, our Kickstarter to distribute WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS in the United States has reached its goal!

A little bit about the movie: it's a story of four flatmates who happen to be vampires in New Zealand.

You can check out the trailer here.

We are together in NYC today with Victoria, who will be assisting us. AUA.


UPDATE - Thanks so much for all the questions. We're taking a little break to do push ups because big muscles are so important to us. We'll check back in on y'all and A some more Q's in a wee bit. Cheers!

WE'RE BACK. Going to A a few more Q's and then run away to the premiere. AUA!

Comments: 387 • Responses: 70  • Date: 

thegroovologist102 karma

Who came up with the line 'werewolves not swearwolves' and what inspired it? Hilarious scene!

TaikaWaititi73 karma

Jemaine did.

Up_andAtom18 karma

You spelled your buddy's name wrong.

TaikaWaititi78 karma

I just googled it and I'm sure it's correct.

ask_me_for_dogecoin88 karma

I think we drink virgin blood because it sounds cool.


I think of it like this. If you are going to eat a sandwich, you would just enjoy it more if you knew no one had fucked it.


Pretty much the best quote ever. I'm in the US, and I've seen it. Love me some NZ comedy. If I wanted to compensate you for your work, how would I do so?

TaikaWaititi58 karma

Give gold. but actual gold. Or just buy a ticket to the movie and/or encourage lots of your mates to go.

Gold_Puns_Girls33 karma

Hey guys, love your work(s)! As a Canadian who lived in NZ I've got a few NZ themed questions. Sorry about #3...

1.What are your thoughts on the flag debate?

2.Where in NZ should everyone visit, but not many people know about?

3."Why do you think the suicide rate is so high in New Zealand?" Backstory I was in Auckland to see a Warriors game and local news crew came up to me and my Canadian friend. I was ready to give a witty response and this question left me speechless.

Thanks for doing this and I can't wait to see What We Do in the Shadows. Hope it comes to Canada!

TaikaWaititi58 karma

  1. It's embarrassing to live in a country that is known for having a debate about flags.
  2. Wellington.
  3. Maybe because we're an island nation and there's nowhere to escape to except the ocean or Australia.

wiiya30 karma

I recently listened to you two on Doug Loves Movies and you mentioned that New Zealand is planning a Red Dawn-esque invasion of the US. How can I best prepare for our new Kiwi overlords?

TaikaWaititi55 karma

Learn how to do our accent.

wiiya29 karma

Theenks! ...or is it Thinks? I'll just sign up for the Waitoreke death camps now.

TaikaWaititi61 karma


Ourtimedownhere28 karma


What we do in the shadows is now my favorite vampire movie, you officially took the spot from the Lost Boys.

If either of you had the opportunity to really live as an immortal vampire, would you take it? If you did become a vampire, who would be your first victim?

Can’t wait to see the movie locally, congrats on the Kickstarter, I threw you some bucks.

TaikaWaititi34 karma

Aww, that's nice.

Where did you throw those dollars?

If I were to become a vampire, my first victim would be...LeBron James. And let me clarify that - I want to make him even more immortal than he is now.

I think yes, I would.

Keskibyroo22 karma

Hi Taika and Jemaine, as your comedy style can be classified as deadpan, how often do you have to redo a take because you can't hold back laughter? How hard is it to hold a straight face while performing live? Congratulations for the successful Kickstarter!

TaikaWaititi64 karma

I think of tragic things like NZ losing a rugby match and then it's impossible to laugh.

TheSilkCrusader20 karma

Hi guys!

Thanks so much for doing an AMA – I saw What We Do In The Shadows in the cinema about a month ago, and it was completely crazy and fantastic!! I’m not sure the image of a cat with Jemaine’s face will ever leave me.

So my first question is, do either of you have a favourite behind-the-scenes story from the filming?

And secondly (if you don’t mind a cheeky Flight of the Conchords question) I’ve heard that you guys are touring… Any chance of seeing you in the UK?!

Thanks so much!

TaikaWaititi24 karma

Doesn't seem that cheeky.

The catering was very good on our film, in particular the desserts. Jemaine and I couldn't stop eating the desserts and you can see by the end of the movie that our vampire characters seem a lot fatter.

beastjames19 karma

Jemaine, Do you ever hold Bret in your arms tell him sweet bedtime stories?

In either case, What story would best ready him for bed?

TaikaWaititi35 karma

I want to know the answer to this too.

hayley_g17 karma

There are some great vampire film gems out there, like “Martin” and “The Fearless Vampire Killers.” Loved your nod to “The Lost Boys.” Are there any other vampire films like those that you watched or drew inspiration from for “What We Do In The Shadows”?

(And thanks for making such a great film! It’s one of my new favorites.)

TaikaWaititi30 karma

The Hunger with David Bowie. Vampire's Kiss. And, of course, Love At First Bite which was the first vampire movie I ever saw.

i_like_em_pleated16 karma

Jemaine, how bitter are you that Dornan jacked your role from FIFTY SHADES this week?

Taika, are you ever going to rock another TED talk?

TaikaWaititi17 karma

I've run out of material. Plus I doubt they'd ever have me back.

sammyc0416 karma

I am concerned as to what I should wear to the NYC premiere of WWDITS tonight. What would you recommend as appropriate dress attire? I am trying to find a ginormus bow tie as Taika wears but it is quite difficult to find one of that size. I was thinking of something along the lines of this

TaikaWaititi33 karma

Don't wear Rhys, he's very uncomfortable.

Bellanza15 karma

Firstly, I think What We Do In The Shadows is honestly one of NZ's best films- and not just to suck up (heh heh, see what I did there), but truly. Best comedy film- uh, documentary- I've seen in years.

Now to the question: What advice would you two give to someone looking to get into the film industry in New Zealand, specifically starting out in Wellington? What's the industry like to work in here?

TaikaWaititi13 karma

It's very busy. I'd go to Miramar and ask ANYONE there to give you a job. The entire suburb is the industry.

PandaRoboto12 karma

Why vampires? Why not a movie about unicorns? I'm pretty sure you guys are hiding some unicorns in NZ. Tell us the truth!

TaikaWaititi39 karma

The governments of the world do not want you to learn the truth about unicorns. BUT, Jemaine and I are in talks with the NZ Documentary Board to do a documentary on ducks.

ANakedJake9 karma

Hey guys,

Hoping I get to see this soon but I know you premiered it at Sundance. I was just curious how the whole Sundance experience was for you guys?

TaikaWaititi20 karma

It was a year ago. It was the first time we saw the film with an large audience so it was quite stressful. But I got a free candle at a gift lounge which was the greatest thing of all.

Look_Alive9 karma

I've just moved into a new house. I'm not sure if any of my new flatmates are vampires or not, as they all stay in their rooms. Should I be concerned?

Also, Jemaine, are there any more plans for the FOtC film Bret mentioned a few years back?

TaikaWaititi22 karma

Open the curtains at lunchtime and see what happens.

supremeunicorn9 karma

What kind of an egg are you?

TaikaWaititi12 karma


mmmpulpy8 karma

Hey guys! Lots of love coming to you guys from Auckland! I was wondering what major differences you two faced in making WWDITS versus past films you've done together like Eagle vs Shark and Flight of the Conchords?

TaikaWaititi12 karma

This film was mostly improvised so it took much longer to edit. 14 months in fact.

zebra888 karma

Loved the movie! What would you say is your favorite vampire superpower?

TaikaWaititi8 karma


uberlad7 karma

For either (or both!) of you guys:

  • Do toilets swirl backwards in NZ?
  • What's your very best life advice?

TaikaWaititi11 karma

They swirl the right way for New Zealanders. Just the way we like it.

Life advice - Never take life advice.

bibowski7 karma

Hey Jemaine, I met you (extremely briefly) in Toronto during TIFF last year. Your Q&A was amazing btw :-D

Not that I'm condemning crowd funding, but why have you bothered going that route for WWDITS? I know it's nice to own the rights to your own property, etc. but at the end of the day, don't you want as many people as possible to see your movie?

TaikaWaititi16 karma

Yes. This is the best way to do that. In fact, it's the only way because no distributor bought it.

bibowski4 karma

That sounds impossible to believe. Did they even bother watching it before they decided? It's one of the funniest movies I've seen in the last decade.

TaikaWaititi53 karma

They watched it but I don't think they knew what to do with a film that only got 94% on Rotten Tomatoes.

dg2007 karma

...Would you like some bisghetti?

TaikaWaititi3 karma


mobial7 karma

Hi guys! I must say that seeing your premiere at SXSW was awesome! It's not often a movie makes you laugh continuously throughout, but this movie is one of the best!

A question – how worried were you about using Skype for Jemaine to talk to Viago? Did you test beforehand with Stu's help?


TaikaWaititi10 karma

Yes, very worried. Vampire Skype is a very dangerous game to play.

senorpapagiorgio7 karma

What comedians do yall look to for a guaranteed laugh?

TaikaWaititi28 karma

Mitch Hedberg.

caitlyn321go6 karma

Hi Jemaine and Taika! You guys are awesome - can't wait to finally see WWDITS tomorrow. I'm coming to NYC from Boston to attend the late showing with the Q and A with my friend. Any chance you guys will stick around for a few minutes afterward to meet fans?? :D

TaikaWaititi6 karma

Certainly we will.

VesLDN6 karma

Any updates on whether a soundtrack for WWDITS will be released?

TaikaWaititi8 karma

Yes, we plan to. A playlist, probably.

littleimpulse6 karma

Hi guys, I loved your film so much. It was even more wonderful as I don't know any of your other work (sorry!) & had no idea what I was going into or what to expect. It was hilarious and it is all too seldom that a film really does make me (and many others in the cinema) laugh out loud. It is so much fun, but I also loved that it had lots of heart in it too I thought. So, thank you for creating it!!

I'm not really sure what to ask, but I guess I'll ask about that characters. Did anyone or anything in particular inspire any aspect of any of them? Probably not, but I don't know what to ask! Oh dear! Anyway, most especially I loved Viago. Please pass on my regards!! ;)

TaikaWaititi6 karma

Thank you, I'll pass on your comments to Viago. He'll be thrilled. (btw he is based on my mum)


Where did the idea for "What We Do in the Shadows" come from? It's so amazing, I think myself and my friends group have watched it a combined 10 times, and that's just when we're together. I think you guys have a cult classic on your hands!

TaikaWaititi22 karma

I think cult classic means "will never make any money" and that's fine with me. Maybe if everyone else sees it 10 times each that will change. Thanks!

NellaRosmarino5 karma

Hello! I'd like to start off by saying that I'm a huge fan of FtoC and well...Taika, blush, is actually my favorite director of all time. I always get weirdly emotional watching Two Cars, One Night. Anyway, I'm really really excited to watch What We Do in the Shadows! Not sure if this is top secret, but what are some of the U.S. cities the movie will play in and are you guys coming to them to do Q&As?

TaikaWaititi9 karma

You, Nella, are playing your cards right. And there are no plans as yet to do a Q&A tour...

WBASTH5 karma

J-Dog, is it okay as another man to admire your sugar lumps? They're driving me crayyyzayyyy

TaikaWaititi16 karma

You keep away from his lumps pal. I claimed them first.

VesLDN5 karma

What have been your highlights over the past year whilst promoting WWDITS around the world?

TaikaWaititi14 karma

We went to Transylvania and showed the film to Dracula's mates.

awolunicorn5 karma

Hey guys. Big fan. Did you guys grow up together in New Zealand and if not, how did you meet?

TaikaWaititi28 karma

We met at university (College). In NZ we call high school college so this must be very confusing for you.

We met in the library and didn't like each other. It's taken 20 years for that to change.

canyounotmate5 karma

It was amazing to see Courtenay Place on the big screen, I miss Wellington so much!

Jemaine, I know you probably get asked this all the time but do you and Bret have any plans on doing a tour in the UK again any time soon? I expect you are probably very busy! I was lucky enough to see you in Melbourne and your show was literally the best thing ever!!

TaikaWaititi7 karma

You'll be pleased to know Courtenay Place probably hasn't changed a bit since last you were there.

hello32214 karma

taika + jemaine - what would you go to movie theater snack be, and what was the last movie you saw in theaters??

TaikaWaititi10 karma

Chocolate dipped icecream. Forever.

Bellanza4 karma

How did the dirty werewolves convince you to allow them in the film?

TaikaWaititi6 karma

We had to convince them. They all signed release forms so there would be no legal implications.

Danda994 karma

Hello Taika and Jemaine, huge fan of you both. More than happy to shelve out 60 dollars for the kickstarter, only wish I could've afforded more. Taika I think you're the best director out of New Zealand and I'm curious what movies and directors inspired you most? Same question to you Jemaine.

TaikaWaititi8 karma

Thanks! I love all kinds of movies, both good and bad. The bad ones are also important - they teach you a lot. Like, what not to do.

Ableyoungthug3 karma

What was it like working with Sam Rockwell?

TaikaWaititi8 karma

I didn't work with Sam Rockwell... where did you get that idea? Weird...

SafeAsMilk3 karma


What do you think of New Zealand's Michael Jackson, the poet and anthropologist?

TaikaWaititi5 karma


SafeAsMilk3 karma

There's a real dude) named Michael Jackson who is a poet and anthropologist, and is from New Zealand.

Currently he teaches at Harvard. I was wondering if he got prank calls or anything. He seems like a super cool guy.

TaikaWaititi9 karma

Oh, no I don't know about that. New Zealanders are too polite to hassle someone called Michael Jackson. However a few years ago in a small town there were a series of violent attacks on local Santa Clauses.

CavaleKinski3 karma

Would you be willing to make a commitment to having all of the films you make in the future pass the Bechdel test?

TaikaWaititi7 karma

No. We failed it with this one too.

charliesday3 karma

Taika- your safety video for Air New Zealand is amazing! Great job :) My question for you both- who is more dangerous? The Karori zombies or Lower Hutt witches?

TaikaWaititi9 karma

Witches are always more dangerous.

thegroovologist3 karma

Are you going to record an audio commentary for WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS ? That would be fantastic.

TaikaWaititi8 karma

That we did and it will be included in the US dvd release.

olyer9993 karma

Hey guys I live in Wellington and are your biggest fan in the world! Is there anyway I could meet you? If so how?

TaikaWaititi11 karma

We're on 30th st in Manhattan right now. How soon can you get here?

TravellingSquirrel3 karma

Taika, I loved Boy! It's one of my all-time favorite movies. Do you get mistaken for Bret a lot in the US because people associate Flight of the Conchords with WWDITS? Do you ever get tired of Jemaine getting the majority of the questions/compliments, or is that somewhat of a relief? You're gorgeous, by the way! Love to Jemaine too ... you are one of my all-time favorite comedians! I contributed to your Kickstarter and can't wait to see WWDITS in the US!

TaikaWaititi6 karma

I prefer Jemaine deals with all that stuff. And thank you for the compliments. Especially the one about being gorgeous. And thanks for the support!

frank_rizzo8013 karma

Is What We Do In The Shadows going to come to Utah now that you've met your Kickstarter goal? please, please, please

TaikaWaititi10 karma

Yes, it is coming SLC.

kukkolka3 karma

Ever played those table top rpg games about vampires for inspiration of funny situations like Vampires the Masquerade?

TaikaWaititi3 karma

Can't say that I have. But now I shall seek it out.

captainfantazmo3 karma

Hi guys, big fan of both of your work! Sadly missed out in WWDitS in theaters but bought it for streaming as soon as it was released and had everyone over to watch it, I honestly can't remember the last time I laughed so hard during a movie.

With how omnipresent superhero movies have become now, are there any roles that both of you would love to play in the Marvel Movies? My friends and I agree that you'd have made a pretty sweet Dr. Strange, Taika!

TaikaWaititi4 karma

Aww thank you! When I was young I thought I'd like to play Sunspot from X-Men / New Mutants. I'm too old now. And not Brazilian enough.

VesLDN2 karma

Has WWDITS changed since it premiered at Sundance last year? If so, how?

TaikaWaititi8 karma

We added a scene which makes the film 1% better...

GeezerMuldoon2 karma

What does Chris Hardwick smell like?

TaikaWaititi12 karma

make up

ben56472 karma

Hi, Taika and Jemaine! Thank you for doing this iAMA. What kind of TV Shows do you enjoy now of these days?

TaikaWaititi3 karma

Black Mirror

slashjunky2 karma

Hey guys, thanks for doing an AMA! Not to get spoilery, but the part with the backpack was one of my favorite effects in the film. How much green screen did you use, or was it all physical on the day?

TaikaWaititi3 karma

It was all physical and involved lots of sneaky edits. No green-screen in that scene!

ulashbulut2 karma

Jemaine, could you give us some information about your new HBO project? Also are there any development on the musical movie with FOTC crew?

This question goes for both of you: Which US show would you like to guest star on?

TaikaWaititi4 karma

I want to be in Benson.

TaikaWaititi6 karma

Not actually "in" Benson, but I want to play a part.

Vince_Taylor2 karma

What movies or shows have made you laugh the most?

TaikaWaititi9 karma

The Castle and Withnail & I.

gunterdominos2 karma

Hey Taika, Which true life vampire inspired you the most? Joan Darling or Gyula Gazdag? Those two are immortal!

TaikaWaititi8 karma

Gyula Gazdag is the most powerful Hungary based vampire in existence. He has bitten many many people.

rini62 karma

Jemaine and Taika: did you guys ever do regular standup? I assume you did since you were so good at improvising recently on that Midnight show! Jemaine was robbed I tell you!

TaikaWaititi9 karma


malice1082 karma

Hi! Huge fan of the movie. My roommate and I are obsessed and can't stop quoting it. Were there any particular scenes you loved that were cut out of the final product?

TaikaWaititi6 karma

A few funeral scenes. Don't want to say for whom...

Menpachi2 karma

If I ever run into Bret should I call him "Bret" or "Brit"?

TaikaWaititi4 karma

He prefers his name, Bret

Xabi_Alonsos_beard2 karma

If you were allowed to choose anything to put on a new flag for NZ, what would you go for?

TaikaWaititi6 karma

Lightning bolts, a skull, a snake, and a bottle of bourbon.

bluelighter2 karma

If you both had to choose a single material (leather, silk, cotton, denim, corduroy etc) for a whole outfit that you would wear, what would it be and why?

TaikaWaititi9 karma

Can I have denim but with silk lining?

oujee2 karma

Hi! Congrats for the funding! Loved the movie and Im now happily waiting for my autographed dvd. I have few questions 1. Is there any change you could draw a dragon to my dvd? 2, could flight of the conchords come tour to Europe again (to Finland also, I know you've been to sweden...) 3. Could Taika also come here Thanks, you're awesome, keep doing great movies!

TaikaWaititi8 karma

Thanks for including me. Very thoughtful.

WiniCanuck1 karma

Taika, I've seen your last name as also being Cohen. Is this correct and if so when and why did you change to Waititi?

TaikaWaititi4 karma

I didn't think Cohen would be accepted here in New York.

Beautifulderanged1 karma

Hello Taika and Jemaine. I loved the movie amongst other works of yours. I also love sandwiches. What are both of your favourite sandwiches? And is it toasted or not? What bread?

TaikaWaititi5 karma

When I was a kid my favourite sandwich was Marmite, Cheese, and Ketchup. I tried it again last year, it's gross.

Tanglet1 karma

Taika, are you a member of the Academy? Who are your top Oscar picks this year?

TaikaWaititi8 karma

Probably a film about a black crippled scientist ex-star in outer space.