First, a little fact. REPO! was green-lit prior to SAW IV starting preproduction. That single fact weighed a great deal in my signing back on to direct another SAW film.
Never in a million years did I ever think I would be directing three sequels! Part of me was disgusted with myself for coming back. I moved to Hollywood to show the world how creative I was. How I had a unique vision. Yet here I was – directing SAW IV. I wasn’t original. I was the exact opposite of original. But there is something about SAW. Toronto… The Crew… JIGSAW. I couldn’t stay away.
Also, there was a bright shining light at the end of the tunnel… REPO!
REPO! was a blessing and a curse as it pertained to SAW IV.
If it weren’t for REPO! being green-lit, I probably wouldn’t have considered directing SAW IV. I was determined to do an original project. I needed to… I HAD to! I didn’t want to go down in horror history as the sequel guy, yet there I was, well on my way.
Now, here was the issue. I was actively in preproduction with REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA while shooting SAW IV. Now, anyone who knows anything about the entertainment business knows the stress, politics, and bullshit that goes into making a movie. Now – DOUBLE that – no TRIPLE that – I had massive stress already with the production on SAW IV… Add to that the casting process and preproduction nightmare of REPO!
Going into SAW IV, I had a major uphill battle.
I am a huge horror fan… In fact, I would consider myself a horror fan, over a horror director. That being said, I knew as a horror fan – this franchise could easily jump the shark. We had to bring something new and original to SAW. But what?
The story for SAW IV was a battle right until the very end. For the first time in the SAW universe, I was scared… No – terrified! What if SAW IV didn’t work… What if the twist was lame? What if?
Luckily, I had an amazing crew and producing team behind me.
Some fun facts about SAW IV:
Lyriq Bent (Rigg) and I came up with an entirely different ending. We both loved the idea – and tried to sneak it into the shooting schedule – however when the producers caught wind of the idea – we were stopped!
Chance, my dog, makes a cameo in the film. But later we had to cut her out, as she was too cute and fluffy to exist in a SAW movie.
My wife (girlfriend at the time), my lawyer, and my assistant all make cameos as rape victims.
While roughly four transition shots made the final edit of the film, about six more were shot, and later cut out due to pacing issues.