Recently, I had the chance to interview Emily Hagins director of My Sucky Teen Romance and films such as The Retelling and Pathogen. She has also written 4 films and directed 8 short films and is also a producer. She is the first teenage girl in the United States to direct a feature-length film!
Keep reading to get a glimpse into how the mind of such a young director works and learn why she has earned the nickname, "The movie girl".
You have written and directed all four of your films. Do you enjoy directing or writing more?
I really enjoy both, but I like directing a little more. I love the challenge of visual storytelling and figuring out what's needed to bring the pieces together.
How supportive are your family & friends with your filmmaking?
I'm very lucky to have such supportive family and friends. They've stayed with me through the fun and challenges of filmmaking, and I can't thank them enough for that.
You moved to Austin shortly after you were born. How has Austin's film community shaped & supported your aspirations to create movies?
It's great! Not only is the community very supportive of all the film productions, big or small, but there is always something cool being shown. When I'm not working on a movie or going to school I'm often at the Alamo Drafthouse watching movies!
I hear that you are a habitual movie goer like myself, and that you have seen The Muppet Movie an insane amount of times. What about The Muppet Movie made you make the decision to make your dream of making a film a reality?
I used to watch The Muppet Movie several times when I was a baby, but I've only seen it once in theaters. I saw Spy Kids 8 times and The Fellowship of the Ring 23 times in the theaters, which helped me start to pay attention to the way movies were made instead of just getting caught up in the story.
Your films fall into the horror genre. Which films &/or genres have been the most influential to you personally and professionally?
With Pathogen I was influenced the most by the George Romero zombie movies like Night of the Living Dead, and the Australian zombie movie Undead. Undead was the horror movie that made me realize that horror movies could be both funny and scary, and helped me get over my fear of watching them.
Zombies are such an iconic horror villain. What about zombies interest you most?
They're scary because they're kind of invincible. They may be slow, but they're your family and friends and they're after you!
How can fans purchase Pathogen and Zombie Girl: The Movie?
My film Pathogen is for sale on my website: www.cheesynuggets.com. Zombie Girl is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
You have now reached full funding for My Sucky Teen Romance, CONGRATULATIONS! What are your plans for it now that you can complete post-proudction?
Thanks! We've reached our $5,500 goal on IndieGoGo, which has been really cool! However, that number was the bare minimum we needed, so we're keeping up our fundraising page until the end of December: http://www.indiegogo.com/mysuckyteenromance
How has the attention you garnered from its showing at Austin Comic-Con and the response and press been for Zombie Girl: The Movie impacted this project and the projects you are working on?
We showed the My Sucky Teen Romance trailer and a couple of clips at the Austin Comic Con, which seemed to get a really good response! Zombie Girl screened at the San Diego Comic Con two years ago. The response to Zombie Girl has been good, I love when other young filmmakers tell me that they've learned from my story and/or inspired to make their own film!
I am sure you get asked this a lot by your family and the media, but since you are in your Senior year of High School are you planning on going to college or focusing on your career for awhile?
I definitely want to keep making movies. That path may be through college, or it may just be doing it on my own. I just want to be able to continue doing what I love!
Thank you for your time Emily, is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks for the interview!
Emily has accomplished more in her 18 years than many adults do in a lifetime. I am truly impressed with the dedication and poise that Emily brings to her projects. I am a huge supporter of independent film and am a lover of zombie movies and horror movies in general. Be sure to keep track of Emily as she takes Hollywood and the world by storm!
Picture Courtesy of GETTY IMAGES