THE FILMMAKER’S CORNER – Emily Hagins (ZOMBIE GIRL: THE MOVIE)

Posted in Uncategorized by johnwildman on March 30, 2009

Zombie movies inspire a lot of passion – both from fans of the films and people who view them with enthusiastic distaste. The idea of fighting for your own survival against something that used to be one of you (basically) opens up so many avenues of horrific implications that it’s no wonder the genre (ironically) is evergreen. And that thought is one of the reasons that make ZOMBIE GIRL: THE MOVIE an absolute delight. Directed and produced by Aaron Marshall, Justin Johnson and Erik Mauck, the film follows 12-year-old Emily Hagins as she sets out to make a feature length zombie movie. She is determined, she is creative, and she is learning countless life lessons beyond the practical knowledge of how to get a shot with distracted classmates before you lose your light or how to effectively do zombie brains effects (with the help of her mom). And all right before our eyes. It’s fun to watch the young auteur-in-training and not only do you root for her to have a successful debut, you look forward to that eventual Hollywood epic in her near future.

What was the most difficult thing about making your movie, PATHOGEN?

Re-shooting after we lost footage from one of our biggest days of filming.

Did you ever feel like “firing” your mom (and if so, why)?

Occasionally, yes. Our mother-daughter relationship would sometimes interfere with our working relationship, which created a few problems. I’m glad we were able to share the experience together though. Her support really helped me persevere.

Was there any moments when you asked Justin and Erik to stop filming you?

There was one I remember in particular. I was having trouble getting the tripod plate back on the tripod, and Erik was filming from a couple feet away. I called my dad over to help me, but he couldn’t get it either. I turned to Erik and said, “If you have enough footage of us struggling, can you help us get this part back on?” I don’t remember anything else, though.

What was the biggest lesson you learned during the course of filming?

Perseverance is key to finishing any project, especially because things are bound to not go exactly the way you plan.

What was the biggest difference between making PATHOGEN and your feature-length follow up, THE RETELLING?

We had a crew for The Retelling, which was made up of about 10 people (8 of which were under 18). They all worked incredibly hard, and the production value was a lot better as a result.

You have said the only film genre that doesn’t appeal to you is “chick flicks”. So, why not a “zombie chick flick”?

That would be awesome! I’d love to see one. It reminds me of the tagline for SHAUN OF THE DEAD: “A romantic comedy…with zombies”

Give your honest assessment – Was TWILIGHT cool or lame?
I really enjoyed the books (like every teenage girl on the planet), but I thought the movie was okay. Having heard a bit about the production, I understand why certain things I didn’t care for turned out the way they did. I’m looking forward to seeing what changes they made for the sequel.

What’s the status of THE RETELLING?
It is in the process of being scored by a local composer, Brian Satterwhite.

In your opinion, can 28 DAYS LATER or 28 WEEKS LATER be considered “zombie” movies?

I think they’re good movies (bigger fan of 28 DAYS LATER), but I’m not sure if they are zombie movies. Even though zombies aren’t very logical, it does seem to make sense that being dead should prevent them from running. Maybe they’re “running dead people” movies?

Name your top three zombie movie and why.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: Set the standards for the modern zombie movie.

UNDEAD: First zombie movie I saw, very silly and fun.

SHAUN OF THE DEAD: Combined comedy and horror in a unique and clever way. One of my favorite movies.

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