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Tuesday
Jan292013

Profile: Teen Filmmaker Emily Hagins, Director of 'My Sucky Teen Romance'

Emily Hagins - Stated Magazine Profile

 
    Emily Hagins  
       

By Jimmy Aquino, Pop Culture Contributing Editor

Emily Hagins has three feature films under her belt and is currently working on a fourth. Did I mention she just turned 20 last October? And that her first stint as writer/director was at the tender age of 12? Indeed, her love of film goes way back to her much younger years, when her classmates labeled her “the movie girl.” This interviewer would also call her “slow-down-and-stop-making-us-older-folk-look-lazy-girl.” Her three films, Pathogen (zombies), The Retelling (ghosts), and My Sucky Teen Romance (vampires,) cover her love of horror but also highlight her sharp wit. (“For reals,” follow that girl on Twitter and you will laugh often.)

Her new film, Grow Up, Tony Phillips, steps away from the horror and showcases her humor (which audiences started seeing more of in MSTR) in a coming-of-age story. I chatted with her back in September while she was premiering MSTR in NYC. She’s smart, funny, talented, charming, friendly…and 20. Remember where you were when you read this article in about five years when she accepts her first Oscar—especially because she’s promised to thank me, stated, and all of you lovely readers. It could happen.

 
  Emily Hagins Audio Interview      
       
           
 
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BEING
AN ARTIST
IS…?

   

Uhh…this is like Mad Libs! Oh, this could go anywhere… Being an artist is…fun. I don’t know! I don’t know! Being an artist is Mad Libs. It’s…funky, fuzzy, green toothpick. 

 
         
      Emily Hagins  
           
 
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WHAT
ARE YOU
WORKING
ON TODAY?

   

Not throwing up before my screening tonight… It plays differently for different audiences, and I’m always nervous when the audience is older because I don’t think it resonates so well…[with older audiences]. I don’t know. In Chicago it was like 70 percent people that were older. I mean, just like senior age. But they really enjoyed it, so I felt good, but we had one in Austin where it was like lots of older people and they only asked me about my budget in the Q&A and it made me feel like they didn’t enjoy the movie. 

 
 
         
        (Trailer for My Sucky Teen Romance)  
                 
 
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WHAT
INFLUENCES
YOUR
WORK?

   

I’m inspired by anybody who’s passionate, whether it’s artistic or not. I feel passionate, but to see other people that are equally as into what they do makes me feel like I’m on the right path.

 
 
Emily Hagins     Emily Hagins
        (On the My Sucky Teen Romance red carpet)  
                 
 
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OF WHAT PROJECT
ARE YOU
MOST
PROUD?

   

Proud… I always freeze up on the “proud” question, ‘cus I’m like, “I shouldn’t be proud!”

Ok. I’m proud of this one shot in Pathogen where…we shot another scene like six months later. And I didn’t set up anything. I didn’t try to match cut it or anything, it just happened that the lighting outside was exactly the same, the kids stood in the exact same order… It was just happenstance. It turned out the cut—six months later—was exactly the same. I’m very proud of it.

 
 
Emily Hagins
         
        (On the set of My Sucky Teen Romance)        
                 
 
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WHAT
IS YOUR
DREAM
PROJECT?

   
I think something where I don’t feel rushed or like I have to make compromises and it’s a story that I feel… I think it’s always important for directors and storytellers to feel, in a sense, that they’re the only person who can tell that story. Then that’s how you can get your crew and cast to feel like they’re a part of something, ya know? Then they feel like they’re the only people who can be a part of it. So something where everyone feels very special and important and like we’re telling a great story and at the same time, we don’t feel rushed and like we have to make compromises to make it.
 
                 
         
        (Kickstarter pitch for Emily’s latest project, Grow Up, Tony Phillips)  
                 
 
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TO WHOM
DO YOU
LOOK
FOR
INSPIRATION?

   

Well, some of my favorite directors are Danny Boyle and Edgar Wright. Again, anybody who’s very passionate and has stories to tell… Peter Jackson. 

 
 
Emily Hagins
         
        (On the set of My Sucky Teen Romance)  
                 
 
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IS THERE
ANYONE FAMOUS
YOU WOULD LIKE
TO WORK WITH
AND WHY?

  &nbs