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Our Conversation with Samantha Hawkins

Samantha is a Director and a Gallery WIHM Veteran!

Which of your achievements to date are you most proud of?

In 2018, my directorial debut, “Picnic,” screened at two inaugural film festivals and brought home an award from both of them! But, not to sound cliché, but I’m *most* proud of all the creators I’ve gotten to meet, the friends I’ve made, and the support I’ve gotten from (and gotten to give to) so many women in the community. I’m proud to be in an era where women in horror are like a really cool, welcoming gang.

What’s your favorite horror film and why?

Favorite franchise: SAW, because underneath the gruesome traps, you have a story that, at its core, is incredibly human. A man who hit rock bottom just wants us to cherish our lives.

Favorite mainstream standalone: IT (1990). Nothing scarier than an enemy who shapeshifts and caters to your specific fears.

Favorite independent: American Mary. Encouraging women to change specialties since 2012.

Favorite on Netflix: Tie between Would You Rather and Creep.

Who is your hero in the horror world and why?

  • Jamie Lee Curtis, the original final girl. Period.
  • This goes without saying if you know me, but the Soska sisters. I can’t believe they actually exist. They’re superhumanly kind and welcoming and talented and genuine and badass. Their hugs are nice, too.
  • Shawnee Smith. The woman filmed with the flu AND AGAIN while pregnant. The needle pit gets me every time.

Share a practical tip for a woman who wants to do what you do.

Making a film is terrifying and overwhelming. Conquer one thing at a time. Ask for help when you need it; you never know who may agree to be in your project, or who may have access to a space that could be useful. Don’t be afraid.

Inspire someone who is not where they want to be in the industry yet.

Cross off one thing every day, anything from “finish audio alignment” to “go shopping for cereal and a shark toy for that one scene.” It’s easy to put your work aside for a couple days, but then you’ll suddenly have gone six months without making any progress. Small, tangible steps. You’re going to doubt yourself. Keep going anyway.

Scare the crap out of us with something you have done or plan on doing!

I got to work at my first haunt last year! Shoutout to Kersey Valley Spookywoods. Every night, I got to lurk inside the Phantom Castle as a vampire with some fantastic fx makeup. I got two people to pee their pants. Definitely as satisfying as everyone says it is.

What projects do you have coming up?

I’m in post with a short that’s cowritten by Brett Haynes and myself, starring two hilarious gentlemen. I can’t wait to share it! I also just submitted a PSA for the 2019 Massive Blood Drive PSA, in association with Justin Shoemaker and Static Vision Productions.