So I’ve always got my eyeballs peeled for cool people and projects in my fair city of Vancouver. Terminal City is fast getting a reputation as a breeding ground for cinematic talent. Whether it’s a community that fosters this, the scenery that inspires or someone put something in the water, no one can deny the quality of work this next generation is bringing to the screen.
One of these people is Gigi Saul Guerrero, the La Muñeca Del Terror, of Luchagore Productions. I came across her work a few years ago with her short that screened at the Rio Dead On Film Festival. Since then she has gone on to produce and direct some amazing work that has been killing it on the festival circuit. Ever interested in seeing the growth of my cinema sisters, I managed to nail her down to ask her a few questions….
1. You are a delightful addition to the Women In Horror sisterhood
between kicking ass at film festivals and making films that don’t shy
away from the extreme. What was your ‘lightbulb’ moment when you
wanted to pursue this as a career and not just a hobby?
GSG: I actually started out as an athlete! I was convinced I wanted to be either a Cartoonist or an Olympic Gold medalist in swimming, volleyball, or at the track field! Haha random right? But ever since a little girl “scary” things always interested me, even if I was terrified of them! For example, I has a HUGE obsession with watching surgeries on TV, anything to do with the Ouija board or paranormal events I wanted to know more. Then in High school I got into a lot of theater acting and slowly went into film and said to myself… yup film is what I want to do. So I started with making only comedies in Film School and then slowly added more and more blood and BAM!! I couldn’t tell you how great it feels to work with blood, guts and gore behind the camera. It simply feels… right?
2. Your from Mexico City, and live in Vancouver. Do you find as a
female filmmaker, particularly in horror, that there are any cultural
differences in attitude towards your choice in subject matter, or do
you find that both are supportive?
GSG: Being born and raised from Mexico has really helped me in staying close and true to my culture. So far all the films I have made have a big or small “Hispanic” reference/twist to it. Now being a female filmmaker has never faced me to be a negative thing, but instead I see it as an other obstacle a filmmaker has to face. No matter where I come from or what sex I am – at the end of the day my goal is to be recognized as a “Great Filmmaker”.
3. Your work is haunting and beautiful but also doesn’t pull any
punches. When your work has screened at film festivals do you find
that your audience gravitates more towards the beauty of the horror
you show or the gore?
GSG: The beauty of it! So far what I have noticed in the audience’s reaction to the films I have Directed is more in the look and style of the film and that I have to give a big shout out to my best friend, Luke Bramley, who is an absolutely amazing cinematographer. Not to mention, people have always commented how they love that our films always bring a mexican twist to it, and it is always so fresh and original.
4. Who are some of your major influences and inspirations for your work?
GSG: I am a huge fan for the Three amigos (Mexican Directors: Guillermo Del Toro, Alfonso Cuaron, and Alejandro González Iñárritu) . But man when it comes to films that go from shocking people, to crossing on the extreme, to simply ebing f*cked up I am in love with Robert Rodriguez, Rob Zombie, and Quentin Taratino.
Don’t get me wrong, I could give you a list of my top 25 Directors, haha but these are big influences.
5. As a modern and young filmmaker, do you feel there are more
advantages with current technology, or do you prefer old school
methods, equipment or styles? Do feel that modern technology has
helped or hindered movie makers?
GSG: This day and age anybody can “call themselves” a filmmaker: Camera’s are more affordable as well as getting your work online is accessible. So in a way technology has really made it easier for Indie filmmakers to get their name and work out there. Now that I think about it, without any social media I don’t know how any of my work could’ve been seen.
Now even though today’s amazing technology has created history in the way films were made, I am still not a huge fan of CGI or Visual effects when they are over used. Sure it’s amazing what can be done today, but I like to remember how in especially Horror movies it was all about the practical/special effects done live on set!
My team and I try to do that as much as possible or practical effects and use Visual Effects to slightly enhance someting on screen, or not use Visual Effects at all.
6. Where can we see more of your work?
Be sure to check out let latest film, TESTEMENT, winner of Best Cinematography and Best Fucking Death in the Phrike 72 Hour Film Festival.
Little Miss Risk