Women in Horror Spotlight on Lynne Hansen: Interviews With the New Wave of Influential Female Filmmakers You Need to Know Now
It’s a long hard road to making films, and we must all start somewhere. Most people start with a short film, and, let’s be honest, the first one is usually not very good. Then, there’s Lynne Hansen. She made her film “Chomp” in 2014, and it has been a complete success.
As a successful, published author, it would have been so easy for her to play it safe, but this woman took on the challenge. She embodies the spirit of the Women in Horror Month, so I had to talk to her.
INTERVIEW WITH FILMMAKER LYNNE HANSEN
Lou Simon: Congratulations on Chomp! How many film festivals has it screened at, and how many awards it has won?
Lynn Hansen: Thanks! We’ve screened at over 70 film festivals in 12 countries and won or been nominated for over 30 awards, including Best Short Horror Film of 2015 at the Fright Meter Awards. What a wild ride!
LS: Will you continue doing the festivals, or are you having festival fatigue?
LH: I love doing festivals with Chomp, but we’ve definitely run our course. I’m keeping my eyes peeled for just the right opportunity to share it with the world.
LS: At what age were you first drawn to horror, and was there something specific you watched or read that inspired it?
LH: One of my earliest memories was watching the late, late show with my dad on one side and my big brother on the other. They taught me to love being scared. Even my first story in kindergarten was a horror story. (My stuffed animals came to life when I wasn’t around and had scary adventures.) Horror has always been part of me.
LS: You were the published author of seven young adult novels and a thriller before you started making films. What happened that you decided to turn your creative energy to film?
LH: I’ve always been a huge indie film fan, but I never realized that making my own films was within my reach until I got to be an extra on a film set with a woman director.
In fact, I’d been actively discouraged from making my own films by some of my male filmmaker friends. It was very empowering to see a woman like me making films and kicking ass. It fulfilled a need for me creatively. As a novelist, it’s you and your computer. Film is about collaboration, about creating something that is more than the sum of its parts. I love it!
LS: The odds seem to be stacked against women filmmakers. More than anyone else I know, you are so supportive of other women filmmakers, helping other women with their projects before and on set. What do you think needs to happen for women to get the respect they deserve as filmmakers?
LH: We keep making great films. We take the high road when our contributions are minimized. And most importantly, we help other women and our supportive male allies move up. The more good people we have in positions of power, the more opportunities we’ll have to bring our amazing stories to life.
LS: What’s next for Lynne Hansen?
LH: I’m in development on my first feature, a social thriller called Cold Dead Hands, based on a novel by four-time Bram Stoker Award nominee (and my husband) Jeff Strand.
LS: Your buttons “I Make Films Like a Girl” are a huge hit. I see them everywhere. What brought you to starting this line of products, and where people can get them?
LH: I love seeing my buttons and shirts “out in the wild!” One of the first film festivals I ever went to, people kept asking me “What film are you in?” not “What film did you make?” It drove me crazy. So I made t-shirts to wear to events so there could be no doubt. But lots of other people wanted them—men and women—so I made buttons that I could give away to filmmakers I met. I’ve given away thousands. (Let’s face it, you can carry buttons around in your pocket a lot easier than t-shirts!)
If folks want their own t-shirts, sweatshirts, tanks, etc. they can get them here: https://www.redbubble.com/people/lynnehansen/works/17823513-i-make-films-like-a-girl-white-text?p=classic-tee
LS: Where can the readers find you and your work?
LH: Folks can find me at LynneHansen.com, and if they’d like to hear more positive stories about women filmmakers making a difference, they can check out Make Films Like a Girl on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MakeFilmsLikeAGirl/.