We kick off a week-long Women in Horror interview series with with the multi-talented writer, editor, speaker, and podcast host Andrea Subissati.
For Women in Horror Month, I had the honor of interviewing one of my personal heroes, Andrea Subissati. If you don’t know Andrea, she’s the Executive Editor over at Rue Morgue Magazine (yes, we’re huge fans). She also a sociologist, journalist, public speaker, popular YouTube host, former roller derby girl, and co-host of the exceptional Faculty of Horror, a podcast that examines horror movies through an academic lens.
Andrea has helped pave the way for so many aspiring female horror journalists like myself and my colleagues, and it was an honor to chat with her while she was a featured guest speaker at the Final Girls Berlin Film Festival.
INTERVIEW WITH ANDREA SUBISSATI
1. You’re speaking at Final Girls Berlin Film Festival. Can you tell us a bit about how you came to be involved with the event and why you wanted to be a part of it?
I found out about FGB through my friend and colleague Alison Lang, who appeared as a speaker at last year’s fest. I met one of the festival directors, Sara, at the Fantasia film festival last summer – we hit it off and were able to arrange for me to attend! FGB is still a small-ish fest, but it’s got a lot of passion behind it and I can tell it’s going to grow.
2. You were interviewed here at Morbidly Beautiful in 2018 and talked about how Women in Horror Month was drawing more attention and growing. It seems like we’re seeing a massive spike in representation and recognition for women in horror, and just film in general. What do you think has helped push the movement forward and what do you see as the future of women in the genre?
Well, that’s great to hear! It’s funny, Alex and I were reflecting on the past decade of horror in a recent Faculty of Horror episode and we remembered when Women in Horror Month was new and it was very controversial. So many female-led outlets and podcasts have started up since then that I almost take WiHM for granted! I suppose a lot of that has to do with how easy it is to disseminate content nowadays – podcasting is so easy and provides a very intimate platform to connect with people. As for the future; I’m no fortune teller, but I can only see good things ahead!
3. You have so much on your plate, including writing, speaking, attending festivals, editing Rue Morgue Magazine, and putting together such great content for the Faculty of Horror podcast. Do you find it hard to balance everything?
Yep! I do, and thanks for your kind words. There’s a stubborn workhorse side of me that can grind away at things relentlessly, and then there’s another part of me that gets restless and wants to start new projects before putting other projects to bed. I overload myself regularly, so I’m always looking for ways to maximize my productivity. I have inspiration all around me, and I’m very grateful for that.
4. Do you think it’s imperative for women in the genre to try to break into multiple factions of horror to get noticed and involved in the community?
Well, I think there’s an important distinction to be made between getting noticed and getting involved. Getting involved has never been easier, but if you’re getting involved to get noticed (and I’ve seen this happen), you’re in for a long, frustrating ride. The quality of the content is always #1, and quality should always come before quantity. If your work is good and you keep at it, your audience will find you eventually. So many podcasts go belly-up simply because their creators expected too much, too soon. It’s a long game, so it’s important to please yourself before you can worry about pleasing others.
5. Is there an aspect of the genre you haven’t yet conquered that you’d be interested in pursuing?
Sure! I collaborated with a friend on a screenplay for a horror short once. I find writing horror fiction pretty daunting, but I’ll never say never. I started playing in a band last summer which I’m enjoying, and sometimes I toy with the idea of collaborating with a brand on my own cosmetics line. My life up to now has taken turns that I couldn’t have imagined or prepared for, so I keep myself open to new opportunities at all times.
6. I love the Faculty of Horror Podcast you co-host with Alex West. You record the show live at Salem Horror Fest every year. Do you plan on taking your podcast out on the road anytime in the future? Do you enjoy the dynamic of a live audience and immediate audience feedback?
Yes and no. I’m very proud of The Faculty of Horror. I’m proud of all the work I do, but that show is very special to me because it’s something Alex and I created together, and we created it in the hope that it might reach people like us. As such, meeting people who love the show is a tremendous source of joy to me. When someone says they love they podcast, I instantly consider them a dear friend — that’s how close I am to the show.