Boss Lady: Emily Hagins

Officially Comediva’s youngest Boss Lady, Emily Hagins is a teenage force to be reckoned with. She became famous for her 2006 film Pathogen, which she directed at age twleve.

Her latest film, My Sucky Teen Romance, about a sci-convention gone vamp-y is available on Blue-ray, DVD, and iTunes download today! 

Connect with Emily on twitter! 

What’s your favorite cupcake flavor?


What or whom inspired you to pursue a career in horror-comedy?

I’d definitely say Edgar Wright’s ability to balance horror and comedy in his storytelling and style has always been a huge inspiration. His films pay an appropriate amount of attention to the consequences and serious circumstances that come with the territory of making a horror/action film, while also using interesting and dynamic characters to bridge multiple genres.

If Chuck Norris were to corner you in an alley and challenge you to a duel, what would be your weapon of choice?

A riddle.

What are some challenges you’ve faced since going down the creative track and what, in your experience, has made those obstacles worth overcoming?

Sometimes it was difficult to get things done without compromising on very short production schedules, with very few (but extremely talented) people to accomplish all of the work. What made it all worth it to me was to see the hard work and dedication our team would put in just because they were excited about the potential of the finished product, and that very much encouraged me to persevere through those difficult spots.

What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever heard/seen?

That would probably be an infomercial consisting of only still images, advertising buying gold. The pictures were just of two guys having a conversation, but they were screaming about how great the deal was in their voiceovers. Needless to say, my house is full of gold now.

Which actor, dead or alive, would you love to work with/meet?

I’d love to meet/work with any actor who is passionate about what they do, but I don’t have a specific person in mind. It all depends on who is right for your story, you know?

In what ways do you think you’ve improved or evolved since your first creative venture?

I think I’ve definitely improved on a technical level, as well as developing my directing style. To me the most important aspect of making an independent film is keeping those low-budget-feeling elements less distracting, so your audience remains caught up in your story and characters instead of how you made the movie.

Where did the inspiration for My Sucky Teen Romance come from?

It was a combination of two ideas — I wanted to make a teen vampire film from a real teenager’s perspective, as it was a phenomenon that very much influenced my high school experience. In addition, I’m a huge fan of sci-fi conventions, especially one in particular I attend every year in Minnesota, called CONvergence. It’s just a big celebration of geekdom, and I pretty much lifted the exact layout of that con for my film. It was important for me to establish the setting, introduce that real vampires are living within the preexisting expectations in pop culture, but also create a teen story where the kids are awkward and real.

When you’re not writing/directing, you’re…

Eating. Or playing Pacman. Or having a tea party. Depends on the time of day. 

How did you get into film at such a young age?

I was always a big movie geek, pretty much since birth. I loved writing too, I think because I always had an overactive imagination. My dad showed me how to make a short film when I was 9-years-old, but wouldn’t do anything for me. He just showed me all the steps, so I knew from the start that it was a whole necessary process from pre-production to post-production. I loved it, and worked at making short films (and a little while later, feature films) through the same process.

Where does the name “Cheesy Nuggets” come from?

Gosh, I wish I had a good story for it. I just used to write combinations of words that I thought were funny, and Cheesy Nuggets just happened to be one of those. It’s just one of those weird things that pops into your head at 12 years old when you’ve had too much sugar.

The title of your autobiography?

Don’t Throw Pizza at People: 
A Guide to Directing Motion Pictures in Pajamas.

And now an excerpt from that biography:

19-year-old Emily Hagins has directed three feature films, as well as several short films and music videos. She was the first teenage girl in the United States to make a feature film with PATHOGEN. She was also the subject of the documentary ZOMBIE GIRL: THE MOVIE. 


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