WOMEN IN HORROR: A Month-Long Look into the Ladies Crafting the Worlds of Fear! Day Fourteen – Andrea Wolanin!
1. What first drew you into the world of horror?
My mother has always been a big genre fan, so horror and sci-fi have been a pretty substantial part of my life since childhood. That being said, it’s definitely ebbed and flowed in my own work – but in 2012 I started helping with a co-worker at my day job with her own documentary – Stacy Buchanan and Jess Barnthouse-Basille’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, which also grew the film The Man in the Mask. Through this working relationship, my understanding of the horror community grew and developed and I made my first foray into the genre – M is for Mundane.
2. What film/book/show was the biggest influence on you?
I definitely think Alien and Jaws have had the biggest influence on me in terms of horror aesthetic, pacing and the concept of what horror is – a creeping dread of the unknown. But for filmmaking in general, the films I aspire to tend to be far more surreal, dreamy and sad – Brazil, Eraserhead, In the Mood for Love.
3. What actor/director/writer do you consider your biggest influence?
Oof, that’s a long list… and all for different things! Wong Kar Wai is someone I’ve always admired and tried to emulate for his use of light and color and silence; Terry Gilliam for his irreverence to his subject, his characters, and his own work; Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith for bringing a whole new level of dialogue to my world as a small child; David Lynch and Luis Buñel for teaching me that not everyone has to understand your story, and that it doesn’t have to be the same story for everyone; and Jane Campion for being everything.
4. Who would you consider to be your horror twin?
Oh, goodness! I WANT to say Ripley, or Erin from You’re Next, but honestly, I’m probably more Laurie Strode – mostly flailing and ugly-crying as I run from the guy and fighting back only when cornered (that said, Jamie Lee is a total babe and I doubt she’s ever ugly cried).
5. What do you think you would you be doing if you weren’t involved with the horror community?
By trade I’m a digital producer for WGBH, meaning that I create and produce Youtube series, write articles about our programming, and photograph our events and the like. This job meshes perfectly with my life as an artist, as it is flexible enough by design (digital!) to allow me to work on the road and (relatively!) on my own schedule. I’m very, very lucky. I think that if I wasn’t pursuing filmmaking with the passion that I do – or if with the increasing trouble of our times, I choose to forgo it – I would use my skills in this area toward more work on climate change and environmentalism.
6. Plug some of your past, present, and upcoming projects.
For past projects, you can see my films M is for Mundane and Cleaning House on andreawolanin.com. Penta is currently looking for a home, but should be up streaming soon. Ishtar, a music video I directed for the Bring Us Your Women project, can still be seen in re-mountings of that project internationally.
Coming up… I have a short film I’m leaping into pre-production on, and a feature-length film in scriptwriting (though I’ve been saying that for on two years now, so we will see.)
7. Where do you like folks to follow you on social media?
My Facebook and Instagram are the best spots for communication – Andrea Wolanin or AMWolanin – but I do use Pinterest a lot for inspiration and jumping-off points, so you can get a glance into my mind there, too – AMWolanin.
8. Where can folks find your work?
All of my work that is currently streaming can be found on andreawolanin.com. For up to date notices on screenings and appearances, feel free to follow me on Facebook or Instagram!
9. Which horror icon would you most/least like to go up against?
Jigsaw. I love puzzles. I think I would get away.
10. Any advice for young ladies aspiring to become involved in the horror community?
Always! For me the advice always starts with a quote from Kubrick:
“The best thing that young filmmakers should do is to get hold of a camera and some film and make a movie of any kind at all.”
After that: Get a mentor. Find someone you can trust to work with – producer, DP, performer. Stay Strong.
11. Who is on your Horror Mt. Rushmore? This can be actors, writers, directors, characters.
Duane Jones, Issa Lopez, Sigourney Weaver, Jordan Peele.