By Aharon Rabinowitz
Published on Thursday, May 5th, 2011
Eighteen-year-old Emily Hagins is no stranger to filmmaking. It’s not a hobby she picked up recently. She’s been directing since the age of 9, and is on record as the youngest director to ever complete a feature-length film. In fact, there is an award-winning documentary (Zombie Girl: The Movie) that followed her in creating her film, Pathogen, at the age of 12:
Two years ago, at the age of 16, Emily wrote and began directing her labor of love “My Sucky Teen Romance,” a feature length vampire comedy that has all the makings of a professional film, but which came up short on funding for the post production side of things. Her deadline of March 1st, for the film festival SXSW, was rapidly approaching, and she did not have the resources to get it done – at least not with the visual effects that matched her creative vision.
I don’t know what you were doing at the age of 16, but I can tell you that whatever I was doing, it wasn’t that important. By the time Emily turned 18, she had already worked on independent films doing:
- Camera work
- Color Correction
- Sound Design/Editing
- Post Production
- Script Supervision
- Assistant Directing
We got in touch with Emily and spoke to her and some of her team, and we were convinced – she was driven, talented, and wise beyond her years. More importantly, she and her team had already done most of the work – there was just a little left to go. We knew we had to help. We immediately offered her software to use as incentive/payment to get VFX artists to join her production – and it worked!
On working with Red Giant, VFX Supervisor, Brian Behm had this to say:
“Red Giant stepped in and gave me the opportunity to pay additional compositors with software. If I hadn’t had the extra help in the crunch time before our festival debut we wouldn’t have been able to finish the project as strongly as we did. I’m grateful for Red Giant’s assistance.”
Here are a few more interesting facts:
- The film was Written from August 2009 – Spring 2010
- Production + Post Production: Summer 2010 – February 2011
- Filmed over 20 Days
- Relatively young crew – many from the University of Texas
- Her AD was 14
- 2 Production Designers: one was 17 and one had many years of professional experience
- Filmed on a 7D (Magic Bullet Grinder was used a lot)
- Film’s Producer, Paul Gandersman, is 26, with a BFA in Film and TV
- Emily is Final Cut Certified
FWIW – They got the film done, on-time, and looking great. I watched it – It was a ton of fun. If you’re like me and you hate angsty teen vampire films, I am pretty sure you’ll love this. At the very least, you’ll appreciate the incredible work that went it this project.
We’ll return to My Sucky Teen Romance in another blog post, where Brian will share examples and breakdowns of his visual effects work on the film, using tools like Magic Bullet Colorista II and more.
In the mean time, check out Emily’s site @ CheesyNuggets.com