Melissa Ann is the prolific mind behind horrorgeeklife.com. Thanks to her we have a one-stop-shop to find the latest and greatest movie and entertainment news as it happens. But on top of that, she is also the one that inspired me to write more and more about the film industry and actually learn the importance of checking sources.
Where did Horror Geek Life come from? What made you want to start your own site?
Melissa Ann: I was writing reviews and such for a few different horror sites, but there were other topics I wanted to cover in addition to horror, like comics and gaming. I started looking around for sites that would accommodate that, but it was hard to find without venturing into general entertainment sites. I know there’s a lot of fan crossover within these topics, so I thought, maybe there’s something here to tap into. It would also give writers who like covering these topics a place to contribute. So, I started Horror Geek Life in 2016!
You were a film judge in the 2017-2018 Women in Horror Film Festival What did you look for when you were trying to award a film?
MA: First of all, is the film an entertaining watch? Second, did the filmmaker make good use of budget, space, and their actors? When it comes to indie, you can’t expect the budget to be on par with larger productions, but a good filmmaker will know how to utilize what they have so it doesn’t matter. And, third, was there some originality within the film? Even if the premise isn’t wholly original, hopefully the filmmaker adds their own spin to it.
What is it about the horror genre that appeals to you so much, and what is a close “second” to you in terms of film genres?
MA: So many reasons, but the top reason is because I think it’s the most creative and complicated genre out there. Finding new and effective ways to get inside a viewer’s head, or to deliver the scares, isn’t easy. Of course, this has to be combined with special effects and cinematography that will drive it all home. It’s great seeing these ideas and techniques carried out on-screen. The second reason is just that I love being scared! I love films that make me terrified not to have the lights on, or stays with me for days.
I also love fantasy and sci-fi flicks. Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, and of course, superhero films.
What, if any, are the tropes/traits of horror films do you feel writers and filmmakers outside of the horror genre can learn from?
I believe that horror (and sci-fi) filmmakers are the masters of making a low budget seem like a million bucks. They’re forced to reinvent wheels all the time, and I think there’s a lot to learn from these techniques.
In terms of writing, how do you keep yourself so consistent and keep yourself motivated?
MA: It’s hard to stay motivated at times, no question, but as long as I’m writing about things I’m passionate about, I can do it. I also love the relationship we have with our readers. Take the ego out of your work, and don’t spread yourself too thin by skipping around to various projects. Focus is extremely important, because followers need to know you’re consistent and will keep giving them entertaining content. I love what I do, and I’m extremely thankful for everyone who helps me do it!
Bonus: What is the appeal of Fallout?
MA: The Fallout universe is one of the best game universes I’ve explored, and I love the lore behind it all. The post-apocalyptic Wasteland, the strange people and creatures you encounter, the story lines, and gameplay…I can’t get enough! I’m definitely excited for 76!
By the way, Melissa was the first person to give me a chance at writing on a website. While it may not sound like a big deal, it was an incredible learning experience for me. Thanks Melissa.