Well, tomorrow is Halloween and I could think of no better way to celebrate than to share an interview with a very talented woman in the film industry in the genres of Shock and Terror. The lady’s name is Jill Gevargizian and she is known for her terrifying short films. We have mutual friends in the industry that I have interviewed in the past and that is how this interview got it’s start. So without further hesitation, here is my interview with the one and only Jill Gevargizian.
JG: I founded a monthly screening series here in Kansas City a little over 4 years ago called Slaughter Movie House. Through programming that, I met so many filmmakers and started to help on other’s projects. Then decided to take the leap myself.
SWN: Did you always know that you would work in the movie industry?
JG: I did not. I’ve always loved movies and thought of myself as an artist. I have been a professional hairstylist for over 10 years. I grew up love photography, music, fashion- and film is really a combination of all those things plus more.
SWN: What drives you to create such original thrillers?
JG: Well, thank you for the compliment! I think that originality is part of everyone’s goal. That was a huge part of my most recent film, The Stylist, being that it is about a hairstylist. I knew I could tell a story about a hairstylist in a very real way, so I capitalized on that.
SWN: One of my favorite short films is Grammy. How did this idea come about?
JG: Thank you! For as silly as this film is, it has a very serious inspiration. One evening my friend Jill Towerman and I were getting dolled-up for a night out and I said, “I need to put my face on.” Towerman told me about how when her grandma used to say that to her, it freaked her out because she didn’t know what it meant. And a light bulb went off in my head- what if we make a film about a grandma who is a monster and has to literally put her human face on every morning. It’s also my “FU” to the pressure women feel to wear makeup. It’s a feminist message- as to say women can’t be seen without make up..maybe we really are monsters underneath?
SWN: Nice! Which one of your films is your personal favorite?
JG: The Stylist, no question. It’s my first emotional and psychological film. That is where my passion lies.
SWN: When you have that occasional down time, how do you unwind?
JG: Watching films, of course! I also love to hike. Nature really is healing.
SWN: What projects can we expect from you in the future?
JG: I hope to make the jump from shorts to feature-lengths soon. I am working on developing a couple concepts. I also hope to crank out another short soon.
SWN: Where can our readers see more examples of your work?
SWN: If you could work with anyone, who would it be and why?
JG: This is a tough one! I guess the first person who comes to mind is Leonardo DiCaprio… and that might be because of my crush on him since I was 10 years old, but seriously he is a legendary actor. Claire Danes. Also, Jake Gyllenhaal. I think he is one of the greatest of his time.
SWN: Do you have any advice for newcomers to the world of film?
JG: The best advice I can give is to just do it. Some people don’t know where to begin, first you need to meet like-minded people. Look up a local film society, every city has one. Network. Offer to help on other’s films. Get experience. And, like I said, just do it. I directed my first short, Call Girl, that ended up playing all over the world with no experience. I had only been on maybe indie 2 film sets in my life. I had a script by Eric Havens and I just slowly pieced it together.. We need someone to shoot it.. we need lights.. we need makeup.. need actors…need a location.. and so on. It’s not easy or cheap but it can be done. And it is so rewarding!