An Interview with Christine Gatlin [Women in Horror Month 2018]

Christine Gatlin is a San Diego-based actress and filmmaker with an affinity for horror.  Her production company has a few short films on the festival circuit currently.

You work in multiple genres, what is it about horror that attracts you and keeps you coming back?
Horror is fun. It is exciting, cathartic, an experience. I love the darkness and the playfulness. The surprises that make you jump and scream and then laugh at yourself. When it comes to the horror genre- I am completely open for the experience, I am all in, I want to be frightened and taken for a ride. And as a filmmaker, the creativity that people in this genre have is just inspiring.

As a filmmaker, what inspires you?  What makes you choose a project over another?  
I love when a film takes my breath away. When it’s an experience that I don’t want to end. I want to create or be a part of something that does that. I want to make something beautiful and moving. I also have a sick sense of humor and love when something makes me laugh too hard for all the wrong reasons. When choosing projects, I look at the script and the people involved.

As an actress, what makes you want to work on a project or with a specific director?
As an actress, I am drawn to characters that I haven’t played before. I want to challenge myself and I want to work with people that challenge me. I also want to work with people that are talented, passionate, and love what they are doing. Making a film is hard work. It’s a lot of time, a lot of late hours, and a lot of emotional ups and downs. I want to work with people who want to be on set and want to create something amazing.

When directing or writing what are some the challenges that you see arising from being a woman in what is still very much a man’s world?
Fortunately, I work with an incredibly supportive and diverse crew, so I haven’t had too many issues there. Outside of my crew, I have encountered situations where I felt my voice was being taken away from me. When I was shopping around one particular script, I received a lot of odd feedback (all from men)- why is the main character a woman? Why isn’t it the man? It should be the man and it should be a comedy and he should wear pink! SMH, Because that’s not my script!

What would you tell a young lady just starting to work in the horror genre?
Fake blood is hard to clean off and tastes terrible.  Trust your instincts. I think that goes for this industry in general. Don’t do anything you aren’t comfortable with. Don’t compromise yourself. If you act professional and work hard, you will have opportunities. Don’t be afraid that something is your “only chance” and put yourself at risk. That being said, this genre is full of wonderful and insanely creative people. The majority of the people I have worked with in the horror genre are amazing, generous people that I now consider dear friends.

What does the Women in Horror Month movement mean to you?
I think it’s inspiring to see so many talented women coming together and celebrating their work. Traditionally women have fallen into some unfortunate tropes in the horror genre and it is about time that our roles have expanded. Art is built by a variety of voices and I think more of those voices are now being heard.

What are you currently working on or have coming soon that you can tell us about?
We are currently developing our first feature film. We are extremely excited about it but that’s all I can say for now.