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       A Historical Event: My First Female Interview
       Friday, March 28th 2008

       Over these past months I have received a lot of comments on how I don’t ever interview females. And, sadly, it’s because I don’t always come across a lot of women in the horror genre who really strike my fancy.  It’s a male dominated genre. Granted, I am a googly eyed little girl who likes talking to cute boys, but believe me, I’m always looking for good female talent.
       I was lucky enough to see a screening of the short film “Side Effect,” at AFI (American Film Institute, you fool!) amongst many of the cast and crew. I was so impressed by seeing a baby cooking in the oven that I couldn’t resist sitting down and talking to filmmaker Liz Adams.
       Adams is not your typical LA success story. She didn’t have big Hollywood film aspirations from a young age and she didn’t wait tables and slum around the city until she got lucky. She’s always been an extremely hard working business minded individual. She grew up in Danville, Illinois (town of 26,000) and when she was 18 she decided to move to LA because she saw in an encyclopedia that the weather was nice. Adams was always into photography and writing but never thought she’d want to make movies for a living.
       At the age of 20 she started her own computer business. And at 24 she was successful enough to buy a house. She was also an avid rock climber who traveled all over Europe and climbed big walls at Yosemite.  
       When she was ready to get out of her computer business, put the rock climbing behind, and get into something more satisfying, her husband asked her, “If you knew you could do anything and you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do?”
       And that’s how it all began. She sold her business and followed her newly found dream to make films.
       “Once I started doing it I realized I had a craving to express myself creatively,” she said.
       She didn’t flounder blindly, however. She took film classes at LA City College and Second City and then met writer/instructor Dan Vining at a UCLA writing class. He informed her of the Directing Workshop for Women (DWW) program at AFI. She applied and was one of only eight women accepted out of hundreds of applicants.
       Need Background? Here - AFI is a conservatory that was created in 1967 as part of the National Endowment for the Arts. The alums of this program include some topnotch people including Maya Angelou.
       Side Effect” was the first and only horror film to come out of the workshop. (Clapping hands furiously). This is another reason that Liz is so very, very, cool. 
       A John Carpenter fan, Adams finds that there is a human element to his work. She likes that his movies/camera work really “take you into his world.”
       Liz wrote and directed the film. We talked a little about good writing and how it translates to the screen. “It’s always a gamble,” she said. A script can be fantastic on paper and then end up horrible on screen or seem lacking on paper and then be brilliant. It’s tough being a writer.
       Back to the broiling baby – you didn’t think I was going to leave that subject alone, did you? “I wanted to show the baby,” she said.
       I don’t want to divulge any plot details because I want all of you to be surprised in the future. But let me just tell you that the burned baby was created from a baby doll with chicken skin burned with a blowtorch. It, fantastically, has real hair!
       So is her newer career more satisfying than her old business? That’s kind of a silly question, isn’t it?
       “You only live once and you don’t get a chance to change careers often,” she said. “I love being around creative people”
       As you can tell, I admire Liz for many reasons and secretly, I’m a romantic and I find it pretty sweet that she ended up marrying her junior high boyfriend.
       Her advice for women filmmakers - “Figure out your strengths and work ‘em,” she said. “I think women are uniquely suited for writing. Their sensitivity and communication skills translate to good directing.”
       Currently, Adams is preparing “Side Effect” for festivals and developing the feature length script. The short was, fittingly, meant to be the beginning of the full-length film.

       Look forward to my coverage of the Fangoria convention next month! Mwahahahahahahahahahaha ………


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