Sarah Giercksky

Interview with A Badass Woman in Horror: Sarah Giercksky

As a woman in horror myself, I love connecting with other women in the industry. There’s so many talented women out there that don’t get enough recognition and it’s my mission to make sure they’re known! One of those ladies is the brilliant badass, Sarah Giercksky.

Sarah is a jack of all trades and it was an honor to finally sit and talk with her. We discussed how she got involved in the film industry, her inspirations, her upcoming feature Create Your Own Killer, what women in horror month means to her, and more.

Sarah Giercksky
Photo Credit: Kim Ventura

PopHorror – It’s so great to finally talk with you! How long have you had a love for film?

Sarah Giercksky – When I was a kid I used to watch TV all the time and I started liking horror at an early age. My favorite cartoon was about a grim reaper coming to get people who were dying and everyone else thought that I was very strange for liking a story like that. When I was six years old, I saw John Carpenter’s Halloween, which was the first horror movie I ever saw and I fell in love with the horror genre and have been watching horror movies ever since then. When I was twelve years old I started writing screenplays and that’s it where my dream of becoming a filmmaker began.

PopHorror – That’s impressive. How did you go from being a MMA fighter to being a filmmaker?

Sarah Giercksky – I actually went from being an aspiring filmmaker to a MMA fighter and then back to being a filmmaker again. When I was 18 or 19 I felt that I was getting nowhere with my filmmaking dreams so I kind of stopped writing. I had always been very active in sports and used to play tennis and table tennis when I was younger, winning championships in both of those sports, but my passion for those sports kind of faded away. So, when I was 20 I felt that I was missing something in my life and that is when I discovered MMA. I was watching TV and saw a UFC fight and I was immediately intrigued and went to my first MMA training a week after that. I was hooked immediately and trained sometimes up to 2 or 3 times a day.

I entered a grappling tournament pretty early and I loved competing. I was training for six years and competing in Amateur MMA and grappling for the last 2 of those years. I also had a Muay Thai fight which I won and I won silver and gold medals in both MMA and grappling. Unfortunately I injured my left knee during training and had to get surgery and after that I felt that my heart wasn’t into competing anymore, because what I was really missing in my life was making movies. So I stopped competing and training and wrote the screenplay for my feature film Sargad and I believed in the story so much that I decided to film it and here I am now. My love for MMA is still huge and I read every article on every MMA site and watch almost every MMA event I can find.

 Sargad Poster
Sargad Poster

PopHorror –  You’re such a driven woman. So inspirational! What was the first film you ever made?

Sarah Giercksky – It was a short experimental film called Anya, starring my mom Alicia Henriksson (who also acts in Sargad) when I was 20. I wrote the script in two hours and then decided to film it, just to get some experience.

PopHorror – Sarah, you’re truly inspirational, so driven! You are also a jack of all trades but out of all the things you do acting, directing, etc… which one do you prefer?

Sarah Giercksky – I have always been writing, so I do prefer to write, but for the last three years I have been acting and I have really falling in love with it, so I would say acting right now. My dad passed away from cancer when I was ten years old and I never really talked to anyone about it for almost 15 years. I kept all my feelings inside and had a hard time expressing emotions and feelings. Acting has helped me deal and cope with those emotions and it has made me a better version of myself. I am now more comfortable with my emotions and I know how to handle whatever I am feeling and that is why I want to continue acting.

PopHorror – That’s great to hear. So, you are working on a new film called, Create Your Killer, can you tell us what it’s about?

Sarah Giercksky – Create Your Killer is a funny, bloody short film that celebrates 80’s horror movies and video games. The story is about Amanda, her younger brother Adam, and Amanda’s best friend Isabella, who are staying home on a Saturday evening, playing video games. Suddenly they find a VHS-tape with the game ‘’Create Your Killer’’ and everything changes.

Create your Own Killer
The poster for Create Your Killer is made by Martin Gustafsson and the logo is made by Sida Yin.

PopHorror – Where did the idea come from?

Sarah Giercksky – Most of my other films have been pretty serious, so for Create Your Killer I wanted to mix in different elements, like humour, videogames, gore and slasher movies. I work as a personal assistant for people with disabilities, so I was at work, watching TV and basically the idea just grew from there, from sitting and watching TV, but I turned it into playing videogames in the script instead. Since TV has had such a huge impact in my life, I wanted to create a story centered around the TV to almost make the TV a character of it’s own.

PopHorror – I work with people who have disabilities as well. I love when ideas come naturally. How did the casting process come about?

Sarah Giercksky – I knew that I wanted to act in it and I had envisioned which character from the start. Then I had my best friend Jasmine Martinez, who has worked with me on several other film projects, in mind when I wrote the character for Amanda. I talked to her about this idea and she happily accepted the part. We then had an audition to find the person who was going to portray Adam and after going through a lot of submission tapes and an audition we found a very talented guy named Emanuel Markskog who will be a perfect Adam. Emanuel and me actually acted in the Swedish short film ‘’Bojsen från Bastuträsk’’ together, but we never had any scenes together. I have also brought in Alicia Henriksson, who acted in Sargad, to act in a special scene in Create Your Killer.

PopHorror – What is your goal for the film?

Sarah Giercksky – My goal is to send it to festivals and hopefully it gathers enough attention so that a possible feature film will be made.

PopHorror – Fingers crossed, I know you can do it! As an amazing woman in horror, what women in the industry inspire you?

Sarah Giercksky – When I was younger a lot of female actresses like Barbara Steele, Linda Hamilton and Barbara Crampton inspired me and they still do, but now I am very inspired by my female filmmakers in the horror industry who work their asses of to create amazing horror movies. There are simply too many to name, but I am consistently inspired and so proud of how much women in horror have grown.

Photo Credit: Martin Gustafsson

PopHorror – Same here. What is your ultimate goal as a filmmaker?

Sarah Giercksky – My ultimate goal is to make the horror genre in Sweden grow as much as I can and then to make Swedish horror movies grow all over the world. Sweden does have a few great horror movies, but we need more and we need to make more people take notice. In the end, I just want to tell create worlds and tell my stories.

PopHorror – I have no doubt you can make this this happen. If you could work with anyone in the industry who would it be?

Sarah Giercksky – Wow, there are so many to choose from but some of them are Tyler MacIntyre, Damien Leone, Lucio A Rojas, and Gigi Guerrero. However, there are so many more and I am always interested in acting in new horror projects.

PopHorror – All brilliant people. Do you have any advise to give other women who are wanting to work in the film industry?

Sarah Giercksky – Never give up. I have had so many people telling me that watching horror movies was a waste of my time or that training MMA was a waste of my time, or doing anything was a waste of my time, but I didn’t care about what they said and I followed my passion and today I am closer to my ultimate goal then I ever thought that I could be.

PopHorror – Proud of you for doing so and that’s some great advise, thank you! Who are all the women in horror that inspire you?

Sarah Giercksky – All my hard working females in the horror genre, who constantly come up with great ideas and who keep pushing the limits of the genre. They inspire m to push myself more.

PopHorror – Great answer. What does women in horror month mean to you?

Sarah Giercksky – I see great horror content on my Facebook and Instagram on a daily basis throughout the year, but in February it gets even more and that makes me feel like our horror community is growing and getting closer. I truly feel the love and support and I also discover so many new and talented filmmakers and artists by reading interviews and watching what other people are sharing, especially in February, so this month means a lot to me. We at Bitches of horror are always trying to promote females in the horror genre, but in February we go crazy and I really enjoy it.

PopHorror – Same here, girl, same here! What are some of your favorite films that are female empowering?

Sarah Giercksky – The first film that comes to mind is You’re Next because of the main character. She is constantly pro active and kicking ass. Another film that comes to mind is Revenge by Coralie Fargout which is very empowering for women in my opinion, but there are so many to choose from.

PopHorror – Thank you again, Sarah!

 

About Tori Danielle

Tori has had a passion for Horror and music ever since she was a little girl. She got bit by the writing bug in high school where she was involved in both the school newspaper and the yearbook. While getting her Bachelors degree, she took Journalism and Creative Writing classes where her passion grew even stronger. Now, in between work and family, she spends all of her spare time indulging in music, Horror movies, and nerdy fandoms, all while running/assisting one of the biggest Horror groups on Facebook and writing for various websites.

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