Angela Atwood

Women in Horror Month 2019: Interview with Angela Atwood

One of my favorite new filmmakers is the brilliant Angela Atwood. Not only is she a wonderful person, she has a great vision and style. As a judge for the 2018 and 2019 Women in Horror Film Festival, I was lucky enough to watch her short Lady Hunters before the public eye and was became a fan instantly. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to meet her personally at the festival, but we recently got to catch up for Women in Horror Month.

We talked about how she got involved in the industry, the inspiration behind Lady Hunters, what being a woman in horror means to her, upcoming projects, and more.

Angela Atwood
Photo by Jeff Riberdy II

PopHorror – Angela, it’s so great to talk with you. How long have you an interest in being in the film industry?

Angela Atwood – Likewise, Tori! I had a late start. I saw myself as a musician when I was a kid, then was a mom and an actor for a long time, which was mostly stage work. Of course I always wanted to be in movies, but I didn’t go to conservatory for acting until my 30s. After graduating from conservatory, and the democratization of filmmaking techniques, I finally realized I didn’t have to wait for someone else to give me a chance – I could make my own.

PopHorror – You can do it all – writing, directing, acting and so on. Do you prefer one over the other?

Angela Atwood – I love all three – they feel really separate, even when I use them all on the same project. Acting is not thinking on purpose; directing is the authority to execute my vision and bring good people together; writing requires me to be in a room by myself a lot and stretch the brain cells – it’s super hard not to procrastinate on that one!

PopHorror – That makes sense! What was the first film you ever worked on?

Angela Atwood – It was a thriller/suspense feature. I auditioned and won the part of the wife of an amnesia-addled spy/star of the film. It was a lot of fun, and never got released. But, I did meet Lauretta Prevost on that set – she was 1st AC and I was talent. Seven years later I reached out to her to make a sizzle for a feature screenplay I’d written, and now she’s Lady Hunter’s award-winning cinematographer.

Lady Hunter's Award Winning Cinematographer Lauretta Prevost
Lady Hunter’s Award Winning Cinematographer Lauretta Prevost

PopHorror –  That’s so cool! I’m still a little sad that I didn’t get to meet you at the 2018 WIHFF. As a judge, I remember watching your film before it even premiered and loving it then. You wrote, directed, and starred in Lady Hunters. What was the inspiration behind that film?

Angela Atwood – Thank you so much – that means so much to me. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to hear that. I was on an actual moms’ weekend away with my great friend Lara Buck. Three days before we got together, the allegations about Bill Cosby were all over the headlines. We couldn’t get away from talking about it. There were a couple evenings of wine, and improvising fantasies of how we’d back back at all the unpunished rapists out there.

PopHorror – I love that this was inspired by true events. How did the casting process come about?

Angela Atwood – Lara (Eleanor/Marilyn Monroe) and I trained together at conservatory, so she was a shoe in. Marianne Hardart (Maya/The Fox) rounded out our trio (I’m Hilde/The Pirate) – she’s a graduate of the William Esper Studio as well, so I knew we’d all speak the same language director-to-actor, plus I’d just seen her perform in a play she’d written and produced which was very much like her character. Lara’s brother is Guy (the guy we kill at the end), PJ in the bar is a local caretaker, the Body we drag in the sled is my drone operator, and the lovely Antique Shop Owner is a very kind soprano who shared her sheet music with me in choir at church when I was location scouting.

Lady Hunter's Poster
Lady Hunter’s Poster

PopHorror – Awesome. I love how you all collaborated together. Do you have a favorite scene?

Angela Atwood – The scene when the women drag the dead body across the field. It made me laugh every time I watched it, all the dozens and dozens of times I had to watch it during editing and making my cut before handing it over. It makes me happy.

PopHorror – Same here! Since it’s Women in Horror month, what some of your favorite horror movies that empower women?

Angela Atwood – I wanted to be Sarah Connor in Terminator II: Judgement Day when I saw it as a teenager. That was when I felt the first time I wanted to be an actor. I fantasized about growing up and having a son, and training him in the desert how to save the world.

PopHorror – Good choice! If you could work with any woman in the industry who would it be?

Angela Atwood – I’ve been gaga over Olivia Colman ever since Peep Show (my son turned me on to it years ago), Broadchurch, and The Lobster, and thrilled by her recent recognition – I’d be over the moon to have her in one of my films. Likewise, I’d be over the moon to be in one of Sofia Coppola’s.

Angela Atwood, Marianne Hardart, Lara Buck from Lady Hunters
Angela Atwood, Marianne Hardart, Lara Buck from Lady Hunters

PopHorror – Yes to all of that! What does being a woman in horror mean to you?

Angela Atwood – That’s a great question, because you stumped me. I’m thrilled at how the horror genre is embracing Lady Hunters. You never know who’s going to respond to your work when you make it – or if anyone will. I’m just really, really grateful.

PopHorror – You deserve the recognition and love. Any upcoming projects you’d like to talk about?

Angela Atwood – Thanks, Tori! Lady Hunters is in development for a feature – I’m about 75% finished with the script, and building a business plan for investors. I also have a web series I directed, Chronicles of a BLEEP Year Old Woman, and a starring role in the web series, 5A5B – both of which are also on the festival circuit this year, along with the Lady Hunters short film. So basically, more writing, acting and directing!

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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