One of the most fascinating and talented women in the horror industry is, hands down, Gigi Saul Guerrero. Up until recently, I had never really gotten a chance to talk with her… I just admired her work from afar. So I was stoked when she agreed to do this interview for Women in Horror Month as I know she has an insanely busy schedule.
Learn more about Gigi’s love for filmmaking, her film, La Quinceañera, what women in horror month means to her, upcoming projects, and more!
PopHorror – It’s an honor to talk with you, Gigi. You’ve been killing it in the industry. How long have you had a passion for film and filmmaking?
Gigi Saul Guerrero – I’ve definitely had a passion for film and filmmaking since I was about 16 years old. I saw Alfonso Cuarón’s film, Children of Men. Wow, that movie still today is my most favorite film, and the movie that changed my life. I saw it in theaters, and it’s the movie that made me want to go to film school.
PopHorror – Children of Men is such a beautiful story. What was the first film you were a part of?
Gigi Saul Guerrero – I guess you could say the very first thing I was on set for was when I was a young teenager. I did a Wonder Bread commercial. That was the first time I saw lights, cameras, and I was like, “Wow, what is this? Is this really what it takes to make movies?” I must have been 14, and I’ve stayed very interested ever since or at least appreciated it.
“Sun down, monsters up!”
PopHorror – That’s awesome! You pretty much do it all. You’re a jack of all trades – directing, producing, acting, and so on. Out of all those, what is your favorite thing to do?
Gigi Saul Guerrero – (laughs) Why, thank you! My God, that’s a good question. Which one do I like best… that’s really hard. Every single one is so different and gives something totally new to the art of storytelling. You can’t even compare them. I can tell you, right now, that I’m not a producer. I don’t like to produce. (laughs)
But directing and acting… I feel very lucky to really know both, because those two come hand in hand. It’s been a huge asset to be an actor as well, because I really understand where the actors are coming from. I really know what they’re feeling and thinking, so when it comes to directing them and talking to them, we have that extra connection, that extra bit of trust that I think is a very important quality to have.
PopHorror – Couldn’t agree more. One of your amazing films is La Quinceañera. It has received a lot of love from fans and critics alike. What was your inspiration for this story? How does it feel to receive the positive feedback it’s been given?
Gigi Saul Guerrero – La Quinceañera, baby! For those who don’t know, the best way that we like to call it is the “Latino Kill Bill.” (laughs) La Quinceañera… what an amazing experience really. I’m very fortunate to have worked with Stage 13 and Warner Bros. But really, what inspired that film before we got approached by the studio, Shane McKenzie, who’s been writing for us at Luchagore for the last 4 or 5 years, we discussed a very little idea of a Quinceañera gone wrong because I brought up the fact to him that I had never had a Quinceañera. When I moved from Mexico to Canada at exactly that age I was too shy to have a Quinceañera for myself. That’s exactly where the inspiration came from. What if a Quinceañera would go wrong? What would happen?
After having that chat, that idea, it just sparked immediately, like, “Oh, this could go wrong and this could wrong!” We just always had that in the back of our heads, and finally the opportunity happened. And I think now with this rise of Latino culture and Latino talent, telling a story about a Quinceañera, a coming of age revenge story of a Quinceañera, is something we’ve never seen before. Something that we’re hungry for. So, seeing the reactions and appreciations to La Quinceañera… ah, man… I’m very happy, and I’m so excited to continue to shock people with what a Bloody Sanchez means.
PopHorror – You’re very inspiring, Gigi. One of the projects you’re currently involved with includes the show, Super Monsters, on Netflix. How did you get involved with that project?
Gigi Saul Guerrero – “Sun down, monsters up!” (laughs) For Super Monsters, I’m so happy and so blessed to be a part of such a beautiful show on Netflix. I basically just auditioned, and I didn’t even know what I was auditioning for. I ended up getting the part of Vida, who is a little Day of the Dead, 5 year-old werewolf. She’s so cute. I couldn’t ask for a cuter character to bring to life and to be able to play with my voice. I’m so happy to bring a character that’s not just super cute and fun, but also one that is connected to everything I love, which is my Mexican culture, and my most favorite holiday in the world, Day of the Dead.
“It was important to us to actually make a force and unite ourselves and to continue to create.”
PopHorror – I haven’t checked the show out yet, but Vida definitely makes me eager to see it! You’re the co-founder and director at Luchagore Productions. Can you tell us about this company and why you created it?
Gigi Saul Guerrero – Before the name Lunchagore Productions, it started with my best friend, Luke Bramley – the cinematographer for everything I’ve done – and I in film school. We were just talking about teaming up, and we didn’t really have a name. Then we partnered with our rival film school, Raynor Shima, who is the producer on everything I’ve made. Us three just connected immediately. We were one of the first teams from different film schools coming together and creating an actual team and actual company. It’s quite funny how it all worked out. It was important to us to actually make a force and unite ourselves and to continue to create. We had all of that in common.
So, Luchagore Productions now consists of three co-founders myself, Raynor Shima, and Luke Bramley. It’s about 4- 5 years old now. Still recent, and we’re still working hard. We focus on bringing a new voice to the genre with a Latino twist here and there. Basically, we love to concentrate on good storytelling, good quality of practical gore, and just fun entertainment.
We’ve worked anywhere from Warner Bros to Crypt TV, YouTube sensations, viral sensations on YouTube, Facebook, anything and everything to keep our fans happy, stoked, and full of blood.
PopHorror – Those are some pretty big accomplishments to make in just a few years! I know you’re currently working on a feature with Blumhouse. Are you able to tell us any details for that?
Gigi Saul Guerrero – Oh yeah, Blumhouse! I’m so happy to announce that I’m officially the new director coming in for their Hulu original series called Into the Dark. I’m doing their featurette episode for the Fourth of July installment. I’m so excited, but I can’t give you any more details about what it’s about. But I can tell you that it’s a very very insane and fun episode, and Latinos are gonna be proud.
I’m very excited to bring to life this project. It has a lot to say about today’s society and also give Latinos a voice in the genre for an American audience. I’m very excited to share this with this world this summer.
PopHorror – I love that series! That’s so exciting! I can’t wait to see your episode. If you could work with any woman in horror, who would it be?
Gigi Saul Guerrero – I can’t really pick a specific woman in horror to work with because, at the end of the day, art continues to change, continues to grow. So for me, my goal in the genre is to continue to work with new artists, actors, produces, or heck, maybe even act for other directors who are female. Because we continue to see new people come into the game. We continue to see new ideas, and fresh voices, and fresh stories. For me, my goal is to partner up with what’s new, what’s fresh. What’s something we’ve never seen before? And I’m very excited to be able to do that as my career goes along.
PopHorror – Beautiful answer. What does being a woman in horror mean to you?
Gigi Saul Guerrero – Being a Woman in Horror means a lot to me, not only for the recognition, but also for the fact that it’s now being celebrated and appreciated. It means, to me, that it’s only going to grow from here. It means, to me, that the support is only going to get wider and wider and continue to spread to not only be a celebration of one month but to be every day. An appreciation of every day. I’m very lucky and excited to be alive during something like this.
So, to me, it means everything, and I’m so excited to be a part of it. And to see all the new people that continue to rise and shine. It’s exciting to connect. The horror community is the one group of people that are the most passionate and supportive.
PopHorror – Yes, we are! Any other projects you’d like to talk about?
Gigi Saul Guerrero – Definitely the projects to talk about is my Into the Dark episode that I’m currently directing in LA. So stay tuned, Latinos, amigos, and everybody. Stay tuned for this insane project! Also, I’m continuing to work with Luchagore Productions. We have features in store, we have ideas ready to go. And for more updates, just continue to follow me at my Instagram. Stay tuned, because there’s a lot about to happen… not only for filmmaking, but acting as well. So, let’s do it, guys!
We want to send a great big THANK YOU to Gigi Saul Guerrero for taking the time to talk with us. While you’re waiting for her upcoming Into The Dark episode, check out two other films that Gig has been involved in. And stay tuned to PopHorror for all of your horror news, reviews and interviews!