Interview with Director and Author Clarissa Jacobson [Women in Horror Month 2021]

Please introduce yourself.
Hi! I’m Clarissa Jacobson and I’m screenwriter, filmmaker, and published author. The things I am most proud of are my short comedy/horror film – Lunch Ladies the follow up – A Very Important Film, my book – I Made A Short Film WTF Do I DO With It (a guide to film fests, promotion, and surviving the ride) and several optioned scripts that I hope will be filming soon! I am the other half of Rebel Minx a writing shingle that I have with my fantastic creative partner, Shayna Weber, and I am always learning about the craft of screenwriting and filmmaking – I’m very passionate about it and love it!

What is it that attracts you the horror genre for your chosen field of creative work?
I love many different genres, but horror is my favorite because when you write it, you get to go to places that you normally don’t creatively. It’s really interesting to delve into what scares you and face your fears – it’s liberating, exciting and fun. I also love horror because of the horror community. They are some of the most positive, accepting and supportive people in the world. Lastly, I love horror because there is so much comedy in horror and so much horror in comedy. Fear and laughter are big emotions, the ying and the yang, the dark and the light of our personalities – so I find it really cool to explore.

Who inspires you in your work and in life?
Famous people that inspire me are Harry Houdini, Pedro Almodóvar, John Hughes, John Waters, Scorsese, Kubrick, Chaplin, Gilda Radner, Carol Burnett, Edgar Allan Poe, Mel Brooks.

Then there’s my family and close friends – my writing mentor Joe Bratcher of Twin Bridges, Shayna Weber, my creative partner at Rebel Minx, my Dad who always says I can do things and is a trailblazer himself, and my Aunt who is also a trailblazer and gone where men have said women can’t.

Women in horror have made great strides, but it’s clear that a lot of work is still needed to make it a most inclusive genre. To you, what is the importance of a movement like Women in Horror Month?
I think it sheds a light on the fact that there are women who make horror – great horror. I feel like women have always been a big part of the horror genre but that there’s sometimes been a blind eye that women can actually write and make horror, and that there’s a market for it. We have a different voice than dudes, not better or worse, just different and valid and should be given just as many opportunities as men.

What would you tell an up-and-coming creative in the world of horror who sees that being a woman/identifying as a woman as something that makes it so much more difficult at times?
You have no control over being a woman – you only have control over your work. It does no good to lament about opportunities or hardships or mountains we have overcome. Be active, win by doing the work and proving them wrong by not giving up and persevering. Yes I get pissed off that it’s harder for us, but then I turn that into action, “just let them try and hold me down, watch this” I think . Also, there are great men out there that support women and equality and if you search for that you will attract that – attract the people who support you and never allow yourself to be a victim.

What are your favorite bits of helpful advice that you have received about your work or your field?
I owe so much of the great advice I’ve been given in writing to my mentor Joe Bratcher of Twin Bridges – he always says amuse yourself – when you write – your first critic is yourself – have fun, like your work and if you do that’s half the battle. Believe in your work, don’t worry about not winning some stupid contest – contests are great if you win, if you don’t whatever – they mean nothing in the scope of things – its opinion. So, don’t put so much stock in contests. Take risks, go for the impossible, bet on yourself.

In honor of celebrating Women in Horror Month, who do you believe viewers should keep an eye on in terms of the creative ladies in horror?
I always watch Ana Lily Amirpour who did my favorite movie – A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night – I’m hoping she can make another gem like that again.

What do you have coming soon that you can talk to us about?
The film I wrote – Land Of Milk And Honey – we are hoping to film in September. I also have a few series projects with my creative partner Shayna Weber that are being pitched right now and we have some features we are working on with hopes to film near end of this year or next! Also, Shayna and I have made some fun little comedy shorts and will continue to do those – they can be found on our Rebel Minx site under Watch Now or directly at our YouTube Channel.

Pop the links to follow your work here:
Instagram: @rebelminx_ @LunchLadiesMovie
Twitter: @rebelminx_ @LunchLadiesFilm
FB: @LunchLadiesMovie