Interview with Filmmaker Sophia Cacciola [Women in Horror Month 2021]

Please introduce yourself.
I’m a genre director working primarily with my production company, LAUNCH OVER, with my partner. I make weirdo, socio-political/satirical, surrealist horror and sci fi features. I also enjoy working as a cinematographer when I can! My features include the horror social satire, Clickbait (2019); the feminist vampire throwback, Blood of the Tribades (2017); the cerebral time-loop apocalyptic sci-fi, Magnetic (2016); and the murder mystery, TEN (2015). As a cinematographer, I’ve recently had a few shorts on the festival circuit including: Re-Home (Izzy Lee), Half-Cocked (Aaron Barrocas), Shiny Diamonds (Seth Chatfield/Toni Nagy), and Tea Time (Tara Price).

What is it that attracts you the horror genre for your chosen field of creative work?
I live in reality (unfortunately), and nothing is more boring to me than drama movies about life and usual relationships. I love genre films because I think they can show what it means to be human through metaphor and fantastical situations. I also love colorful lighting, creative shooting, and special effects. I love being shocked and amazed by artsy, gutsy filmmaking that is less present outside of genre films.

Who inspires you in your work and in life?
I am most inspired by other artists – both my friends who I’ve met through music and filmmaking/film festivals and artists I’ve found by just consuming as much content as I possibly can. I very rarely watch a film twice (only if it’s been a long time or I really need to study it), and even pre-pandemic, I managed to watch hundreds of films a year. I love being surprised by a film – themes that resonate with me and make me think, crazy editing, or creative visuals – all of it inspires me, and I try to bring my favorite parts forward into my work as best I can!

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?
The numbers don’t lie – the percentage of women directors is something like 6%. I haven’t seen that number go up, and in terms of women in head-of-department roles, the numbers are even worse. And we still have people who claim women don’t even like horror (which pains me to hear since I know hundreds of women who live and breathe it!). So, there is still a visibility gap for all women in film and in horror, in particular. We’ve always been here and now people and companies just need to start funding us! The quickest way to change the industry is for people to just hire women in all roles!

What would you tell an up-and-coming creative in the world of horror who sees that being a woman/identifying as a women as something that makes it so much more difficult at times?
I do think it’s *slowly* getting better all the time, and everyone who has come before us has made it slightly easier for everyone now coming up. But I would say to never let someone doubt you, your ability, creativity, worth – you have just as much of a right to be in the room as anyone else does. And, if you don’t fit in that room – go make your own!

What are your favorite bits of helpful advice that you have received about your work or your field?
Get on every set you can! Observe and ask questions. If you want to be a director, learn how to shoot and edit – even if you end up not doing much of it, it’s invaluable to know every piece of the process.

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?
So many!!!! Gigi Saul Guerrero is kicking ass right now – I love watching her successes. There’re so many great women in horror I’ve had the pleasure to work with in various ways: Izzy Lee, Tara Price, Anastasia Elfman, Trista Robinson, Lianne O’Shea, Liesel Hanson, Maiya Reaves, Rakefet Abergel, Alexandria Perez, Laurel Vail, Meosha Bean, Ama Lea – all of them should be followed and hired!

What do you have coming soon that you can talk to us about?
I had a few projects pause shooting last year when COVID hit that I’m eager to finish up once it’s safe to do so, including The Once and Future Smash (, starring Michael St. Michaels (The Greasy Strangler) and Bill Weeden (Sgt Kabukiman NYPD). It’s about two actors who despise each other who had both played the masked killer in an influential, but mostly lost cult-classic (End Zone 2, which is also being restored for this project) and are now on the convention circuit together when news of a remake hits. I’ve also been working on a few projects in isolation, collaborating with friends near and far that will hopefully come out this year, and I made a silly short film with my pandemic-adoption, King Ghidorah the dog, about how he’s actually Dracula.

For International Women’s Day, I’m releasing a song and music video about Medusa, written and performed with our frequent music and score collaborator, Catherine Capozzi’s Bring Us Your Women project.

Pop them links to follow your work here:
Production Company: http:://
Instagram/twitter/facebook: @sophiacacciola