Zombie Girl: The Movie

YEAR: 2009

DIRECTOR: Justin Johnson & Aaron Marshall & Erik Mauck




emily hagins loves movies. when she was about five she would sit and watch The Muppets Movie over and over again. then as she got older she would go see movies with her mom - everything from big hollywood blockbusters (they probably saw Lord Of The Rings about 20 times) to crazy cult classics.

now she has written a feature-length script for a zombie movie that she is going to direct. Zombie Girl: The Movie is a documentary that follows emily on that journey from the beginning of her project right through to the premier....... oh yeah. did i forget to mention that emily is 12 years old?!

what was funny to me about the film was how the making of the film and the behind-the-scenes content wasn't specific to how young the director was. anyone who has ever participated in and/or worked on a low/no-budget film will relate to this film. for example...

begging for extras, actors forgetting to bring the clothes that match what they were wearing in the last scene, lots of duct tape, recording over previously filmed footage because the tape wasn't cued up properly, having a great take but not realizing till you watch it later that the sound is really bad, having your mother holding the boom mic and getting on your case cause things are running really late, did i mention duct tape?

i have been involved with the production of a few very, very independent films and, except for the fact that my mom wasn't involved, i can completely relate to pretty much every other thing that emily went through in making her film. but you don't have to have ever made a movie to enjoy this documentary.

i think emily wrote the script for her film "Pathogen" when she was 10 or 11 and by the time it premiers she is 13. how many 10-13 year olds do you know who have that kind of persistence and drive to finish a project on the scale of a full-length movie? it isn't always easy, but there is no doubt watching her that this is what emily wants to do.

she really does have a vision for the movie. actors might have ideas and her mom might have ideas, but as she says in various ways at different times during the documentary - she is the director and her decision is final.

you can tell that she is a little movie geek and it's great. she makes references to various films and even looks to be thinking about the film making process of the documentary itself - sometimes, during an interview, asking the director where she should be looking.

in another scene, her and her mother are being interviewed together. her mother talks about how proud she is of emily and emily talks about how important her mom is and how much she valued everything she did for her. then, she looks at the camera and, with a smile, says something to the effect of, "now this is where you are going to cut to the parts of us arguing right." its funny cause i was thinking the exact same thing.

i checked out her website (cheesynuggets) and found that since the documentary was made she has made one more movie and is currently working on her third. so, who knows where she will go in the future.

now, i can't tell you if emily's movie was any good, since they don't show you much - if any - of the final product in the film. but, i can tell you that the documentary about her making the movie, Zombie Girl: The Movie definitely is.