Lou Simon Talks ‘3: An Eye For An Eye’ & Being A Female Filmmaker In Today’s World

July 29, 2018

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely - Horror Fuel CEO & Executive Producer Email: [email protected]

Writer, director, and producer Lou Simon sat down with me to discuss women in the film industry and her latest genre film 3. Behind films like All Girls Weekend, Hazmat, Agrophobia, and The Awakened, Lou has been making her mark in the genre for years and seems to know just what to do to get a message across to fans.
In 3: An Eye For An Eye “A man and a woman kidnap her rapist in order to extract a confession from him. They need to get his confession on tape because he has made up an alibi. Locked up in the basement of a remote home, he is unwilling to confess on camera and continues to assert his innocence. With time running out, how far are they willing to go for justice and what if they are wrong?”
 


 
 
Horror Fuel: “What is it like to be a woman in the film industry these days?”
 
Lou: “Well, it’s hard being a woman everywhere, but I think things are looking up. On the indie side of the industry, I have to admit that it’s been rather easy for me because I’m the boss. I’m the one that makes things happen. Where it’s tough is in the studio system. The statistics are daunting, and being a Latina, I have less than 1% chance of making it. Sometimes, I think I must be crazy for even trying it. It’s coming around though. We’re finally talking about it, and I am hopeful that there will be new opportunities for women soon.”
 
Horror Fuel: “I’m so glad that female filmmakers are finally starting to get a real voice in horror. Have you faced any challenges that a male director might not?”
 
Lou: “On my third film, I had a much bigger crew that I’m used to. We were using a whole new grip and electrical crew so I basically met them for the first time on set.  It was incredibly difficult to work with them. They showed me a complete lack of respect, going as far as doing disruptive things during filming. It’s not like anyone says “I’m being an a-hole because you’re a woman,” but I definitely felt that it was motivated by the fact that I was a woman.  I was not perceived as a “real director.”
 
Horror Fuel: “That makes me angry to hear that people treated you that way. I’m sorry you had to experience that.  It’s disheartening to know that that mentality is still around. It’s ridiculous. The sad thing is that you’re not the first or even the fifth female filmmaker to tell me something like that.”
 
 
Horror Fuel: “Many of the films that you’ve written and directed, like Agoraphobia and All Girls Weekend, have been in the horror genre. Do you plan to continue to work within the genre in the future?”
 
Lou: “Absolutely. I watch just about anything, but I only go to the theater to watch genre films.  You have to be passionate about what you do. Making a film is at least two years of your life and really hard work, so you better be in love with the project or you’ll be miserable.”
 
Horror Fuel: “I imagine. That’s a long time to work on something. When you also write a film I imagine it’s part of you.”
 
 
Horror Fuel: “What made you fall in love with horror?”
 
Lou: “It’s not just horror.  It’s everything that keeps you on the edge of your seat, where there’s a mystery to solve or some twist.  I never watched cartoons growing up. I would watch old Hitchcock films with my mom or films like “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.”  My mom says that sometimes I would figure out the twist before she did, and by the time I was twelve, I had a subscription to the Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.  So I guess you can blame my mom for sparking the interest.”
 
Horror Fuel: “I think that it is fantastic that you two could share that. My love for horror movies and series started young too, but my mom hated it.”
 
 
Horror Fuel: “Your film 3: An Eye For An Eye will soon be out. It was intense. What was on your mind when you decided to write it?”
 
Lou: “It was a convergence of different things that happened at the same time. I wanted to make a film with a very limited cast so that I would then get a chance to really work with the actors. At the same time, the actress that plays She, Aniela McGuinness, had a double mastectomy and posted the pictures on Facebook.  That got the wheels turning about a rape victim who exacts revenge on her rapist who has disfigured her. (I know, only I can turn breast cancer even darker.) Aniela was supposed to star in “All Girls Weekend” when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I had promised to write a role for her as soon as she was better.  So this was written around her.”
 
Horror Fuel: “I’m glad that she recovered. It’s fantastic that you wrote the character for her. It has to mean a lot to her.
Rape is a subject that many find too taboo to really delve into. I’m sure a lot of victims can relate to the desire for revenge.”
 

 
Horror Fuel: “Is there a message that you hope the audience receives?”
Lou: “When I started working on the film in 2015, nobody was talking about rape. There had been several cases where a rapist got a slap on the hand, but hardly any repercussion to the judges who had let these men off.  I was outraged. I had no idea that the world would turn upside down in 2017, and we finally started talking about believing victims and about the right punishment. I guess this film has become me adding my voice to this subject. Time is definitely up.”
 
Horror Fuel: “It’s time that the world takes victims seriously and wants to find justice for those who have experienced it. The #MeToo movement has gotten the ball rolling for real change.”
 
 
Horror Fuel: “Was difficult it to make the film and keep it interesting with such a small cast and so few locations? You did it well, by the way.”
 
Lou: “Thank you so much. That definitely was my biggest concern when I started to write. It’s definitely dialogued heavy since it’s all set in one house, and one of the characters is tied up most of the movie. So how do you keep it interesting?  The only way I could do that is by revealing bits of what really happened slowly. That made everything they said important, so you have to pay really good attention to what they are saying.”
 
Horror Fuel: “It worked well. It’s very intimate and intense.”
 
 
Horror Fuel: “If you will, tell us about Goodwill Ambassador?”
 
Lou: “That’s my passion project.  I taught myself to make narrative films, and now I’m teaching myself to make documentaries.  I’m mixing three things that I love: making films, traveling, and advocating for animals. The idea is to create a documentary series about being a responsible tourist and use your currency (whether dollar, euro or pound) to create goodwill in third world countries, rather than being the ugly westerner.  The first one that I already filmed and is currently in post is about Thailand and the ugly side of using elephants in tourism. People need to stop riding elephants and going to cover elephant shows over there. What they do to elephants to entertain western tourists is worse than anything I can put in my horror films.”
 
Horror Fuel: “I’m a fellow animal lover. What goes on behind closed doors for attractions like that is disgusting. Elephants, who are extremely smart, are treated terribly. I’m glad to hear that you want to expose things like that. We as people should be more concerned about how innocent animals are cared for.”
 
 
Horror Fuel: “What is your favorite part of the writing/filmmaking process?”
 
Lou: “Definitely the writing, because I’m a writer above everything else. I still have a lot to learn about the technical part of filmmaking, but writing is something I’ve been doing since I was ten years old.  It is the most rewarding thing I do. You’re basically creating a whole world out of nothing in your head, and you’re bringing it to life.”
 
Horror Fuel: “Writing is so very important. Without it, we would go crazy. There would be no books, no movies.”
 
 
Horror Fuel: “If you were asked by a fan for advice about becoming a filmmaker, what would you tell them?”
 
Lou: “My advice is always to keep it simple. Every time someone complains to me about not being able to get their projects made, I see that their films have huge casts, tons of locations, and expensive effects.  One of the most effective movies/plays of the 20th century is “12 Angry Men” and it’s 12 guys in a room.  I’d rather watch that over a “Fast and the Furious” film any day.”
 
Horror Fuel: “I would rather see a few good effects and a great story than a movie with little plot and a ton of great effects. The story should always be the most important thing.”
 
It’s fantastic to talk with a filmmaker with a lot of heart, like Lou Simon. I look forward to seeing her future projects. To stay up to date on the film please follow 3: An Eye For An Eye (review) on Facebook and Twitter.
 

 
Unfortunately, I hear far too often that the film industry still has a lack of respect for female filmmakers and that needs to change! Female writers and directors have brought us some of the best genre films out there including Pet Semetary directed by Mary Lambert, American Psycho by Mary Harron, Ida Lupino’s The Hitchhiker, and American Mary from Jen and Sylvia Soska, just to name a few. They deserve the same respect as any male director.
 

You May Also Like…