Q&A with Jake Hammond, Director of “Pigskin”

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Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Horror spirit animal?
Since I was 10, the absolute on-screen love of my life has been Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). My mom worked as a production coordinator on ‘My Girl’ and interacted with Jamie Lee, so she told me stories about her when I was little and finally showed me ‘Halloween’ which then became my all-time favorite film. I think between the character of Laurie, the real life Jamie Lee Curtis, and the film itself, the night I watched ‘Halloween’ for the first time set in motion my whole creative life.

You’ve gotta go through some bad ideas to get to the good ones. Tell us one of your bad ideas. How do you get past the bad ones to find your spark?
In high school, I made a found footage drama film about the dangers of teen drinking and how it tears families apart and only results in death and it wasn’t even a school assignment. Then, a year later, I was drinking. I am constantly writing ideas down on my phone based off of observations or fleeting feelings or images I encounter and I am so into them in the moment, and then the next day comes and I lose that drive. But occasionally, one idea will stick, and then it snowballs, and then past observations and feelings naturally re-emerge and become part of that idea. So I think it’s just about taking in everything I can and letting my intuition figure out what I actually connect with.

Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
I do! From a very young age, when I watched DVD special features of horror fans discussing films and attending conventions, I’ve always felt connected to that world. It’s clear that there is a strong, universal bond between horror fans. And it’s so diverse too. Facebook and online communities help with that as well and are always very supportive and welcoming. There is a shared language that horror fans have, and I think the fact that general society has always struggled to give horror the recognition it so deserves helps that bond feel even more special and powerful. It’s like we can have our own world and speak the language, but the outside world doesn’t necessarily understand the intricacies of it and that’s okay.

When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
That’s something that’s constantly evolving, but recently, my boyfriend Christian has helped me realize that so much of what instinctively inspires my films comes from the things I watched as a child. When I was little, my mind had no filter or any developed opinions, so I was drawn to certain things based off of pure intuition. I didn’t know what I liked back then. I was exposed to films and characters by my parents and friends. Certain things had an affect on me and certain things did not. The things I really took with me when I watched films at that age are little details like certain colors, sceneries, sounds, and emotions. Those specific things have stayed with me to this day and, rather than dismissing any of it as stuff I used to like, I use those memories to reconnect with a younger version of myself that felt creatively free.

What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
I’d probably love it and want to stay there all day to be honest. Unless I was the main character. That wouldn’t be good.

Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
The witch woman from Escape From Tomorrow, the Sanderson Sisters, and the Trench coat woman from Dressed to Kill

Lightning round: Freddy or Jason? Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? Practical or CGI? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
Stephen King

How do you go about creating the props and sets for your film? How do you create objects that are relatable but unfamiliar?
Goodwill is all I can afford! And it usually works out!

And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’
Halloween (1978)