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Q&A with Jill Gevargizian, Director of “One Last Meal”

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Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual/personal level?
Leatherface, the saw is family.

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?
Well, for me it’s not about how “good” the idea is — it’s more so: do I care enough about it put in the work to bring it to life? Because making a film is hard and very time consuming, and after you’re done will forever be part of you – so the bigger question is: does this mean enough to me? No: does it mean ​a lot​ to me? Am I passionate about it? If not, why would I waste mine or anyone’s time with it?

Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
Absolutely, the horror community is what inspired me to take the leap into directing in the first place. After attending my first horror convention I was so inspired that I started a monthly screening series here in Kansas City for independent horror films. And the filmmakers I met along the way are what pushed me to do it myself.

When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
It’s different for each film. First, I identify the themes in what we are making and look for other works with similar themes and study how they were enhanced in said work. I also look for other works that have a similar tone I’m going for. With this film, ONE LAST MEAL, I was greatly influenced by the works of the Coen Brothers – specifically their black comedies and folktale storytelling style. That’s what we chased.

What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
Honestly, I would be terrified. I did a lot of research on prison life for this film, arguably way more than needed. I mean, I got DEEP into watching and reading about what it’s like to be in prison, how it breaks a person, the conditions, the corruption, the death penalty, what it’s like on death row waiting to die, what it’s like to be a guard who is part of the “execution team,” how barbaric it all is, etc. This film turned me into an activist for prisoners and their rights.

Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
Carrie
Jesse (Neon Demon)
Nina (Black Swan)
Pinky (3 Women)
Hedra (Single White Female)

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

What scares you, and does it inspire your storytelling?
People losing their mind, losing grip with reality. And yes, absolutely. I think it’s a theme in all of my work.

And finally, Ghostface would like to know ​‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre