Aaron Pagniano is a series of interconnecting organs with a face. He enjoys making films, playing board games and wandering into the woods, He grew up in the swamplands of Florida, where he graduated from FSU Film School. He now resides in Los Angeles with his pet python.
Q & A
Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual/personal level?
Sometimes I definitely relate to Ash from the Evil Dead franchise. The world is a crazy, soul-eating place with a lot of unknowable truths and I’m just trying my best to seem like I get what’s going on and am on top of things.
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?
I’m not convinced that any plot is a truly bad idea. It’s what you do with a premise that makes it bad. I think you’ve got to let yourself run with the bad ideas mentally for a while in order to exorcise them. So maybe my worst idea was to never show anyone this short film publically. I’m glad Zack talked me out of that.
Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
It’s weird because I’ve always had strong horror sensibilities but only within the past few years have I really embraced the idea of being a part of the larger horror community. I always felt like I wasn’t horror-y enough to be part of it but it can really be an empowering space for people who just love exploring the darkness from which others flee
When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
People inspire me every day. Both in great and terrible ways. Most of my ideas originate from either something tragic about humanity, something beautiful, or something that is simultaneously both. Otherwise, they say write what you know, and so I defer to Zack on his experiences as an ageless being with unknown origins.
What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
I would 100% be trying to control the situation by getting everyone to chill out and work on some sort of flowchart of how best to get out of the situation.
Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
I would like to introduce one Gremlin, one Alien, one Thing (the Carpenter Variety), one Vampire, and the Necronomicon into a city and see which entity takes over the earth first.
Lightning round: Freddy or Jason? Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? Practical or CGI? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
Wait till you read my new YA book, Freddy Lovecraft: Practical Apocalypse.
What scares you, and does it inspire your storytelling?
The terror of the truly unknown, lurking just below the surface of what we think we do know. I’m not afraid of supernatural monsters; I’m afraid of the fact that we can’t truly know if there are or aren’t monsters. And the monsters we become in our conviction one way or the other.
And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’
I’ll say Videodrome