Claudia Lee is an emerging Writer/Director based in London. She studied Drama: Film, Theatre and TV at the University of Bristol, graduating in 2016. Claudia’s focus is on showcasing female narratives in her filmmaking and desires to explore female stories across different styles and genres. From dark horror to joyful musicals, she aims to navigate her cinematic interests across various genres whilst staying true to her ambition to present the female experience from a place of truth and multiplicity. ‘Clan’ was Claudia’s directorial debut.
Q & A
Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual/personal level?
For me, no one can compete with Ripley, right? I just wanted to BE her. Watching Alien, Ripley was probably the first empowered female protagonist I had witnessed in a horror movie and I still don’t know if she can be topped, even today.
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 totally agree that the good ideas come after the bad ones – and often as a direct evolution of bad ones. Riffing and brainstorming has to be done with total freedom and not being afraid to speak the bad ideas out loud. The ending for my film ‘Clan’ started from a bad half-joke idea – Maeve wakes up and it was all a dream… universally recognized as the most unoriginal ending to any story. But then I thought perhaps there was a way to take that and flip it. To change the meaning of the ‘dream’ motif that often falls flat and use it to surprise and change the expectation of the audience. A bad idea became a good one, or at least I think so!
Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
I would have loved to have met more people from the horror community at the festivals last year but everything was sadly online due to covid. I hope to grow that in the future though and the Alter community is a pretty big one..
When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
I’ve found inspiration flows most easily for me when I build ideas from my own experience. When you draw on things that you’ve been through or felt strongly or that scare you, I’ve found it a much more organic and fruitful creative process.
What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
I think with my Scottish roots, I’d probably go join the Pagans and get up to some trouble.
Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
I’d shape shift into a crow and join Hitchcock’s flock from ‘The Birds’.
Lightning round: Freddy or Jason? Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? Practical or CGI? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
Freddy, Stephen King, Practical, Pre Apocalypse
What scares you, and does it inspire your storytelling?
I’m scared of the deep ocean and so far that’s not been something I’ve explored through my storytelling. But I hope to have my ‘Jaws’ moment one day.
And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’
Under the Skin – Jonathan Glazer