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Teen director puts new spin on vampire romance in third feature

Emily Hagins, 19, directed her first film at age 12; her latest, “My Sucky Teen Romance,” comes to DVD on Sept. 4.
by Matthew Price Published: August 31, 2012

Director Emily Hagins is riffing on the “Twilight” phenomenon a bit with her new film, “My Sucky Teen Romance.” In the movie, 17-year-old Kate and her friends are spending the weekend at SpaceCON, the local science fiction convention. When she's there, she meets Paul, dressed as a teen vampire — but Paul's not just in costume. He's a real vampire. When he accidentally bites Kate, it's up to her friends to find a way to turn her back and defeat the other vampires taking over the convention, using their knowledge of pop-culture as a weapon.

“I really wanted to tell a story that takes place at the convention setting,” Hagins said in a phone interview with The Oklahoman. Hagins, 19 and from Austin, Texas, was hoping to make a film that would appeal to teens, especially the “geeky” ones.

“I was a big horror fan in general,” Hagins said. “When I was 14, I read the ‘Twilight' books and I was into them, of course.”

In making her own vampire movie, Hagins chose the bits of the mythology she liked best.

“You're able to pick and choose what kind of rules you want,” she said. “It's kind of like shopping.”

Teen cast, crew

Hagins had a cast and crew made up primarily of teenagers. She began making the movie at age 17. Even more impressively, it's Hagins's third feature film. She hopes to have a long career as a filmmaker, a career that started at age 12.

“This is something I'll continue to do as long as I can,” she said. “I was just very lucky that I started young.”

Her father, who used to work in advertising, showed Hagins the basic steps of making a commercial, from planning to shooting to editing, when the family first got a video camera.

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by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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