For every young aspiring filmmaker struggling to make his or her dream a reality, there is another, less fortunate soul who buckles down and builds a life with a more secured profession. The truth is that working in the entertainment industry, particularly horror, is an often challenging, unrelenting, and unforgiving life. This week’s Featured FearMaker has made his life working in manufacturing engineering, but hasn’t felt fulfilled though it. A life long horror fan, Christopher MacGillivray has changed courses after forty years on this earth to help fuel his passion, and it is working.
Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Christopher was introduced to horror at a young age. In fact, his appreciation for horror spans generations. It all began when his mother was a young child, when her father, Chris’s grandfather, would take her to Cold War era films at the local drive in. Like father like daughter, she took her son to see horror films at a young age as well, arguably too young, but we all know there’s no such thing really. Christopher remembers the first film he saw with his mother, Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic Alien. “I was hooked and ever since I have been screening horror movies, always on the lookout for that B-movie gem.“
From that first time sitting in the dark theater watching Sigourney Weaver battle the evil xenomorph, Christopher became an instant horror fan. Watching any and every horror film he could, he quickly became a horror authority, knowing everything there is to know about the genre.
Working in horror wasn’t something that was available to Christohper MacGillivray when he went to college. His studies landed him a job as a manufacturing engineer, a solid career which was able to support him, along with his wife and three kids. While working hard and supporting his family is essential, Christopher felt his life was lacking something, but what could it be?
What was missing in Christopher’s life was the involvement of his greatest passion, horror. He began to work towards his goal of including horror in his life, including studying at Rasmussen, where he is currently working towards a bachelors in animation. As a fan of Kyle Cooper, the man behind the opening credits to Se7en and American Horror Story, Christopher found a place within his genre that he felt comfortable in. He has been making experimental animation and stop motion shorts, working out his own form of horror.
Apart from making shorts, Christopher volunteers at a local year round haunt and lazer tag facility, where he helps the owner in exchange for allowing Chris to shoot in the many intricate sets found within the haunt.
It’s truly inspiring to see someone like Christopher MacGillivray take the wheel and direct his life back towards his passions. For so many FearMakers and horror enthusiasts alike, it is almost too easy to equate working in the field with being active in the genre. The truth is, it’s never too late to jump in the game and add your own unique spin. The only thing stopping you is yourself. Christopher realized that his life was missing something important, and took charge to make notable changes. It is never too late to do what you love.