Millions have fled to major cities across the world to make a name for themselves. From New York to London to Paris to Tokyo, these cities are treasure troves for the dreamers and doers of the world. For a select few, they don’t come to these cities but are born into them from dreamers alike. This week’s Featured FearMaker’s great-grandmother relocated to Los Angeles, CA in the 1930’s to become a screenwriter, and now Katrina Rennells is living her great-grandmothers dream by writing, directing, and starring in her own horror films.
Katrina has always held an admiration for horror. As a young girl, her grandmother would look after her and her sister, watching films like Pet Semetary, Rosemary’s Baby, and Whatever Happened To Baby Jane. These films sparked an obsession for Katrina, who spent her time immersing herself into any and every sub-genre available to her. Every weekend was spent renting horror movies with her friends, and playing with her great-grandmother’s Ouiji board.
“The process of actually creating stories from the ground up has been so rewarding” -Katrina Rennells
Rennells has always wanted to work in film. Her main focus was acting, but with the shifting tides of the industry’s DIY filmmaking and had pushed Katrina out of her comfort zone and into the directing chair. “[Directing is] something I had always wanted to do but didn’t know I was ready for. The process of actually creating stories from the ground up has been so rewarding that a lot of my focus has shifted to entertain acting, writing and directing equally.”
It was an easy decision for Katrina to create horror, her lifelong passion. “ I love horror because it is so subjective. It’s fascinating to me what scares certain people and what doesn’t, and that as an entire genre, so many people can’t even sit through it.” Her biggest influence is her husband, horror writer/producer Zak Olkewicz. Her career has been short but packed with projects, clocking in four projects in 2016 alone as a writer, director, producer, and actor, mostly a mix of them all. Her latest project, A Knock On The Door, a short film she co-wrote and co-directed with Wendie Weldon is currently circulating the festival circuit.
Indie film means wearing a lot of hats, and that is something Katrina Rennells is well aware of. From casting to crafty, from set design to the editing bay, there is little that she doesn’t do when working on a film. The best advice Rennells could muster up is to “roll with the punches,” and “ set yourself up to be as organized and on top of things as possible.” While things never end up going the way they are supposed to, it is important to embrace the challenges and adapt along with them discovering new opportunities that didn’t exist before.