Mini MUFF Profile: Shannon Hanmer
Film: Not Til We’re Married
October: the month of blood, werewolves, and all things weird and creepy (you know how that old saying goes). We already had the blood and werewolves covered with our October feature, Ginger Snaps, so all that was left was to find the weirdest, creepiest thing that we could for Mini MUFF. We found it in the fantastic local short film Not Til We’re Married, directed by Shannon Hanmer.
Not Til We’re Married has screened at local genre festival Toronto After Dark, and has been called “hilariously uncomfortable”, “awkwardly hilarious and somewhat unsettling”, and “a really funny take on dysfunctional online dating”. Get to know the woman behind this amazing film, Toronto-based filmmaker Shannon Hanmer!
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU GOT INVOLVED WITH FILMMAKING.
Shannon Hanmer: I am a Toronto-based director/producer and I program short films for a couple of film festivals. I always secretly wanted to be a filmmaker growing up, but I thought it was foolish having such grand dreams. Then I grew up and realized everything is terrible, so I might as well do what I love. I love genre films. So, that's what I do.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT NOT TIL WE’RE MARRIED.
SH: I made Not Til We’re Married about four years ago just for fun. I hadn't made a project of my own in a while and I wanted to get back into production and practice editing. My buddy Chris Nash had a few little scripts kicking around and I liked this one a lot—it reminded me of my experience with my first boyfriend. It really captured that feeling of when you really like someone, but you are not attracted to them. You don't want to be shallow, so you stick it out, which causes more harm than good. I made this film for about $250, which is ridiculous, but everyone had fun.
TELL US ABOUT WHY YOU ARE A FEMINIST AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT TO YOUR FILMMAKING.
SH: Why am I a feminist? That's like asking why I don't murder people. To NOT believe that men and women should be treated equal economically, professionally, and socially is just archaic. I am baffled that this is still an issue in this country.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE WOMEN WORKING IN THE FILM INDUSTRY?
SH: I grew up on a steady diet of James Cameron films. Aliens and The Terminator are still in my top five. I obviously loved the female characters, but I was also quite aware of producer Gale Anne Hurd. I followed her career and I think she makes great choices as a producer. I'd say I also like Kathryn Bigalow, but then my list is just James Cameron’s exes… and really I just like Point Break and Near Dark anyway.
IF A MOVIE ABOUT YOUR LIFE WAS CAST/CREATED, WHO WOULD STAR AS YOU AND WHAT GENRE WOULD IT BE?
SH: Fantasy answer: If someone were to make a movie about my life it would be a black comedy starring Bette Davis, Tallulah Bankhead, and Sissy Spacek. Michael Biehn would make an appearance. Tim Curry would kill everybody. They'd call it "Beans at Midnight".
WHAT'S THE BEST ADVICE ABOUT FILMMAKING YOU'VE EVER RECEIVED?
SH: In film school I asked Bruce McDonald how to improve at directing actors because, at the time, they didn't respond to my instructions to “just act good”. He simply said, “learn to act”. It really helped. Once you learn their language it's much easier to communicate with them.
WHO IS THE BEST/SUPERIOR BATMAN?
SH: Michael Keaton is my Batman, but I prefer the animated series overall. I hate George Clooney. Not forgiven.
PUT TOGETHER YOUR DREAM TEAM (WITH YOU IN ONE OF THE ROLES, OBVS!)
SH: Director: me
Producer: Gale Anne Hurd
Cinematographer: Ellen Curas
Starring: Holly Hunter, Maika Monroe, Catherine O'hara, Katee Sackhoff, Gillian Anderson, Cher, and Diane Weist as the den mother, and Rick Moranis as the cranky ol' dean.
and it would be called 'The Best Friends Club: No Chers Allowed!'.
WHAT'S YOUR GO-TO JAM?
SH: Stevie Nicks, Wanda Jackson, Patsy Cline are my fav lady singers, The Birthday Massacre’s Chibi is a great singer too!
WHAT MALE POP CULTURE ICON OR MOVIE/TV CHARACTER ARE YOU DREAMING WOULD GET A GENDER-SWAP?
SH: Back in high school my friend and I wanted to do a stage play with a female cast of Reservoir Dogs but set during prom. It was complicated.
RECOMMEND ONE #MUFFAPPROVED FILM FOR OUR BLOG READERS:
SH: All About Eve, Aliens, and Gone With The Wind have my favourite female characters in them. Check them out f you haven't seen them!
The Mini MUFF Society is our short film program. We aim to screen at least one local short film at each of our monthly events. You know, because we have a lot of amazing female talent in Toronto and we want to celebrate it! Learn more here!