Uncork’d Entertainment is a leading distributor of films and media in the horror, thriller and suspense genres and one of their newest releases is "The Evil Gene" which follows FBI Agent Griff Krenshaw who is sent to investigate a top-secret prison and research facility where the U.S. government has contained inmates who possess an "evil gene.” As Agent Griff looks into the suspicious death of the facility’s head researcher, he realizes that there is an evil force present in the prison--but it's not human. Recently screenwriter Kathryn F. Taylor spoke about this film which is her first produced screenplay and her experiences in the entertainment industry in general. 

Influences         

Blasting News (BN): What inspired you to become a writer and director? 

Kathryn F. Taylor (KFT): Both writing and directing are forms of storytelling.

Problems can arise when the screenwriter and the director don’t see the story the same way. I came to the director’s chair as a way to tell a story I had written in the way I originally intended it.

BN: How did “The Evil Gene” come about?

KFT: I got the idea for the script after seeing a news article about research the University of Connecticut was conducting on a DNA sample taken from Sandy Hook killer Adam Lanza.

I thought the scientific research being conducted on genetic links to violent behaviour was very intriguing and thought about how we might react as a society if there was a definitive genetic predictor for violence. Would we lock people up just for having the gene? How hard would we look for a cure? Would the people who had the gene be treated as pariahs? After finishing the script, I shopped it around a little before sending it to Giulia Prenna (one of the two producers on the film).

She liked the idea and came on board and the project just sort of snowballed from there. 

BN: Do you have to be a horror fan to make a horror movie? 

KFT: I think that you have to understand the different subgenres of horror – a torture flicks is a very different animal than a possession flick, for example – and it definitely helps if you’re a fan of the subgenre. There’s a saying in the film world, that audiences want “the same, but different.” Basically, you need to know the standard emotional beats and tropes that audiences expect to see in your subgenre, but need to deliver them in a fresh way with a twist or two that audiences haven’t seen before.

BN: What has been the best part of working in the movie industry?

KFT: Shooting “The Evil Gene”! I had an amazing cast and crew with me for the journey. Sometimes you hear about films where people didn’t get along on set or there was a lot of behind-the-scenes drama. That was not this film at all. We really had a small family going and working with such talented people was a-dream-come-true.

Aspirations 

BN: Where do you hope to be in ten years?

KFT: I’m sure that I will get another script or two into production and I want to direct again but it’s sometimes difficult to get that chance. The future is impossible to predict but I’ll still be telling stories!

BN: Are there any upcoming projects that you want to mention? 

KFT: I have a Christian action-thriller script called “The Lion’s Den.” It won a big screenwriting prize a couple of years ago and several major studios agreed to consider it.

I got some very sweet and kindly-worded rejection letters signed by industry titans like James Gianopulos at Twentieth Century-Fox and Jeffrey Katzenberg at Dreamworks. A fellow screenwriter asked me once if winning a major screenwriting prize had changed my career trajectory at all and I told him, “No, but it has gotten me rejected by a higher class of producer than I’m used to.” That’s just how it goes in the screenwriting world. You just have to keep trying and not get discouraged.

BN: What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring writers/directors?

KFT: If you write an amazing script, direct it. If it can be shot on a low budget, start putting the money together yourself.

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