The world of fandom has seen stars rise out from its midst. Names such as Quentin Tarantino and Duncan Jones immediately spring to mind. It is a risky and sometimes foolhardy venture to make a prediction on whom the next talented director or writer may be that will ascend from fandom. This Examiner.com columnist introduces you to the rising phenom known as Lyz Reblin.
When you realize that an individual cannot be easily classified, then you know you are in the presence of a unique and wondrous person. As the interview commenced, Lyz Reblin immediately and effortlessly demonstrated that. She takes a swan dive headfirst into the interview pool and states, "I am a master student at the University of Texas at Austin in their media studies program. It means I get to watch films, television and play games and call it all research!" Reblin continues, "my background is in screenwriting. I went to Chapman University in Orange County to go into film. I also have an English minor and that is sort of where I came up with this combination of theory and production. Whenever I do a screenplay, I am also studying it theoretically and am using my latest project as a case study for Master's program." Most would be satisfied with that alone, but Lyz continues to proudly juggle all of the hats she wears. Reblin illustrates, "I have also done freelance journalism for the past five years. I have been doing comic reviews for Ain't It Cool News for three years now. I am part of a site that was created by my Chapman University buddies called, The 8th Circuit where I do podcasts, reviews and have been able to go to the Wonder-Cons, Comic-Cons and film premieres and meet a lot of great people in genre film, horror, science fiction, fantasy-what have you!" Lyz settles for a label, albeit reluctantly! Reblin comments, "the best description would be writer, but it depends on what time of day it is and what I am writing!"
To be a writer one must indulge your own imagination and your ability to be inventive. Lyz Reblin is very much aware of these requirements and she has coined an inventive adjective that describes her philosophy and pedigree. Lyz happily clarifies and recites a clever mantra. She begins, "Adore aliens. Mad about monsters. Fan of the fang. Zeal for zombies. Fan Grrls are fearless in their appreciation for horror, fantasy and science fiction. We've got passion, attitude and we bite back at anyone who questions our loyalty in regards to the genre that we love! This is by no means a call to arms. The term Fan Grrls properly spelled has such a negative connotation these days and it is much easier to coin a new phrase instead of re-appropriating it. I think people overlook how important denotation and connotation actually are. The point of doing Fan Grrl with the spelling is because there is an attitude that it gives off. What I wanted to do is to give a new terminology to fight off some of those negative stereotypes." Reblin continues with rising passion and conviction in her voice. She exclaims, "I want to see other Fan Grrls go out and make something-be it a movie, a book or a website. Get your voices out there! I want women to fight back against their under-appreciation by filling the gaps instead of pointing them out!"
Fans often complain about mainstream Hollywood's interpretation of the collective genres of science fiction, horror and fantasy. The worry is that the mainstream is diluting these diverse genres by producing epic films that merely pay lip service by utilizing the most obvious and sometimes superficial aspects of the genre. Lyz Reblin has another viewpoint. Lyz speaks, "the argument is that when the market gets saturated you will not have true science fiction or horror. Now just because something hits the mainstream, this will actually give a chance for the smaller things. Studios are not willing to finance something in the genre or independent unless they can prove there is an audience out there. The mainstream and watered down stuff is an indicator in some ways. you can complain all you want on how this isn't true science fiction or horror, but without the mainstream you won't get the other stuff!"
Lyz has applied what she has learned in higher education to the film industry beginning with her work as an intern for the film, Chastity Bites. Reblin speaks, "that was a great project and a wonderful introduction to how film-making works! I met the director, John V. Knowles and his wife and screenwriter, Lotti Pharriss Knowles at Vampcon. They told me about this project they were working on and a year later, I just happened to be taking a semester off of school-they finally got funding and asked me to intern on it!" Lyz continues, "I definitely owe the Knowles a lot in regards to how I view horror and how I play horror because of them giving me actual film experience."
It is her past experience, intelligence and gravitas that has paved the way for her current project that is sure to cause more than a stir for fans. The project known as Mt. Baldy is being developed as a possible replacement for the void that will be left when True Blood leaves HBO in 2014. Lyz Reblin excitedly begins, "Mt. Baldy is essentially a story about a sixteen year old girl who moves from Texas to Mt. Baldy in Southern California with her Dad and younger brother. A few weeks into the school year there is a mysterious murder. You get a very Twin Peaks like style going on and she is caught in the middle of all of this. You just know there is something more to this murder."
Lyz is very well aware that you need to attract an audience before any material is considered for television. Reblin explains, "we are looking to shop the project around in February as a comic book. As a writer for Ain't It Cool News, I have covered horror comics and have seen that it is a great way to build a fan base going into the television show. It also allows you to explore different story lines, so with Mt. Baldy it is more about the world than how we are going to present it. It is always about building momentum. You build your audience and get them to love it, so you can have an even bigger audience for your television show."
The last word belongs to Lyz Reblin of which this columnist is quite certain will not be her final word! Lyz concludes, "I am just trying to get a new way of thinking going about. I hope it can become a product in itself whether it is a company or a t-shirt! I just want people to be proud of their own fandom and hopefully, Fan Grrls is the way it all happens."