Emily Hagins had been a cinephile since age 7 and at the age of 12 was determined to make the leap to feature-length director with Pathogen, an original zombie film she penned herself. Growing up in Austin, TX, a hotbed for DIY film-making, she has aww-inspiring parents who, with some mild amusement and exhaustive determination to help her succeed, support her creative endeavors.
As with most film-making ventures, the real antagonist in Emily's story, told in the documentary Zombie Girl, is life itself. The bevy of adult mentors who have advised and tutored her along the way are quick to point out not that she presents any great level of innate talent for film-making but that her determination and enthusiasm (and preternatural gift to network) is hard not to cheer for. But emphasizing the need for organization and preparation and the danger of getting caught up in frustrations is a difficult message to convey to film-makers twice Emily's age. As the obstacles begin to pile up (stars being grounded, falling behind on homework and ceaseless technical problems), we see that the greatest barrier to filmmaking may be finding the wherewithall to finish a project at all.
Read the rest of my review at Greencine.