Our ongoing series of interviews with the Blumhouse crew continues, in which we share our collective passion for all things scary, discuss our personal and career histories in the genre we all know and love, reveal our favorite films, and maybe even share a few spooky stories.
Today we sit down for a Q&A with Wilson Garrett, the VP of Digital Content for Blumhouse.com.
How long have you been a horror fan, and what attracted you to the genre?
I’ve always been a big fan of genre fiction. Science fiction, super heroes, horror, etc. I remember watching ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK as a little kid and being absolutely terrified by the Zeebo the Clown episode. But I’ve always enjoyed being scared and the whole rollercoaster of fear and catharsis that comes with watching a really scary movie.
Tell us about your role at Blumhouse Productions.
I’m VP Digital Content at Red Seat Ventures, a startup that has partnered with Blumhouse Productions on Blumhouse.com. Basically, we work with brands and personalities to build digital businesses. I work with editorial teams across all of our clients on content and social strategy. With Blumhouse.com I work with the team on headlines, following story trends, Facebook strategy, and getting eyeballs on all the great content they’re doing.
What is your career background, training, school, etc?
I went to a small liberal arts college in Kentucky, Centre College. It’s a great school and the liberal arts background made me adaptable to a pretty unpredictable career path. I moved to New York and was an assistant at Premiere Networks, and then through connections I made there found myself as a personal assistant to talk radio host Glenn Beck. I was a terrible assistant – I ended up literally handcuffing myself without a key during the biggest live event the company ever held – but rather than fire me he moved me over to the website. I did that for a few years and took on more responsibility on the digital side of things when the company launched TheBlaze, which included a top 100 website and a streaming TV network.
A little over a year ago, some friends and co-workers at TheBlaze left to start Red Seat Ventures. Jason Blum was one of the first clients, and I joined up just in time to build Blumhouse.com.
What/who is your favorite monster, and why?
The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. GHOSTBUSTERS has been my favorite movie since I was a kid, and Stay-Puft is a supernatural destructive force incarnated into a walking, smiling, giant made of marshmallows.
What is your weapon of choice?
Hatchet. You can take out zombies in silence and it’s a pretty useful survival tool for any post-apocalyptic scenario.
List five of your favorite horror films.
CABIN IN THE WOODS
28 DAYS LATER
What was the first horror movie you ever saw, and what was your reaction?
I’m pretty sure someone put a NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET on when I was so little they didn’t think I would remember or know what was going on. But I remember having hazy nightmares for years with some of the death scenes and not really knowing what inspired them.
Describe one of your favorite Halloween costumes that you’ve worn.
Terminator Werewolf. It was a simple Terminator 2 long sleeved black shirt and a werewolf mask (that I still have), but I made up a fun backstory about a Terminator in the future being bit my a werewolf and becoming a cyborg-wolf super monster who was sent back in time to keep it from infecting the other Terminators.
Name one horror celebrity — dead or alive — whom you would love to meet, and tell us why.
Robert Kirkman, the creator of THE WALKING DEAD. I actually met him briefly years ago at a comic book shop in Lexington, KY but was too nervous to talk to him and just handed over a copy of a single issue of a comic book for him to sign.
Beyond just the massive success of THE WALKING DEAD comic book and TV show, which are among my favorites in both mediums, Kirkman really paved the way for the great creator-owned comic books being published today by Image Comics, where he’s a partner. He delivered a manifesto in 2008 encouraging creators to do creator-owned work, which seemed crazy at the time as THE WALKING DEAD seemed to be an anomaly. But now some of my favorite comics come from Image, including SAGA, SEX CRIMINALS, and THE WICKED + THE DIVINE.
I doubt any of those comics would exist today without Kirkman showing that creators could be successful doing their own thing and not just writing Marvel or DC characters.
I’ve also heard him describe some big plans for digital storytelling and I think picking his brain on that topic as well as the importance of creators controlling their stories and their connection with the audience would be a lot of fun.
Please recommend a recent horror film that you saw and really enjoyed.
My wife hates horror movies so I don’t get to watch them as much I used to. She went out of town a few weeks ago and I finally got to watch THE CONJURING. It took me three hours and quite a bit of bourbon to get through as I had to keep pausing it because it was freaking me out so much. But it was a really fun, visceral experience watching that at home alone and then looking over my shoulder for the rest of the night. I spent the next couple of days going down the internet rabbit hole on Ed and Lorraine Warren too.