This is the story of one filmmaker’s journey of bringing her first indie horror feature film to life.
It’s quite possible that if you’re an independent filmmaker too, you’ll find this interesting. Or, if you like to keep up with what Manon gets up to - this is probably the best way to do it.
Grim Reeper Diaries appears every other week.
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Who is Manon de Reeper?
Horror filmmaker, pirate, nomad.
Born on September 2, 1989 in Amersfoort, The Netherlands, Manon was never one to think much of what other people expected of her and going against the grain was instilled in her from an early age - exemplified by the fact that she wanted to be a pirate growing up.
After acquiring her graduate and postgraduate degrees in Clinical Psychology and Global Criminology in 2013, she, her husband and their cat Poh moved to Perth, Australia in 2014. There, she founded online independent film magazine Film Inquiry. She served as Editor in Chief until May of 2020.
In late 2017, they packed up all their stuff and cat once more, and moved to Houston, TX, USA. At this point Manon had shifted her focus to making movies. She figured now that she had finished one feature screenplay - a period drama/psychological thriller - that script was sure to sell and be brought to life in no time.
A few years of harsh reality later during which she wrote more features and pilots, she did end up landing a few jobs as a screenwriter for hire. Still, there were no big deals, and none of her work had been produced up until that point. Meanwhile, Manon also got a good taste of what it is like to live in the United States as a biracial immigrant - and what anti-Black racism is. Ah, the American Dream.
Then, the pandemic happened. She figured: if the world was going to end, the only thing left to do was to direct a short film. And so she did - together with her producer Anna Tran, they shot psychological horror short, UNCONTROL, in October 2020, the height of COVID times. No one got sick, and they made an exceptional little film. At the same time, she also helped Hollywood non-profit Women of Color Unite launch their revolutionary #Startwith8 mentorship program, which she would run for the next two years.
In November 2020, she and her husband packed up once more and moved onto a sailboat in the Caribbean, St. Lucia to be precise. Spending the next 1.5 years of the pandemic floating around, traveling the Windward Islands, Manon was reinspired and reinvigorated - and brought her childhood wish of being a pirate to life.
In 2023 Manon is back in the US, with all her belongings reduced to a suitcase and a backpack, continuing nomad life on land. She’s working hard towards bringing her first feature film to life: DETAIN ME, a psychological horror, with her partner Anna Tran under their banner of Deviant Minds Productions.
P.S. Grim Reeper was Manon’s roller derby name in a dark past - and yes, in case you’re wondering, De Reeper is her real name.
Why this Newsletter?
This newslwetter is for everyone who’d like to stay in the loop with Manon’s adventures whether it’s filmmaking or travels.
If there’s anything she wants you to take away from this newsletter, it’s that whatever prescribed rules there are to “entering Hollywood” or “breaking in”, they are absolutely pointless.
What to expect:
Thoughts on filmmaking and the entertainment industry, from the perspective of a WOC immigrant without a pre-existing network in the US
Process of bringing her first feature film to life (including status updates)
Travel, cat pics, favorites, etc etc.
Find Manon on Social Media
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