You are here: American University School of Communication News Writing to Thrill with Christina Pamies


Writing to Thrill with Christina Pamies

From fears to features, discover this AU SOC alumna's journey in horror screenwriting.

By  | 

Jump into an especially thrilling conversation on Media in the Mix's latest episode with horror screenplay writer and SOC/MA '13 alumna, Christina Pamies. Known for having written The Girl from Mars, No Good Deed, and most recently, the feature Baghead (2023), currently screening internationally, Pamies’ knack for getting ideas from scrript to screen is hauntingly impressive.  

"It wasn't until I took the feature class at American that I realized that I could actually write a whole feature. It's daunting, I think, until you actually go ahead and do it," says Pamies.  

Pamies had always enjoyed scary stories and horror films for the thrills, but during a period of immense turmoil, she realized she could use horror to make sense of real-life challenges. "My father had passed away recently. I had had all this sort of upheaval within a short period of time. ... I think one of the reasons we turn to [horror] over and over again, is because it's a way that we can really process and explore real-world fears and real-world trauma," she explained. The result of this cathartic process was No Good Deed, the first script to get her noticed in the industry. 


Screenplays can be solitary work, but when Pamies started working on the upcoming movie Baghead she was part of a team. "This was my first real experience of getting to work with the director, having conversations with the producers, you know, having this sort of collaborative feel to the whole thing,"' she said. "It was really cool to have this be sort of a community effort of making something happen." 

Pamies acknowledges one of the greatest lessons of the industry: moving forward after rejection. It's a process of trial and error. "You really only need one great script," she said, to get your foot in the door. "Keep writing. The more you write, the better, the chances are that you're going to create that great script. And keep working on the script… I mean, it's not going to be great right out of the gate. So just keep rewriting it."

Listen to Media in the Mix on Youtube!

To hear more about how Pamies got to where she is, check out Media and the Mix’s most recent episode, Writing to Thrill!