Writer/director/editor Vera Drew was recently given the opportunity to lend her “dark, weird, and kitschy” editing style to Sacha Baron Cohen’s Who Is America. The satirical comedy series from Showtime follows various Cohen characters as he speaks with individuals about culture and the current political climate. The series is nominated for three Emmys, including Outstanding Picture Editing For Variety Program, which marks Drew’s first nomination. 

Drew’s diverse background in filmmaking has allowed her to thrive as an editor, director, and writer. Her skills in each medium informs the others, which makes her a well-rounded and sought-after talent. She was able to rise quickly in the business while working with Tim and Eric’s Abso Lutely Productions, and has continued to work on projects such as The Eric Andre Show, Check It Out with Steve Brule, and other offbeat Adult Swim comedies.

/Film had the opportunity to speak with Drew about her first Emmy nomination as well as her recent decision to publicly come out as trans. Drew opens up about how coming out affected her already-established place in the industry, and why it only made her work more authentic. From her her enticing horror ideas to exciting upcoming projects, here’s a glimpse at Vera Drew’s past, present, and future in Hollywood…

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When you’ve attended enough cons, you get used to the hustle and bustle of the nerd world and the inescapable crowds and unnecessary purchases. However, even the biggest con downsides don’t compare to the overall rush and fun of the experience.

I had been to New York Comic-Con before, but this was my first time attending multiple days. I learned a lot about how to navigate the event and experience as much as possible. It is, of course, beyond impossible to do everything, but the more you go, the easier it becomes to create a fulfilling schedule.

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November 21, 2018 will mark ten years since the first Twilight movie was released in theaters. At that time, I was a vampire-obsessed college freshman who had already read the books twice and an embarrassing number of posters lined the walls of my dorm room (Team Jacob!).

I’ve always been fully aware of the problematic aspects of the story (Edward is incredibly controlling and Bella is more than willing to give up every aspect of her life to be with him), but when you don’t take the franchise too seriously, you’re able to enjoy the first film for exactly what it is: a hilarious and entertaining movie that deserves a spot in film history.

While attending New York Comic Con, one of my top priorities was to see the Twilight anniversary panel. I have no shame in admitting that I still watch this movie at least once a year. It’s incredibly fun with a crowd of people, especially when they range from true fans to people who just want to have a good laugh. The NYCC panel was mainly filled with the former, and I’m proud to announce that the energy of the fans is still extremely palpable.

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What We Do in the Shadows TV Show

Back in 2014, New Zealand’s top funny men, Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, directed a weird little movie that would soon become one of the most revered mockumentaries, comedies, and vampire films of all time. What We Do In The Shadows’  hilarity and uniqueness made it ripe for an expanded universe, so the creators decided to look past the vampires of Wellington, NZ and move over to the everyday lives of vampire roommates living in Staten Island, New York for a new FX TV show.

And ay New York Comic-Con over the weekend, we were able to watch the pilot of the new American spin-off series.

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It’s Time to Rethink How We Review Comedy

(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, political, and opinionated about anything and everything. In this edition: comedy is the most subjective genre and we should be more aware of that when we review it.)

Bold statement coming at you: we need to rethink the way we review comedic films. I know this sounds odd coming from someone who literally survives off of being allowed to have entertainment opinions (thanks, internet), but comedy is the most subjective genre, and we need to start treating it as such. When it comes to movies, the blanket hate for certain comedies is shocking. 

If you’re wondering what qualifies me to have these opinions, I have a history with comedy. For nine years, I had my hands in all types: I did stand-up, improv, sketch, wrote three comedic plays, and helped run a comedy theatre in Chicago. Personally, I think capturing comedy onscreen is harder than capturing it onstage, and I’m going to tackle this through the lens of experience. 

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Even in 2018, Filmgoers Are in the Thrall of Vampires

vampire movies in 2018

Why are people so obsessed with vampires? The mythical creatures have been gracing our screens since the dawn of cinema, with 1922’s Nosferatu setting a gold standard. Much like vampires themselves, their film depictions don’t seem to have an expiration.

When you think of vampires, you probably think of horror, but the beauty of these immortal beings is they can be placed within any genre. They started out as horror characters, and while there will always be a scary aspect to them (their number one trait is drinking blood, after all), writers have been pushing the vampire boundary for some time.

Romance, comedy, young adult, action, cartoons, drama, and even the occasional art house indie, vampires are ripe for new and creative content. Since the vampire formula is so easily bendable, it’s a subject that doesn’t seem to run out of steam.

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Sorry for Your Loss Review

With each passing day, Facebook moves farther away from its long stint as the premiere social media platform. Millennials have taken to Instagram and Twitter while Gen Z-ers use Snapchat and apps most of us haven’t even heard of yet.

It’s no secret Facebook was throwing a Hail Mary when they announced the launch of Facebook Watch, the site’s very own video-on-demand service. No one took this move very seriously, if they even heard about it at all, but in a surprising turn of events, the folks at Facebook have actually made a show worth your time.

The first four episodes of Facebook Watch’s original show Sorry For Your Loss were released on Tuesday and it’s an undeniable game-changer. In a unique move, each episode is only thirty minutes. While this is rare for a drama, it allows the show to move at a digestible pace, keeping you from feeling overwhelmed by the intense subject matter. But that’s not the only reason to watch. Read More »

Agents of SHIELD Appreciation

Hello, my name is Jamie and I’m here to convince you to watch Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It’s not an exaggeration when I say this is the best and most criminally underrated show on network television. My hope is that if you clicked this article, you’ve never seen the show or gave up on it way too early. My other hope is that I can convince you to give it another shot.

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Romantic comedies have been a storytelling staple ever since Shakespeare introduced the world to Benedick and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, but the genre really found its footing in film with It Happened One Night in 1934. Frank Capra’s simple tale of a runaway heiress (Claudette Colbert) and an ambitious reporter (Clark Gable) was the first of only three features in history to sweep the Academy Awards in all major categories.

Clearly, a humorous spin on a romantic story resonated with audiences and the genre continued to thrive through the days of Hepburn and Monroe. However, the modern rom-com we know and love today really found its stride in 1989 with Rob Reiner’s When Harry Met Sally. Nora Ephron, the godmother of rom-com writing, asked one simple question in her script, “Can a man and a woman just be friends?” and an entire era was born.

From ’89 to ’09, the cinemas were booming with clumsy, career-obsessed women who found a love they weren’t even looking for by simply bumping into an unsuspecting man with an alarmingly handsome face. For two whole decades, we were blessed with Hanks and Ryan, Julia Roberts and whoever, Nancy Meyers vehicles, and the firm affirmation that Christmas was the most romantic time of year.

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the book that inspired die hard

(This week marks the 30th anniversary of Die Hard, arguably the greatest action movie of all time. To celebrate, /Film is exploring the film from every angle with a series of articles. Today: a look back at the 1979 novel that inspired the film.)

There are few movies that bring me pure, unadulterated joy the way John McTiernan’s Die Hard brings me joy. Recently, I flew from New York to Los Angeles for the first time and as I looked around the Los Angeles airport, I couldn’t help but shake my head and say “California” with pure disdain. In truth, I have no beef with the state, but I had just traveled the same route that John McClane took nearly 30 years earlier and I wasn’t going to miss my opportunity of recreation.

In fact, the purpose of this trip was to celebrate my birthday with a Die Hard drinking game party. I visited Fox Plaza (the real Nakatomi Plaza), soaked in the lobby (which looks similar despite the Peet’s Coffee), and stole a rock from the courtyard as a souvenir (don’t report me).

After 30 years, Die Hard remains the best and most quintessential action film of all time. If you hold this movie close to your heart, well, welcome to the party, pal. But the film began its life as something very different: a 1979 thriller novel called Nothing Lasts Forever.

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