Jennifer Trudrung is a veteran to the Gallery WIHM event. She is a screenplay writer.

What motivates you to do what you do?

My love of horror is my main motivation. I’m a complete wuss. I don’t like driving fast, rollercoasters make me nauseous, my alcohol tolerance is a joke, so I get my thrills and adrenaline rush from watching, reading and creating horror. I get scared all the time. I always have. But now I get to experience those fears and go, “Wow, that would make a great film!” Writing horror, creating horror, and acting in horror is my safe place and escape. And my daughters are a huge motivation also. I want to be a role model. I want to show them you can find your voice and place and to move through your fears and be true to yourself.

Who is your favorite woman who does what you do?

Jennifer Kent. The Babadook just captured every fear imaginable as a parent/mother. It was horrifying yet so real.

If you had one wish for women in your space in 2020, what would it be?

I wish for you to have confidence, strength, and creative inspiration.

Share a practical tip for a woman who wants to do what you do.

My tip is to start small. I didn’t try to write a feature screenplay until I had written over 10 short screenplays. And I think writing a three to five page screenplay is an awesome place to start. Making a micro short film is more affordable and a more attainable goal. Plus, taking a screenplay writing class is huge and write what you know. And keep your story close to home. Make it your own story, your own unique vision.

Inspire someone who is not where they want to be in the industry yet.

Oh my. Being creative can be so full of rejection. What I have learned is to claim your power. However you can do this. I was getting lost in depression from rejection in acting. So I started writing the roles I wanted to act in and in the genre I wanted to be in. I found my power through writing and I found the fun of acting through writing again. For some creative people it may be trying out set design, or wardrobe, or writing like me, but it’s important to find something that can give you fulfillment and a sense of creative power.

What scares you?

Did I mention I am a total wuss? So much scares me. My basement scares me. My closet scares me. But being a mother of two daughters scares me the most because of the wholly encompassing amount of love I have for them. That kind of love creates the most vulnerable and potentially devastating emotions and of course joy. And quite honestly our current political situation scares me. I worry about our planet’s future with climate change, my daughter’s future and their rights, and my LGBTQ+ friend’s rights and just the seemingly loss of empathy in our current administration. Sorry to get political here but I’m at an age and a place in my life where I feel it is imperative to speak up and express my opinion. Fear is a powerful tool and I hope my fears will always push me in a direction that leads to supporting others and also making people think and have open discussions about such topics.

What projects do you have coming up?

I currently have two short films in the film festival circuit. “Here There Be Tygers” is a Stephen King dollar baby I adapted and produced plus star in alongside my youngest daughter. I had the incredible Polly Schattel on board as Director and Editor and an amazing cast and crew. Also “The Ebbing” is based an original screenplay that I wrote and produced along with the fantastic team of Dream Hatch Productions. Also, my first feature screenplay “The Bewailing” is in production right now and being produced by Suttle Film. It stars the incredible Dee Wallace and other amazing actors and I’m absolutely thrilled. It will be released by late this year. Last but not least I’m revising a feature horror comedy screenplay called “Spectrum” and I’ve started writing another horror feature screenplay loosely based on my childhood.

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