Your average 13-year-old girl these days is probably listening to One Direction, habitually checking her social media accounts, obsessing over what to wear to school, and probably figuring out how boys and bras fit into her life. But she is definitely not directing a blood-splattered slasher movie, as is the case with 13-year-old South Jersey girl Emily DiPrimio.
“I’m not your normal 13-year-old girl,” explains the home-schooled DiPrimio in a brilliant fundraising commercial for Carver, the horror film she’s co-directing with her father, Ron DiPrimio, a network engineer by day. (Watch the full commercial below).
“Don’t get me wrong,” she adds. “I still did things most little girls did.”
I played with Barbies.
Cut to a scene of her using Barbie dolls to reenact a climactic murder scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.
I had tea parties.
Cut to a scene of a young version of the director sipping Earl Grey with Michael and Jason from Halloween and Friday the 13th, respectively.
And I always find time to hang out with my friends.
Cut to a scene of her “friends”, inspired by the haunting twin girls in The Shining, saying, “Come play with us Emily… forever and ever and ever.”
The commercial appears on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, where the DiPrimios are trying to raise $25,000 to fund the production of the film, which they promise will be a throwback to the classic — or at least modern classic — days of horror. “My favorite movies of all time are Psycho and Carrie,” she tells me.
As of press time, donors have pledged over $6,000 of the goal, with the fund drive ending on October 4th. If the filmmakers don’t get the full $25,000 by that deadline, they don’t get a penny. That’s just the way Kickstarter works.
Donate $200, and you get a hand drawn comic book that depicts you getting killed by “Carver”, the bloodthirsty lead character. If you have $2,500 to spend, you’ll appear onscreen in the movie, the recipient of “a violent, bloody death.” Double that donation, and you can write your own death scene. How wonderful.
When word of the Kickstarter campaign got out earlier this month, not everyone was happy about it.
In online comments and emails, some complained that Emily was just being used by her father to raise money.
“They were saying that I’m pimping my daughter,” says Ron, 41, who has dabbled in horror movie production over the years. “But she wrote that Kickstarter script by herself, and we wrote the screenplay together. The truth is that she is more talented than me by leaps and bounds.”
And others told Emily and her father that they were destined for Hell.
“They feel that a 13-year-old girl making a horror film is an outrage,” Ron says. “That I am the worst father in the world and that I should have my daughter taken away. Meanwhile, other 13-year-olds are twerking like Miley or playing Grand Theft Auto 5. All she wants to do is make a horror movie.”
“The religious stuff bothers me, because I am a Christian,” explains Emily, an only child. “They say that I am being sinful, and that is very upsetting. I just want to make a good, character-driven, suspenseful horror movie.”
Emily says that she hopes to pursue film as a career and that it is her “passion.” In the meantime, when she’s not working on Carver, she’s content to listen to music (she likes Michael Buble, the Beatles and Panic! at the Disco), hang out with her friends, and do science experiments.
But no boys.
“I’m not dating yet,” she says. “I think my dad would kill anyone who came near me.”
Watch the Kickstarter video for Carver: