From the Archives: Interview: Hanna Hamilton, director/producer of Secret Lover

From the Archives: Interview: Hanna Hamilton, director/producer of Secret Lover

In the interest of getting “hard” copies of my work under one roof, I plan to spend the next few weeks posting the entire archive of my film journalism here on ScullyVision. With due respect to the many publications I’ve written for, the internet remains quite temporary, and I’d hate to see any of my work disappear for digital reasons. As such, this gargantuan project must begin! I don’t want to do it. I hate doing it. But it needs to be done. Please note that my opinions, like everyone’s, have changed a LOT since I started, so many of these reviews will only represent a snapshot in time. Objectivity has absolutely no place in film criticism, at least not how I do it. 

Without further ado, I present to you: FROM THE ARCHIVES.
Originally posted on Cinema76.

Much in the same way that John Waters’ Hairspray has become synonymous with Baltimore, Hanna Hamilton wants to give Philadelphia its very own rock and roll musical, and with the launch of her crowdfunding campaign, you can a part of it! Production on Secret Lover will take place in Philadelphia, with an all-Philadelphian cast and crew, and since it’s a film musical and film musicals are basically the greatest thing in the world YOU SHOULD GET EXCITED. To help you get excited, Hanna has given Cinedelphia the inside scoop on Secret Lover, as well as how you can be a part of what should be Philadelphia history. Ya know, since Rocky: The Musical didn’t quite take off.


– When you say “Rock ‘n’ Roll,” what era are you drawing from? Are there any specific musicians you are looking to channel?

The film is inspired by a few eras. The music and tone of the film definitely draw from a 50s rock n roll style. I think we are entering an era much like the 80s where people are getting nostalgic once again for music that is simple with real instruments, especially in an era of mostly computer genrated music in the mainstream. This 50s feel will then be juxtaposed with a vapor wave aesthetic that will be a more contemporary take on a very 80s look.

– Can you give us a peek at the story of your film?

Tag line: The internet has a virus and the bug is rock n roll! Sally and her band Secret Lover are the only rockers left in a dystopian vaporwave hellscape. They’re trying to rip, rock and shake it up, but once you’re caught in the web things get sticky.

The story take place in a nihilistic future where films, music and books have been watered down into an endless stream of barely comprehensible memes. Where Netflix and chill has deteriorated into Netflix and chicken nuggets. It begins when the Internet gets a virus because of Secret Lover’s music and sends a rock ‘n’ roll hunk to break Sally’s heart. However nothing goes as planned as one by one, everyone gets sucked into the Internet.

– What was the catalyst for this idea?

I have been directing music videos for the last few years and booking shows at venues since high school. Music has always played a huge part of my life, so going from music videos to a feature length musical seemed like a natural progression. My interest has always been in rock n roll so when I’m thinking musical I look to Phantom of the ParadiseRock and Roll High SchoolHairspray or The Rocky Horror Picture Show. These are all amazing films featuring rocking music.


– Why Philadelphia? Are you from the area or is there something about the city that speaks to your film?

Yes! I’ve lived in Philadelphia for the past 6 years. I love the city and I love the music here. I’ve had the opportunity to direct music videos for a lot of awesome local Philly bands and these are the people I want to put in my musical. Obviously Secret Lover is from Massachusetts but the musical is going to feature a ton of Philly locals. In our promo video we have members of Sheer Mag, Void Vision, Amanda X, Cabbage, Vanillalord and more!!

– Can you give our readers some background on your work in film?

Like I’ve mentioned before I’ve mostly directed music videos, I’ve done videos for Banned Books, Hot Guts, Mumblr, Vanillalord and am currently working on one for Mannequin Pussy to be released this November. For these videos I direct, costume edit and do all the production design for every piece. I also work in wardrobe for features, commercials, live events and TV.

– What benefits can supporters expect when they donate?

The biggest benefit is making our film a reality! We need this funding because there are a lot of sets to build, equipment to rent, locations to secure, and costumes to make! People who donate will be not only supporting my vision but Philadelphia filmmaking and the local Philly music scene. Also if you donate on Indiegogo there are perks such as seeing an early realease of the film, a copy of the dvd and soundtrack, an invitation to the premiere, and more!

We are hosting a telethon/ concert to help raise money for our film at the Pharmacy on 18th and Wharton on November 21st. The show will have performances by Sun Organ, Mack Enemy, host and more to be announced. Additional information can be found on our Facebook page!

So there you have it! Be sure to check out the crowdfunding campaign here.

Also check out Hanna’s other work.

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