100 Creatives 2014: Tiffany Heath, Filmmaker, Will Scare the Pants Off You
What She Does: Tiffany Heath doesn't look like she's possessed of the kind of darkness that can make a seasoned horror film reporter go turn on all the lights in the house and consider taking up day drinking. By her own admission she's a forty-something-year-old girl who lives in an old antebellum farmhouse on six acres of land with my chickens, husband, dogs, garden, and children. Mostly, she spends her days feeding all of the aforementioned people, animals, and vegetation, but in her spare moments you can find her at Agora shedding her Donna Reed guise and exploring deep darkness, gore and childhood trauma.
Heath recently completed writing, directing, producing, and starring in the film Spavine, for which you can watch the trailer above. Heath plays Darcy, a woman who sleepwalks through constant nightmares because she can't past the terrible child abuse inflicted on her by her mother. She and her therapist return to Darcy's abandoned homestead in an attempt to face her demons, but it turns out the demons are not going down without a fight. This is one film you're going to want to put on your to-watch list.
Why She Likes It: "At my core, I am a writer. As isolating as that process is, crafting the story is the most fulfilling part of the creative endeavor to me. I feel a particularly strong pull to this part of the art as it is the most critical and the aspect that tends to get the least attention and emphasis in the indie film world."
What Inspires Her: Out on her land Heath gets to commune with nature. Unlike most of the artists that say that nature inspires them, Heath embraces the full life cycle. She likes to watch things grow, but she is also fascinated by the way things decay and die. Bones fascinate her in particular, and you can see how the concepts of growth and rot duel in her finished work.
She also draws strongly from artists that she likes. These include Edward Gorey, David Fincher, Charles Baudelaire, Park Chan-Wook, John Coltrane, Christopher Nolan, Socrates, Arthur Rimbaud, and Balthus. The films that have stayed with her are Fight Club, Old Boy, True Romance, American Psycho, Seven and Bullhead.
If Not This, Then What: "I'd be a shrimp boat captain. I have a tremendous fear and awe of the sea. I feel most alive when I'm sweating and doing something physical so pulling in the nets would be my bliss."
(Author's Note: Officially the weirdest answer to this question I have ever received.)
If Not Here, Then Where: Heath wants either her 100-year-old farmhouse out in Crosby or a loft minutes from downtown Houston. As long as she has either of those things to connect her to what she loves best she's happy. No suburbs, thank you very much.
What's Next: "I'm thrilled with the response I've been getting from distributors for my latest terror feature Spavine. I can't wait to hit the festival circuit and see how an audience responds to my throwback to the Hitchcock thriller meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre."
More Creatives for 2014
(In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).
Jonathan Pidcock, Jewelry Maker
Mallory Bechtel, actor, singer, dancer
Janine Hughes, visual artist
Nyssa Juneau, artist
John Merritt, artist
Leslie Scates, choreographer and dance educator
Denise O'Neal, producer, director, playwright
Jason Poland, cartoonist
Courtney Sandifer, filmmaker, actor, writer
Lloyd Gite, gallery owner
Henry Yau, The Children's Museum of Houston's publicity and promotions guru
Angeli Pidcock, fantasy writer and mentor
Jennifer Mathieu, author
Scott Chitwood, writer
Anat Ronen, urban artist
Amber Galloway Gallego, rockstar and sign language interpreter
Michael Weems, playwright
Lane Montoya, artist
Jordan Simpson, SLAM poet
Joey & Jaime, designers
Suzi Taylor, photographer
Ashton Miyako, dressmaker
T. Smith, artistLindsay Finnen, photographer
Kaitlyn Stanley, tattoo artist
Eleazar Galindo Navarro, video game maker
Kate de Para, textile and clothing designer
Shawn Swanner, video game painter
Andy Gonzales, painter
Chris Foreman, comic book sketcher
Theresa DiMenno, photographer
Jessica E. Jones, opera singer
Atseko Factor, actor
John Pluecker, writer, poet and language justice worker
Ricky Ortiz, painter, tattoo artist
Rabēa Ballin, artist
David Wald, actor
Lisa E. Harris, performing and visual artist
Stephanie Todd Wong, executive director of Dance Source Houston
Pamela Fagan Hutchins, novelist
Heather Gordy, artist
Mark Nasso, comic artist
Marian Szczepanski, novelist
Jonathan Blake, fashion designer
Doni Langlois, interior designer
Kat Denson, dancer
Blame the Comic, comedian
Margaret Menchaca Alvarez, artist
Jacquelyne Jay Boe, dancer
Rene Fernandez, painter
Teresa Chapman, choreographer and dancer