In this week’s Legion of Leia profile of women in Sci-Fi we talk to producer M. Elizabeth Hughes. She worked on two of the best web series out there; The Guild, starring Felicia Day and Jane Espenson and Brad Bell’s Husbands, which just aired its third season on the CW Seed. She has credits on the award-winning Short Term 12, Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, In Your Eyes and Save the Date. She’s also a huge supporter of fan fiction and she has some great recommendations for us!
Legion of Leia: Tell us a little about what you do as a producer and how you got started.
M. Elizabeth Hughes: I produced my first feature film called Herpes Boy in 2008 about an internet star with an unfortunate birthmark. It’s a really sweet family comedy. It was a tiny budget, so we really had to do everything ourselves. It was the best way for me to learn how to do lots of different things. Although the budgets and projects have grown over the years, I still do basically the same things. I create and manage a budget and schedule, I hire crew, secure vendors, locations, etc. Basically everything logistical it takes to make a project come together.
Legion of Leia: What do you think it means to be part of this amazing group of women in sci-fi?
M. Elizabeth Hughes: Thrilled! One of the many amazing things about the internet is that people from all walks of life can connect over something they love and believe in. I definitely want women to be better represented in sci-fi, but I don’t think it stops there. We should be better represented in all genres, and things like this are what brings that problem to other people’s attention.
Legion of Leia: What was the first fantasy or sci-fi character you connected with as a kid?
M. Elizabeth Hughes: Sci-Fi has been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember. I was raised on Star Trek and Star Wars. I read the Dune series for the first time when I was 12. I definitely connected with Princess Leia – I don’t know what young girl wouldn’t. She’s so badass and looks good doing it – and she doesn’t need saving. I also loved Tasha Yar and was devastated when she died. I loved that Tasha was Chief of Security and that Star Trek put a woman in that role. She could definitely handle herself.
Legion of Leia: I know you love fan fiction. Which ones do you think we should be reading?
M. Elizabeth Hughes: I love fan fiction. I’ve read so many over the years, but there are two series that I go back and re-read often. One is from the Harry Potter fandom. The series is called Paradigm of Uncertainty by Lori. http://www.fictionalley.org/authors/lori/TPOU.html It’s so well-written and interesting. It’s an AU story about the characters 9 years after graduating from Hogwarts. The other series is from the Gundam Wing fandom. The series is called The Complicated Arc by Lilias and it can be read here:http://gwaddiction.com/ I love Gundam Wing, and this series features my three favorite characters in their “complicated” relationships. It takes place post series.
My favorite website for fan fiction currently is Archive of Our Own. Basically every fandom is represented, and there is tons to choose from.
Legion of Leia: What projects are you working on right now?
M. Elizabeth Hughes: Right now I’m working with Jay Bushman on HASHTAG HAMLET, which is a multi-platform web series that radically modernizes Shakespeare’s most famous play as a social media thriller. With his father murdered, his throne usurped, and his people flooding the streets to demand freedom, Hamlet must find a way to revenge his father’s murder and restore hope to nation – while his every move is watched and documented by over social media. We went to the Sundance New Frontier Story Labs last October, and we’re currently honing the scripts.
You can follow M. Elizabeth Hughes on Twitter @OMGmelizabeth.