Women in Horror Month_Debra Hill_Featured_1200x630

WiHM: Debra Hill

Born November 10, 1950 in Haddonfield, New Jersey, Hill grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her career in film began in 1975 when she became a production assistant on adventure documentaries and worked her way through many roles, including script supervisor and second unit director. That same year, she worked with Carpenter on Assault on Precinct 13 as script supervisor and assistant editor. It was at this time that their professional and personal relationships formed.

She and Carpenter co-wrote Halloween in 1978, and later co-wrote the sequels Halloween II and Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Continuing to work with Carpenter, Hill also branched out to work on other projects. By 1986, Hill had formed her own production company with friend Lynda Obst and they produced such titles as The Fisher King and Adventures in Babysitting. One of the most popular and powerful producers in Hollywood, she also contracted with Disney to produce short films for their theme park and an NBC special for Disneyland’s 35th anniversary.

In 2003, Women in Film honored her with the Crystal Award, about which she said:

I hope some day there won’t be a need for Women in Film. That it will be People in Film. That it will be equal pay, equal rights and equal job opportunities for everybody.

Hill was diagnosed with cancer in February 2004, but she continued to work with John Carpenter and Kurt Russell on a comic adaptation of the Snake Plissken character from the Escape films. With Carpenter, she also produced the underwhelming remake of The Fog. She died on March 7, 2005, still working on Oliver Stone’s film World Trade Center as producer.
Among the many films she produced in her lifetime, we have Debra to thank for are Clue, Big Top Pee Wee, The Dead Zone, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (TV movie), Head Office, and many others.
After her death, Carpenter spoke warmly of the times he had working with her, recalling that it was "one of the greatest experiences of my life – she had a passion for not just movies about women or women's ideas but films for everybody".
RIP, Debra Hill, you have certainly earned it.

Posted by Alan Smithee

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