Amanda Tapping is best known for her role as Colonel Samantha Carter on Stargate SG-1. She went on to produce, direct and star in Sanctuary, which lasted for 4 seasons and is seen in over 170 countries. She continues to act in film and television, but has been spending the majority of her time directing for such shows as Continuum, Primeval: New World, Arctic Air, Strange Empire and Olympus.
She proudly sits on The Directors Guild of Canada’s Directors Advisory Committee and Women in Film and Televisions Advocacy Committee. She also runs the non-for-profit Sanctuary for Kids.
For more info on Amanda Tapping and to see clips of her work you can go to amandatapping.com
What is genre?
I think Genre, in the way we are using it, is a category of films exploring themes of innovation, fantasy, horror and science fiction.
Genre films tend to go beyond realism to an imagined reality. (Themes that we don’t necessarily explore in our everyday life.)
Genre takes us a step further into the “what if”. It allows us to delve into imagination in surreal ways.
Why is genre important?
Genre is important because it allows us to believe and tell stories where anything is possible. Genre isn’t defined by societal truths or norms.
Imagination is everything. Genre is limitless and highly liberating. Genre asks, “why not?”
What’s in this for women?
Quite simply, I think it has to with validation. More and more women are telling genre stories. But, there are more male writers, directors and producers of genre films than there are women. Thankfully, that statistic is changing. It does, however, need to be said that women must support and encourage each other in the telling of these stories. The goal, of course, is to crack the gender bias.
What makes exciting sci-fi?
I can answer all of these with one common element. Characters. A good story must take you an exciting place. One where you want to explore. But you must be taken there through the eyes of engaging characters. If you don’t care about the characters and their journey, then you are not engaged with the story. Ultimately we love to watch how characters we can relate to deal with extreme and exciting situations. We want to believe that we can be them. Equally compelling are the truly flawed characters that make us scream at the screen!
How did you get started in genre?
My journey with genre started with watching Star Trek. My true investment with genre came with landing the role of Samantha Carter in Stargate SG-1.
Ten seasons and countless stories exploring fantastical environments with fantastical characters. I was always amazed with the limitless imaginations of our writers. I then started to get involved in the fan base. The demographic blew my mind. Everyone from 6-year-old kids to 80-year-old women watched the show.
Why do you stay with genre?
I love the possibilities. I love the ardent and engaging fan base. I have had the pleasure to meet so many women who saw possibilities in their own lives because of the characters they were watching on TV. This was significant and very humbling. I realized the need for strong and capable women on television. I also saw the need and desire for more women behind the scenes. Sanctuary was a passion project. It was the scariest and most rewarding project I have done.
Why are you involved with this contest?
I want to encourage women to explore their own possibilities and their own passions. I am excited by the people involved in this contest and their passion to support and encourage a new generation of women.
Who are some of the filmmakers or artists who inspire you?
Dorothy Arzner, Jane Campion, Kathryn Bigelow, JJ Abrams, Stanley Kubrick, Jodie Foster, Danny Boyle . . . I could go on and on and on. I am constantly in a state of awe. Which is quite fun!
Q&A by Peggy Thompson