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The Cutting Room: FANGORIA #337 Photographer Ama Lea Remembers Wes Craven

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Welcome to THE CUTTING ROOM, a new weekly column on FANGORIA.com that highlights the stories that most share DNA of our print counterpart. Rather than just feature the articles and interviews that didn’t make the cut, this column is dedicated to providing a greater lifeline between FANGORIA Magazine and FANGORIA.com.

Normally, FANGORIA.com dedicates THE CUTTING ROOM to articles, interviews and features that share connective tissue to FANGORIA Magazine. However, in light of the tragic passing of Wes Craven, we felt it was appropriate to share this personal tale from FANGORIA go-to photographer Ama Lea and her time with Mr. Craven for the FANGORIA #337 photoshoot. You can see exclusive outtakes from the photoshoot below.

Two nights ago, I picked up my phone to see five hundred notifications. I immediately thought, “What the hell?” As I clicked to see what was making me so popular, my face dropped instantly. No. This couldn’t possibly be true. Wes Craven could not be gone. But he was…. And hundreds of people were using the photos I shot for the cover of Fangoria to commemorate him. I wish I could say any part of this was bittersweet, but all I felt was overwhelming sadness.

I remember the day of the photoshoot. I was incredibly nervous, pacing around the studio waiting for Wes to arrive. As a celebrity photographer, I rarely raise an eyebrow to the fame of my subjects, but Wes Craven was my childhood hero. He was the first person to give me nightmares and, subsequently, the first person I wanted to be when I grew up.

When he showed up, he called me directly and walked in alone; no entourage, no assistants. Just a warm smile and a handshake. He was instantly charming my crew, continuously complimenting the suit my stylist, Onna, had brought for him. You better believe he left with that suit.

In front of the camera, he chatted with me. He told me he was happy and I asked why. He said because he had just finished a script that he was very excited about and he enjoyed when writing came easy. You have no idea how ready my brain was to explode that Wes Craven was chatting with me about his new script but I tried to play it cool. But in all honesty, I will never forget that.

This loss hits our little community so hard. There’s this feeling that our heroes will live forever. But even horror legends are not invincible. All we can do is take comfort in the fact that he will be immortalized in his body of work that has touched so many of us. Even writing this now, there are tears in my eyes. Rest in Peace, Mr Craven.

– Ama Lea

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Fangoria Staff
FANGORIA: The First in Fright Since 1979.
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