“Girls, on Film is a fanzine all about 80’s movies. It was founded by Stephanie McDevitt and Janene Scelza in Washington, DC in 2017. Each issue features eight 80’s movies related to a particular theme. Past issues include 80’s movies about: music, sports, the summer, food, the workplace, role-reversals, animated films, robots and AI, roadtrips, adaptations, and news and journalism. All issues are available, for free, on our website. We also welcome guest submissions.”
Who are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Girls, on Film is a print and digital fanzine that is hopelessly devoted to 80’s movies. It was founded by bodacious friends Stephanie McDevitt and Janene Scelza in late 2017. The conversation was basically Janene saying “Hey Steph! Let’s do a zine together,” and Steph saying “Ok!” We’re working on our 13th issue and loving every bit of it.
We are based in Washington, DC (USA). The very excellent Dr. Rhonda Baughman, of Ohio, joined as a regular contributor in 2020, and serves as our resident B-movie expert. Just ask her about Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-a-Rama!
What do zines mean to you?
We have the freedom to take part in a creative project and make it what we want with no outside interference.
How did you first get started with zines?
Janene’s punk friends introduced her to zines way back in high school in the mid-90s. This was in Central Florida, and in those days, there were still a good number of shops and venues that allowed youngsters like us to share our zines. That was really encouraging; I made a lot of zines between high school and grad school. Years later, came Girls, on Film, which was also Steph’s introduction to the craft.
Tell us about your zines.
Ours is a quarterly print and digital ode to 80’s movies. (With COVID it’s been all digital). Each issue covers eight movies from the 1980s related to a particular theme. It’s a mix of commentary, criticism, history, and sharing our personal connections to the movies we write about.
We write about all kinds of movies. Past issues include 80s movies about music, sports, the summer, food, the workplace, role-reversals, entertainers, animated films, robots/AI, road trips, adaptations, and news and journalism. Our 13th issue, coming out in July, is about high school movies.
What resources do you use to create your zines?
80s movies (for watching), Internet (for research), InDesign (for design/layout), Blurb (for prints), and some cool gals and honorary gals (for making zines).
Tell us about your zine-making process.
Generally, we sit down at the beginning of the year with our guest writers and plan our calendar for the year. We come up with themes for each issue, decide on the movies we each want to write about for those issues, and then figure out tentative publication dates.
The writing process takes about two or three months. We each work independently, watching movies, doing the research and writing, researching, and then capturing some juicy screenshots to include in the article. We all have our own style.
Steph and Janene meanwhile work on the design and layout for the upcoming issue. We get our inspiration from all kinds of media from the decade: ads, posters, photos, etc. When all of the content is proofed, proofed, proofed and ready to publish, we put in an InDesign file and save it as a PDF. These are all available to read, for free, on our website at girlsonfilmzine.com.
We normally print the zine through a third-party vendor but put the kibosh on shipping out prints in the past year due to COVID. Hopefully, we can resume making hard copies once it’s safe to do in-person festivals again.
Do you have any advice for newbie zine makers?
Just jump in. Don’t be afraid of what anyone else thinks. There’s no wrong way to make a zine!
What is your favourite thing about zine culture?
We are always amazed by how friendly and supportive zinesters are. We have met so many amazing people in this space. We’ve made some new friends, got to do podcast interviews, and got to take part in great events, and I don’t think we ever anticipated we’d have this much fun with the zine.
Do you have a favourite zine or zinester?
Shoutout to Billy McCall (with the coolest trout fanny pack); Violet Fox, who mapped out the location of authentic Choco Tacos in the Library of Congress; Nicole Krecicki from South Street Art Mart who does the Taped Off TV zine; and BCH Comix!
Why do you make zines?
Why not? Making zines gives us the space to be creative with no limitations. Over the past few years, we’ve been able to take this one idea and really fine tune it and turn it into something of which we are really proud and have total ownership. While we all have responsibilities to our jobs or families, the zine is something that’s just for us.
Do you have any events, zine fairs, zine launches, or anything else exciting that you would like to tell us about?
Girls, on Film is starting a podcast. Yes, another podcast! Check out our website (girlsonfilmzine.com), Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for updates about Girls, on Film, on Tape coming at you later this year.
Also, Girls, on Film welcomes guest writers! You don’t have to be a girl — just being hopelessly devoted to 80’s movies really helps. Email us for deets at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can check out Girls, on Film by visiting them on their socials…