Actress, Special Effects Artist, Producer, Manager – Gigi “Fast Elk” Bannister has been in the film industry for over 35 years. “Discovered” while working in a diner in Texas, Gigi started her entertainment career as an in-house model in the ’70s contracted to Dale Blanc’ & Associates. Her diverse background includes actress, makeup artist, special effects artist, agent, manager, writer, director and producer for stage, film, television and live events.
World renowned for her special effects and production work, Gigi became comfortable on both sides of the camera. She’s appeared in over a dozen films and television shows, is a popular guest at horror conventions, film festivals, workshops and seminars. A practical effects artist by trade, Gigi is a producer, director, production manager, location scout, film liaison with her most recent project with her husband – as a Producer on Steve King’s “One For the Road” (2011) (Night Shift Anthology) – it attained recognition by showing at 2012 Cannes Short Film Corner and made it’s Spring American premier at the Lake Arrowhead Film Festival. As a character actor, she’s appeared as the tormenting Mother Mary in “Bloody Bloody Bible Camp” (2011), the enchanting Bearded Lady in “Carnies” (2009), a hygienic Trailer Gal in “Small Town Saturday Night” (2009) (with Chris Pine, John Hawkes, Reggie Bannister, and Perry Anzilotti), and Don Coscarelli’s “Bubba Ho-Tep” (2002) (Bruce Campbell, Reggie Bannister and Ozzie Davis), The Sheriff’s Wife in “Spring Break Massacre” (2008) (Reggie Bannister), and many more. In another Coscarelli production, of the 14 positions she worked, Gigi was credited as Special Effects Makeup Coordinator for “Phantasm IV: Oblivion” (1998). She has produced and directed on numerous projects including dozens of live events, fund raisers and seminars, six (6) independent feature films (“Bloody Bloody Bible Camp” 50th on Amazon at it’s 2012 Summer VOD release), “Quiet Ones” (2012 release), Steve King’s “One For the Road” (2011) a non-commerical short, and others , and six (6) shows for television. Gigi has made a unique mark for herself in writing, directing and producing political music videos. Her first, was a Native American music video, “Love That’s Gone” (1997), protesting the ongoing Yellowstone National Park buffalo slaughter. Her next was Land of the Free (2001) showing the necessity for park land in Long Beach, California. Recently she co-wrote and producer Baby That’s Not Right (2008). Each are based on husband, Reggie Bannister’s, original music.
Her talent for writing was realized early in life. She’s a painter and a Golden Poet recipient, has completed a children’s story, “The Adventurous Mr. Tiggy,” and currently working on a Native American Horror script. When she submitted her original short script, “Miracle,”(a Native American film about the birth of a white Buffalo at Christmas) to both the AFI Director’s Workshop for Women (making it to final cuts) and Lake Arrowhead Film Festival, she received the following review: “I loved it! I think this can be expanded to at least an hour’s worth of film and would, obviously, make a great holiday TV film… The voices … were genuine and believable… I believe you have the makings of a wonderful classic! Congratulations!” (Lauren Stone) After producing and hosting a chat show for decades (Nightmarez Café” as Vampi the Vegetarian Vampire), she now often produces for public service announcements, Every 15 Minutes (high school Anti-Drunk Driving Program), Battlefield Effects, and Mass Casualty/Moulage Makeup. She is her husband’s personal manager for his music and film careers. Her pet projects include community service and Free Film Camps for youths in her mountain community through her non-profit, Crestline Creative Arts Foundation and the “Historical San Moritz Haunted Lodge at home of Lake Gregory, Crestline, CA.