LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Exclusive Interview With Joanne Mitchell Writer, Producer And Star of Before Dawn
By James Whittington, Monday 27th August 2012
Joanne Mitchell is a writer, Producer and actress whose talent has graced some of the UK's most popular TV shows. At FrightFest The 13th she came along with her husband, Dominic Brunt with their first film project together, the unforgettable Before Dawn.
We chatted with Joanne about this and the possibility of more projects from this talented duo.
HC: Are you a fan of horror movies?
JM: I do enjoy a good horror movie but I wouldn't necessarily say I was a big fan. I love to be scared and I'm brilliant company to watch one with (or so I'm told!) as I do literally go through all the emotions from screaming, shouting to jumping out of my seat. But I need a good story and characters to get me drawn in.
HC: Where did the idea for Before Dawn come from?
JM: It was really from a discussion between me and Dom (my husband) about what we did and didn't like about horror and particularly zombie films. I thought it would be interesting to follow the journey of an average couple, going through difficulties within their relationship, keeping it very normal and real, and then we throw into it the fact that one of them gets bit. And then how they both deal with that, both not thinking for a moment it is or was a zombie, but just some crazed rabid lunatic...
HC: Did you watch some zombie movies to get inspiration at all?
JM: Well, to be honest living in our house you can't really miss them! But I have to say I never really 'watched' one from beginning to end, just saw snippets, some of which I enjoyed, some I didn't. I've always been more drawn to character led films, drama, European cinema. Having said that, after writing the story of Before Dawn, I am much more interested in watching the zombie genre, and have to say, could really get into them.
HC: The story has a real human and very dramatic side to it; was it hard balancing this and the more horrific moments?
JM: No not really. It all came fairly naturally. I had a specific idea in my head, and Dom knew the moments when there needed to be say, a jump or some blood and horror etc so we just worked together on that really. It was important that we kept the ball in the air with the tension both within the relationship and the more gory moments.
HC: Before Dawn has been picked up by Metrodome and been shown at several festivals worldwide; you must be incredibly pleased?
JM: Yes of course! I never really expected that. I just decided from the start to enjoy the journey of it all, and anything else that came along was a bonus. And that, so far is amazingly what's been happening.
HC: Are you nervous about it being shown at FrightFest?
JM: Yes I am. Not everyone will like it and you just have to accept that. It won't be everyone's cuppa, but so far we have had positive feedback. I'm just so proud that it's got into such a prestigious festival as FrightFest, and all the others too.
HC: What's it like being directed by your husband?
JM: I had no worries about Dom directing me at all. I totally trust him and his judgement so it was surprisingly easy. I just decided that it was a job like any other, and at the end of the day the director has the final say. It was great because we could really discuss stuff too without fear of offending or upsetting each other and more importantly we had a laugh, there was always a great atmosphere on set!
HC: Would you like to make another horror movie together or would you like to try a different genre?
JM: Yes we would like to make another horror and have a couple of ideas for this. We also have an idea for something slightly different too, more along the lines of a drama/thriller but I'm sure there will be plenty of blood too... if Dom has anything to do with it!
HC: What advice would you give to someone wanting to write their first movie?
JM: I don't think I'm really in any position to give anyone advice, but what I would say is get the story right first. That's the most important thing and then just build around that. And then just do it, be tenacious, and enjoy the ride.
HC: So what are you working on next?
JM: I seem to be doing lots of different things at the moment. I am developing a few storyline ideas, one of which is a boxing film based on a true story which has been great fun, then there's another horror and a drama/thriller. At the same time working as a mum and going to auditions...so keeping busy, running around like a headless chicken, but having fun with it all...just the way I like it!
HC: Joanne Mitchell, thank you very much.
For an interview with Dominic Brunt click here.
MORE INTERVIEWS Interview with Stewart Sparke, director of Book of Monsters
Posted on Friday 29th April 2022
A birthday bash becomes a bloodbath when monsters escape from a supernatural storybook, leaving a group of teenagers to fight for their lives and shut the party down in the UK TV premiere of Book of Monsters on May 16th on Horror. We chatted to its director, Stewart Sparke about this fun, retro-filled fright-fest.
HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be a film director?
SS: I remember first realising that I wanted to make films during one of many viewings of The Mummy (1999) on VHS in my bedroom on an old 15" TV. I became quite obsessed with the film and tried to make all my friends come over to watch it ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Paul Hyett, director of Peripheral
Posted on Wednesday 16th February 2022
Paul Hyett is a multi-disciplined creative whose work is as inventive as it is imaginative. His latest movie is a dark sci-fi chiller named Peripheral and it will have its UK TV premiere on Horror, Friday 25th February at 11.05pm.
Here he chats about this incredible movie and his plans for the future.
HC: How did you become attached to Peripheral?
PH: The producer Craig Touhy and I had been friends for a while and had nearly done another movie together and he'd liked the claustrophobia and tension of The Seasoning House so we met up to discuss Peripheral. When he pitched it to me, very much a low budget, contained movie, in one apartment. I must say I was a little hesitant. I...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Abigail Blackmore, writer and director of Tales From The Lodge
Posted on Tuesday 14th December 2021
Ahead of Horror Channel's Xmas Day broadcast of her horror comedy feature Tales From The Lodge, director Abigail Blackmore recalls the brutal weather conditions, the challenges of casting and the joy of playing at FrightFest.
HC: Thanks to Horror Channel, Tales From The Lodge finally gets its UK TV premiere on British TV. Excited or what?
AB: So excited! I know a huge amount of people watch the Horror Channel so I'm hoping it opens TFTL up to a whole new audience.
HC: Looking back to its showcase screening at FrightFest in 2019, what are your abiding memories?
AB: It was a wonderful experience! FrightFest has long been one of the highlights of my ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Barbara Crampton, star of chilling horror Sacrifice
Posted on Wednesday 8th December 2021
Barbara Crampton is a Horror Channel favourite. This much loved and much admired creative is starring in the UK TV premiere of Sacrifice, which is showing December 12th at 9pm on Horror so we chatted to her about this movie and her plans for the future.
Note that there are some spoilers for Sacrifice in the interview.
HC: Can you recall how you felt the first time you stepped onto a TV or film set?
BC: Yes, I remember the first time I was ever on a television set, it was for the soap opera, Days of Our Lives, and it was my very first job, and I had one line, "Hi. I'm your cousin Trista from Colorado". It was to the character Marlena Evans and subsequently I had w...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Michael Mayer and Guy Ayal from the acclaimed movie Happy Times
Posted on Saturday 16th October 2021
Happy Times, which is showing at Grimmfest Online, is a movie that takes the home invasion genre and turns it inside out! Directed by Michael Mayer and co-written with composer Guy Ayal, the movie is a bombastic, bloody and hilarious piece of cinema. I chatted to them both about this dinner party from hell.
HC: Where did the idea for Happy Times come from?
MM: The idea for the movie started forming when I was invited to a Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year's) dinner in Los Angeles. It was the first year of Trump's presidency and wherever you went all people wanted to talk about was politics. One thing to know about the Israeli expat com...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with D.M. Cunningham, writer and director of The Spore
Posted on Saturday 16th October 2021
If you like your horror with a huge lashing of gruesome effects and a strong story then The Spore is for. Showing at Grimmfest Online, the movie from D.M. Cunningham is a smart take on the body horror genre. Here he chats about this movie which is guaranteed to get under your skin.
HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be a director?
DM: I started out wanting to be a makeup effects artist. After seeing Night of the Living Dead and discovering Fangoria magazine I was hooked. Tom Savini was a huge influence on my trajectory toward becoming a filmmaker. It wasn't until later that I discovered that you could boss the monsters around on set being the director. That's...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Ben Charles Edwards, co-writer and director of Father of Flies
Posted on Saturday 16th October 2021
A vulnerable young boy finds his mother pushed out of the family home by a strange new woman in Father of Flies, and he must confront the terrifying supernatural forces that seem to move in with her. This intense and chilling movie is showing at Grimmfest Online Edition so we chatted to director and co-writer Ben Charles Edwards about this movie.
HC: Where did the idea for Father of Flies come from?
BE: It came from my childhood experiences. When my good friend and journalist Dominic Wells was talking to me about my next project, he told me to draw on real life experiences. So, I did. My own experiences were neither as heightened nor as traumatic as they may...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Marcel Sarmiento co-writer and director of Faceless
Posted on Friday 15th October 2021
Showing at Grimmfest Online Edition is the incredibly inventive horror/sci-fi hybrid Faceless. Here, co-writer and director Marcel Sarmiento speaks about this superb movie.
HC: Have you always been a big horror movie fan?
MS: Definitely as a kid. My first movies made with my Betamax were all about scaring one other and how gross we could push makeup effects. We mostly strangled, stabbed, and threw each other off buildings. I think as I got older, I appreciated what you could do with horror more than horror for horror's sake. I love that you can make characters do things that in any other genre you couldn't make them do and still come out the other end liking them and routi...SHARE: READ MORE Tom Paton, director of G-LOC chats about his passion for survival stories and being compared to Roger Corman
Posted on Tuesday 14th September 2021
Ahead of the Horror Channel premiere of his sci-fi action thriller G-LOC, director Tom Paton reflects on why making movies is like solving a puzzle, his passion for survival stories and being compared to Roger Corman.
Horror Channel will be broadcasting the UK TV premiere of your Sci-fi adventure G-LOC. Excited or what?
It's honesty so strange to me every time Horror Channel debuts one of my movies. The channel has been such a big part of my life growing up and informing my taste in films, that it's always a "pinch myself moment" when I see something that I've made appear on their TV listing. G-LOC is much more of a SCI-FI adventure than any ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Alexis Kendra, the writer and producer of The Cleaning Lady
Posted on Tuesday 15th June 2021
Ahead of Horror Channel's premiere of The Cleaning Lady on June 26, the film's star, writer and producer Alexis Kendra talks about playing a 'Goddess', coping with lockdown and why she can't watch horror films on her own.
HC: The Cleaning Lady is having its channel premiere on Horror Channel. Excited?
AK: I love you guys. Always have, always will. I'm honoured.
HC: It's a very disturbing film, dealing with abuse, addiction and hidden rage, yet the characters are sympathetic and have real depth. It's horror with a twisted heart. As a co-writer, alongside your director Jon Knautz, what were the main challenges in getting the balance right between acting and writing? <...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Jen and Sylvia Soska, directors of Rabid
Posted on Tuesday 1st June 2021
Ahead of Horror Channel's premiere of Rabid on June 12, Jen and Sylvia Soska reflect on the challenges of re-imagining Cronenberg's body horror classic, meeting the great man and their new monster movie, Bob.
HC: Rabid is having its channel premiere on Horror Channel. Excited?
SS: The Horror Channel has supported us and our work since the beginning, so it's a special treat to have the newest film premiere there!
Js: We are so excited. Having Rabid on Horror Channel feels like coming home. They've been very kind to us. We are happy to have so many of our films on there.
HC: We all, of course, remember that Rabid was one of David Cronenberg's earli...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Mickey Fisher, creator of sci-fi series Extant
Posted on Thursday 6th May 2021
Horror Channel will be continuing its commitment to bringing cult and classic sci-fi to its audience with Seasons 1 and 2 of the CBS Studios/Amblin Television production of Extant, starring Halle Berry as astronaut Molly Woods, who returns home to her family, inexplicably pregnant after 13 months in outer space on a solo mission.
The series begins on Horror May 11th so, we decided to chat to its creator, Mickey Fisher about how the series came to be produced and what it was like working with Hollywood royalty.
HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be a writer?
MF: From the time I was maybe five or six years old I wanted to be an actor. Going to see Star...SHARE: READ MORE Interviews Archive: 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Tuesday 28th June
Tuesday 28th June
Monday 27th June