INTERVIEWS

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 MitchellJoanne 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 Mickey Fisher, creator of sci-fi series Extant
Posted on Thursday 6th May 2021
Mickey Fisher 1

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
Interview with Gary J. Tunnicliffe, writer and director of Hellraiser: Judgement
Posted on Saturday 20th February 2021
Gary J. Tunnicliffe doing SFX make-up on the set of Hellraiser Judgement

Director and long-time Hellraiser franchise SFX artist Gary John Tunnicliffe has a new entry into the Hellraiser series for us all to enjoy, Hellraiser: Judgement. Here he chats about this gritty horror.

HC: Was there one person or film which inspired you to want to be in the effects industry?

GJT: I can't remember one film that directly inspired me to be in the effects industry, it would definitely have been around 1982 (when I was 14) when The Thing AND American Werewolf in London came out (as well as a mass of FX laden movies) but more than anything it was when s...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Chee Keong Cheung, director of Redcon-1
Posted on Wednesday 17th February 2021
Director Chee Keong Cheung

Fast-paced British zombie thriller, Redcon-1 will be having its UK TV premiere on Horror on Saturday 20th February so we decided to chat with its writer and director Chee Keong Cheung about this acclaimed movie.

HC: Where did the idea for Redcon-1 come from and are you a fan of zombie movies?

CKC: I'm a huge fan of the zombie genre and in particular, Danny Boyle's '28 Days Later', Zak Snyder's 'Dawn of the Dead' and of course George Romero's original works which helped to pave the way for the genre and was a real inspiration for me growing up. I remember watching 'Saving Private Ryan' and 'Black Hawk Down' on TV and had always been drawn to the men on a m...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Scott Reiniger star of the original Dawn of the Dead
Posted on Sunday 15th November 2020
DAWN_OF_THE_DEAD_3D_BD_SLIPCASE_PACK_ (1)

On the eve of a stunning new 4K box set of George A Romero's Dawn of the Dead from Second Sight Films, we chat to one of its stars, Scott Reiniger about this incredible film.

HC: How did you first become involved with Dawn of the Dead?

SR: Well, I was in New York, I was a stage actor in New York and I went to college with Christine Forrest, who later became George's wife and she asked me if I wanted to audition for this film called Dawn of the Dead, she wanted to know if I knew who George Romero was and I said, "Yeah, he was the guy who directed Night of the Living Dead". So, they sent the script over and I read it and it was pr...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Steve Speirs, star of Concrete Plans
Posted on Sunday 1st November 2020
Concrete Plans poster

Welsh, Scottish and Ukranian dialects clash in Concrete Plans, a stand-out movie from Will Jewell which has just been released by FrightFest Presents via Signature. Its a super and very dark thriller with an outstanding cast headed up by Steve Speirs. Here he chats about this amazing piece.

Be warned this interview contains some spoilers about the movie. If in doubt watch the movie before reading. You have been warned!

HC: Was there one actor of one film you saw when you were younger that made you want to be an actor?

SS: Oh, I've never been asked that actually. When I started to get into watching films, I'd always wanted to be an actor for as long as I can ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Shayne Ward, star of The Ascent
Posted on Thursday 22nd October 2020
SHAYNE WARD NEW PROMO HEADSHOT 2020-6

A special ops team on a mission in a war-torn country find themselves trapped on a never-ending staircase that they must climb - or they die! This is the premise for Tom Paton's superb, action-packed horror The Ascent which is having its UK TV premiere at 9pm on October 23rd. Here its star, Shayne Ward tells all about his career to date and how he became involved in this sci-fi shocker.

HC: How much did the X-Factor change your life?

SW: Oh, like anyone can say who has been on it, who has done well on the show, it does change your life because it catapults you into the limelight, into the public eye. One day you are relatively unknown...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Ryan Kruger, writer and director of Fried Barry
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020
Fried Barry

Anyone who as been to Grimmfest will know that the team behind the event try their very best to bring to their audience films that challenge and push as many envelopes as possible. Fried Barry from director Ryan Kruger is such a movie. Packed with mind-bending imagery and and emotional punch, this polarizing movie has to be seen just for its creativity and strong storytelling. Here, Ryan chats about this incredible movie.

HC: Where did Fried Barry come from?

RK: Fried Barry was born out of total frustration where I was in my career. I am known in South Africa as a music video director for doing narrative story telling within music vids and sharp visuals. Although I al...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Deiondre Teagle, star of Death Ranch
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020
thumbnail_Brandon Blood

Grimmfest 2020 is packed with new talent and one actor that stands out is Deiondre Teagle who styars in Charlie Steeds' grindhouse homage, Death Ranch. Here Deiondre explains his role and what it was like being part of such a bold movie.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be an actor?

DT: I've definitely known my whole life I've wanted to be an actor. One of my favourite movies of all time is the original Men In Black. When I was little (about 3 or 4 years old), I would re-watch my VHS copy of that movie over and over and over again. I would re-enact every scene. Since then, my love for acting and film has just grown. I have such a love for the...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Faith Monique, star of Death Ranch
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020
FAITH MONIQUE INTERVIEW PHOTO

Grimmfest 2020 is packed with world premieres and none so bold as Charlie Steed's Death Ranch. We chatted to one of its main stars, Faith Monique about her role in this brutal and brilliant movie.

HC: Was there one person you saw at a young age who inspired you to want to become an actress?

FM: Funny fact, I grew up without a TV! So, at a young age, I never had an actor that inspired me and to this day I still don't. Acting did not become a dream of mine until 2016 and for inspiration, I like to dig deep into my own soul to find truth to bring into each character.

HC: Are you a big fan of horror movies and were you aware of grindhouse and e...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Charlie Steeds, writer and director of Death Ranch
Posted on Saturday 10th October 2020
CHARLIE STEEDS EDITED-23

Horror movies and controversy always go hand in hand but when they tackle serious issues by using extreme violence to hammer home a point they can be very worthy. Death Ranch from Charlie Steeds is having its world premiere at Grimmfest so we chatted to him about this very strong movie.

HC: What inspired you to write Death Ranch?

CS: I'd always wanted to try making a movie with a 70s Grindhouse/Exploitation style and was watching old Grindhouse trailers for inspiration. I came across the movie Brotherhood of Death, where black characters fight back against the KKK for some of the film (the tagline is 'Watch these brothers stick it to the Klan!') and that conce...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Nicholas Santos, writer and director of It Cuts Deep
Posted on Saturday 10th October 2020
It Cuts Deep Image 2

At Grimmfest we're used to comedy horror but none as well written as It Cuts Deep from writer/director Nicholas Santos. Here he chats about this true dissection of a romance going terribly wrong.

HC: Have you always been a big horror fan?

NS: I've been a big horror fan since I was a little kid. Some of my favourite childhood memories are seeing Event Horizon with my dad when I was in second grade, being absolutely terrified by Chucky from Child's Play at every waking moment and watching Psycho for the first time on VHS when I was 7 years old.

HC: Where did the idea for It Cuts Deep come from and did it take long to write?

NS: It Cuts Deep is a hor...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Robert Woods, director of An Ideal Host
Posted on Saturday 10th October 2020
Robert Woods

Ever had the dinner party from Hell with people you don't really relate to and seem alien? Well this is the premise of the the hilarious horror comedy An Ideal Host from director Robert Woods. Here he tells Horror about this cracking movie.

HC: What did you think of the script when you first read it and what made you decide that this would be your first project as a director?

RW: Tyler and I had been writing theatre together for a decade, but movies are our first love and we wanted to give it a crack as well. Tyler came up with the initial idea but we worked on the story together and it evolved a great deal from the initial pitch. As it was my first time directing, I think we were j...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interviews Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
The Burning
THE BURNING
Wednesday 26th May
10.50 PM
Extant
EXTANT
Friday 28th May
8.00 PM
Eat Locals
EAT LOCALS
Sunday 23rd May
10.55 PM