LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Interview With Joanne Mitchell Star Of Bait
By James Whittington, Saturday 29th August 2015

Joanne Mitchell star of BaitJoanne Mitchell is a multi-talented lady who is no stranger to Horror Channel viewers, her film Before Dawn is a firm favourite with us and her latest movie Bait (directed by husband Dominic Brunt) is having a special preview at FrightFest today.

Here Joanne chats about Before Dawn, Bait and future plans.

HC: After the huge success of Before Dawn were you eager to get back in front of the camera to be directed by Dominic?

JM: I loved shooting Before Dawn. We, as a small team of actors and crew, had such fun, that yes, I was really looking forward to acting and working with Dom again.

HC: What’s it like being directed by your husband?

JM: It's great. Dom knows me so well, that he won't let me get away with anything. So, if he feels that I can dig deeper, he will push me that bit further. Every director wants the best performances out of his/her actors, and every actor should want to be challenged for themselves and for the sake of the story and production, otherwise, what's the point?

HC: Let’s chat about Bait, what did you think of the script when you first read it?

JM: I loved the script. I think Paul (Roundell) did a great job of bringing the characters and story to life with the treatment and story we gave him. It was important that the characters were very layered, gritty and real. This, I feel, is exactly what Paul achieved. And it was a joy to bring these characters to life.

HC: How do you prepare yourself for such a role?

JM: Hmm… well, I guess firstly I read it a lot and make notes; to understand the essence of the characters, story, relationships and journeys... My script is usually covered with scribbles of thoughts and ideas, mostly indecipherable and a lot of which I never actually use in the end anyway! But, it seems to work for me...I guess it's my little process.. For this particular role of 'Dawn' it was important to really understand what she had been through as a single mum, bringing up her severely autistic son and trying to get on in the world. I wanted to 'understand' her world and that of those around her. So one of the things I did was to meet and talk to a child psychiatrist who was very insightful and helpful particularly in understanding the relationship with Dawn's autistic son and how that would have emotionally effected herself and him. I also spent a few days wondering around various markets, spending time observing and listening to all the various people there which was useful and fun too. And of course Vicky and I had various skype calls (she lives in LA) discussing and chatting about ideas and thoughts etc...

HC: What was the shoot like as some of the scenes seemed incredibly demanding both physically and mentally?

JM: The shoot was very intense! Our schedule was tight so we didn't really have the luxury of much rehearsal. Luckily Vicky and myself trust and know each other very well, so that made things easier, especially for the emotional scenes, and we'd chat about stuff during breaks or whilst driving to various locations, etc.. However for the more physical scenes we had a fight director (Dave Nolan) who was brilliant. He was very thorough and made sure we all knew what we were doing, and for those scenes there was rehearsal time. There had to be. And yes those days were very demanding, perhaps more so for Vicky (when she, for example, spent many hours at night in a river, freezing)and Jonathon (Slinger) when he was literally covered in sticky blood and prosthetics for most of the day. Everyone was such a good sport though and the crew were incredibly supportive. There were still a lot of laughs too!

HC: Did you stay in character?

JM: Ha! I wish! No.. .there was far too much other stuff that I had to do to give myself that luxury!

HC: It has a powerful message in my opinion; do you think it reflects a dark side of society that exists at the moment?

JM: I think the message goes way back. It's not really something new… the issue of borrowing and lending has been going on for hundreds, thousands of years… however I guess recently there has been a lot of press about it, with pay day loans etc...and you only have to type in debt collector or loan shark into the internet and a lot of information comes up. Yes it is a dark side of society and a very sad one that can be incredibly unfair and cruel, with far too many innocent victims being caught up in it.

HC: Are you nervous that it’s getting a special preview at FrightFest?

JM: I'm excited and overwhelmed that it's getting a special preview at FrightFest!! It really wasn't something we expected. We feel very privileged to be a part of it and hugely grateful to the wonderful team there for wanting to show it and for all their continued support.

HC: Will you watch with the audience?

JM: Hmmm... not sure.. . Maybe at the back so I can escape? No, think I'll be too nervous and will settle in the bar!

HC: So, what are you working on at the moment?

JM: Well, I have a script doing the rounds and being sent to various TV production companies at the moment which I have co-written with Victoria (Smurfit) and another writer. I'm working on an animation with Lee Hardcastle, and Dom and I are working on the story for our next feature.

HC: Joanne Mitchell, thank you very much.


Related show tags: BEFORE DAWN
MORE FRIGHTFEST
See how music can kill in Sound of Violence
Posted on Friday 23rd July 2021
Sound of Violence Cover

In thrilling new horror Sound of Violence, a young girl recovers her hearing and gains synthetic abilities during the brutal murder of her family. Finding solace in the sounds of bodily harm, as an adult she pursues a career in music composing her masterpieces through gruesome murders.

From the mind of talented new writer-director Alex Noyer and featuring a stunning lead performance from Jasmin Savoy Brown (2022's Scream, The Leftovers), Sound of Violence is being billed as one of the most original and shocking horrors of the year.

After its UK premiere at Arrow Frightfest, Sound of Violence on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from 30th August than...

SHARE: READ MORE
Arrow Video FrightFest 2021 announces second wave of films for August Cineworld event
Posted on Thursday 22nd July 2021
Bloodthirsty-WEB3

It's full scream ahead as Arrow Video FrightFest 2021 announces its second wave of hugely anticipated Discovery Screen and First Blood titles - a summer collection of provocative, edgy and transgressive entertainment to die for. There are fourteen World and ten European/International premieres amongst the thirty-four films on offer.

Eleven countries are represented, with titles ranging from Canadian entries Bloodthirsty, Amelia Moses' simmering LGBQT+ werewolf movie and sinister isolation thriller Motherly to Francesco Erba's As In Heaven, So On Earth, a stunning Italian blend of live action and Gothic puppet animation. Then there's Peter Bergendy's sumptuous Post Mortem, an epic Hu...

SHARE: READ MORE
FrightFest resurrects its New Blood quest for new writers
Posted on Tuesday 13th July 2021
New Blood 2021 - logo

As Arrow Video FrightFest stalks the dark recesses of the big screen again, the search resumes for new writers in the horror genre through its New Blood initiative. New Blood reunites FrightFest with Giles Edwards of Queensbury Pictures with its mission to find emerging UK-based writers dedicated to the genre and nurture their projects from script to screen. Queensbury is ultimately interested in buying the finished script rather than the idea, and so, this year all successful final candidates if selected should be able to send even a rough draft of the first ten pages of their script through with their acceptance.

Already the scheme has delivered two new projects: Broadcast ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Arrow Video FrightFest unveils first wave of twenty-five films for August 2021 Cineworld event
Posted on Thursday 8th July 2021
FrightFest 2021 - Poster art-1

Arrow Video FrightFest, the UK's biggest horror and fantasy film festival, is back at the Cineworld Leicester Square from Thursday August 26 - Monday 30 August for five days of the very best of global genre cinema.

The internationally renowned event leads the way in attesting to the versatility of the genre and, despite the interruptions caused by the pandemic, this year is no exception as the twenty-five films to be presented in the main screens are revealed. They include four world premieres and eight International/European premieres.

Global events over the past eighteen months have not only altered most people's lives but have had a profoundly i...

SHARE: READ MORE
Graham Humphreys' stunning artwork for Arrow Video FrightFest 2021 celebrates the festival's cinematic return.
Posted on Friday 2nd July 2021
FrightFest 2021 - Poster art-1

Arrow Video FrightFest is proud to present Graham Humphreys' stand-out poster design for 2021, which marks the 13th appearance for his iconic Monster.

Graham revealed today: "We have a happy monster this year. Though how happy a monster should be in a horror film festival raised the question, what would make the monster happy? Last year's event was not 'live'. This year, with a return to the social interaction that makes the festival such an important event in the annual calendar, it's as if we have bypassed 2020 in a time machine, full throttle, into 2021. To celebrate - a bottle of champagne! Although the monster would probably prefer a full-blooded vinta...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Adrian Langley, director of Butchers.
Posted on Tuesday 27th October 2020
FrightFest-Halloween-2020

Butchers is a superb piece of horror cinema from Adrian Langley. Here he chats about this grim and gruesome piece and his plans for the future.

HC: Where did the idea for Butchers come from?

AL: Butchers came from two of Daniel Weissenberger's old screenplays - he writes a lot - and I remixed them with some ideas that had been kicking around in my head after having read those scripts a long time ago.

HC: Did it take long to write?

AL: Not at all. Because Dan's scripts were so full already, the initial working draft only took about two weeks to put together and then I did a lot of rewriting during the prep process to streamline it to what...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Andrew Thomas Hunt, director of Spare Parts.
Posted on Tuesday 27th October 2020
Spare Parts

FrightFest is all about the diversity of movies, none more so than Spare Parts from director Andrew Thomas Hunt. This superb mash-up of gladiator-style fighting and a scorching soundtrack is desitined to become a cult classic so we chatted to Andrew about this movie.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to work in the film industry?

AH: I did - from the age of 16. I was a huge fan of David Cronenberg's films, and when I discovered that he was not only from Toronto, but made his films here, it made me realize you didn't have to be from Hollywood to make movies.

HC: How did you become attached to this wild project?

AH: It was pitched to me at TIFF (Toronto Int'l ...

SHARE: READ MORE
And the winner is... Benny Loves You!
Posted on Monday 26th October 2020

The winner of the FrightFest Horror Channel First Blood Award 2020 is... Benny Loves You!

Here, Channel Manager Stewart Bridle chats to its very talented director, Karl Holt.

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Liam O'Donnell director of SKYLIN3S
Posted on Sunday 25th October 2020
skylin3s-poster

FrightFest Digital Edition 2 concludes tonight with an out-of-this-world premiere, SKYLIN3S. Here its writer and director Liam O'Donnell talks about this and the other entries in this sci-fi series.

HC: You've been involved with the Skyline series of movies from the start, where did the initial idea come from?

LD: Initially the idea just came from, we were sort of do it ourselves film makers and I had been living in the building we ended up shooting in. We had already been illegally shooting on the rooftop helipad for a pitch that we were developing and when Greg's (Greg Strause, director of Skyline) unit on the top floor and he walked in and saw this big, expansive view of LA...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Paul Tanter director and co-writer of The Nights Before Christmas
Posted on Sunday 25th October 2020
The Nights Before Christmas-poster

Prolific creative Paul Tanter has delivered a real treat for FrightFest pass holders today, the blood-splattered shocker, The Nights Before Christmas. Here he chats about this cracker of a movie.

HC: Have you always been a fan of the horror genre?

PT: Absolutely. One of my first cinema memories is my dad taking me to see Fright Night in 1985 and there being a promotional pack of vampire teeth on every seat. I was five at the time so I'm not sure how he snuck me in there, considering it's rated 18. I grew up watching The Omen films, in parts enthralled and terrified by them. I still can't pass that church in Fulham without keeping an eye on ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Simon Phillips, star and co-writer of The Nights Before Christmas
Posted on Sunday 25th October 2020
The Nights Before Christmas-poster

Seasonal slashers are once again coming into vogue but none as brutal as The Nights Before Christmas. Here, its star and co-writer Simon Phillips tells all about this movie.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to work in the film industry?

SP: I don't know if I ever was sure I was going to be in the film industry but as a child I sure liked talking a lot and my teacher once shouted at me "They'd better pay you to talk when you grow up, because you sure like the sound of your own voice"... So perhaps it was always on the cards!

HC: Are you a fan of horror movies?

SP: To be honest they terrify me... not the o...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Elza Kephart, director and co-writer of Slaxx
Posted on Sunday 25th October 2020
SLAXX_Elza_(C)photoB-Calmeau_0125FrightFest is all about originality and new talent and 2020 has been a belter of a year for such things. Slaxx from Elza Kephart is a prime example of the new and exciting creative talent that's out there at the moment. We chatted to Elza about this superb shocker.

HC: Are you a big horror movie fan?

EK: Yes, huge! I started my horror adventure when I was a pre-teen, reading Agatha Christie, R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike, Anne Rice. If there wasn't a death I wasn't interested. From that, I migrated to horror films; when I was about ten, I watched Aliens, the Fearless Vampire Hunters, Exorcist 2. I might have been a little too young, I remember being re...

SHARE: READ MORE
Frightfest Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
PICK OF THE WEEK
100 Bloody Acres
100 BLOODY ACRES
Sunday 1st August
10.55 PM
Lake Placid vs. Anaconda
LAKE PLACID VS. ANACONDA
Wednesday 4th August
9.00 PM
Knuckleball
KNUCKLEBALL
Monday 2nd August
10.55 PM