Horror-on-Sea interview with Psycho Magnet writer and leading actress Anne Paul
Psycho Magnet (2016)
Directors: Michael Paul
Writers: Anne Paul
Stars: Anne Paul, Ben Hopkins, Cynthia Cain, Mac Deville, Wayne Lyter
A small-town psychic gets in over her head when she becomes entangled with a local serial killer. Date & Venue: 19th January 2019 at 20:00pm
Park Inn by Radisson Palace Southend-on-Sea, Church Rd, Southend-on-Sea SS1 2AL, UK
Psycho Magnet is a new horror-comedy from director Michael Paul. I got a chance to ask writer and leading actress Anne Paula few questions about what we can expect from the film.
Q. Psycho Magnet has been selected to play at the Horror-on-Sea Film Festivalwhat can we expect from the film?
It’s a fun twist on a standard horror story formula.
Q. How did you come up with the original concept for Psycho Magnet
I liked the idea of a passive psychic that couldn’t clearly see horrors ahead, and that she’d have to fight her way out of problems that she got herself into. I also was very inspired by our cast of characters and locations. At the time the auto shop in was owned by Ben Hopkins, who played Denny, and inspiration was absolutely everywhere.
Q. Why did you decide to write it as a horror-comedy?
Our prior movie, Roman’s Bride (2010), was a moody dramatic horror and I always wanted to dabble in comedy. We are lucky because our area has a lot of incredible comedic actors, and I definitely played into all of their unique personalities and comedic styles during the writing process.
Q. In addition to writing the script you also play Fern, can you tell me a bit about your character?
Fern is basically a hopeless romantic, but she’s also a hot mess and a Psycho Magnet. She is a psychic that specialises in talking to dead people. She would use the term medium, but she doesn’t know what that means. She starts off helpless, but she evolves,as only she can.
Q. Are there any elements of your character which you feel reflect your own personality?
Fern and I both love to draw and dance, and we both could use a great deal of singing lessons. When I was young, I naively embraced new people and often attracted psychos, but I’ve since kicked that habit.
Q. What were some of your favourite moments during filming?
We laughed a lot behind the scenes, working with incredible people made for so many favourite moments. If I had to pick one, though, I think wrestling with Andrew Cline, who played Robbie the mechanic, in the attic of the auto shop tops the list. I see both Robbie and Fern as equally paired timid characters doing battle, but how that scene would play out was hard to envision ahead of time. However, it was incredible fun to figure out in the moment. I think it’s also a lot of people’s favourite scene in the movie, because it’s very unexpected and funny. (So act surprised when you see it for the first time)
Q. Are there any elements of the finished film which changed from the original script?
Yes. Most of our actors are improv performers, so our cast really got into their characters, and we encouraged them to try new things. It didn’t always work, but it made for an extra fun set.
Q. Did you experience any issues during filming?
We lost a main character very early on, but with rewrites it turned into the Ferny ride that it is now.
Q. Do you have any other projects which you are currently working on?
We are currently in production on a short. It’s a horror, but I’m looking forward to doing more comedies in the future.
Q. What advice would you give to someone who is looking to get into acting?
Develop a thick skin. Usually people that are casting have very specific needs cemented in their mind when filling various roles, and typically it’s not personal at all. Also, audiences love actors that show growth onscreen/stage and off, so never stop growing/learning. Read/write scripts, take classes, work on your range, network and meet various people in the industry. Lastly be prepared, early, patient, enthusiastic, respectful, smart…essentially be an asset versus a liability. Latch onto others that are assets and get rid of liabilities, they will only drag you down. In other words, don’t be a Psycho Magnet!
You can find out more about the feature films playing at Horror-on-Sea Film Festival and details of tickets on the website.