01st Feb2018

Horror-On-Sea 2018 Exclusive Interview: MJ Dixon & Anna Dixon

by Philip Rogers

Following the World Premier of Mask of Thorn at Horror-on-Sea, I had an opportunity to talk with director MJ Dixon and Mycho producer Anna Dixon about reactions to film, why they created two different versions and what is coming next in the Mycho Universe.

Photo courtesy of J. Douglas Imagery

Photo courtesy of J. Douglas Imagery

You had the premier for Mask of Thorn at Horror-on-Sea how do you think it went?

Anna – It seemed to go well. People said nice words afterwards.

MJ – It’s always a worry when you are making low budget stuff how the audience is going to perceive that. I don’t think they really know what to expect, but I think sitting there, jokes landed when they should and twists all landed when I thought they should. It was surprising, but so far, I think that was the most engagement we have had from the audience for one of our films.

Anna – There were a lot of people there which was good but also terrifying.

Now there are two versions of the film. The one you played and a retro 80’s style one.

MJ – It’s a tricky one really, because we generally considered showing the VHS 4:3 ratio version that we made. But I thought, is that gonna annoy people as they will be watching something that didn’t expect.

Anna – Thorn is kind of a retro slasher anyway, it’s an 80’s homage. So, we thought an 80’s version of the film as if it’s the one which has been forgotten in the annals of history.

MJ – So last night we showed was is supposed to be the remastered version of the 1980’s film. In some ways I wish we had shown it. I think the video version is a bit more fun. It brings out the fun in the film, whereas the version we showed last night balances the humour, but with the more serious moments in the film. It’s weird, just changing the aspect ratio changes your experience of the film altogether, which I think is interesting

How will the two versions of the film be released?

MJ – We’ve done a limited run of VHS and DVD’s when we did the crowdfunding campaign, so the pre-orders will be going out in February / March. We are looking to release in early summer or maybe early autumn on Amazon and on DVD. We will probably release the two different versions digitally to download and maybe another run of VHS’s depending on how popular it is. Because that is a really expensive media to produce. You know DVD’s are like cheap as chips, but making videos costs so much money, takes so much time and it’s not something that is readily available anymore, so you have so source of these.

Anna – But definitely in indie horror there is a market for it. For people, that’s when they started to love horror.

What’s next from Mycho?

Anna – We are hopefully shooting a film next month. We kind of want to keep it a surprise, but all of our films connect so it’s a backstory of one of the killers which we have seen before. We are keeping it a bit of a surprise for now, but we are quite excited about it and that should be shooting in a couple of weeks. Then we are straight onto Cleaver 2, so the killer clown part 2 around about summer. With the patron thing that we are producing four short films a year that are also connected to the Mycho universe, so we’ve got a lot on this year.

MJ – And we’re hoping to get a third feature done towards the end of the year, that the plan

Anna – He’s hoping.

MJ – I know we are only three weeks into the year so far, but we are on track, so I am not giving up hope just yet. Hopefully we will be able to produce three features, which will be the most we have ever done in a year.

And the shorts…

Anna – And hopefully get them all done in time to submit them to Horror-on-Sea 2019 and we will be back, I hope.

MJ – They might just rename it Mycho-Fest. I’m joking

You also have a series of action figures which you are working on at the moment

MJ – That is something which we have had in development since January last year. It is something that we have really wanted to do for ages, but it is kind of really figuring it out how we were going to achieve it. We looked at doing it by hand, but it wasn’t really cost effective, eventually we moved to digital sculpturing, so now its just a case of sourcing the raw prototypes and things, then having them sent to reproduction. It’s a very new area for us because it’s so different to filmmaking. Product design is something which I have no background in so it’s a learning curve all the time.

Anna – It is something people mentioned and asked about. Wouldn’t it be cool if we had an action figure of Cleaver or Thorn because they are archetype characters and of course Bethany, they ask for that a lot.

MJ – It is something so eventually we started to think about how we can do it. It’s a work in progress but its coming hopefully before the end of this year.

You can find out more about Mask of Thorn and other Mycho releases on the website http://mycho.co.uk

Mask of Thorn 1988 Original Trailer

Mask of Thorn Remastered Trailer


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