Behind the Screams: Ann Myrna on Production and Acting in Horror
In this interview, we delve into the world of horror film production and acting with the talented Ann Myrna. Known for her dynamic roles and impactful contributions in the horror genre, Ann shares her journey from being captivated by vampires in her teenage years to becoming a critical component of the ‘Acrostar Film Family’. Join us as we explore her unique experiences and insights from both sides of the camera.
GeekPost: How did you first become interested in the horror genre, and what inspired you to pursue a career in acting and producing within this field?
Ann: I was first interested in vampires as a teenager and later learned that there was so much more to the horror genre. I enjoy various types of horror films but really like films with an interesting story. I will act in any type of film but got interested in producing horror films through Acrostar Films – they start with a great story and use practical effects; put together by a great team of actors and crew that we fondly refer to as the “Acrostar Film Family”.
GeekPost: As both an actress and producer, what unique challenges do you face when working on horror projects compared to other genres? How do you prepare yourself or others for the intense emotions and physical demands?
Ann: There are quite different challenges when approaching a film project either as an actor or as a producer. The actor needs to prepare their own character and role, but the producer needs to prepare for everyone’s needs which is way more work. The producer finds the funding, may have some casting input, creates the shooting schedule, finds/makes props, organizes food and lodging, scouts shooting locations, recruits background extra actors, handles paperwork, and solves problems as they arise. Horror projects usually involve special effects makeup and unique costumes in addition to the regular tasks.
GeekPost: As a producer, what elements do you look for in a horror script or project before deciding to become involved?
Ann: I always look for a great story first when considering a project. I’ve read scripts that have a lot of blood and gore and have not wanted to work on them because some writers just suddenly have violence, but it doesn’t relate to the story moving forward. Everything in the script must support the story.
GeekPost: What has been the most memorable or rewarding experience you’ve had while working on a horror film, either as an actress or a producer?
Ann: It’s very rewarding to me when people are on set because they want to be there. I really appreciated the 40+ background extra actors that we worked with on Attack of the Corn Zombies – they volunteered their time, waited patiently for special effects makeup, and were always offering to help in additional ways. I made some great friends on that shoot.
Promo Video For Attack of the Corn Zombies a Movie Anne Myrna both Produced and Appears in.
GeekPost: How do you think the horror genre has evolved over the years, and what do you see as its future in the film industry?
Ann: As technology has advanced, so have filming techniques and special effects. But a lot of special effects in large budget theatrical releases are just not available to independent filmmakers because we don’t have investors and only have very small budgets that we work extremely hard to get through crowdfunding. As more streaming platforms are available, independent filmmakers have more outlets to get their work seen, which is great! But even after you get your film on streaming platforms, you still need to market it due to the amount of competition. There’s room for everyone’s film, but it is difficult to stand out. Networking is key!
GeekPost: How do you balance your roles as both an actress and a producer in the horror film industry?
Ann: I don’t take jobs because I have to, I take jobs that I want to take. It’s not possible to have your workload spread out evenly, you need to keep your eyes open to opportunities. Schedules frequently change, but when I make a commitment to a project I follow through. I’m part of a team, it’s not about me, so I remain flexible and believe in open communication.
GeekPost: What challenges have you faced as a woman in the horror genre, and how have you navigated them?
Ann: I started working in the acting world late in life and have not experienced any challenges that are specifically related to being a woman. I build trust with people once I can tell that they are not bigots – nobody should be disrespected.
GeekPost: What has been your favorite horror role to date, and why did it resonate with you?
Ann: I loved playing a zombie, you can really go all out when you’re acting in a role that includes physicality. The moves are choreographed, the special effects are well-planned, and it’s great when you see it executed.
GeekPost: What is your favorite horror movie? Are there any actors, directors, or other professionals that you would love to collaborate with?
Ann: I really like the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre and I also enjoy watching episodes of The Twilight Zone. I don’t have goals to work with specific people, I prefer to keep my eyes open to all opportunities.
GeekPost: What advice would you give to aspiring actors and producers looking to break into the horror genre?
Ann: I think open communication is vital when working on film projects. Nobody likes surprises, please honor your commitments, and don’t expect the production to revolve around you. I also recommend being kind and considerate, which sounds obvious, but kindness will be remembered for a long time and pave the way for future opportunities.
We are incredibly grateful to Ann Myrna for her candidness in this interview, offering aspiring actors and producers valuable advice on entering the horror genre. Her emphasis on open communication, honoring commitments, and kindness underlines the importance of interpersonal skills in the film industry. If you’d like to know more about Ann’s work, please visit her website. Please comment below and share this article to further support Ann!