Interviews

Interview with Thomas Lewis

I am a HP Lovecraft fan, so I hope you will excuse me, if I continue to explore the theme of Lovecraftiana a little longer. And as a reward, here is a short interview I did for my short-lived web Bandurky na gauču in the end of 2017.

A little introduction – I’ve encountered the work of Thomas Lewis totally unexpectedly, but I really liked (and I still like) his short film “3 Evils”, influenced – you’ve guessed it – by good old HPL. Enjoy!

Hello Rudolf! At first, please excuse my english, it’s not my first language.

Can you shortly introduce yourself to my readers?

I’m a 37 years-old video editor. I work in a French publishing company called Viz Media Europe that specializes in Japanese anime. I make short films on my free time.

When did you start to make movies and what was the reason or a motivation for picking up such a hobby/profession?

I start making short films at the end of the 90s. I used to edit episodes of Little House on the Prairie to make them look like horror films (there is one episode on my youtube channel called « Last little house on the left »).

Then I decided to shoot some music videos and other homemade shorts films, always on my free time, with no budget.

The strange/ horror genre has always been one of my favorites. I used to watch lots of films by Dario Argento, David Lynch, John Carpenter, David Cronenberg, Wes Craven, Tobe Hopper or Jack Clayton when i was a kid.

In 1999, I got a Masters degree : I wrote about the mechanics of fear in films (Alien, The Texas chainsaw massacre, Suspiria, The Innocents) and litterature (Poe and Lovecraft).

Lovecraft and Edgar Poe are my favorite authors. I love the dark themes and scary atmospheres and I talked a lot about those questions during my Masters degree : how does fear work ? Is there any mechanism ? What are the ingredients in literature and films ? Is fear coming from what I see or from what I imagine ?

The short movie “3 Evils”, is obviously, influenced, or I might say, is a homage, to H.P. Lovecraft, how much his work has influenced you and what can you tell us about the meaning behind 3 Evils?

3 EVILS is very influenced by Lovecraft (the character of Abdul al Hazred is from Lovecraft’s “History of the Necronomicon »). I wanted the « monster » that attack the young girl to be a misty, elusive and changing entity, something that you can’t really describe, touch or clearly see. That’s why he’s always in the darkness or a bit out of focus.

Also, I wanted to mix an old horror universe (Lovecraft, The Pest Doctor) with a more recent one (Slenderman, from the internet creepy pasta).

OK, Slender Man is not really a part of Lovecraftian mythology, how does it fit – in your opinion – into the Lovecraftian universe?

I think it fits into the Lovecraftian universe because it’s a mysterious, unfathomable character : he lies in the darkness, and we don’t know much about him. Also, like Cthulhu, his motives and his appearance are not clearly fixed : sometimes it’s just a shadow, sometimes he has tentacles on his back. But where does it come from ? What does it want ? We never really know. That’s more scary than a monster with a real goal / explanation.

Hey, how did you manage to invoke Abdul himself? Can you share some secret spells for it?

I was lucky enough to get a copy of the Necronomicon. Don’t try this at home, kids, it’s very dangerous book !

And the last one – do you have any more shorts or feature movies similarly themed? Can you recommend other work of yours to our readers? Any interesting plans for 2018 as related to film-making?

You can see all my work on my Youtube page :

https://www.youtube.com/user/gummoguy/videos

and on Vimeo :

https://vimeo.com/thomaslewis/

https://vimeo.com/thomaslewis

Most of them are short horror films. One is called « Call of Cthulhu » by the way : this one was edited last year with some random stuffs I filmed during my vacation. At first, it was supposed to be a classic holiday video, but it turned into something much darker !

There’s also a found footage video starring me and my girlfriend («NO SIGNAL»), some very short animation films, shorts films and music videos.

In 2018, I’d like to make a short film about the story of child who plays the game Red light/Green light (1, 2, 3 Soleil in french) with his own reflection in the mirror.

That’s it ! Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any other questions, and thank you for your interest in my films !

All the best for 2018 !

Thomas

Rudolf Schütz

A father to two little perpetuum mobiles called kids, Rudolf is a main force behind The Rubber Axe webzine, a bookworm, musick lover and a movie fan - not to mention his virgin forays into the comics and board/card games.

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