Interview: 'Black Wake' Producer Carlos Keyes on His H.P. Lovecraft-Inspired Movie

Thursday, 22 February 2018 - 9:35AM
Thursday, 22 February 2018 - 9:35AM
Interview: 'Black Wake' Producer Carlos Keyes on His H.P. Lovecraft-Inspired Movie
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Carlos Keyes
Having invented the cosmic horror genre, science fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft may be a well-known author with several well-known stories, but there never seem to be very many films based on that genre full of cosmic monstrosities and madness.

Enter Black Wake, a sci-fi/horror film playing at the 2018 Philip K. Dick Film Festival in Manhattan's East Village. Set during an epidemic of mysterious deaths on beaches along the Atlantic Ocean, a team of specialists can't seem to pinpoint the cause until they come across a series of crazed writings detailing a dangerous and ancient evil, which puts the movie right up the "cosmic horror" alley. And it features a big cast including Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan), Nana Gouvea, Eric Roberts, Vincent Pastore, and Jonny Beachamp.  

Outer Places reached out to the film's producer and co-writer, Carlos Keyes, for an exclusive interview:

Outer Places: Could you talk a little about yourself, and how you got involved in Black Wake? What drew you to the project?

Carlos Keyes:
My background was in music. My main gig is a music talent agent, I have represented many known legendary performers in my career. So I have been in the entertainment business for a few decades now. My wife Nana Gouvea introduced me to Jeremiah Kipp, the director of Black Wake. He shared a couple of scripts that he was looking to make.

I read them and really liked Black Wake, it had cool sci-fi elements in which I thought the basis for the story could be told very interesting and that was the beginning of it.

OP: Since the movie was inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, are there any specific Lovecraft stories that the movie draws from? Were there any other sci-fi or horror stories which helped inspire the film?

Keyes: Jerry Janda wrote the script with the H.P. Lovecraft influence. Jeremiah Kipp and l later expanded the film to include more sci-fi elements in the style of Philip K. Dick. I believe we found a good mesh that keeps the viewer on their toes not knowing what to expect.

OP: The story is told through a "found footage" style. How did that affect filming, especially when it came to the more psychological or supernatural elements?

The found footage style was a major challenge, we figured out ways to tell the story without a bunch of shaky camera movements and justify the footage. Such as Google Glasses on the government agents and body cams on the soldiers, etc.

OP: You've assembled an impressive cast for Black Wake. What was it like to work with a cast like that?

Keyes: Everyone in the cast was great to work with. Vincent Pastore was a really cool person and fun on set. The guy is charismatic. Eric Roberts did his thing and was very smooth. All in all, love working with them. Tom Sizemore was a true professional and brilliant on set.

We actually build a friendship afterward and plan to work on other films. Jonny Beauchamp was just on point each shoot day, fantastic actor.

OP: What are you working on next?

Keyes: I have on deck next a physiological thriller called Killer Response. Shooting later this summer.

Black Wake is playing at the Philip K. Dick Film Festival this Saturday, February 24 at the Village East Cinema in Manhattan, New York. Tickets are available here.
Science Fiction
Sci-Fi Movies