“The special Halloween double issue of Rue Morgue magazine included a number of interesting features, as usual, but one which caught my eye was a description of a new documentary on titled Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown (Wyrdstuff Productions, 2008). This fim was directed and produced by Frank Woodward, and after getting in touch he graciously and enthusiastically talked about this production.
TheoFantastique: Frank, thanks for making this great documentary, and for allowing me to screen it for this interview. How did you come to develop a personal fascination with Lovecraft and how did it lead to this documentary coming about?
Frank Woodward: I first became aware of Lovecraft like most people, I expect. It was the Call of Cthulhu role playing game, mainly the monsters within. I’ve always been a monster fan and who could resist the tentacled beasties in CoC. That led to my reading some of the major stories… Call of Cthulhu, Pickman’s Model, Rats In The Walls. I have to admit, though, that my Lovecraftian knowledge was basic.
The desire to make a documentary was a more recent one. I occasionally produce DVD extras for Anchor Bay. There was discussion of doing a short bio of Lovecraft for the Re-Animator special edition. It didn’t happen for various reasons. By the time that decision was made, however, I had done quite a bit of research on the man. In some way I experienced what many of the people who’ve seen the documentary experienced. I was reminded how much I enjoyed Lovecraft’s work and wanted to throw myself headlong into learning more. Making this documentary was almost like a college course. I think that’s how all documentaries should be made. They should be a journey of discovery. The desire to learn all you can is why you bother making the film in the first place.”