Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pickles, Fhtagn and Portals: An interview with James Knouse!

James Knouse wheres many hats including being involved with the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and unleashing the madness that is "Cthulhu Pickles". We had a chance to talk with him about his inspirations, deep ones, and more.

Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get inspired to present Cthulhu Pickles? What was one of the hardest things for you to learn about the process?

I grow peppers in my spare time here in Lompoc, California. Growing peppers and other "wicked plants" is a sorta stress release from my daily jobs of running my Media Production company Walking Kind of Bird and organizing the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival.

I had at one time about 60 different varieties of peppers growing and as you can imagine when harvest time comes I am swimming in peppers. So my wife suggested that we make pickles using one of her recipes. So we did and Wicked Pickles was born. Being an organizer of the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in LA and recognizing the serious need for pickles I created Cthulhu Pickles.

What's your favorite H.P. Lovecraft story?

"Memory." It is the most perfect short story ever. Although I am very partial to "Herbert West the Re-Animator." Something about WW1 and the dead coming back.

Will we see even more Lovecraftian pickle or pepper options in the future?

Yes you will. Right now I am working on the "Deep Ones Sea Salts" as well as mixed drink options for Cthulhu Pickles. When you are at the Whale and Ale or Grand Vision for the Prayer Breakfast ask for a "Bloody Cthulhu with Extra Deluxe Tentacle Spears" in it.

What’s the biggest challenge for artists interested in creating a truly Lovecraftian work?

That is a tough one... Since I am a movie guy I will stick with movies... Artists should always stick with the basics of film making first and have a good script. After that focus on your skills as a film maker. Making a good film first is key and if you are true to Lovecraft, Lovecraft will come through in the end I think.

What's a project you really hope to take on in the next few years? Where do you hope to go from here?

Making the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival Los Angeles the best of it's kind anywhere. LA has more to offer than any other city on earth. Also the weather is nice :)

Where else can we find you throughout the year?

You can find me running my production company in Lompoc. I specialize in launching businesses digitally online so spend my time photographing, and making commercials.

This year’s theme is “Shadows Over Innsmouth.” Why do you think this story touches so many people almost a century later?

Everything that washes up on the beach has a story.

I wanted to pick “Shadows Over Innsmouth” as a theme because of the idea of being trapped in an unknown place with people unknown. San Pedro is a cool oceanside town and the first time I visited I thought of the Shadow Over Innsmouth... Every street in San Pedro led to somewhere new and strange. I thought visiting folks would dig that idea as much as me.

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