Author/Screenwriter Keith Lansdale has recently had his work appear on the series Creepshow ( The episode Companion was based on the short story he wrote along his father Joe and sister Kasey that appeared in the book Bumper Crop) and most recently in the newly released genre crossing Horror Western film, The Pale Door, featuring the acting talents of Stan Shaw (Rocky), Devin Druid (13 Reasons Why), Zachary Knighton (The Hitcher), Melora Walters (Magnolia), Bill Sage (We Are What We Are), Pat Healy (The Innkeepers), Natasha Bassett (Hail, Caesar!), Noah Segan (Looper), and Tina Parker (Better Call Saul), in which he worked alongside writer/director Aaron B. Koontz (Camera Obscura) and executive producer Joe R. Lansdale. In this interview we catch up with him to see how things have been going since we spoke to him last during the filming in July 2019.
What have you been up to since we spoke last?
Staying busy! I’ve managed to get a few projects done this year despite the virus. We have a new novel called Big Lizard, a superhero origin story done Lansdale style, Red Range comics continue to press on, and a couple other irons in the fire that waiting to see what comes of them.
What are your feelings on the current state of the world? Do you think now more than ever people could use a little escapism?
Streaming services and gaming industry never had it so good. Escapism is exactly what a lot of people are looking for. It’s a wild world out there, and it doesn’t seem to be getting better soon.
How have you been coping with a world, basically in lockdown? Do you think having the chance to just slow down from the hectic pace most are familiar with has been good for your creative process?
Being a bit of an introvert has been to my advantage during these times. My fiancé is ready to return to normal, but I honestly could stay home watching shows every night.
Is there anything you are looking forward to doing when the pandemic is over that you haven’t been able to do since?
Celebrating events like birthdays. I never do anything crazy, but being forced to miss everything has been a bit of a bummer. I had plans to do Ren Fair for my birthday back in April, but that turns into eating take out.
How do you think the film industry will change most in the future after having came through this trying time? Do you think there will be any permanent changes in the way films are released to the public?
I’m curious what the theater landscape will look like after this. I see the industry already trying video on demand situations, and if they are able to make decent profit without having to worry about theaters, they might vanish. I’m a little mixed on that. I love the big screen, but honestly I’m more a fan of comfort and being able to pause and not have to worry about someone sitting next to me talking on their phone. I’d hate to see theaters go, but I’d love to see more moves available on video on demand.
Are you excited to see The Pale Door finally be released? How have audiences been responding to it so far?
I am excited. Pale Door is the first movie I’ve written that had a “release.” People I don’t even know going to see it. And I think the reviews have been mixed. People that love low budget horror enjoy it, and people that don’t.. Well they don’t. But that’s alright.
How did the idea for this story come about?
The basic framework was actually pitched to me by my cowriters Aaron Koontz and Cameron Burns. They knew a cowboys vs witches idea could make for a fun film, and I certainly agreed.
How was working on this particular project different from your past work?
I’ve cowritten a few things with my father, and even my sister, but rarely work with someone who I knew very little about. It was less than a year after meeting Aaron and Cameron, and I didn’t know what to expect.
What would you say is the most important thing you learned from the experience?
Tons, really. Doing this made me a better writer, and hopefully that shows in the future as well.
Do you prefer working exclusive on your writing or do you enjoy working in film more? Do you see yourself working more in film down the line?
I like film more, honestly. There’s something about the technical side of things that interest me more. But I never want to box myself in. I like working on anything I get the chance, and sometimes things come out better as a certain media.
What projects are you currently looking forward to bringing into existence?
The Projectionist is the one I’m holding my breath over. To be directed by my father, and we’ve lined up funding, but the virus set it back on its heels. Hopefully if things ever go back to normal we can see it made.
Is there one subject you’d most like to approach next that you haven’t gotten to yet?
I’m happy to say I don’t really live in one genre or idea. If I told you every single idea that I’m made notes over, each one would check a different set of boxes.
Is there anything you’d like to say in closing?
I really appreciate you taking an interest, and I hope people enjoy The Pale Door!