February 26, 2021

Keith Thomas on Writing and Directing The Vigil, and Remaking Stephen King’s Firestarter

Keith Thomas is Denver-based a screenwriter and director whose horror feature, The Vigil, was released on February 26 by IFC Midnight. Starring Dave Davis, The Vigil is about a man providing overnight watch to a deceased member of his former Orthodox Jewish community, who encounters a malevolent entity. After Stephen King saw The Vigil, he approved Keith to direct a remake of King’s 1984 horror film, Firestarter, which will begin shooting this year.

What you will learn:

  • What inspired Keith to write The Vigil.
  • How his previous career as a medical researcher in nursing homes informed his narratives in both his short film, Arkane, and The Vigil.
  • How witnessing a hate crime in real life inspired Keith to write a particular scene in The Vigil.
  • How a very specific world or community with a defined set of rules (like the Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn, where this movie is set), can make for a compelling setting in a horror movie.
  • Why Keith rejected an offer to buy the screenplay for The Vigil, instead choosing to direct it on his own.
  • Why he cast Dave Davis as the lead and what previous roles Davis played that convinced Keith he was right for the part.
  • How making his short film Arkane, which is still available on YouTube, opened the door to making The Vigil.
  • How aspiring filmmakers can make short films to open similar opportunities.
  • Why aspiring filmmakers should NOT take the path taken by Keith into film.
  • Why a remake of Stephen King’s Firestarter is the perfect classic horror film for him to direct.

Resources Related Keith Thomas:

Check This Out:

Grammy Winner B.J. Thomas on 50 Years of Hits and the Enduring Power of Raindrops

BJ Thomas Takeaways, R.I.P. Chadwick Boseman, and Joan Jett (revisited)

Actress Naomi Grossman on American Horror Story, One Woman Shows, and Loving Your Work

Rayka Zehtabchi and Sam Davis on Life After the Oscars and Filming/Directing “A Woman’s Place”

Niki Pilkington on Neon Illustration, Female Empowerment, and Mental Wellbeing in the Arts

« View Recent Episodes | View All Episodes »