More thoughts on Asenath Waite…

Hi there Survivors!

I received an interesting post here the other day which I was going to reply to but thought it might make a good basis for a larger discussion – here’s what DrakerKOS said:

In the book she have brown skin, why to change that? really, her origins are important, the color of her skin in important, this change a piece of the author´s idea… how ever, Edward is awesome, just how i imagined and the project look really good, i wish you all the best and luck with this, i wait to see the final result.

Firstly – thanks to the poster for sharing his (her?) thoughts – we’re not making Arkham just for ourselves – we’re making it for fans of Lovecraft everywhere so they can finally have a faithful adaptation of HPL’s stories that brings the characters to life the way they’ve always imagined them.

Feedback like this is much appreciated – and whilst the film has largely completed shooting now it’s really rewarding to know when we’ve met the fans’ expectations. Getting Arkham finished is a huge undertaking and it’s posts like these that keep us motivated even when things aren’t necessarily progressing as quickly as we’d like.

It also brings up a good point about Asenath (and changes in general that needed to to made in order to make the film possible) – did I get it wrong? Is she markedly different to how most fans perceived her character to be? Here’s an extract from ‘The Thing on the Doorstep’:

Edward was thirty-eight when he met Asenath Waite. She was, I judge, about twenty-three at the time; and was taking a special course in mediaeval metaphysics at Miskatonic. The daughter of a friend of mine had met her before – in the Hall School at Kingsport – and had been inclined to shun her because of her odd reputation. She was dark, smallish, and very good-looking except for overprotuberant eyes; but something in her expression alienated extremely sensitive people. It was, however, largely her origin and conversation which caused average folk to avoid her. H.P. Lovecraft, ‘The Thing on the Doorstep’

Lovecraft’s description of Asenath is pretty vague – certainly as a native of Innsmouth I’d always considered her to be a white New-Englander – his mention of her being ‘dark, smallish and very good-looking’ I attributed to her dress and her hair – not to the colour of her skin. Her look was also heavily inspired by artwork created for Chaosium’s Mythos CCG:

Note however that I deliberately ignored the references to her ‘overprotuberant eyes‘ – I made this omission because in making Arkham Sanitarium we’re trying to make these stories accessible to horror fans that may not have read the original stories – whilst Asenath should display signs of ‘The Innsmouth Look’, in Lovecraft’s story that was used solely as a link to his other works and plays no significant part in the events of ‘The Thing on the Doorstep’ – faced with leaving something in and having to find a way to explain it or simply removing it because it didn’t serve the story I chose the latter.

Which I guess nicely illustrates some of the thought processes that go into making a film like this – you’re always walking a fine line between making something that truly reflects the source material and something that works as a stand-alone movie in its own right. Did I make the right choice? I’ll leave it to the fans to decide that when they’ve had a chance to see the finished film 🙂


~ by Survivor Films on June 21, 2012.

4 Responses to “More thoughts on Asenath Waite…”

  1. I really want to watch this movie… 😀

  2. Hello,

    I’m a professional artist and avid Lovecraft fan. I wanted to run a few things by you:

    -I never envisioned Ms. Waite to have “dark” skin. If carefully read, it was more insinuated to be attributed to her demeanor, dress and vibe. Think somewhat of Wynona Rider’s character in Beetle Juice (the name escapes me).

    -Many years ago, I dated a girl with that last name… and the eyes. The interesting thing was that while she had a pretty face, it was strage. Alluring. See, her chin was more tapered, giving her cheekbones and forehead more width than the typical Caucasian woman. Aspects of her face looked strong and prominent, while others seemed fragile.

    …oddly enough, Asenathe’s visage was basically the complete opposite of Lovecraft’s. Even her gender was opposite. Freudian, or did Lovecraft do that intentionally?

    Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?


  3. My usual post checking how the film is coming. Is it complete? Will it see release soon?

  4. It’s been a year since the last post. Is the film still in development?

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