I first heard this song while Mark Hoy and I were driving around downtown Seattle in February, listening to an unmastered copy of the album while trying to decide which song to make into their first music video. I was blown away by this song, and told Mark that it wasn’t the time to make this yet (there was less of a budget, time was tight, etc…) but that I needed to make a video to Jekyll & Hyde. The music video for “Higher” was thankfully well-received and this summer Theoretics launched a Kickstarted campaign to raise money for a “Jekyll & Hyde” video.
I had begun writing a screenplay back in July, and after a few long brainstorming sessions with all seven band members pitching in their varied ideas we decided to go with a surprisingly traditional representation of the original novella by Robert Louis Stevenson.
I read the novella deeply and repeatedly for a few months as I worked on other projects. I was blown away by how different the story was from the general concept of Jekyll & Hyde that seems to make its way into popular culture.
Our version has most of the core elements of the original story, but I won’t tell you much more about it because I want you to just read the novella. It’s amazing, it’s short and it’s free on the Kindle store and Project Gutenburg.
Thankfully, the band raised the money and we began filming the week after the Kickstarter campaign ended.
We decided to go for a steampunk motif for the sets and costumes. The original story came out of the Victorian era and the punked-out version of Victorian fashion and design that we see in steampunk art seemed like a perfect fit for a hip-hop music video.
Dr Jekyll’s computer was made from a vintage typewriter I bought on ebay, with an ornate picture frame and glass mounted to the back. The text was added in Adobe After Effects. Most of the scientific equipment in Jekyll’s lab was found at estate sales in the months leading up to the shoot.
Jekyll’s cane has been mine since I was a teenager; I randomly collected canes for a few years and was glad to have one on hand that fit this world.
Filming took five days (four in the Seattle area and one very long day in Port Townsend, WA). We were blessed to be able to get good rates to film at the Columbia City Theater, the Sorrento Hotel and the Water Street Hotel in Port Townsend. At about 1:40 in the video below you can see the room we filmed Jekyll’s lab in, minus the lights, smoke machine, props and other set pieces:
We worked with the city of Port Townsend and the local police department to get clearance to film additional footage on the Victorian-looking streets of Port Townsend. Hyde’s third verse (with the krumpers) was filmed in Occidental Park in Pioneer Square (Seattle), and several scenes were filmed in front of a green screen in my living room on Bainbridge Island.
In addition to the gear I normally use (listed here) I rented a Canon 100mm f/2.8L macro
lens which was used for many of the extreme close-ups. We used a fog machine heavily throughout the production, as well as a mixed kit of DP lights.
Don Gunn mixed the intro dialogue and created a soundscape for the scene. I did the editing (Final Cut Pro 7), coloring and visual effects (After Effects, using Automatic Duck Pro to import the FCP7 sequences). I finished editing the music video about a week before the premiere at The Triple Door at 11pm on Oct 28 but didn’t finish the visual effects until about 10:20pm on the night of the premiere.
I made these credits to follow the music video in its recent theatrical showings. Response to the band and this music video has been huge!
Cast & Crew
(in order of appearance)
Edward Hyde: Chimaroke Abuachi
Sir Danvers Carew: Cameron Peace
Gabriel Utterson: Tony Gasbarri
Henry Jekyll: Mark Hoy
News Anchor: Meredyth Yund
Good Marketing Team:
Evil Marketing Team:
Hyde’s Minions (Krumpers):
Song and performances by Theoretics: Chimaroke Abuachi, Art Brown, Adam Gross, Mark Hoy, Ben Krulewitch, Cameron Peace, Birch Pereira
Screenplay, Producer, Art Director, Director, Director of Photography, Editor, Visual Effects, Colorist: Garrett Gibbons
Associate Producer, Production Coordinator, Production Photographer: Jill Andrus Gibbons
Wardrobe design: Lastwear, Helene Hawthorne, Pacific Northwest Costume
Props: Benjamin Moore, Lastwear, Garrett Gibbons
Hair: Nicholas Chamberlain, Radar Hair & Records, Katya Schexnaydre
Makeup: Radar Hair & Records
Associate Producers: Birch Pereira, Rob Nyland, Nikki Etienne
Special Thanks: City of Seattle, City of Port Townsend, Port Townsend Police Department, Sorrento Hotel, Columbia City Theater, Water Street Hotel