No Rest For The Weary...
on the set.
a week after shooting wrapped, Scott called to give some perspective
to the experience, though, of course, it's still not really
done. We're rapidly approaching the due date for a rough cut
of Jekyll, and then comes the real task of selling it to the
these articles help, though Scott has cautioned that he wants
to "...stay away from hype" when talking about the
filmmaking process that he loves. Even though he considers
himself "...very fortunate to be working with people
who seem to be pouring their hearts into it. But it's got
all the pain of climbing Everest."
yet, you'll notice that Scott can't help himself in praising
the cast and crew of Jekyll, a group of people that have busted
their asses to turn Scott's original vision into something
You're done with shooting. Is it now time for you to lay back
from the production and handle the other aspects of running
Zakarin: No, I'm working every day with our editor, Joe
Vallero. He's been working trailers for us and has worked
on cleaning up our last movie. We're selecting takes and making
sure that he's not just cutting blindly. He knows what takes
I like and which parts of the takes I like.
at cuts and we're hoping to have a first cut three weeks into
March, so we can show it to the other producers and get their
input. We can discuss what changes need to be made and then
continue to tweak and write the music. Evan Unruh and Mark
Teague will still be working on the special effects. And hopefully
all is good at the end and we'll have the right movie.
And who is doing the music for you?
I'm still trying to figure that out. I have a lot of tapes
of composers, and I have specific songs that I want to use.
Ultimately, the music is so goddam important to a movie like
this, that I want to be sure that I get the right guy.
go certain ways, but I'm still digging. Personality is so
important in these areas, too. Not just someone that you love
their music, but you also have the same vibe, speak the same
Did everything work out as you expected, or have there been
changes that you've had to make either for better or worse?
There were probably two scenes that I sacrificed in the end.
Not that I didn't shoot the scenes, but I sacrificed the complication
of how they were done. Neither one of them will you miss in
the film, and actually in one of them the easier alternative
ended up being far more effective. The other one is six of
one, half a dozen of the other.
I would have done those scenes in the end if I'd had the time
and money, I don't know. Would I have come up with these different
ideas anyway? I don't know.
end, I was pretty amazed at how were able to get so much of
what was originally envisioned. As I've said before, I really
give my cast and crew all the credit for that.
Can you be more specific about the scenes?
There was a scene in the script where Hyde is spying on the
Carew family through their windows. I had him climbing on
the side of the house. Because of the house that we rented
and the complications of the geography where certain rooms
were, we basically decided to ditch that and have him break
into the house.
surrounded by the Carew Family.
up with a more sneaky, creepy shot in the house. I actually
think that worked better. I still had that voyeur effect,
but now I had that creepy feeling of "oh my god, somebody's
actually in my home."
hoping to get some really cool lighting effects instead of
just a guy hanging on the side of a house. It probably would
not have been as effective.
I know there was some controversy over the green screen stuff
the days I visited the set. There seemed to be a lot of worry
that the green screen work wouldn't all get done.
On the last day, we actually split the units. We set up in
the house; they had a great big attic. We set up an area there
so that one camera could be working on green screen while
the other one was rehearsing and getting the other scenes.
In a way, we were able to get our "green screen" day.
it was a big push and pull, because you want to sit there
and cover as much of the scenes and dialogue as possible.
But the green screen is so important to make sure that the
effects shot are all there. We ended up having to fight for
the time it needed.
There was definitely a fight for it the day I was on the set.
Right, because that was the day we were shooting the first
transformation. I would say that that was one of the things
that was more contentious on the shoot. It probably wasn't
the most (contentious), because there's always things
that come up.
things become almost iconic, like we never got the cape shot,
for example. When are we going to get that shot where he loses
the cape? Well, it doesn't make sense. You have wardrobe issues
on one hand, and continuity issues on the other. Then you
have weather issues, and which car is going to be there…
became this missing scene that we couldn't shoot for a variety
of reasons. He wasn't Hyde that day, maybe; it was always
something. That became one of the things you'd keep hearing
throughout the shoot. The fight for the green screen was one
of them, but even more so was the "when do we lose the cape?"
things that an audience may not notice, which is probably
why it becomes a little stickler issue. You're asking, well,
how important is it really?
very important, because you can't suddenly have him in a different
outfit with no explanation.
And then it becomes even more important to the person who
brought it up in the first place…
And it should be. You're sitting there worrying about nailing
the scene before the sun goes down, or actors freezing in
cold water. Whatever the nightmare of the day is, sometimes
the lesser nightmares tend to get bigger by comparison.
Would more money have made a difference for you in these situations?
In some areas. There's a very specific style for the way Hyde
is shot and the way Jekyll is shot. But most of the action
comes in the Hyde scenes. The way that's shot, I don't think
that having it look more polished would have helped it.
I'd love to have that problem of give me more money and let
me see how I can amp it up. But at the same time, you're painting
within your confines.
not unhappy with the level of confines that I had, feeling
that I could walk away with special aspects of the sequences.
I was going to say "scenes," but you almost don't want every
scene to be special. You want some scenes to serve a purpose.
In ever sequence, you're looking for specific things.
overall I was able to get everything I needed, and more often
than not, a lot more. I would get performances that I didn't
expect. That's the thing; you can't put a price on a performance.
If you're framing a shot, and somebody is performing a certain
way, however it happens, you could have Casablanca.
Or you could have Titanic.
it is that causes greatness, I don't think that it's triggered
just because you have more money.
As a director, writer, producer, are you making art or just
telling a story? Or is there a difference?
Telling a story is certainly art. The better question for
me is, am I manufacturing a product or creating an artistic
always manufacturing because ultimately you have schedules
and deadlines; it's a business. But as far as, do I feel like
an artist? It's a wonderful thing to be able to paint pictures
in continuity and emotion. I can't even describe it.
what I've done since I was a little kid. I made movies when
I was a teenager on one of those early heavy "portable" videorecorders,
much heavier than you have today. And it's the same thing.
I imagine that if I were working on a thirty, forty million
dollar movie, it would feel like the same thing to me.
have more time to do certain types of things. I could take
on different types of stories that my financial limitations
don't allow me to do now. But I'm a storyteller and an artist.
Now, whether I'm a good one, that's clearly up to the public.
But I'm getting that satisfaction.
How was the wrap? I heard from your assistant, Behn Fannin,
that you "pushed through 'til dawn."
We did. But we were scheduled to do it. It was always a night
shoot. We would have pushed through until dawn under any circumstances.
But I think it went a couple of hours longer in the end. We
did very complicated things on the last day.
ever cross a cranky director.
yourself a tough day on the last day is both painful and a
sense of "this war's not over." People may start to feel like
you're packing it in, but you can't. You've still got to nail
this. These are very important scenes. We burned up Banzai.
We set him on fire that day.
For the film, or just for the hell of it?
Just for the hell of it. He pissed me off.
had some big stunts on that day. We had some key, key scenes
that day, a third act twist that was pretty huge. We had to
kick ass all day, and I do remember feeling like I was freezing.
It was late when we started. It was a very cold snap that
day, and I'm never good with cold.
Matt's walking around without a shirt on, just in his jacket,
because he's so hopped up and running around.
he would do something like jump off something and land easily,
I'd say, "you know, in ten years it's going to be very difficult
for you to do that." And he'd just smile and say, "I know."
I sometimes think we're the before and after picture for middle
was cold. How am I going to get through this day? There were
so many complications. We walked onto the set, and we were
as disorganized as if it were the first day. We'd gotten really
strong, we built and built, and there was something about
that last day that was just really tough.
of it is that feeling like you're packing it in, and you've
got to fight that. Hang in there, not make those compromises.
You're fighting exhaustion and all these emotions that you
interesting, because I started getting stronger by the second
half of that day. And I know it's because I was fueled by
all the good work that was being done by the key people on
the movie. That kept me going and warm. By the end, I probably
could have shot another ten hours. At the beginning, I didn't
think I could even shoot the whole night.
So are you ready for Son of Jekyll?
Well, the logical next movie is Hyde, which I have
some ideas for. But I'm actually working on two different
scripts right now. One is a horror film with a very unique
idea which my partner Rich Tackenberg came up with. I have
another that I intend to direct.
Given how involved the actors were, especially Matt, has it
now just been bye-bye for them? How involved are they post-production?
I told Matt that I would love to have him involved in post-production.
I actually haven't spoken to him since the shoot. I've got
to catch up with him. We had a wonderful collaborative relationship
on the movie, and I've definitely want that to continue.
on the beach...
most part, though, for actors, it's hard to judge yourself.
It's hard to weight the movie properly when you're part of
it. It's just human nature. That's why actors generally aren't
involved unless they're stars.
do think that's one of the problems with the movie system
right now. Stars have gotten so much power and so much control
that they're not thinking about the balance of the movie all
the time. Although there are stars that are so good that they
make their co-stars look good. That's not a generalization.
I just get the sense that that's got to be why most Hollywood
movies suck so badly.
Any last words on Matt?
He willingly did things that you wouldn't ask a guy to do.
He put himself in that position. Whenever possible, he did
his own stunts, though he had a great stuntperson there helping
him to do whatever he had to do. If I had him drinking half
a bottle of wine in a take, he'd have to do it each take.
He would always say, nope, make sure I'm on camera. He'd be
walking around bloated.
were constant things that he was coming up with, adding to
had such a phenomenal cast on this movie. Jonathan
Silverman is one of the most collaborative actors I've
ever worked with in my life. He's easy-going and he always
adds something to it. Alanna Ubach is one of my heroes; I've
been tracking her career for years. When she walked in for
auditions, I said, "oh my god, you're so talented." I knew
exactly who she was and I can't wait to work with her again.
Desmond is as nice
a guy as he seems, and as great an actor as he seems. Abigail
is terrific. Siena
is a major movie star waiting to happen.
know what to tell you. I really lucked out. Josh Stewart,
who you probably didn't speak to, is going to be a major star.
He plays Tommy (a drunk that Hyde picks up at a bar)
- I basically rewrote the character for him. Lisa Donahue
from Big Brother. Also, Erin Cahill, who I was a big
fan of when she was the Pink Power Ranger (on Time Force).
got this big group of people that I just admired. They're
just wonderful and beautiful. Not beautiful in a conventional
sense, but as performers. They make you realize why people
do this, why they become actors. Because this is who they
can't say that about anybody more than Matt
Keeslar. He's just so into it. And he's got the advantage
of this amazing, amazing face. He's beautiful to look at and
he's also interesting. On one hand he's Captain America, and
on another he's William Hurt. It's wonderful.
discussions with Scott on the Making of Jekyll: