Dreams On A Low Budget:
An Interview With The Writer/Director of Jekyll,
our behind-the-scenes look...
Welcome back to our conversation with Scott Zakarin. You might
not know his name right now, but he's been on the edge of
your consciousness on the internet for quite some time. In
addition to launching the online soap opera The Spot in the
early days of the web when we still called it World Wide,
Scott worked on Grapejam, AOL's Entertainment Asylum, and
was rumored to have a lot to do with Playboy's online presence,
but that could just be something he taunts me with every now
and then and hopes I won't check it out.
the last few years, Scott has served as the CEO of Creative
Light Entertainment, a company dedictated to genre films
and making fanboys go wild. Many fans may remember Mind Meld,
the William Shatner/Leonard Nimoy interview project released
a couple of years ago, produced by Scott and directed by Peter
Jaysen. The company also has the video rights to the legendary
Sid Caesar's work -- appealing to a different set of fans,
perhaps, but no less rabid in their appreciation.
of course, there's Comic
Book: The Movie, directed by Mark Hamill. But more on
that at a later time.
the first part of this interview, Scott talked about his
inspiration for his return to the director's chair. Today,
he talks about licensing, multi-media possibilities, and how
crucial his casting is going to be. As of yet, no decisions
have been announced, but some high-profile names to fandom
were being batted around the office last week.
by the way, he did remove his finger from his nose.
There's a choice you made in the script also that Hyde works
out in a Victorian virtual reality. Why?
It could have been any world. The idea being that when you're
playing a videogame it should be in a fantasy world. Even
the world of Grand Theft Auto is still a fantasy world
of a sin city type of universe. It could be outer space, it
could be anything, and I could have put Hyde anywhere.
really born in Victorian England, so it seemed to me that
that was as good a place as any to put the videogame. That's
really the whole reason. I don't have him interacting with
characters; he's just in the game going crazy and killing
So you'll be trying to do some kind of licensing for a Hyde
his breath, yet looking relaxed...
I don't really think I own that brand. I think Jekyll and
Hyde kind of belongs to the world. If it were, somebody wanted
to do a videogame, that's just not the motivation for me at
all. It's really not. I'm not trying to say this is my franchise.
I mean, it can happen.
happened with Stan Lee's Thor. He created Thor (the comic
book character) and people would said, "we want to make
Thor." And Stan just says, "why don't they make it?"
can make Thor. Thor is a thunder god who has a cool hammer.
If you want to make him Don whatever-his-name… (Donald
So I don't
think I own Jekyll and Hyde. If for some reason, someone else
saw it differently, well, I have no problem with commercialism.
It's just that I have no good reason for it.
So where are you in production now? Have you cast anybody
No. We're very close, actually. For some of the roles. I'm
holding my breath on some actors that would be dream scenarios.
One thing I can tell you is that the quality of actor has
has gotten very good reactions from Hollywood agencies and
management companies. The actors that have been coming in
for a lower-budget horror film with a director people don't
really know - we have really been able to get the actors.
We will have a very good cast. Fine actors. Interesting calls
and recognizable faces as well as name stars.
is the period where we're officially…what day is it? The 16th?
We are five weeks away from the shoot. We're shooting on the
19th (of January). So five weeks. With Christmas in
between. So we have…we're looking to nail down the locations.
We're looking to figure out what the effects are. We're looking
to hire the stunt coordinator…actually, that I can tell you.
His name is Banzai Vitale.
hired a production designer, Mark Teague. He's actually the
guy who starred in and directed Superguy, which is
something that's coming out for us soon. Also, he worked on
a lot of the graphics and animation for Comic Book: The
Movie. He's fantastic.
production designer Mark Teague...
hiring keys. We've got our Director of Photography, Bill McCullen.
He's shot several movies in hi-def. I've also worked with
him on commercials. So those are the types of thing you do
in pre-production, casting, wardrobe…
we get our actors, then we can start doing tests on things
like how Hyde is going to look. Exactly what wardrobe is going
to be. It's really putting together the pieces and really
planning out our shoot. Scheduling it, storyboarding the scenes,
so that when we get on the set we can have the best use of
And how long is the schedule for the shoot?
It's three weeks. It's extremely short, but we're also going
to have a week of rehearsals. We will have two cameras for
anything that resembles an action sequence, to pick up some
done a lot of television, I'm used to working quickly. But
I also don't want to…well, obviously, a lot of this will be
riding on the actor who plays Jekyll. He's in ninety percent
of the scenes. That's probably an underestimation. So I've
got to get the right person, somebody who's not just a fantastic
actor but a solid citizen. That's really what it's going to
now give me a little time -- we'll have an
interview with Mark Teague on the challenges of updating
Hyde and on being an animator who's also bulletproof.
discussions with Scott Zakarin on the Making of Jekyll: