Introduction To ‘Hyde Again’ (Add+Vantage Project)

So here we are, at the first of what hopefully are many transitions of ‘ideas to films’ incarnated from my childhood and teenage years. I specifically chose my Add+Vantage module to make a film trailer, but I have instead ended up deciding to make a TV show trailer instead. The genre is horror / drama, the idea is that it will be shown in ITV at the 9:00pm watershed. All other marketing aside, next week I aim to complete both the photo shoot for the posters, and the actual trailer itself (clocking in at just over a minute long).

I’ll let you know how that goes as and when, but right now, this post is to introduce you to the main idea. As you may have already guessed, it is linked to Robert Lois Stevenson’s classic tale about Dr Jekyll and his ‘Mr Hyde’ alter ego. It is in fact a modern retelling, conjured up during my second year at college when I was seventeen. It was both a response to the BBC’s very own retelling (entitled Hyde, starring James Nesbitt – a classic moment of me thinking that I could do the same thing a lot better), and a response to my current feelings towards the fact I was under-age to participate in the activities my friends were.

Hyde Again is in some ways a mini biography of my own experiences at college. It originally followed the exploits of a seventeen year old college student who was suffering not only from the usual angst, but also a mad crush on a girl who didn’t like him back, and the fact his friends had all turned eighteen and he had not. The story goes off on it’s tangent when the boy walks back home one day and trips over a box buried beneath a tree. Inside the box is a potion… and the rest as they see is history.

What follows was not the transformation into a monster, but more the gaining of extreme confidence. I wanted the story to be psychological more than physical (although some physical changes did occur). One notable scene involved the ‘Hyde’ version of the boy kissing one of the most attractive students in the college right in front of his crush who had turned him down. Hyde also beats up two bouncers to gain access to a nightclub, where his friends argue that he’s not old enough to be in there. One of my favourite scenes was the first time the transformation happens, and as Hyde celebrates his new-found freedom, a group of hoodies attack him – and subsequently all get killed (a popular scene in many of my stories that were created at the time).

Originally intended as a TV show, this did become a theatre production for a short time, before reverting back to being a TV show. Here I have a chance to make the idea a reality. In need of a lead, I quickly came across a good development – to change the character from male to female. This contrasts with the usual ‘Mr’ Hyde, and perhaps adds new meaning to the concept. Props have been minimal yet hard to create. Extras are needed for only a few seconds, yet still prove illusive. This will be challenge… but it’s something I want to do.

Oh, and if you’re wondering how the whole thing ended. Well, the murder of the hoodies gets the cops onto the lead character, who’s subsequent actions during the local nightlife slowly allow them to close in. At the same time, his friends decide to investigate the radical behavior on their own, eventually finding the capsule. It all ends in Hyde killing his best friend in front of his crush… a man who consequently turns out to be the chief investigator’s son. The rest just ends in a bloodbath, with the lead character dying as a form of his usual self, crying, and just saying that he wanted to have his friends back (emo much?). There was a little more to it than that, but yeah… that stays with me 🙂

If you are interested in the project, I’m on facebook, just leave a message or something. Still looking for some people to play students. Let’s see how this goes!

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