Archive for Add+Vantage

Hyde Again – The Posters

Posted in University Work (Old) with tags , , , on March 10, 2010 by Adam Broome

So, after being let down by the lead actress, I found myself with a harsh realisation that no matter what sort of media I would ever be producing, I could not count on friends to be willing to step up in front of the camera. All in all, I put the project to one side for quite a while whilst I worked on other modules. In future, I will endeavor to secure a more solid cast, either from the drama department of Ellen Terry, or elsewhere, to become involved in the starring roles. However, with deadlines fast approaching, I found a saving grace in flat mate James, who had previous acting experience and was willing to help me out. I had decided that the idea would work well with a female in the lead role, but as the original concept was based around a young male anyway (see ‘Introduction to Hyde Again’), I figured the idea could still be accomplished with James.

The first thing to get out the way was the TV posters, that would be displayed on billboards to accompany the broadcast. I needed to produce an idea of what the finished item would look like. I knew I wanted a photo of the main character, and I wanted to convey his two personalities. I knew the best way was one of two options – one-point lighting, or reflections. Having considered reflections, I was walking by a bank one evening and saw this wall of light, changing from red to blue. The idea was sold more or less straight away. One-point lighting involves only one of the usual three lights used in film production (most commonly a side light). Without any lights to illuminate the face, one side of the face is lit, and one side is not. This suggests a dark side / half to a person’s character.

James and myself went out to the bank location one night, and I took several photos using my DSLR camera. The idea was that red would signify danger, so I had James pull a menacing / evil face during the red lights (I eventually settled on the most theatrical). In contrast, I wanted the blue to convey the other character – the shy, sensitive character. The plan was to make two different posters based around the same theme – one would show ‘Hyde’, the other would show ‘James’. One poster would not make all that much sense without the other one, but I liked the technique (I’d previously seen it used during advertisements for the original ‘Hellboy’ movie). The tag-line for the show ‘Two Minds Are Better Than One’ would be added, and at the bottom would be all the information a person would need to view the initial screening.

Once the photos were taken, I had to sift through all of my many shots to choose the final two. Here are some good ones that did not make the final cut:

Overall, these shots were not chosen, either because the lighting was wrong, or it just didn’t look right in my mind’s eye. I can say that I didn’t choose some of the innocent photos in blue because James was looking upwards, and I realised the effect of ‘shyness’ was greater when his gaze was fixed to the floor. My instructions were only for ‘shy James’ to not look at the camera, and ‘evil James’ to look directly into the lens.

Photos chosen, the next thing to do was implement photoshop. I got to work straight away, and managed to discover a tool that created a nice sidebar with which to write the text in. The tag-line was written in an ‘Olde-England’ font face (to serve as an in-joke to the original story), and other text was written below. Here is what one such rough copy looked like:

However, I realised this looked wrong. The text at the bottom was wrong. It just didn’t look the part. Having used Google to research a little more into what an ‘ITV1’ poster actually looked like, I was able to get a better idea. After another session on photoshop, I managed to implement the ITV1 logo, which made it look a lot better. And the end results:

Overall, I was quite pleased with the way these turned out. It only took the best part of three days, and it is very close to what I originally had in mind. I think the colours work well, and even though some of the lighting is ‘blotchy’, it conveys what I was aiming for quite well. I considered playing about with the eyes in the ‘evil’ photo, but eventually decided it was best to leave it be. Ironically, in the background of the ‘evil’ picture, a ‘hoody’ just happened to be cycling past on a bike. Purely coincidental – this fits in perfectly with the events surrounding the first transition of Hyde. I think the ‘1’ on ‘ITV1’ is a little hard to read – perhaps it would have been better to colour it white instead.


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

Posted in University Work (Old) with tags , on February 11, 2010 by Adam Broome

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!