The eerie music of Marilyn Manson’s This is Halloween featured in Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas could be heard emanating from a small studio next to Richmond Public Market earlier this week.
In fact, a passerby may have even caught a glimpse of Jack Skellington, the main character from Burton’s dark fantasy film, wandering about.
Halloween may be a couple of months off, but a group of young artists are determined to give local kids a creepy thrill -- particularly considering haunted houses and trick or treating may be no-goes this year because of the pandemic.
More than 20 local artists are putting together a music video This is Halloween that will be released online via YouTube on Oct. 1.
Viewers are going to see a house where the portraits come alive and decide to throw a Halloween music party after finding out no “real” humans are around, said project director and Richmondite Nico Dicecco. The idea came from Harry Potter movies where wizarding photographs and portraits could sing and move, she added.
To keep each performer safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19, only one to two actors are allowed in the studio every day. However, after shooting everyone’s contribution individually, all the vocals will be mixed to create the sound of a choir and, visually, it will look like all the performers are in one place at one time.
The performers really cherish the opportunity to engage through the arts after being stuck at home for months, said Dicecco.
"These artists are used to working on live performances, but they can't do it now. We miss the work, we miss the creativity. This video project gives them a chance to do something they love and are good at.
"We also want to create something exciting for our community to see and enjoy," added Dicecco.
Lily Yuan said the show producer is the mother of two young daughters; she understands that Halloween is a big thing for children, but they aren't sure what the event will look like this year.
"Halloween can't be as big as before, therefore, I hope to create this project with my team members to bring more joy and excitement into children's life.
"And, as an artist myself, I understand that the world could turn into a blank piece of paper if we aren't able to create. This project can provide young artists with an opportunity to showcase their talents," said Yuan.