Yield 25: Todd McFarlane speaks about Do The Evolution video

Spawn creator Todd McFarlane, who co-directed Pearl Jam’s Do the Evolution clip, recalls Eddie Vedder had a knack for video editing.

A phone call came out of the blue, and it’s Eddie Vedder. His proposition was, “The record label’s bugging us for music video. We’re not really into music videos; we haven’t done one since ‘Jeremy.’ But then I was watching the Spawn animated series, and it was like, ding, the light bulb went off: We’ll just make it animated. I don’t have to star in it.” The song was Do the Evolution, and Eddie said, “Todd, I need the video to show all time, space, and dimension in three-and-a-half minutes. I have a vibe for it, so I’m going to send you something.” And within a day or two, I get a VHS. He had taken episodes of Spawn that he had recorded off HBO and edited them to the music of Do The Evolution. It was really quite impressive, so I phoned him: “That’s pretty cool. Who did that?” He said, “I did.” I went, “Who did the editing?” And he said, “I did.” “How’d you do the editing?” “I’ve got an Avid,” which is a video-editing machine. I was like, “So rockers have Avid machines at home? This is what they do in their spare time?” And he was good.

He was good to the point that when we got to the end of the process, he said, “Hey Todd, any way I can come down to California and sit in an editing bay with you guys?” And I was like, “After seeing that? Yeah.” He sat there with us all three days while we edited that music video. He had a lot of ideas on the visuals and what he wanted. Like, “Hey, can we do some tech things here? Can we do some prehistoric stuff here? I want to do a skull pilot. I want to do some Romans.” My guess is that some of the odder stuff, like the big mechanical stuff that looks like it’s birthing was coming from Eddie, because we probably wouldn’t have been that extreme, going, “Hey, why don’t we do a birthing machine, Eddie?” We showed him something that might have been tame, and he went, “No. Push it, man. I want people to react to this.”…

You can read the full interview with McFarlane on Rolling Stone.

Todd McFarlane is a Canadian comic book creator, artist, writer, filmmaker and entrepreneur, best known for his work as the artist on The Amazing Spider-Man and as the creator, writer, and artist on the superhero horror-fantasy series Spawn.