Hello magical Film Junk readers. Here’s a great new feature that should be a lot of fun for you AND us. A good amount of my web surfing is spent looking at 9/11 conspiracy videos and back episodes of American Chopper, but when i’m not googling ‘Paul Senior’s Vintage Bike Project’ i’m usually looking up early or alternate works of some of my favourite directors, whether it be short films, commercials, or music videos. After coming across loads of great stuff, I figured it might be a great idea to start a regular feature here at Film Junk in which we share some of these videos with you. Think ‘Weird Web Wednesdays’ minus the men shitting while running at full speed.
What better way to launch this feature than with the works of Spike Jonze? As a major influence in the music video industry and a new talent in feature films, Spike Jonze has a massive back catalogue of unique and entertaining videos to pull from. In fact, i’m sure we’ll end up revisiting some directors in second or third parts in the future. So without further ado, welcome to the first edition of Film Junk’s ongoing feature, ‘The Short Works of…Spike Jonze’.
Here’s a clever short film which was featured on the Palm Pictures ‘Work of Director Spike Jonze’ DVD. Apparently this was shot amongst a commercial shoot Jonez was hired for, taking advantage of some 35mm equipment, a stuntman friend and his beat up car. The short stars professional skateboarder Mark Gonzales whom you may recognize as the ‘Chair Wrestler’ from Gummo!
Perhaps not Jonze’s most iconic music video, but definitely one of my favourites.
Similar to Aardman Animations ‘Creature Comforts’, Jonze filmed some real life actors auditioning for this Miller commercial and simply replaced them with animals, retaining their original voices. You can find many more where this came from.
Apparently the final version of this commercial featured a peppier soundtrack, as fine folks at the Gap felt this version might be too intense.
In 2000 Jonze was commissioned to shoot this short documentary for Al Gore’s presidential campaign. I don’t believe it was ever used, but thanks to the wonders of YouTube, you can check it out in it’s full two part, flash video, 320×240 glory.