David Knight - 29th May 2020

Family life in lockdown can be an up and down experience, and comedian actor and now filmmaker Spencer Jones encapsulates that tension in his charmingly personal video for singer-songwriter Alexander Wolfe.

Spencer is a master of physical comedy who stars as the disaster-prone yet optimistic Leslie Winner in new TV sitcom Mister Winner. But in the video for Wolfe's Tired Of Me, he embodies a different kind of haplessness. The rather ramshackle feel comes from the fact that he was experimenting as he was going, having never shot a video before. But ultimately it's about a comedian who is trying to stay funny, faced with a captive yet unforgiving audience - his own kids, Sonny and Winona.

Spencer's method is to engage with homemade art and various props. His tools are cardboard, paint, papier maché and magnifying mirrors, as he seeks to satisfy his creative urges and entertain the youngsters. Will it work, and fend off an existential crisis? Probably not...

SPENCER JONES:

My daughter flicking the V's was a lovely moment that fills with equal amounts of pride and shame.

"I've been a friend and a fan of Alexander Wolfe for years. I listen to his stuff in the car on the way to comedy gigs. I love him. When we went into lockdown we were video-calling each other and I was messing around with a couple of stupid visual gags next to me. He was laughing and said 'Please make me a music video of you, just titting about'. I asked the missus, she said go on then, and so off I went.

"I have never made a music video before. I hadn't made my mind up about what the video was going to be like. At first I thought I could just mess about on camera with loads of different props and that would be enough. So I dusted off the 7D, found a tripod and got cracking. Surprise, surprise, this footage wasn't good enough! It was boring! So for the next couple of days forgot about it and filmed my kids playing and hanging about. The weather was great and I really enjoyed just capturing the kids. I don't think you can go wrong with scruffy kids, playing retro games in sunbeams.

"Whilst I was still wondering about the Alexander Wolfe track, I decided to use it to make a montage of our kids to send to grandparents. That's when the idea started really. The track and the images worked well together and a possible story was starting to show. Because alongside this I was personally worrying about my live comedy act and the weirdness I get up to onstage. Everyone has had a lot of time to think over the past few weeks and sometimes doubt starts to creep in. So I moved the camera up into my loft, because lofts are cool and the only place big enough to get my full body shot.

"I love those things you get at the seaside, where you poke your head through a hole and look like a body builder or a lady in a bikini. So I made my own versions of them, using the lyrics for inspiration.

"The final part of the story I needed to get was that of a sightly broken comedian, worried about the future, doing a comedy gig for his own disinterested children. No problem! Easy! And my daughter flicking the V's was a lovely moment that fills with equal amounts of pride and shame!

"Once I was editing I just picked the best shots and tried to keep things moving and not get boring. My friend Martin Stirling advised me that the viewer is like a detective, discovering and deciphering as they go. I loved that phrase, and used it keep me in check.

"I loved making it. And I owe a massive thank you to my brilliant children (and I owe them 20 quid each). 

"Thanks to my missus Ruth who filmed a load of it and has no previous experience at all. She wasn’t keen on the whole thing because she was so worried about getting it wrong. But everything that’s no on sticks with me in is her. Very stressful but we are both chuffed with the end result. 

"And thanks to Alexander Wolfe for making the crazy suggestion I make this."

PRO Credits

Credits

DirectorSpencer Jones
ProducerSpencer Jones
Production CompanyEfic
Lead actorSpencer Jones
Other creditsCamera operator: Ruth Jones Cast: Sonny Jones, Winona Jones

David Knight - 29th May 2020

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