When British filmmaker Alex Goddard falls in love, no part goes to waste. His affection starts from the top of the head, all the way down to the stinky – and everywhere in between.
“Oh no! Creative Babble is out of material?” you say. Cheer up people – I’m feeling a little romantic.
I [insert body part] this video. It’s silly – I’ll give you that. However, it’s also refreshing to see an artist let loose. So many times, we find ourselves trying to be someone we’re not. Alex Goddard is authentic.
I also discovered something fascinating about Alex (which we discuss towards the bottom of the page.) He heads up a monthly, open-mic style, film festival called Kino London. After you read about Kino, you too will want to start a Kino night in your own town.
Check out my chat with filmmaker, Alex Goddard.
Where the hell did you come up with the idea for this video?
It was coming up on Valentine’s Day and hearts were appearing in the shops and on TV – everywhere. It just made me wonder why only the heart gets all the glory this time of year?
Love effects so many other body parts. I began creating this ode to love, in my head. I thought it would be fun to play with the idea of replacing the “heart” in “I heart you” with other organs and limbs.
Now that the video is out, I get comments like, “I pubic hair this.” That would be an amazing phrase, if it caught on.
Why do so many artist take themselves so seriously? Why is it important to have fun?
I think it’s common for filmmakers to see their work as a platform for an important message. They’ve got your attention, they better say something meaningful. This is probably right, but I just want to draw an appendix playing flappy-bird because it makes me smile. I think the serious stuff is as important as comedy. Everyone should just make what they want to make.
Your video got featured on the Huffington Post and was hand-picked by Vimeo as Staff Pick. What was that like?
Getting a Vimeo Staff Pick is like striking oil. I’ve been lucky enough to get Staff Pick for my last two animation. It’s insane how the views rack up and what opportunities it opens up for you (like this interview). I know some filmmakers who don’t care about the amount of views their work gets (and sure that shouldn’t be why you make something) but I just want whatever I make to be seen, and hopefully enjoyed, by as many people as possible.
I only found out about the Huffington Post article by Googling myself – which is quite embarrassing isn’t it? I don’t make it a habit of Googling myself. It’s just interesting to find out what far corners of the internet my films have reached.
Your writing style is more than just silly. Is there a message you’re trying to convey?
The main intention of my work is to make people laugh. I approach a subject from left-field and make people say, “Huh, that’s a strange way of looking at things.” In my animation, “The Future,” the closing line is “no more polar bears.”
I wrote it, because I thought it was a nice full stop to the end of the film. But that line for a lot of people defined the whole piece. They added their own message of how we’re so busy focusing on new technology that we’re not looking after the world we live in. That’s cool. Often, for me anyway, people can sum up the meanings behind my work much better then I can.
The Future - Alex Goddard
What’s your day job? Is it something really shocking like a banker?
My day job is very data orientated, excel spreadsheets, CRM systems and invoices. My office has a great scanner which helped me make “The Future” and The Man Who Thinks He’s a Dog. Doing (data entry) for a living does make my imagination even more precious to me and probably increases my determination to make animations and films outside of work.
What’s your background? Art? Animation? Film?
I studied theatre, film and television. I’ve dabbled in stand up comedy, made some short live action films. I slowly got into animation, as I feel you’re less restricted by technology. With a lot of short films being made today, if you’re not using the most up to date equipment, you’re film is instantly on the back foot. I love that animations can go from doodles on scrap paper to CGI.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I’m constantly inspired by my friends and family (they’re a very funny bunch) and by the city I live in (London). I love the work by artist David Shrigley. If you check his stuff out, you’ll see how he’s influenced my style.
Tell me about your monthly open-mic style film festivals. You call it KINO London.
I help run Kino London, the only open mic short film night in the capital. It’s a great place for filmmakers to come and screen their work. We don’t pre-programme the night. All the filmmakers have to do is let us know they are coming, then turn up with the film on DVD and we’ll show it – whatever it may be. You get a real mixed bag but everyone is really enthusiastic.
Loads of collaborations happen because of this event. For filmmakers, they get to screen in front of a live audience of 150 people, which is really exciting. We believe, if someone’s put the effort into making something, they deserve an opportunity to get it on a big(ish) screen.
Making a film is hard work – screening it shouldn’t be.
I always favour sticking my work online as soon as it’s made, rather then keeping it private so as to increase its chances of getting into festivals. You have to pay to get work into most festivals and keeping your work away from an audience doesn’t secure you a place at the premier. Stick it online, if it’s good, the festivals will want to screen it anyway.
Have you ever tried to tackle a serious video?
Not yet. I love dramas and thrillers but I just don’t think I have the skills, as of yet, to pull that sort of thing off. My short films and animations are fast paced and funny because that suits my abilities as a director. To try and slow things down by adding tension, mood and atmosphere is beyond me right now – but it’s something I want to tackle in the near future, for sure.
What are you working on next?
I’ve always got two or three ideas bouncing around in my head. Right now, I just want to experiment and improve my animation skills. Maybe I’ll make a few live action pieces as well. I just want to have fun with it and see what I come up with.