If you haven’t seen any of Fred Spencer’s movies then it’s fair to say you haven’t seen everything. They are like nothing else you’ve ever experienced. Whether or not that’s a good thing is your call.
Watch this now.
See what I mean?
Fred Spencer is the driving creative force behind FredandSharonsMovies.com, a small video production service and home to dozens of mind-bending videos and animations that have made him into an internet cult figure. His bizarre style – melding CGI and live action footage to create short films, original music videos and a celebrity advice show starring his wife called Sharon’s Celebrity Advice – has drawn thousands (and in one case millions) of views to the Kelowna B.C. resident’s YouTube page. Looking through the comments, many viewers write Fred off as untalented and suggest the popularity of his movies comes from their “so bad it’s good” quality. But others point to a deeper artistic merit, a deliberate effort to comment on the growing disconnect between people that our technosociety has created. Whatever is going on in Fred’s mind when he makes his movies, one thing is for sure, they are arresting and demand to be watched.
Fred’s work caught the attention of Toronto comedian Dave Hodgson of Fun Time Internet. Delighted by what he saw, Hodgson sought out a collaboration with Fred hoping to harness some of his undeniable talents. The result is Fun Time Internet’s latest video Bad Dream.
I recently caught up with Dave over GChat and asked him what it was like to work with such an interesting mind.
How did the collaboration come about
Andrew Strapp and I were big fans of his YouTube channel and the animation style. It’s just so whacked out and utterly different from anything I’ve ever seen.
And I was going to try and interview him but my girlfriend said “why don’t you collaborate with him instead?” So I asked him if he’d be down to make an animation that would be part of one of our sketches and he said he would.
Did he charge you money? He makes videos as a business, yes?
He didn’t charge us. I know he has a price structure on his site but I honestly don’t know if anyone has ever taken him up on it.
All the videos on his page seem to be of him and Sharon (his wife?) or their friends at the Kelowna farmer’s market
ve never seen a video they’ve made for someone else. I don’t know why no one has asked them to, if I had some money to blow I’d get him to make freaky e-cards for everyone I know.
I think he has a jam business.
Yeah Fred’s Bread and Jam
What was it like contacting him? Did he come across as strange as some of his videos?
He was incredibly normal. He really takes it seriously.
He was probably more normal than most of the people we work with on these things.
What was the creative collaboration like? How did the project unfold?
Well, I thought the best way to theme it would be to make it a nightmare, because Fred’s animations are so disturbing already. So I sent him a script with his part in the middle, and gave him some basic guidelines of where to take it. But he really took it into his own hands, especially the song.
He actually had the animation complete way before we shot the live action part. He’s a pro.
Any creative differences?
Ha. Well, nothing out of the ordinary. When you’re making high art, egos are going to be bruised.
And that’s what this is. High art. The highest of art.
He certainly managed to capture your essence. You can’t complain when you’re character is so ripped.
And the animated girl has giant breasts
Yeah. Cat appreciated that.
What are some your favourite videos of Fred’s?
I’m down for anything with Sharon. She never really seems to be willingly going along with things.
And “Sam Becomes Handicapped Sam”
(at this point I started watching this video)
If there’s a God in heaven, there will be more installments of that.
Julia is smoking!
The girl in the green top. Basically wearing only body paint.
No wonder he was locking that shit up.
I love Sharon’s acting.
And the big “If you are a TV producer and would like to see more of this show…” credit at the end is really ballsy.
You gotta have confidence in your work. And Fred knows when he’s got gold.
Do you think Fred’s ready for prime time?
I dunno. He’s got a one-man operation over there.
He needs some underlings if he’s gonna crank out a 22-episode season.
We’re happy to be those underlings.
Maybe the more pertinent question is, is prime time ready for Fred?
I don’t know if Fred needs prime time. It’s a perfect example of the internet being the only place where videos like his could catch on.
He’s sort of a hero to me. So it’s a real rush to be working with my hero.
Any ideas or plans for future collaborations?
No! I haven’t even heard from Fred if he’s seen or likes the sketch. But I told him that we’d love to do more.
Maybe Sharon can get in on the act. Lord knows my love life could use some advisin’.