Spike Jonze Behind the Scenes: Watch the Director Choreograph and Film His Apple Short Film

Jonze was adamant on using as much practical effects as possible to pull off the short film’s crazy visual illusions.

Spike Jonze broke the internet earlier this month with the release of his Apple short film, “Welcome Home.” Starring FKA Twigs, the project acted as a commercial for Apple’s new HomePod speaker system and earned instant praise for its choreography and set design. The short features FKA Twigs dancing with her double as the music from Apple’s HomePod turns her apartment into a sliding dance hall.

AdWeek has premiered an exclusive short documentary about the making of “Welcome Home,” and it’s almost as mind-blowing as the short film itself. Jonze is seen working on the choreography with FKA Twigs and making sure her movements match the Anderson .Paak song to which the short is set. The footage confirms Jonze was his own camera operator and if you look closely you’ll spot “Dunkirk” cinematographer Hoyte von Hoytema on set advising Jonze.

You can watch the “Welcome Home” short below. Head over to AdWeek here to watch the documentary in full.

Taylor Swift’s ‘Delicate’ Music Video Faces Backlash Over Similarities to Spike Jonze’s 2016 Kenzo Short Film

Taylor Swift and director Joseph Kahn’s latest music video is being accused of ripping off Spike Jonze.

Taylor Swift unveiled the new music video for her song “Delicate” during the iHeart Radio Music Awards on March 11, and it didn’t take long for the nearly four-minute clip to amass over 10 million views on YouTube. But some eagle-eyed viewers aren’t too happy about Swift’s latest video, which is once again directed by her longtime collaborator Joseph Kahn. The clip is facing backlash online for allegedly ripping off Spike Jonze.

Numerous viewers on social media are accusing Swift of ripping off Jonze’s Kenzo short film. Both videos feature a young woman acting out against society by performing a wild interpretive dance throughout numerous locations. Jonze’s short film, starring “The Leftovers” actress Margaret Qualley, was released in August 2016 and has earned over 11 million views.

New York Magazine video producer Kenny Wassus explained many of the similarities between the two videos in a Twitter thread in which he put photo stills and clips from Swift’s “Delicate” video right next to Jonze’s Kenzo ad. Both videos, for instance, feature the two women making facial gestures as a form of dance and include dolly shots ending in lukewarm smiles.

Wassus is hardly the only one accusing Swift and Kahn. Neither of the music video’s creators have commented on the accusations.

You can watch both videos and judge for yourself below.

Spike Jonze just released one of the best music videos in recent memory

Spike Jonze has directed some of the best music videos of all time— “Sabotage,” “Buddy Holly,” “Praise You,” “Get Back.” There’s a sort of goofy exuberance to all of them that seems to come from a place of permanent, childlike (but never childish) playfulness. He’s continued to direct music videos over the years, even…

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Spike Jonze has directed some of the best music videos of all time— “Sabotage,” “Buddy Holly,” “Praise You,” “Get Back.” There’s a sort of goofy exuberance to all of them that seems to come from a place of permanent, childlike (but never childish) playfulness. He’s continued to direct music videos over the years, even…

Read more...

Spike Jonze Returns For A Surreal Apple Short Film Starring Double FKA Twigs — Watch

Jonze’s wild new four-minute video will have to hold fans over as they continue to wait for any news about his next feature film.

Spike Jonze still hasn’t announced any formal plans for his next feature film, but he is making the wait a little easier with the debut of a new commercial for Apple’s HomePod system. Anyone familiar with Jonze’s advertisement work, especially his beloved Kenzo ad with Margaret Qualley, should know not to expect your typical Apple commercial

Sundance Film Festival Programming Chief Trevor Groth Heads to 30West

30West has hired Sundance Film Festival programming chief Trevor Groth, who will join the company in February, it was announced Monday.

Groth joined the festival in 1993 and was named Senior Programmer in 2003 and Director in 2009. During his time with the festival staff, he helped champion acclaimed titles such as “Whiplash,” “Fruitvale Station,” “Hard Eight,” “Pi,” “Memento” and “Napoleon Dynamite.”

In his post, he also was one of the first to showcase the shorts of now prominent filmmakers such as Spike Jonze, Cary Fukunaga, Taika Waititi and Sarah Polley.

Also Read: 2018 Sundance Film Festival Awards: The Complete Winners List

“It’s been a wild and exhilarating ride being in the driver’s seat of a festival that has launched many of our generation’s greatest independent films and filmmakers,” said Groth. “I look forward to continuing that dynamic journey with a company equally committed to discovering what’s next.”

30West added, “For over twenty years Trevor has been one of the film community’s most consistent champions of original creative voices, all while exhibiting a fearless commitment to pushing the boundaries of film creation and distribution. We could not be more thrilled that he has chosen to join us.”

Since 2002, Groth has also served as Artistic Director for The CineVegas Film Festival and has been a guest curator for the Australian Film Institute. He has also been a juror at festivals including Cannes Critics’ Week, SXSW, Morelia and more. He’s also served as a consultant on a number of film productions.

Also Read: ‘Hearts Beat Loud’ Film Review: Nick Offerman Plays It Sweet in Father-Daughter Drama

John Cooper, director of Sundance Film Festival, said in a statement, “I’m both proud and saddened to share that our friend Trevor Groth has decided to leave Sundance to pursue a new opportunity working at investment and advisory business 30WEST. The skills he honed through curating over two decades of movies for our Festivals has made him uniquely qualified for this work.”

Last week, 30West acquired Neon, and 30West partnered with Bleecker Street to acquire Keira Knightley’s “Colette,” and teamed up with AGBO Films to buy “Assassination Nation.”

The company is currently in production on two films, Karyn Kusama’s “Destroyer” starring Nicole Kidman, and Peter Hedges’ “Ben Is Back” starring Julia Roberts. This spring, 30West will release “Beast” with Roadside Attractions, which just had its U.S. premiere at Sundance.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Sundance 2018 #CelebSightings: Usher, Naomi Watts, Chloe Grace Moretz Cruise Around Park City (Photos)

Sundance So Far: Festival Gets Woke With Strong Set of Diverse Films

Puppy Movie ‘Pick of the Litter’ Sells to IFC’s Sundance Selects

30West has hired Sundance Film Festival programming chief Trevor Groth, who will join the company in February, it was announced Monday.

Groth joined the festival in 1993 and was named Senior Programmer in 2003 and Director in 2009. During his time with the festival staff, he helped champion acclaimed titles such as “Whiplash,” “Fruitvale Station,” “Hard Eight,” “Pi,” “Memento” and “Napoleon Dynamite.”

In his post, he also was one of the first to showcase the shorts of now prominent filmmakers such as Spike Jonze, Cary Fukunaga, Taika Waititi and Sarah Polley.

“It’s been a wild and exhilarating ride being in the driver’s seat of a festival that has launched many of our generation’s greatest independent films and filmmakers,” said Groth. “I look forward to continuing that dynamic journey with a company equally committed to discovering what’s next.”

30West added, “For over twenty years Trevor has been one of the film community’s most consistent champions of original creative voices, all while exhibiting a fearless commitment to pushing the boundaries of film creation and distribution. We could not be more thrilled that he has chosen to join us.”

Since 2002, Groth has also served as Artistic Director for The CineVegas Film Festival and has been a guest curator for the Australian Film Institute. He has also been a juror at festivals including Cannes Critics’ Week, SXSW, Morelia and more. He’s also served as a consultant on a number of film productions.

John Cooper, director of Sundance Film Festival, said in a statement, “I’m both proud and saddened to share that our friend Trevor Groth has decided to leave Sundance to pursue a new opportunity working at investment and advisory business 30WEST. The skills he honed through curating over two decades of movies for our Festivals has made him uniquely qualified for this work.”

Last week, 30West acquired Neon, and 30West partnered with Bleecker Street to acquire Keira Knightley’s “Colette,” and teamed up with AGBO Films to buy “Assassination Nation.”

The company is currently in production on two films, Karyn Kusama’s “Destroyer” starring Nicole Kidman, and Peter Hedges’ “Ben Is Back” starring Julia Roberts. This spring, 30West will release “Beast” with Roadside Attractions, which just had its U.S. premiere at Sundance.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Sundance 2018 #CelebSightings: Usher, Naomi Watts, Chloe Grace Moretz Cruise Around Park City (Photos)

Sundance So Far: Festival Gets Woke With Strong Set of Diverse Films

Puppy Movie 'Pick of the Litter' Sells to IFC's Sundance Selects

All 8 Aaron Sorkin Movies Ranked From Worst to Best (Photos)

Aaron Sorkin was probably born in the wrong era. And yet here he is, still kicking in 2017. His characters operate under an impossibly witty and clever language, engaging in exchanges only experienced in the movies of Howard Hawks or Frank Capra. It’s fueled by a rapid-fire repartee. For better or worse, Sorkin has replicated this breathless style of dialogue. With the upcoming release of Molly’s Game, Sorkin’s directorial debut, we decided to rank every film the man has penned over the course of 25 years.

 

  1. “Malice” (1993)

 

Sorkin’s shoddiest screenplay is also his most dated. In “Malice”, Nicole Kidman plays a happily married woman who wants to have children and start a family. Upon a visit to the hospital, she finds herself under the care of Jed (Alec Baldwin). It’s quickly made clear that Jed is some kind of malevolent figure. Someone to not be trusted. Directed by Harold Becker, it’s actually Sorkin’s writing that is the most clumsy. “You ask me if I have a God complex?” asks Baldwin, before continuing. “Let me tell you something: I am God.” Yikes.

 

  1. “Molly’s Game” (2017)

 

Off the top: Sorkin is a writer first and everything else second. That includes the role of filmmaker. Sorkin’s prose sings under the direction of David Fincher or Mike Nichols. Assured talents whose visions are inimitable. Here Sorkin–adapting from Molly Bloom’s book–has difficulty with pulling off double-duty. The language is still sharp and cutting, but the bite isn’t there. Surprisingly, Molly packs little punch.

 

  1. “Steve Jobs” (2015)

 

This unorthodox imagining of Steve Jobs’ life should work better than it does. Under Danny Boyle, there are moments of power. The heated exchanges between Michael Fassbender and Seth Rogen; the even more heated exchanges between Fassbender and Jeff Daniels. Sorkin does anger perfectly. Fragmenting Jobs’ varied career into a triptych structure ends up undoing some of its narrative impact.

 

  1. “A Few Good Men” (1992)

 

Movies like “A Few Good Men”–i.e. ones with monumentally popular lines of dialogue–become mythologized in the culture. This is an unavoidable tendency. We gravitate to what we can easily recall. Dramatic sequences like the goodbye in “Casablanca” or Marlon Brandon’s tragic lamenting in “On the Waterfront”. Moving past Jack Nicholson’s “you can’t handle the truth” throw-down, the Rob Reiner-directed courtroom drama is more subtle than we remember. It derives strength from its performances (namely Tom Cruise and Demi Moore) who use Sorkin’s words to great affect.

 

  1. “Charlie Wilson’s War” (2007)

 

Look, this one is just fun. Re-watching the Mike Nichols’ directed biopic about the titular Texas congressmen (Tom Hanks), it’s clear Sorkin’s work plays better if its, well, playful. The less serious the project takes it self, the stronger it ends up being. That’s not a general rule–but it is when it comes to Sorkin’s filmography. “Charlie Wilson” shines when it narrows its focus on the complex (sometimes romantic) dynamic between Hanks and Julie Roberts. Sorkin seems interested in exploring relationships that oscillate from person to professional. The lines are blurred, and that’s when characters become interesting.

 

  1. “Moneyball” (2011)

 

Sorkin is best when adapting events that (on the page) don’t appear inherently cinematic. “Moneyball” is a film about number-crunching statisticians obsessed with a calculable solution to sport. Like most of Sorkin’s work, it benefits from two factors: it’s directed by Bennett Miller, and it casts a movie star like Brad Pitt. Oh, and then there’s Robin Wright, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jonah Hill, Spike Jonze, the list goes on. Michael Lewis’ book may have discovered the story of the Oakland A’s, but it’s Sorkin who unearths the heart.

 

  1. “The American President” (1995)

 

Pure joy.

 

That could be the end of this capsule, but let’s continue. “The American President” is not based on a true story. It’s not adapting an acclaimed New York Times bestseller. Sorkin’s script is simply an amalgamation of his desires: politics, sex, and power (note: not always in that order). Starring Michael Douglas and Annette Bening, every frame of this movie feels like an anomaly in 2017–and it’s not just because Douglas’ is an irresistibly charming Commander-in-Chief. It’s an Adult endeavor. A drama that’s not Oscar-bait (although it did receive one nomination for original score) or contrived, with no intentions of spinoffs or sequels. It’s about two people abating loneliness through love, and how that is made a bit more challenging when one person is running the free world.

 

  1. “The Social Network”

 

Sorkin’s filmic output can’t compare to his work on television. Maybe that’s harsh, but it’s definitely the truth. All things considered, it’s “The Social Network” that ends being Sorkin’s crowning achievement. The actors–especially Jesse Eisenberg playing infamous Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg–understand Sorkin’s intent. They lean into the nastiness when the script asks for it, and replicate the epigrammatic wit that Sorkin has been chasing since the early ’90s. Above all, though, the film finds a remarkable emotional balance. Neither effusive nor dry, “Social Network” is unafraid of vulnerability. It’s not just jokes or just gut-wrenching drama. Sorkin, like anyone else, can so rarely manage to do both well. But he does here. When it hits it hits. There’s a deep sadness that Sorkin captures in Zuckerberg. Egotism gone awry, youthful creativity turned into commerce, friendship jettisoned for, well, greener pastures.

It’s a true masterpiece.

Aaron Sorkin was probably born in the wrong era. And yet here he is, still kicking in 2017. His characters operate under an impossibly witty and clever language, engaging in exchanges only experienced in the movies of Howard Hawks or Frank Capra. It’s fueled by a rapid-fire repartee. For better or worse, Sorkin has replicated this breathless style of dialogue. With the upcoming release of Molly’s Game, Sorkin’s directorial debut, we decided to rank every film the man has penned over the course of 25 years.

 

  1. “Malice” (1993)

 

Sorkin’s shoddiest screenplay is also his most dated. In “Malice”, Nicole Kidman plays a happily married woman who wants to have children and start a family. Upon a visit to the hospital, she finds herself under the care of Jed (Alec Baldwin). It’s quickly made clear that Jed is some kind of malevolent figure. Someone to not be trusted. Directed by Harold Becker, it’s actually Sorkin’s writing that is the most clumsy. “You ask me if I have a God complex?” asks Baldwin, before continuing. “Let me tell you something: I am God.” Yikes.

 

  1. “Molly’s Game” (2017)

 

Off the top: Sorkin is a writer first and everything else second. That includes the role of filmmaker. Sorkin’s prose sings under the direction of David Fincher or Mike Nichols. Assured talents whose visions are inimitable. Here Sorkin–adapting from Molly Bloom’s book–has difficulty with pulling off double-duty. The language is still sharp and cutting, but the bite isn’t there. Surprisingly, Molly packs little punch.

 

  1. “Steve Jobs” (2015)

 

This unorthodox imagining of Steve Jobs’ life should work better than it does. Under Danny Boyle, there are moments of power. The heated exchanges between Michael Fassbender and Seth Rogen; the even more heated exchanges between Fassbender and Jeff Daniels. Sorkin does anger perfectly. Fragmenting Jobs’ varied career into a triptych structure ends up undoing some of its narrative impact.

 

  1. “A Few Good Men” (1992)

 

Movies like “A Few Good Men”–i.e. ones with monumentally popular lines of dialogue–become mythologized in the culture. This is an unavoidable tendency. We gravitate to what we can easily recall. Dramatic sequences like the goodbye in “Casablanca” or Marlon Brandon’s tragic lamenting in “On the Waterfront”. Moving past Jack Nicholson’s “you can’t handle the truth” throw-down, the Rob Reiner-directed courtroom drama is more subtle than we remember. It derives strength from its performances (namely Tom Cruise and Demi Moore) who use Sorkin’s words to great affect.

 

  1. “Charlie Wilson’s War” (2007)

 

Look, this one is just fun. Re-watching the Mike Nichols’ directed biopic about the titular Texas congressmen (Tom Hanks), it’s clear Sorkin’s work plays better if its, well, playful. The less serious the project takes it self, the stronger it ends up being. That’s not a general rule–but it is when it comes to Sorkin’s filmography. “Charlie Wilson” shines when it narrows its focus on the complex (sometimes romantic) dynamic between Hanks and Julie Roberts. Sorkin seems interested in exploring relationships that oscillate from person to professional. The lines are blurred, and that’s when characters become interesting.

 

  1. “Moneyball” (2011)

 

Sorkin is best when adapting events that (on the page) don’t appear inherently cinematic. “Moneyball” is a film about number-crunching statisticians obsessed with a calculable solution to sport. Like most of Sorkin’s work, it benefits from two factors: it’s directed by Bennett Miller, and it casts a movie star like Brad Pitt. Oh, and then there’s Robin Wright, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jonah Hill, Spike Jonze, the list goes on. Michael Lewis’ book may have discovered the story of the Oakland A’s, but it’s Sorkin who unearths the heart.

 

  1. “The American President” (1995)

 

Pure joy.

 

That could be the end of this capsule, but let’s continue. “The American President” is not based on a true story. It’s not adapting an acclaimed New York Times bestseller. Sorkin’s script is simply an amalgamation of his desires: politics, sex, and power (note: not always in that order). Starring Michael Douglas and Annette Bening, every frame of this movie feels like an anomaly in 2017–and it’s not just because Douglas’ is an irresistibly charming Commander-in-Chief. It’s an Adult endeavor. A drama that’s not Oscar-bait (although it did receive one nomination for original score) or contrived, with no intentions of spinoffs or sequels. It’s about two people abating loneliness through love, and how that is made a bit more challenging when one person is running the free world.

 

  1. “The Social Network”

 

Sorkin’s filmic output can’t compare to his work on television. Maybe that’s harsh, but it’s definitely the truth. All things considered, it’s “The Social Network” that ends being Sorkin’s crowning achievement. The actors–especially Jesse Eisenberg playing infamous Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg–understand Sorkin’s intent. They lean into the nastiness when the script asks for it, and replicate the epigrammatic wit that Sorkin has been chasing since the early ’90s. Above all, though, the film finds a remarkable emotional balance. Neither effusive nor dry, “Social Network” is unafraid of vulnerability. It’s not just jokes or just gut-wrenching drama. Sorkin, like anyone else, can so rarely manage to do both well. But he does here. When it hits it hits. There’s a deep sadness that Sorkin captures in Zuckerberg. Egotism gone awry, youthful creativity turned into commerce, friendship jettisoned for, well, greener pastures.

It’s a true masterpiece.

Jim Carrey’s Artist Life: Inside His Friendship With Spike Jonze, Dense Personal Archives, and His ‘Eternal Sunshine’ Role Switch

The pair appeared with Michael Stipe and Chris Smith for a screening of the documentary “Jim & Andy.”

It was already an exciting evening at MOMA on Tuesday night when Jim Carrey, Spike Jonze, and Chris Smith sat down for a Q&A following a screening of “Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond.” Then Michael Stipe showed up, and the crowd went wild all over again.

The movie, directed by Smith and produced by Jonze, tracks Carrey’s extreme, method-like immersion into the role of Andy Kaufman on the set of Milos Forman’s “Man on the Moon.” The footage, which sat in Carrey’s personal archives for over a decade, finds Carrey baffling everyone on set (and beyond it). The project came together after Carrey sent the footage to Jonze, who brought Smith onboard.

“Spike said, ‘You know, I could do something with that, maybe,’” Carrey recalled. “But he was also calling to check if I was OK, which happens a lot with me, people calling to check if I’m OK.”

Jonze and Carrey have known each other a long time. In the early nineties, the filmmaker had yet to make his debut feature “Being John Malkovich” when he got a call about possibly directing “Ace Venture: When Nature Calls.”

“I was 24 and I had just been making music videos and I got sent to Jim Carrey’s house to talk about ‘Ace Ventura 2,'” the director recalled. “I had no idea what I was doing.” Carrey chimed in: “We could it again, you know.”

Another recent caller was Stipe, who Carrey said had reached out to him recently in the wake of Carrey’s other headlines, including a bizarre appearance on an E! red carpet during Fashion Week, and an ugly court case involving the family of his ex-girlfriend.

“Michael called me a couple of weeks ago me to see if I was alright,” said Carrey, after Jonze singled the songwriter-producer out in the crowd (he was seeing the movie, which premiered at the Venice International Film Festival for the second time). Then Jonze grabbed an extra chair, and Stipe joined the trio onstage to a rapturous reception.

After a round of hugs — Stipe produced both Smith’s “American Movie” and “Being John Malkovich” — Stipe talked about his own involvement with Kaufman, whose work inspired the now-iconic single “Man on the Moon” as well as “The Great Beyond.”

“I became familiar with Andy Kaufman when I was 15 years old and I saw him on TV. I don’t think I discovered Andy Kaufman until I figured out who I was and thought I was different,” Stipe said. “He was so off-putting, like this is so not what anyone has done before.” Stipe added that he turned “Moon,” from his 1992 album “Automatic for the People,” into a Kaufman tribute during the last two days of the album’s recording session. “He was such a novel artist, and I wanted to make him speak,” Stipe said.

Carrey added that Stipe played a crucial role in paving the way for Forman’s movie. “REM did two songs about one guy and both of them are classics,” Carrey said. “That says something about who Andy was, when artists of that stature will actually pay tribute. I feel so honored to be in the same breath as Andy Kaufman. It’s a world full of pinch-me moments. I’m pretty much black and blue at this point.”

Carrey wanted to release the footage years ago. “I wanted it out right away to precede the movie so people knew what happened with the film,” he said. “Universal was a bit nervous about that, with my persona. So I was resigned to watch it over and over and over again, naked in a chair, peeing into jars.” He felt he was going through a transitional moment when Jonze began working on shaping the footage into a documentary. “It was the dissolving of a certain belief in my persona,” he said. “I was going through the rapture…a moment where you realize you’re a person in an enormous, infinite space. He caught me at that moment when I didn’t give a shit anymore and I was willing to let someone see what was going on.”

Carrey also addressed recent comments by Kate Winslet at a New York Film Festival event, where she said the one character of hers she would be willing to revisit was Clementine from “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”

“It was such a beautiful moment that film, and she’s an incredible artist,” Carrey said. “if you know her story, she created something absolutely stunning artistic and beautiful. She was this heavyset normal girl who made herself beautiful inside and out. She’s so sensitive, incredibly sensitive. It was the weirdest thing, because it was the first time I ever switched plans with someone. The plan with that film was that she played the Jim Carrey role and I played the Kate Winslet role. I became the withdrawn person who didn’t want to be seen and she became the outgoing, extrovert, this creative and colorful personality. That was a very strange thing to do.”

Asked which of his characters he would resurrect if given the chance, Carrey shifted to a non sequitur. “If I could time travel, I’d take [James] Comey back a few months and say, ‘OK, now really think this out,'” he said.

“Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond” premieres globally on Netflix November 17.