ZACK SPIGER TALKS SAN CISCO – TEXT NATASHA WEST
Zack Spiger brings with him not only a solid narrative behind his videos, but also a freedom of expression within his work. Who would have thought that such a loving and nurturing moment between Dracula and Lolita could emerge from feeding some kangaroos? But hey, these things do happen. Here at Word Is Cheap we like to see diversity, and Zack Spiger definitely brings his A-game here.
We caught up with Zack to find out how he cast his version of Dracula, what he misses from the beginning of his career and just what a Vimeo Staff Pick means to him.
Word Is Cheap: Dracula meets Lolita, the dream couple, how and why did you pick these two characters and put them together?
Zack Spiger: Honestly I don’t know where that came from. I just had these two iconic characters in my mind and thought it could be funny to send them to the beach on a date.
WIC: The actors break the fourth wall a few times, what was the reasoning behind this decision?
ZS: I think it just made sense for him to ham it up and mug the camera when he was doing his little pastiche of dance moves. It happened just on the spot like that. I suppose it was just the natural thing to do.
WIC: Dracula’s got moves! Was that a prerequisite when casting?
ZS: Well yeah. I have this friend Benjamin Goakes who is a classically trained dancer who had done years and years of dancing and would always bust something out at a party and blow everyone away. So I just wrote the part for Ben! And he was incredible. Now he is pursuing acting!
WIC: Tim Burton’s playful take on a bloody subject Sweeney Todd comes to mind, did you have any visual influences from any specific films?
ZS: I’ve never actually seen any of Tim Burton’s films. That’s not really my cup of meat. And I never watched Vampire films either, but Herzog is one of my favorites so when I discovered his re-make of Nosferatu I was really excited by it. Or rather I was inspired by Klaus Kinski and the way he moves, slithers, and creeps around. It’s not actually a very good film, but Kinski is just so spot on in that role.
WIC: As a serial Vimeo Staff Picked director, what does the award mean to you?
ZS: Hah! It means a lot! It means the most! It’s the ultimate honor! There are so many different video festivals, awards, and laurels out there but none of them stand out like the Staff Pick. It has made a huge difference in my little career. Honestly, the Staff Picks are career makers. I can’t say enough good things about it and I am eternally grateful to the Vimeo team. I owe them all lots of drinks.
WIC: Are there any artists/bands you would particularly like to work with in the future?
ZS: I would like to work again with my old friends from Nashville, Stone Jack Jones and Lambchop. They gave me my very first opportunities to do music videos in a way that no one else would have. Those were some of the most incredible times I’ve had shooting videos because we were completely free and answering to no one. Nowadays I have all these different people to worry about, and boxes to tick, and so many opinions blah blah blah, and my own demons. Those first videos were so naive and pure but they hold up and they are still some of my favorites. I want to go back and work like that again.