Check Out a New Film by VICE Favourite and 'Poignancy Magnate' Johnny White
It's about dreams. Isn't that nice?
In August of 2014, "poignancy magnate" Johnny White made his first video for us. It was the inaugural piece in his series Let's Consider, in which he would wander around parks and high streets, and sit on Facebook and try to work out why we do the things we do, say the things we say and feel the things we feel.
They were beautiful. They were silly. Some people hated them, fewer liked them. But we here at VICE kept getting Johnny to make them because they spoke to us like nothing had before, like when you watch a Kevin Smith film for the first timed aged 14 (then you re-watch it in your twenties and you're like, 'What the actual fucking hell was I thinking?').
Though Let's Consider came to its natural end, as all things tend to do, Mr. White is back – this time with a collaborator, in the form of Liam Williams. His new project, Dreams!, is alive and kicking and is premiering below. Also below is an interview we conducted with the creators. Please enjoy the film and remember, you're not alone, and your dreams do matter.
VICE: Hey Johnny. Is this whole series going to be about dreams? Is it a linear storyline?
Johnny White: Dreams will definitely crop up again in the series; they're completely inescapable, after all! But there will also be a story to follow throughout. It's 20 to 30 percent dreams; 70 to 8o percent proper meat and potatoes stuff. Also, we just thought Dreams! seemed like a nice name. I had some awful ideas for names. At one point I was going to suggest calling it Warren Street, just to wrong foot everybody into constantly looking out for stuff to do with Warren Street in the programme. It's important to keep everybody on their toes.
Is the aesthetic of the films purely based on lack of equipment, or is it carefully constructed? Would they have the same vibe if they were filmed on Hollywood cameras?
A big thing that's nice about doing stuff in a more lo-fi, no money, no technical expertise way is simply that there's less people in the room. You can do a load of stuff with just one or two crew and not worry about taking a long time or having to block off any roads, etc, which engenders a certain calming vibe, I think. The big question is, "Would a big Hollywood blockbuster suffer from being made by us using our trademarked secret techniques?" Although, having said that, we are looking into getting a more fancy camera.
It has an art film feel about it, but because it's funny it doesn't feel arty. Do you want it to feel arty? Is art allowed to be funny?
Good question. Sometimes! Actually, I don't know. Maybe all the time! Or never! Actually, I think all the time!
Your Let's Consider series was very contemplative and full of non sequiturs, and there's a lot of that in Dreams! too. How did you develop this style?
It's normally come out of wanting to wrap things up, to a degree. Rather than leave anything untied and dangling I'm perfectly happy to make a new thing out of whatever has just happened or whatever the last thing I said was and have that be the conclusion, or the start of the new section. That might seem like laziness to some people, but I say that those people themselves are the lazy ones.
Do you feel more comfortable making films than doing stand-up?
Hmmmm. It takes a lot longer, that's for sure. Stand-up for me is a weird drunken mystery in which I'm a lonely private detective attempting solve the case of whether I'm the Best in the World, or the Very, Very Worst. Whereas making films is a lot more of a chilled out affair. Might be totally different for Liam, though, as he's a proper stand-up who doesn't mumble. I'm basically Northern Uproar to his Oasis.
Don't you think everything that can be said about life has probably been said already by someone with better clothes than you?
I feel this is unfair because Liam and Will wear very nice clothes. You once told me I dress like I'm a professional clown who can't stop dressing slightly like one on his days off. I mean, I may look like a wretched old witch who's been living in the park for a hundred years, but... nothing.
People say that dreams are the manifestations of our fears and desires, but
they never say that about hallucinations or seizures. Why?
I'm not sure. Although I once had a hallucination on a train when I was a child that there were loads of glowing planets floating inside the carriage. It sounds slightly like a John Lewis Christmas advert, but it was really quite terrifying!
Do we dream when we're awake?
I would reckon so. When you slightly fall asleep at your desk for five seconds and find yourself flashed into the middle of a long complicated story and then out again in the same instance, you know there must be something going on down there (in your mind).
Watch Johnny White's Let's Consider series here.