The Establishing Shot: Spike Jonze I'm Here Premiere by Absolut

Posted by Craig Grobler on Google+ On Monday, March 01, 2010

Last week I was lucky enough to receive an invite to the much talked about Absolut screening of Spike Jonze's new short film "I'm Here". I'm here premiered at this year's Sundance Festival and will be available online on March 7, 2010.

In case you aren't a regular reader (shame on you, if it's easier sign up for my effort free email updates on the side bar) I'm Here is a 30 minute film directed and written by the ground breaking and Oscar nominated Spike Jonze, whose talent is responsible for amongst others; Being John Malkovich, Where the Wild Things Are, Adaptation, Synecdoche, New York and some of the most cutting edge music videos of all time. You can view another of his excellent recent pieces "We Were Once a Fairytale" a collaboration with Kanye West over here on

I'm Here was produced in collaboration with Absolut and is at the heart of their ‘In An ABSOLUT World, Ordinary Is No Place To Be’ campaign. A nod to creativity that takes the road less travelled. In this spirit the screening was to be held in the centre of London at the NCP (National Car Parks) car park in Soho.

I had already heard grumbling on the social media network vine that the venue was putting some people off? Oh! The irony.

Spike Jonze I'm Here Premiere, LondonSpike Jonze I'm Here Premiere, London

So anyway last Thursday in the pouring rain I made my way into the heart of London with few expectations. You can't have any expectations of a Spike Jonze production the guy will always pull something fresh out of the bag. After some trial and error attempts and banding with a couple of other seekers we found the entrance to the event. On entry and after our credentials were checked (security was high and very well organised) we were given a token "to be exchanged when we were downstairs". Getting downstairs ahhh! This was more like it the bubble wrap carpet awaited, flanked on either side by luminescent bookcases bathed in blue light. Earthy upbeat music hypnotically lulling us.

Spike Jonze I'm Here Premiere, LondonSpike Jonze I'm Here Premiere, LondonSpike Jonze I'm Here Premiere, London

Guided by the Absolut hospitality team we received our I'm Here badges, Cocktail menus and a quick guide to the area.

The garage had been converted into a blue light, white decor art installation the most notable bit being an astro turf run way leading to the screen populated with cardboard boxes. On closer inspection the boxes were plugged into power sockets and had some sort of felt/plastic material in them. Curious!

Spike Jonze I'm Here Premiere, LondonSpike Jonze I'm Here Premiere, London

After grabbing my seat, a couple of drinks, milling around and meeting some new people including Pete from Frontrowreviews who lived up to their name by being in the front row.

Spike Jonze I'm Here Premiere, LondonSpike Jonze I'm Here Premiere, LondonSpike Jonze I'm Here Premiere, London

The cardboard box I had been using as a table started to move and fortunately I grabbed my always ready camera in time to catch this:

About a 100 boxes converted themselves into comfortable seating for the screening. Pretty damn sweet! And completely in line with Spike Jonze.

Spike Jonze I'm Here Premiere, LondonSpike Jonze I'm Here Premiere, London

The lights dimmed and I'm here a ' robot love story', started. The film follows the relationship between 2 different robot models; Sheldon (Andrew Garfield) a library assistant and Fran (Sienna Guillory) a clumsy waitress.

Using hand held camera techniques under either a yellow sun drenched LA, artificially lite late night car parks or authentic interior house party scenes set to an original but similar to the WTWTA soundtrack - Jonze makes it really easy to be swept me away into a world that robots and humans live together. I'm here features original work from Sam Spiegel and Aska Matsumiya. You can hear the focal song from I'm Here performed by Aska Matsumiya below.

Many of the issues addressed ensure that their story is actually our story. It's a study that touches on humanity, isolation, prejudice, differences, hope, connection, love and sacrifice. From imdb:
A library assistant plods through an ordinary life in LA until a chance meeting opens his eyes to a the power of creativity and ultimately, love. When this new life and love begin to fall apart, he discovers he has a lot to give. This short film proves that ordinary is no place to be.
By halfway I had forgotten that their were robots in the story and I was hoping that Sheldon and Fran overcome their obstacles but acutely aware that story could go anywhere and anything could happen.

It seems that Spike Jonze's I'm here is continuing the "fairytale" allegory theme that he started with Where The Wild Things Are. I felt that I'm Here is loosely based on Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree - classic allegorical children's book from the 60s. Anyone else think this?

Spike Jonze I'm Here Premiere, LondonSpike Jonze I'm Here Premiere, London

I have been to a couple of really shoddy events lately so I should mention that this was a very well organised event. Thanks Absolut and I'm looking forward to your next cinematic collaboration.

The excellent film blog Live for Film attended a Liverpool screening of I'm Here for their take on the evening head over to:
Pete from Fronrowreviews has just added his take on the screening over here:!

Spike Jonze I'm Here Premiere by Absolut

Spike Jonze's I'm Here will be available online on March 7, 2010.

More info at

The Establishing Shot: Spike Jonze I'm Here Premiere by Absolut


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