NUTTY ROOM NEWS!
LOOK AT THE JARS! LOOK AT THE JARS!!
Hello friends! It’s been so long. So much has happened. I’m so sorry. We only just finished shooting the BBC2 sitcom I’m acting in last Friday and I haven’t had a free blog shaped minute for ages. In between the sitcom and the radio show I’ve also been making a few short videos for the BBC’s wonderful relaunched comedy website which I heartily recommend you visit and bookmark forthwith.
As well as my Nutty Room video, which you can see below, there’s also a thing I did for Eurovision a few months back which is exclusive to that site for the time being.
I’ve also finished a video for a drum’n’bass/pirate radio song about the film Ratatouille which should be up there before too long so keep an eye out (though if you are coming to/were at BUG at Latitude you’ll have seen it), but for now, here’s Nutty Room and beneath it some info about its creation.
The song was created as part of Song Wars, the competitive song-writing feature our 6 Music show in which Joe and I write songs on a given subject and our listeners vote for which one they like best. The theme of that week’s battle was ‘scary songs’. Joe did one about a ghost that I recall he wasn’t that pleased with and I did one about the lair of a movie style disturbed nutbag called Nutty Room. I’m proud to say our listeners voted my song the winner that week and I was delighted as I had spent many long minutes on its complex harmony arrangements. In fact Nutty Room is considered one of the best songs ever written (if the list of the best songs ever written were to include every song ever written).
The video was shot on Thursday 23rd April 2009 in an old abandoned house nearby where I live in Norfolk. It was boarded up years ago but dishonest people bust in and stripped out the fittings, floor tiles and everything else of any value. Now it’s just a shell, overwhelmed by vines and weeds, the walls crumbling and the floorboards rotten and treacherous. According to many local residents the house is haunted by the ghost of a monk (as opposed to being haunted by a living monk which can also happen). I often passed the house on walks and after a few weeks I couldn’t resist poking around. It scared the crap out of me, not so much because of the ghost monk (who I imagine would be fairly mellow) but because there are so many dark corners, blacked out rooms and cellars. As everyone who’s ever watched a horror film knows, these are exactly the kinds of places in which twisted homicidal nuts love to hang out and dissect annoying teenagers. I knew this was the perfect place to make a video for my song.
To create the nutty room you see in the video I spent a couple of weeks painting crazy childish art all over the walls just as twisted lunatics so often do in films to create what looks like the cover of a bad indie album. There were times when I worried that spending lonely hours scrawling on the walls of an abandoned house for a 3 minute internet-only video was not a good use of my time and might even indicate that I was partially insane but when I started collecting jars and filling them with sausage meat and hair to enhance the nuttiness of the room, those worries seemed quaint and trivial. Finally the nutty room was complete and all that was needed was someone to help me realise my vision.
I called my friend Dougal Wilson, the award winning director of videos for Coldplay, Dizzee Rascal, Jarvis Cocker, and many others and he got on the next train to Norwich. Dougal arrived around 11pm and we drove straight to the scary house where I had set up some lights and my video camera. I put on my best nutty-hat and an old lab coat, loaded a syringe with red paint and we got to work. Filming went smoothly apart from a moment when we set light to a load of old newspapers from the 60’s that we’d found in a bath tub in one of the rooms. It was a profoundly stupid thing to do and we nearly died of smoke inhalation. By 4am the next morning we decided it was time to pack up and go home only to find that the lights of the car had been left on and the battery was dead so we had to walk back to my house in the foggy chill of the night. We didn’t care because we felt that we had created something truly stupid. I hope you agree.
Adam Buxton, July 2009
I just came across this animation that a chap named Jordan made for Nutty Room a few months back. Nice job yo! And of course he has used the version that was originally broadcast on Song Wars last year which contains the reference to Patrick Swayze rather than Kevin Spacey as it is now. A few people have asked why I changed it and it was simply that I wasn’t aware how ill poor old Patrick Swayze was when I did the song and upon making the vid decided to switch the names (which were only ever intended to rhyme with ‘crazy’ of course) to avoid potential ghoulishness of an unpleasant kind, as opposed to fun ghoulishness like making clothing out of other people’s skin and keeping winkies in jars. Cheers Jordan!