Tyrone Lebon


Written by Johny Chhetri
02 Monday 02nd August 2010

The new video for Mount Kimbie’s Would Know is excellent, perfectly capturing dreamy 90s VHS vibes. We interviewed Tyrone Lebon, the upcoming filmmaker and photographer from London, on how he made the infectiously cute video and what it was like making it. 

The video really reminds me of the 90s, feels like it was recorded on a video camera from the early part of that decade. What was the concept behind it?
Yeah most of it was shot on a VHS camera that gives it that feel… When I was asked to do the video I had recently broken up with someone so love was on my mind and the video became about that and how I was feeling.

There are some really cool effects in there too; they remind me of the opening credits of hit 90s show Clarissa Explains It All. What were your main influences in making the video?
Aesthetically my main influence was my dad. He used to make videos where he’d transfer things from low grade video to 16mm film, and then scratch on the negative and then transfer it back to video. And this is the technique I used for all the sections
with scratches. I got high def video transferred to 35mm and then frame by frame Is cratched the neg in different ways – my dad  also did the animation on the hand at the end and another friend Dave Baby did some demons in the glitches if you look carefully...
These days most people are very unimaginative with just shooting clean high def video and everything looks similar. I really like seeing unusual image qualities and textures. So lots of my work involves different processes that break into the image in different ways.

For those who haven’t seen or just don’t understand the video, could you explain the narrative of it? 
Basically it’s about falling in and out of love, to me everything in there is very personally significant and I made it without thinking too much about what anyone else might make of it. I don’t really want to explain, I hope anyone who watches it at the least might enjoy the imagery but hopefully they will also be able to relate to the love story in some way.
Have the guys from Mount Kimbie seen it? Did they like it? What was working with them like (if you did)?
I met them when I did their album artwork, and the visuals they were into were basically the same as what I shoot anyway. So it was very natural and easy doing their album pictures. They knew I made films too so they offered me their first video. I was hesitant just because I knew the amount of time I would put into it and recently I’ve had bad experiences dealing with record labels. So I asked if they would mind if I was totally left to myself to make it. Surprisingly they said yes, so I then had a month to make the video.
I got so absorbed into the whole thing that I really didn’t think about what they oranyone would think of it. It was only when I eventually finished it and was sending it to Hiroki, their manager, that it suddenly dawned on me that they had no idea what they were going to get and it might not make sense to anyone except me… but they said they like it so that’s good.

What other artists would you like to work with? And who would you oppose to working with? 
I would like to work with musicians to do the soundtrack to a documentary I’m making. My cousin, Lachlan makes a lot of original music for me he’s really good. I’m not sure if my future lies in music videos, but they are fun to do every now and again.
The two subjects in the video seemed to be having the time of their lives. Who are they? Was it fun working with those two?
Haha. The boy is my brother Frank, he’s 16, and Savannah’s a friend, she’s 18. I think Frank was overjoyed with getting lots of kisses from a hot older girl! Actually if you notice Frank was sitting down for lots of it… He was really ill. And for most of the day he had to lie down and sleep, then I’d wake him up and he would be able to film for five minutes before feeling like he was going to be sick, and he’d have to go back to sleep. He came to life at the end of the day and that’s when he was messing around in the bunny ears.

Towards the end of the video, the couple seem to be sporting some rather unusual but cool pyjamas, does this have any meaning? Or did you just want to include them in the video? 
Savannah brought all her own clothes to the shoot, and she had the shirt with gollywogs printed all over it. I thought it made sense to put Frank in the swastika shirt, which I happened to have around because I had recently stole it from my dad – its an old Rachael Auburn shirt. It makes sense to me.
Future plans? 
I’m enjoying making no plans.

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