The West

Spencer Devlin Howard

Spencer grew up within sight of the nightly fireworks show at Universal Studios in Los Angeles. His life has been shaped by the vision, glamour, and hard work of telling stories with a camera. There’s magic in moviemaking, epic scope in serialized television, and intimate connection in short-form videos. The relationship we have to the moving image is still in its first steps: only a hundred years old compared to the millennia we’ve been telling stories. There’s still so much that we can learn about ourselves.

Being one of those weirdo awesome homeschooled kids, Spencer had a lot of free time on his hands. He got an early start when he commandeered the family VHS camcorder and, like many kids with access to these tools (including an early editing bay consisting of two VCRs hooked up to each other), recreated scenes from his favorite movies: Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Singin’ in the Rain, The Shining, The Producers, The Hunt for Red October, Groundhog Day, and Modern Times. In addition to those early influences, Spencer was a devoted follower of George Carlin’s long and varied career, Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s series, Vladimir Nabokov’s serpentine wordplay, Bill Watterson’s reflections on childhood and friendship, and Eddie Izzard’s onstage wardrobe.

It was at UC San Diego that he met his constant collaborators and friends, forming The West, a creative partnership that bridges the gaps between live and filmed performance, uses a multidisciplinary approach to storytelling, and always tries to fit in a fart joke someplace.

He works as in podcasting. When he grows up, he wants to be either Walt Disney or Werner Herzog. There is no in between. Here’s his portfolio.

Spencer loves:

  • Waiting at a railroad crossing for a really long train to pass
  • Three-piece suits
  • Duke Ellington
  • Skyrim
  • Tap dancing
  • 30 Rock
  • Brutalist architecture
  • Very large dogs
  • Ocean liners
  • Walt Disney
  • Adverbs
  • Good kerning
  • The Cave of Forgotten Dreams
  • Haunted houses
  • Deadwood
  • Gilmore Girls
  • Blueprints and schematics
  • Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater
  • The Hotel del Coronado
  • Mary Blair
  • The Spruce Goose
  • A shirt’s pattern continuing unbroken onto the pocket and placket
  • Being overdressed
  • Being underdressed
  • That there is such a thing as being over- and underdressed
  • Sea shanties
  • Stand-up comedy
  • Stella
  • Very bitter beer
  • Personality psychology
  • Chopin’s hands
  • Werner Herzog’s voice
  • Tennessee Williams, late in life, cackling from the back of the theatre at the very dark portions of his plays
  • The space program
  • Howard Hughes
  • The tactile sensation of holding a lot of coins
  • Learning about people’s jobs
  • Trying not to eavesdrop on someone’s conversation but doing it anyway
  • The way bald eagles walk
  • Dogs spazzing out
  • Cold, cold coffee
  • The Arizona desert