In the academic year 1987/88, Jarvis did a film foundation course at Sheffield Polytechnic, during which time he made various short films. Two of these were used for the Day That Never Happened concert, noted on that show's setlist only as “Jarvis colours / Jarvis other”.
Jarvis: This was the piece of work I showed at my interview for Saint Martins. I filmed it on a Standard 8 camera I found at a jumble sale. It was shot in the Sheaf Market, Sheffield (now demolished) and the music is by Claudine Longet. Amazingly enough, I got accepted.
Whilst at St. Martin’s, Jarvis again made a number of short films. A compilation of several of these films was shown as part of Jarvis Cocker's Meltdown at the Royal Festival Hall in 2007, and again at the Showroom in Sheffield as part of the Sensoria festival in 2008.
Jarvis (The Guardian, April 16, 2008): "One of the first projects we were set involved Vaseline, bleach, a scalpel and a hole-punch - plus reels and reels of 16mm tourist board films donated by the Canadian embassy. We were told to attack the films with all the weapons at our disposal and then run them through the projector. The work we produced probably didn't do the college film projectors much good, but it did introduce us students to the concept of film passing through the film gate at 24 frames per second in a very direct and enjoyable (if smelly) way. You could spend an hour lovingly carving some complex pattern into a single film frame, only for it to race past you in, quite literally, the blink of an eye. Of course, I got bored with this and smeared about 200ft of film with Vaseline, chucked it in some bleach for five minutes, rinsed it in warm water, and then had a look at what I'd ended up with. The film kind of gives you a headache, but it does have some nice music on it (Psyché Rock by Pierre Henry)."
Jarvis: "Stuff that I shot on the Standard 8 camera in Berlin, Sheffield, London and Blackpool - all edited to the soundtrack of my favourite Scott Walker song of that time. The baby in the film is now a fully grown woman of almost 20 years of age. Scary."
Jarvis: "Martin Wallace and I made three videos for Warp Records when they were starting out. This footage was used in the video for Aftermath by Nightmares on Wax, but I made it into a short in its own right. Big Head is played by Chris Wilson, who also made the sculptures. The music is a version of Lay Lady Lay by Claude Denjean."
Jarvis: "I found some large transparencies in the street. I took them home, stuck them on the front of the TV and filmed the results. The music is Pierre Henry again."
Jarvis' graduation film. Talking about it in Select magazine in 1991, he said: "I’m making a film about an angel who goes into the chippy and buys chips with curry sauce on a plastic tray and spills it down her frock. Then she goes into a pub, buys a pint, spills that down her and has a cigarette. It’s really symbolic, you have to see it…"