Three names for one of the most creativeanimation studio of the planet — even if the name is not so creative, according to the three guys from Utrecht. In 2015 their A Single Lifegot nominated for an Academy Award for best animated short. Unfortunately Disney went home with their Oscar.
How can three creative people live in an increasingly antisocial world?
This year our studio is celebrating its ten year jubilee. But we’ve been working together since we met during our studies, so that’s already 18 years. We kind of grew up together. We watched the same films, listened to the same music and saw the same series. That happened at the time when we’re developing our creative voice and so our styles became entangled. We gradually started to move in the same direction. We just want the same things in our creative career and we have the same taste. This makes it very easy to work together.
We always start any project together. We have brainstorm sessions until we have a clear concept. From there on the work gets divided. Job is our composer and art director, Joris is our animator and is our director, Marieke is our script writer and also animator. But there is no strict division in tasks or a solid hierarchy, our talents overlap so we’re constantly working together.
What are your favorite stories to tell?
Our stories are always populated by cute and somewhat inept characters. They stumble through life and to make matters worse they usually get caught up in absurd situations that have a bittersweet ending.
A few words on your A single life project:
In A Single Life, 90 years go by in 2 minutes. The short duration helps to get the message of the film across. But it was a real challenge to show a whole lifespan in such a short time. We were constantly scraping away frames. The film was originally made to be shown in front of a Dutch blockbuster. Someone suggested we should send it to the Oscars. We didn’t even know you could do that. So it was quite a shock that we eventually ended up in Hollywood! I we would have won, our film have been the shortest film in history to win an Oscar.
You said your studio name is probably the most uncreative ever: did you think something original in the meantime?
No, after using this name for a while it turns out the best name ever. Although everyone confuses Job’s name with the noun job. And ‘Marieke’ is very hard to pronounce.
A memory from your childhood:
We could describe a memory from one of our childhoods, but maybe it’s nicer to describe a collective memory. We studied together and we would regularly hang out in Joris’ student room. One day we were listening to a vinyl record by Abba. At some point the record skipped and we had the bizarre thought, did the record just skip forward or did we travel forward through time? This weird thought stayed with us until we turned that thought into A Single Life nearly ten years later.