Interview time with Job, Joris and Marieke

We have had the opportunity to talk to the award-winning animation trio Job, Joris & Marieke. The Netherlands based team specialise in animated characters full of humour and interesting storylines. Here is an insight into their world...

There are three of you, how do you work together as a team?

We all practice some different disciplines. And each of us has some different tasks, but I must say there’s a lot of overlap and we discuss everything with the three of us.
But roughly speaking:
Job is graphic designer/ illustrator/3D modeller, but also sound designer and our composer.
Joris is, animator and designer and he comes closest to being  our director
Marieke is screenwriter, animator and designer and does a lot of the hand work, such as designer toys.

What are your creative backgrounds?

We met each other while studying at the The Design Academy in Eindhoven (the Netherlands).
Joris and Marieke studied product design, Job studied graphic design and illustration.
We started working together because of our love for films. We made live-action films, but found out that the actors didn't look like what we wanted them to. they also didn't do what we wanted them to look. Animation turned out to be great for us, because we could be in total control.

What is your workspace like? 

We have a workspace on the fifth floor in an old factory. We have a great view on Utrecht.
We hav one space with different functions. Of course there's a part where we do all the computer work. but we also have a small audio studio, to record foley, voice overs, singers and musicians.
We also have a work space to create 3D models. Last year we bought a 3D printer to make our characters appear in the real world.


 Describe your creative process from start to end product.

We always start from scratch with the three of us. Brainstorming making sketches, walking around, having extended lunches  while talking about what kind of talents our new characters should have for instance.
Then we divide the work. When the story is quite clear, Marieke starts writing on the screenplay, while Job is sketching on the characters and Joris is making some tests in 3D.

For each background we describe what kind of person lives there and then we start searching for inspiration material to ake moodboards.  Chairs, wallpapers, clothing patterns etc.

While making the film, Joris and Marieke work on the animation, Joris also takes a bit the lead in directing.  Job works on illustrations, backgrounds, sound fx and also composes the music.

Your animations have some great storylines, how do you come up with these?

We always start with an idea with a twist. So for instance with A Single life; it was quite an old idea. During our student time we were listening to a record with the three of us. Suddenly it skipped and the idea arose that the record didn't skip, but instead we travelled a tiny bit in time. the idea stayed with us for some years and finally we started talking about it some more and started imagining what else could happen with the record.

How do you go about designing a character?

We always want to make a character very iconic, but it's really important that it stays likable.
You have to love the character if you want to see a film. So we put a lot of time in the facial animation. 

What do you feel is your favourite project to date?

We did a lot of commisioned work and quite some music videos, but what we love to do most is making an independent film and telling our own stories. So MUTE and A Single Life are our most precious projects.



A Single life

You seem to enjoy working on your own projects, but what would you consider your dream project?

After making some short films, we want to make more length. So our dream project would be a feature film. Our aim is to make an arthouse film, in our animation style. So somewhere in the middle of Eternal Sunshine and Mary and Max.

All your work seems to be supported by a Happy Camper song. How much are they involved in the entire process?

Actually Job Roggeveen (the Job in job, Joris & Marieke) has also founded the music project happy Camper. It's a project where he writes and produces all the songs and each song is sung by a different singer.  And so he makes all the music for our films and we do all music videos for his music.

Over the years you guys have developed a distinct style, do you ever get to try out new things or do clients specifically ask for your unique treatment?

Yes our style is a result of the taste we have for certain characters and certain shapes.
We just made a music video for dutch DJ Fedde le Grand. It hasn't been released yet, but it's with a filmed background and only robots in there. So it's quite different, but still someone said it really moves and feels in a Job, Joris & Marieke way, so apparently we can't do it any other way.

How different is your approach to print jobs like the Transport For London one, compared to animation?

It really feels like a different kind of project, because you;re working with a client, but the way we start designing is quite the same as we would do for our own projects. We start sketching shapes and want to find an overall look for all the posters.

What is the most important lesson you have learnt in your career?

If a project doesn't have a budget, it should be exactly what you want to do.

Where do you seek your inspiration?

It really depends, it can be science, the local newspaper, or something what happened to one of us.
For instance: Joris cut his toe once while swimming. He thought the wound looked a little bit like a mouth. Most people would think it was disgusting, but we saw something else:  a film. This idea resulted in our short film MUTE.

What do you consider are your goals?

Our goals are to keep on making films. We would love to make longer films so people can really sympathise with our characters.

Do you think social media and sites like Pinterest help with the creative process?

For us these sites could be an inspiration, because it’s a way of communicating these days, but we mainly use them for promotion,  to share ideas or to entertain our followers.

What are three things you couldn’t live without? 

Fender Rhodes for composing music

Our new pride: 3d printer, the Ultimaker 2

And yes, we are a studio who work on PC's so without one, our work would be difficult.

It's clear that all three individuals are talented in their own way and it's great to hear the creative and unusual ways their ideas are formed. Thanks to Job, Joris and Marieke for answering our questions. Find out more about them here.

By: Lisa Evernden
Posted: Fri 6th Feb 2015

Tags: Interviews, 3D, graphic, interview, job, Joris, Marieke, office


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