The concept of animating the scale models

by designspace | 16.07.14

The futuristic collaboration, Islands, between Israel’s Caesarstone and Raw-Edges Design Studio, led Design Space to the unique work of  the 29 years old Belgian artist, Maarten Vranken.

Hired to produce Island’s 2014 audiovisual platform, Vranken is now receiving much attention for his edgy and creative film clip.  We wanted to learn more about his story, his work and the inspiration behind Island’s platform.

We jumped on the chance to interview him!

ISLANDS from Maarten Vranken on Vimeo. To read more about the Islands project click here.

 

Where and what did you study?

M.V: Audiovisual Arts with a specialization in animated films, from Sint-Lukas Brussels University.

 

Who are your clients? Who you are working with? We’re interested to know more in regards to the design section.

M.V: I work for a broad range of clients, including multinational to local businesses, government agencies, advertising companies and production houses. In the area of design, I have had the opportunity to create films for Victor Hunt, Raphael Charles and At Noon.

 

Do you have a website? We found you on Vimeo.

M.V: I started my own production company, Seeing the Brick Motion Studio, one year ago. My website is still under construction.

Meanwhile my presence on the Internet is a bit scattered, outdated or very temporary. Work comes first I guess…!

 

Are you doing things on the side?

M.V: I have plans to produce a few projects of my own, but they are still in the early stages of development.

 

Are you working out of a studio or do you prefer to create from home?

M.V: I rent a studio/office in the center of Brussels that I share with three other people. Generally we have interns and other free-lancers working there too.

It’s a very cool space – I couldn’t wish for anything better 😉

 

We would be interested to know a little more about you, your work, and anything else you wish to tell us.

M.V: I mostly work on animated film projects and motion graphics for production companies or advertising agencies.  For these projects, I work primarily as a motion graphic designer.

Occasionally I get to work as a producer and/or director for live action or more creative animated film projects.

 

How did you come to work with Raw-Edges?

M.V: I first came into contact with Raw-Edges through Victor Hunt. We met during a video shoot. They knew that I made both animated and live action films, so they decided to contact me for their Islands project.

 

How long did the video take to complete? Can you tell us a bit more about its’ production process and maybe some inside stories?

M.V: There is a lot to say about the Raw-Edges project. For one, it wasn’t an easy one to complete. We had two shoots – one in London, one in Brussels. The total shooting time was 12 days, while post-production took an extra 10.

We didn’t really have time for pre-production, so I created the storyboard during the shoots. This was a very exhausting process…

 

How did you develop the film’s concept? Was it with Raw-Edges or did they come to you with a specific idea?

M.V: Raw-Edges came up with the concept of animating the scale models. We had two options for scenography: a whitespace or the use of the studio as the background. Since we weren’t sure if filming could be finished in the short time we had, we opted for the whitespace.

As I said, I developed the screenplay while shooting. The first part of Islands is, for me, about its’ birth and the original concept; the second part shows this idea coming together; the third is meant to be a celebration of the island itself and its’ design; the fourth, well, that’s the end of the film.

 

Why was Islands half shot in London and half in Brussels?

M.V: The props for the video were developed in London. Since we knew that we would need to build extra props while filming, having the shoot in London appeared to be our best option.

We shot the second half in Brussels because we weren’t able to finish in London! The production took more time than planned. Also, in Belgium I have worked with a “rotating platform” (to add movement to past films) and really wanted to use one for this project. The studio we built in London wasn’t suitable for rotating-platform-shooting, but I could easily rent, and use one in Belgium.

 

Is it different working with design products? To give them a specific stage? Did you face any difficulties working with a design product?

M.V: No not really – I’m an animator and I like to work with objects.

It can be a bit difficult for designers when filming. They become a little bit nervous and start making mistakes that they normally would not make.

 

As you said, there is a lot to say about Raw-Edges. Can you tell us more?

M.V: They’re very nice and fun people to work with. I was lucky that they were so flexible and relaxed about the delay in the shoot’s planning. Raw-Edges has a lot of respect for creative people and understands that the making art doesn’t always go as planned…

 

Can you share any behind-the-scenes details about the process with us?

M.V: The reason why our entire shoot was so drastically delayed is because of the scene where the different objects start falling downwards. We constructed a system using wires, but it took much longer than expected to hang each and every one of the scaled-objects.

Plus, half of the animations were filmed in reverse. We would pull the objects up, instead of letting them float downwards.  Then, during editing we would reverse the footage!

 

Can you think of anything else, maybe inside stories, that we should add?

M.V: Well, we had two goldfish – one in London and one in Brussels. The London one we returned, but the Brussels fish I kept. It’s now next to me, on my desk, at the studio.

 

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