Animated business with Wevoke studio

Creative motion design studio Wevoke combines the skills of multimedia artists Ton Dirkx and Sven Van Rooijen to create handmade animation videos for clients, including Fiat and TMG. We spoke with the Netherlands-based duo about remote working for international businesses, and creating Movidiam’s welcome video.

How did Wevoke come about?

We both studied Communication & Multimedia Design. Since day one of our studies, we were working together on many different school projects. During this time we developed a special interest for film, but back then our interest covered the broadest spectrum so it wasn’t just animation but live-action stuff, too. To develop our skills (and stay off the streets) we joined some filmmaking competitions in our spare time. In our third year, during our internship, we narrowed our interest down to animation and motion graphics. That’s why we decided to create an animated short as our graduation project.

After graduation Ton immediately started working as a freelance animator, while Sven first worked at an animation studio in Amsterdam for half a year. After this period we operated as two separate freelancers, but still stayed in touch to discuss our business and feedback on each other’s work. After lots of Skype sessions and phone calls we figured, ‘wouldn’t it be more convenient to have an office space together?’ So we waved goodbye to our dorm-room-offices and found ourselves a nice and spacious place. One year later in May 2015, we officially joined forces; that’s when Wevoke was founded.

What makes a great animated explainer video?

There are a lot of explainer videos out there, the internet is flooded with them these days. But we think there are a lot of differences in quality between them. What distinguishes a good explainer from a bad one? In our opinion an explainer video is good when it achieves what it is designed to do. This might sound obvious, but in the end that’s actually what counts.

The aim of the video and the target audience determine the tone-of-voice, concept and design approach. You need to find a way to immerse the viewer in the story. That’s why we always start with a concept that can be used as a starting point to build the story. For example: in the piece for Movidiam, we came up with a film director that tells the story of the platform. This character is recognizable for the audience and they’ll feel more connected to him than some other random character. Aside from making it relevant, we always try to create a visually appealing animation. Like we all know, people just like nice things.

As a company based in the Netherlands, do you find yourself only working for local clients or international ones, too?

We work for many different types of companies; from small startups to large (inter)national companies. The majority of these clients are located in the Netherlands, but we also have clients in England, Germany, USA, Russia, Chile and so on. Thanks to the internet it’s so much easier to spread our work without actually being there (although we would love to visit some of our clients). With tools like Skype and good old emails it feels like a client on the other side of the world is just around the corner. So, thumbs up for technology!

How do you keep a balance between your creative design and your clients’ requests?

Well, that depends on the client, and it can be tough from time to time. We love clients that trust our qualities and provide us with a lot of creative freedom. In those cases we often end up investing extra time and resources to make sure the end result is as good as it can be. We’ve noticed that the projects in which we received a lot of freedom are the ones that people like best too.

Of course we can’t always expect this privilege; sometimes you just have to stick to a corporate design or to the clients’ ideas, but we always try to pitch our ideas and explain why we think it could work better. Luckily, this works most of the time. Apart from that, we love to work on lots of little details in a video. We think that’s also a good way to put some of our own creativity in a piece, even if the client is very strict.

In short: make sure you try to convince a client if you think your idea works better, and if they trust you, they’ll let you do your thing.

Where do you find inspiration? Who or what inspires you today?

To obtain our daily dose of inspiration; we watch lots of videos on Vimeo, we have quite some creative studios filling up our Facebook timeline and we consume a lot of pixels on Dribbble. In addition to that, we always try to find some time to visit interesting events, like animation and film festivals.

You’ve just finished creating ‘Welcome to Movidiam’ which was made entirely through Movidiam, how did you find the process?

The process went very smoothly. Of course it helps that you guys at Movidiam already have a lot of experience with filmmaking, so you’re familiar with the creation process. In our experience the platform was a really pleasant tool. The platform was really useful in every phase of the production, from the concept phase to actually finishing the video. It’s a great way to streamline a production like this one.

What aspects did you find more useful?

Wevoke: We think it was very useful to have all the communication of the project in one place. All the files and messages were easy to access on the website. You don’t have to search your entire mailbox for that one message. However, we’re sure the best addition for us was the revision function. This function allowed the client (Movidiam) to add their feedback right on top of the video, at the right time and the right position. We could then respond to this feedback directly within the same interface. This prevented emails going back and forth containing weird timecodes and vague descriptions.

Do you think remote collaborations will become easier with Movidiam?

Definitely! We always had a clear overview of the project and could quickly find stuff. Another convenient aspect is that you have everything saved online.

As well as the project management tools, we think the network itself works really well. It’s easy to search and to be found. You can search for that specific profession or person you’re looking for, and apparently it works, because that’s how you guys found us!

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