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Behind The Scenes of Job, Joris & Marieke's Oscar-nominated 'A Single Life'

London, UK
Jelly's Rachael Guiver takes us from concept to Oscar nominee

Job, Joris & Marieke's A Single Life has been nominated for the Academy Award for Short Animated Film 2015. Watched in more than 225 countries worldwide, by several hundred million viewers, the 87th Oscar nominations were announced live for the first time on 15th January 2015.

Directed, animated and produced by Job, Joris & Marieke, A Single Life is all about Pia, who after playing a mysterious vinyl single is suddenly able to travel through her life at different ages and stages all within the space of one song. (Pretty impressive)

With Job, Joris & Marieke's stunning character designs, beautiful music and vibrant animation it's no surprise those people at the Oscars loved Job, Joris & Marieke!

Job, Joris & Marieke is a Dutch studio for animation, illustration, character design and music. Their work can be described as cute, funny, poetic and sometimes disturbing.The studio was founded in 2007 in Utrecht by Job Roggeveen, Joris Oprins en Marieke Blaauw. They work on commercials, educational projects, music videos and short films. The music for all their work is composed by Happy Camper, an award winning music project by Job. 

Their work has been selected by many international film festivals, and they gained international recognition with films like MUTE (short animation, 2013), which won the audience and jury award of the Holland Animation Film Festival (HAFF), audience award at the International Film Festival Roanne and Best Animation at Playgrounds. They are one of the initiators of the animation series the Tumblies. They made several music videos for Happy Camper (the music project of Job Roggeveen), and the film 'Born With a Bothered Mind' (2010), which screened at over 50 film festivals. 

Rachael Guiver Head of Creative Communications at jelly London, spoke to Job, Joris & Marieke about A single Life, from concept to Oscar nominee.

RG> Tell us how it all started, what inspired you to create A Single Life? 

JJ&M> The three of us met during our student time at The Design Academy Eindhoven. While we were listening to Abba’s Waterloo on a vinyl record in Joris’ student room, the record skipped, and we thought it could have been possible that time had skipped instead. The idea stayed with us and about ten years later we made it into a film.

RG> How did you come up with the concepts, character designs and set designs?

JJ&M> We love designing iconic characters who are very likeable. That’s the reason we’d like to leave out the ears and nose. For the different sets we first thought of what kind of person Pia would be at each age. For instance; the middle-aged Pia loves nordic walking and meeting new cultures. Then we collect a lot of images, for each room we make a mood board and choose the kind of furniture she should have. And we start designing the room, all props, cloths and wallpapers.

RG> What did you love most about creating A Single Life?

JJ&M> The best part is when we feel the idea we have is really worthy to make a film. When we finish the storyboard it gets different for each of us. I (Job) loved to work on the backgrounds and all the details, like designing a book in the background by Marty McFly. Joris and Marieke both work on the animations and I know they really love the tiny movements which really make the character lively.

RG> What was the most challenging part? 
JJ&M> The length of the film was given. Because it had it’s release in the cinemas, before a blockbuster, we didn’t have much time. The greatest challenge was to make everything clear in just 2.15 minutes.

RG> What does animation do that other mediums can’t?

JJ&M> You can bring a new world to live. Because it’s such a magical story, it really fits with animation. We started with animation after making some live-action films during our student time. But the actors didn’t really do what we wanted them to do. They also didn’t look the way we wanted them to look. So in animation we can play gods in our own universe.

RG> What do you have planned for 2015?

JJ&M> On the same day we heard ‘A Single Life’ was nominated, we got a funding for a new film. When we get back from L.A. we start working on 8-10 minute film, which is mainly moving and also thrilling. Not really funny this time. Also the length is quite a big step for us. We hope to finish it in July.

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