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The Work That Made Me: Jakub Jabłoński



Director and art director Jakub shares his love of abstraction and career changing projects

The Work That Made Me: Jakub Jabłoński

A director and art director connected with the Platige Image studio for over 10 years, Jakub has been involved in hundreds of artistic and commercial projects. His credits include numerous trailers and game cinematics, working as art director (Watch Dogs, For Honor, Call of Duty, Metro Exodus: Artyom's Nightmare and CrossFire HD) and also director (Hitman, Frostpunk, Total War: Warhammer II and III, and Scavengers). In 2018, he was nominated for a Polityka Passport Award for his work on the award-winning game My Memory of Us. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódż, Poland, and also graduated from the Łódź Film School.

An ad/music video from my childhood that stays with me…

I was born during martial law in Poland. In the early 1980s, there were only two TV channels, but sometime later pirate video rentals started to enrich the world of the movies. The commercials from that time are best left unsaid. Probably every Pole will remember the ad for 'Prusakolep' – an insect-trapping plaster. The song Money for Nothing by Dire Straits was the first 'It thing' for me, not for the music but because of the innovative 3D animation. It was a blast!

The bugs mentioned:

Innovative 3D animation:

The ad/music video/game/web platform that made me want to get into the industry…

I started with an Atari, and then the black-and-white PC came along. From the very start, I was making paper versions of the games I'd seen on the screen. I'll admit that back then the covers and descriptions offered much more than the games actually delivered. I couldn't understand why on the screen three pixels followed two pixels, while on the box there was a beautifully painted, colourful warrior conquering the galaxy. I’d say it was this inconsistency between the packaging and the contents that inspired me the most, rather than any specific product.

A creative work that I keep revisiting…

To this day, I still like creative kitsch, sublimity and abstraction in design that is detached from reality. I was just a few years old when I fell in love with the red plastic desert in David Lynch's Dune. I've seen this movie over 200 times now, and I love how bad it is. I feel like every particle of the film must have got deep inside me, wreaking havoc in my organism to this day.

Dune trailer (1984)

My first professional project…

It was the cover for the book 'Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents'. It was written by my mother, so family connections helped a little, but still it was my first publication. I had no idea that one day I'd be working as a director and art director. I have the feeling that my mother had some kind of bigger plan in mind when she asked me to do that cover.

A piece of work that made me so angry that I vowed never to make anything like *that*…

What brings me joy when it comes to watching and creating are two separate things. And I'm able to enjoy immensely consuming a particular part of pop culture that wouldn't interest me at all from a creative point of view.

A piece of work that still makes me jealous…

Almost everything I watch with engagement makes me feel jealous and often frustrated. I am 40 and yet I can still get jealous, almost like a child, of a randomly selected part of pop culture. Luckily, this envy can co-exist perfectly with the joy of receiving it, as a viewer. So maybe it's not the time for therapy just yet? But if I had to choose one everlasting reason to be jealous, it would be The Nikopol Trilogy by Enki Bilal.

The creative project that changed my career…

I think this project is called perseverance and consistency, and it's still ongoing. I prefer not to check for milestones in my work. None of the contests, awards or nominations I have won have led to any major changes, but they gave me motivation and confirmation of the path that I had chosen. I hope that this big change is still ahead of me. There is, however, one particular cinematic which might have given me a kick a long, long time ago: 

Ryse: Son of Rome – Damocles Trailer

Ryse: Son of Rome – Legend of Damocles Making of

The work that I’m proudest of…

Recently I have become increasingly proud of the sheer participation and effort of the whole team in projects that I either lead or am a so-called ‘creative factor’ in. It reminds me of this joke about a Polish guy and an American, who meet wearing similar coats. The American, after being complimented on his beautiful coat, simply says, 'Thanks, man!' Meanwhile, the Pole in the same situation fails to utter anything besides an analysis of how many holes or badly sewn buttons there are. If pushed, however, I'd say that I am very proud of the game My Memory of Us, which was developed by a studio I co-founded, and also the illustrations for Jacek Dukaj's book Wroniec.

My Memory of Us

Wroniec Gallery 

Something I was involved in that makes me cringe…

I've designed over a hundred characters for many Polish commercials based on 3D animations. Some of them probably had a similar effect on the imagination as the 'Prusakolep' ad I mentioned earlier. I hope that someday YouTube’s AI algorithm will simply erase all those things that are not so nice :D

A recent project I was involved in that excited me the most…

It’s still awaiting release. This is probably the most frequently used phrase to avoid giving a straight answer – with 'It’s in development' a close second. As for things that have already seen the light of day, I managed here to dive into the world of my childhood fascinations again.

Total War: WARHAMMER III Announce Trailer – Conquer Your Daemons

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Platige Image, Fri, 30 Apr 2021 09:30:25 GMT