For this month’s In Focus interview, we sat down with Marvin Koppejan, Creative Director and Founder at Woodwork, a Telly Award-winning creative studio based in Amsterdam!
The Woodwork team is an expert at directing, producing, and animating high quality content to help brands and agencies tell their story. Working with a multi-disciplined and reliable team, they work across a variety of styles and techniques, including Film, 2D, Motion Graphics, Cell, and 3D animation. As lovers of bold and colorful design, they have created commercials, branding, online, and product films for brands across the tech, service, lifestyle, and fashion industries.
What are the essential elements to having a successful creative team?
- First: Communication. We are constantly training our communication skills with one another, such as working with a team coach for instant. It’s not always easy to keep a clear and open communication stream going while working behind computers all day; especially with tight deadlines.
- Synergy. Some overlap in skills, but also a speciality.
- Organization. It is key for creativity to thrive. If your company is not streamlined in terms of production, your creative team will suffer from it, resulting in working long hours.
- Learning/Eagerness. If you can dream it, you can do it. We have to keep getting better at what we do, so we can create anything we come up with. More skills, more glory.
- Positive vibes. Obviously you need to have positive vibes. Compliment one another when needed, but we also have to challenge each other. I donʼt believe in a huge hierarchy. In the end, everyone can come up with a valuable idea, as long as it makes sense. Second, donʼt take work too seriously. It has to be fun, this way you make the best work.
How do you reach a good mix of your own creative design ideas with an adequate representation of a clientʼs brand?
Almost every project brings its own challenges and opportunities. We like to dip our toes in different styles and flavors so we can easily adapt to a brand’s characteristics. By orienting ourselves on many different topics, we can find a unique and interesting perspective that will bring something new or fresh to the brand. This creates more ownership of the project and a nice collaboration with our clients.
Other than that, it is also very important to be very clear with your clients on what steps you take or will take. Test the waters to see how open they are for new routes. Share a lot of suggestions in the treatment phase and present different directions if needed. This will open doors to mold the project into something interesting for us, as well as for the client. We are not in this business to simply please clients. We’re also in this to fulfill our creative needs—our own urge to create!
Who else in the Netherlands is creating work that inspires you?
That is a tough one; inspiration comes from all corners. Since everyone in the studio would have a different list, here’s a combined studio list varying from design, motion, art, and life. Some random picks:
- Dana Lixenberg
Motion & Design:
What do these wins mean for you and your team?
One step closer to world domination! Itʼs nice to be rewarded and it helps boost morale—a little moment to reminisce on all the hard work we put in our projects. To be honest, we started sending in work only two years ago. We won an award with the ADCN in the Netherlands via our agency client, and after that we got the award fever. Since then, we try to fill our cabinet with shiny awards to impress our clients.