If you want to know more about the animations?
It is almost certain that your organization also has eyes for the future.
You may have questions like: how do we make our organization more responsive, how do we boost our employees’ entrepreneurship? How can we better serve our clients?
Social and governmental organizations have questions like: how do we improve sustainability in our city? How can we make our province more attractive to companies? How can we improve our system of education? How do we make the Netherlands more accessible? In short, how can we make the world a little bit better?
If you’ve found an answer to that question, you’ll naturally want to make your findings public and create support for them. After all, without the needed support, a plan can never be realized. This is where we come in – with a means that may not have crossed your mind before: an animated film.
How do we know? In 2011, Avans University of Applied Sciences asked us to make a film for their long term policy plan. It was a fine plan, full of interesting ideas. Still, it takes some doing to get a wider audience excited about something called a “long term policy plan”!
Avans commissioned an animated film. What happened next went beyond both Avans’s and our wildest dreams. The world of higher education was abuzz with talk of the “Avans cartoon”. It received 28.000 hits on Youtube, trended on Twitter, was talked about at congresses, and, or so we heard, even impressed the Minister of Education.
Since then, all sorts of organizations have asked us to make them an animated film. That film could be about their long term policy plan, but it might just as well concern their vision, strategy, change plan, core values, or simply who they are. The animated films are usually meant to be seen by the organization’s employees, but they can be of interest to the outside world: the public, clients, or partners.
Results and success factors
People ask us sometimes:
“What is the secret of your animated films? How can they be so successful?”
This is what our clients tell us:
- Our animated videos make difficult things easy, and boring things fun. No one is waiting for more managerspeak or complicated diagrams. Our videos show relatable situations, goals that people are eager to achieve, and we add a good, strong dosage of humour to the mix. This way, the message hits its target and is understood by everyone. People will feel the message concerns them. ‘Hey, this is about me!’
- They create support for change and goodwill for the organisation. People haven’t just received the message; they are actually convinced that this is the way forward.
- Your animated videos answer the ubiquitous question: ‘what’s in it for me?’ The question in the video creates support for our plans and goodwill for the organisation.
- They soothe old sores. The humorous tone of our films can help address subjects that are otherwise hard to tackle. The film removes the tension, leaving us with the room for constructive discussions.
Of utmost importance to us is answering the question of WHY change is needed.
If course, we cannot work magic. In order to reach the results above, our commissioner must give us room, be open to humour, and allow for grievances to be discussed frankly.
More information? Contact us.
THE WORK PROCESS
The process takes a total of around two months, and is divided into five phases:
- Research en scenario
- First artistic drafts
- Draft meeting at the client’s location
- Recording (both audio and video)
- Audio editing
- Production and direction
Research and screenwriting
Nearly every client we see hands us a big stack of files describing everything about the plan the film will present. This allows for some preliminary familiarization, but to get to know the real story, we need to interview some of the people involved: the people who came up with the plan, the person in charge, and the people who will carry out the plan or who will notice its effects (such as clients, coworkers and team leaders). All this is Johanna Kroon’s work, our screenwriter. She does the research and the interviews, writes the scenario and consults you about this.The screenplay is presented to the client in an oral presentation, during a project group meeting. It is important to us that the client forms a project group that carries responsibility for the film. This group has to be given the proper mandate, in order to prevent people from doing some revising of their own outside of the screenplay meeting. After all, this would mean the end of discourse. It is of vital importance that a dialogue is established to discuss the screenplay, not just with us, but also with one another, as opinions within a company are rarely in unanimous agreement.
When the scenario is made definitive, the director divides the text into a number of scenes, and artist Lex Dirkse can get to work. His mission is to add an extra layer. The drawings need to go beyond being the visual backdrop: they have to reinforce the story, be funny, and connect several elements of the script to each other. The artist should add a cherry to every cake that’s in the script. If the script is sharp, the drawings make it sharper, if the script exudes poetry, the drawings make it a little more poetic.
A meeting takes place that is always one the high points in the process: the artist presents his sketches in a group session with the commissioner, the director and the screenwriter. We can all catch a glimpse of what it will end up looking like. All lines converge in this meeting: the screenwriter can review the drawings from the point of view of the script, the director can review them based on the production criteria, and the client can suggest amusing quirks of the company to add to the drawings. Typical discussions in the phase are along the lines of “What do the hats of your uniforms look like, exactly?”, or “Is it true that your Indian programmers always pick number forty-four from the coffee machine?” By including details like this, the story becomes more realistic and unexpectedly familiar: “Number forty-four? How did you know?”
Recording of voices and drawings
The text is usually written from the perspective of the narrator. This makes the story sound more authentic than hearing a stranger’s voice. The voice recording takes place at the client’s location. Paula Rennings and Pieter Vlamings of P&P regisseurs act as the director and sound editor of the recording. The director helps the voiceover sound lively and convincing. The session takes about an hour. Recording the drawings takes a little longer: one to three days in the studio.
Then comes the moment when all elements are put together, cleaned up and provided with special effects. The Brandspanking men (Jos Wabeke or Rutger Hesseling), wizards of visual editing, help us put on the finishing visual touches.
Finally we see Jeroen Nadorp of Bob Kommer Studio’s
Jeroen is a sound effect expert – like those who made radio dramas, you might say; footsteps in gravel, the rustling of leaves, the cries of seagulls – all these atmospheric enhancers come from a few chests filled with coconuts, scourers and Lego bricks. Curiously, the better the job Jeroen does, the less the sounds stand out. But if the sound man’s work isn’t done right, the whole film feels off. It’s a great trade! Have a look at this
P&P the producers and directors
This whole process is directed by us, Paula Rennings and Pieter Vlamings.
We make sure the film is produced smoothly and timely. P&P provides a sales quote, draws up and maintains a schedule, keeps the process coherent, takes care of all facilities and settles the finances.
- The animated films shown on this website are made for both internal and external use.
- We have also made films intended solely for internal use in an organization, and are hence not on the Internet. Instead, such films are published on the intranet of the organization, or on a private Youtube page.
- If you need a film intended for both internal and external use, consider having a long and a short version made.
- For example, an six-minute film meant for an external group, with a section inserted into it that explains the consequences to your employees in more detail.
- Versions in different languages can be made.
- The film will be delivered on a DVD or a USB drive, in whichever format you require.
- Some things, such as step-by-step plans, user manuals, diagrams, models, matrices, transposition tables, and so on, do not lend themselves well to an explanation by means of an animated film. The ideas behind your new organization structure or transposition table might serve as a good subject; the transposition table itself won’t.
Our team - Johanna Kroon – the screenwriter
Screenwriter Johanna Kroon is specialized in change communication.
She has written a book on the topic: Wat hebben ze nu weer bedacht? Hoe één simpel principe het verschil maakt bij een verandertraject. (What Have They Come Up With Now? How a single simple principle can make all the difference on the path of change)
You can read more about her ideas on her site.
Our team - Lex Dirkse – the artist
The man with the quick, creative hand. In any script, there are bound to be some completely undrawable concepts. It makes us fret every time: what is Lex supposed to make of this? And every time, his solutions take us by surprise. Lex often draws at congresses, so often, in fact, that the one thing he hasn’t finished yet is his website.
We regularly receive phonecalls from clients who are charmed by our animated change videos, but who are looking for something a little different.
Now, for our whiteboard animations, our regular artist Lex Dirkse produces his drawings live in the studio.
But this isn’t set in stone.
A drawn animation, but without showing the drawing hand.
This can be done with Lex Dirkse’s drawings, or
in a completely different style, such as Tineke Weber’s,
an artist with a comical style of her own, but a very different one.
With just a few lines, she is able to establish some very special characters.
The picture can be drawn directly on a computer, and we can make an animated video out of that.
Another graphic form is also possible.
If you are looking for something special, please don’t hesitate to call, so we can discuss the matter with you.
Take the test
Are you looking for a change narrative or a brief explanation of a service or product?
Broadly speaking, we offer two kinds of (animated) films:
1. Change narratives, such as a whiteboard animation, in collaboration with Johanna Kroon, our screenwriter.
2. Briefer animated explainer videos (not written by Johanna) such as a whiteboard animation, or a different type of animation.When can you use a change narrative?
Whiteboard animations are a perfect way of creating support for a new strategy, a new procedure, a new image, a new idea, social change – in short, something big.
The greater the number of points below apply to your topic, the greater the chance we will be able to produce an animated video for you that will rally the support needed for the project to succeed:
- It concerns a project or change that will have a large impact and a long duration;
- It involves at least hundreds or thousands of people (perhaps only the company’s employees, perhaps also customers, citizens, students, patients; everyone, in short, that you are working for);
- It concerns something fundamental – the change extends beyond, for example, the introduction of a new version of Windows or a new pay scale system;
- It concerns a change that can only succeed if the people in the target group understand why change is needed, and how they can contribute;
- The foundation of change is a new way of viewing a problem or the organisation.
The purpose of communication is not only explanation, but also creating support and commitment. The sender is not afraid of a little ribbing, putting things in perspective and adding a bit of humour. Would you like to know more? Please feel free to call or e-mail us.