Dvein – “Style is always dangerous”

We interview the edgy animation and CGI collective that’s pushing boundaries

Formed in Barcelona in 2007, Dvein describe themselves as “collaborative collective that pushes the limits of live action and CGI storytelling”. What is clear is that Dvein has a unique visual style which has gained much notoriety over the last seven years. We caught up with them to find out more about the magic behind the motion.

Firstly, tell us a little about Dvein, how it got started and the work you do

Well, we are an ongoing mutant entity. We began as a collaboration between friends in college; it mutated into an animation studio as we got involved in the professional work and in the last years it is evolving into a directors collective on one side and a production company in the other. Somehow a production company that produces one “two-headed” director. Weird isn’t it? Well, it evolves as we change, and that is the way we imagined Dvein when we started. In terms of what we do is the same, we have evolved a lot, and we try to make new proposals all the time, we direct animation projects as well as live action ones, but if you see our work you can see a clear evolution between one project and the next. We feel that all this is part of our basic DNA.

Would you say that your work has a particular visual style and if so how did that style come about?

Style is always dangerous but is something you cannot run away from. Also there are two different styles on your own work, the style or the label that others put on you, and the style you know you have. We have always had to struggle between those two, because as we know we have developed our style into something new, the clients doesn’t know yet you have evolved into it. If I have to say something about our style is that is an evolution from organic worlds to surrealism, but anyway, I think all comes from our same way of thinking.

Could you give us some idea out how a finished project comes to fruition, from the initial brief to the finished project and the roles of the people involved at the various stages?

Hahaha. Wow, that is a tough one and probably we will need a book to try to explain that. I will try to summarise it a lot to give you a glimpse of our own process. Of course, first thing to have in mind is that the process changes in each project. That is one of the beautiful things of filmmaking that you have to learn a lot in each project. So first you come up with ideas, and you try to nail to the one that is going to be the final one. Once you have that you have to do a lot of research and exploration on look and feel, characters, scenery, etc… Once you have done all that and you have a clear idea of how your film is going to be, you start the production, normally starting with style framing to look for the visual style if animation or references and pictures if live action. Then we always do an animatic, trying to envision the film as a whole, with a nice editing and storytelling. And then there is a long process in 3D when animating and a quicker and intense one on live action when shooting. From there what happens is a constant refinement, in editing, pace, compositing. It is a long process but is one of the most satisfying parts of the process.

Regarding the people, it really depends on the project. Basically, at Dvein we work the directors and producers close together to try to get the perfect team for the project.

Which project are you most proud of and why?

Is one that we cannot talk about yet and we are finishing now. It is a music video and we’ve putted a lot of effort into it. Anyway, to keep working hard, that always happens, your last or ongoing project is your favourite one, because it usually is the one in which you are progressing into something new.

Could you offer any advice to our readers who are hoping to work within a similar creative field?

There are only a few things to have in mind if you want to work in filmmaking. Be determined and honest, stay focused on what you want, hear the others and learn the importance of your team in any project.

And finally, if you died and were reincarnated as a song, what would that song be?

Wow, that is a hard one… We did a survey in the studio and “Soy un truhán, soy un señor” by Julio Iglesias was mentioned by many so I guess that should be it!
 

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