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Member Spotlight: Rogier Schalken

One of our D&AD Membership perks is our Members’ Spotlight feature that takes a moment to celebrate the work of different industry professionals. Each interview gives creatives a virtual soapbox, asking what they’re currently working on, what are they most proud of, and if there were one piece of work they wish they’d been responsible for, what would it be?

 

Meet Rogier Schalken...

Introduce your place of work.
MediaMonks is a creative digital production company. We specialize in working for and with advertising agencies to craft digital work for global brands. You can find us anywhere on the Web as well as in Amsterdam, London, LA, New York and Singapore.

MediaMonks Films is the name of our film and post production outfit. Together with some of the top agencies, we’ve been lucky to produce interactive films and TVCs for brands such as Adidas, Audi, Geox, KLM and IKEA.

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What are you currently working on?
One of our recently released projects that I am particularly excited about is IKEA: Where Good Days Start, for SMFB Oslo. We produced and directed both the four-minute interactive film and TVC, allowing us to be in total control of the production of the creative concept.

During the interactive film, you follow the morning ritual of a family based in Oslo. The user could press the spacebar at anytime and discover more about the family or products they’re interacting with. The reason why I love this project so much is that the extra scenes are a true surprise. The story, the visual style of animation and the way you would interact is different each time. IKEA and SMFB wanted the story to be leading by not pushing the products too much, which I think is brilliant.

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What work are you most proud of?
I would have to say Adidas: Nitrocharge Your Game, which we produced and directed for DDB & Tribal Amsterdam under creative direction of Bart Mol and Pol Hoenderboom. I like this project because it doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. We set out to make a high-energy interactive experience, reminiscent of those intense arcade games we used to play. These games would suck you in and spit you out because your time ran out within minutes, leaving you feeling disoriented because it all happened so fast.

Adidas, DDB & Tribal and MediaMonks invested a lot in the production because we all knew Nitrocharge had the potential to be epic. I think everybody is at their best when the stakes are high. Directing this project is also a personal highlight because I’m a big fan of the Chris Cunningham analog glitch-distorted style, which plays a big role in the look and feel of the Nitrocharge Your Game.

Adidas Nitrocharge - Casevideo

What work from our Archive makes you think ‘I wish I’d done that’ and why?

That’s an easy one: Come to Daddy by Aphex Twin (a Yellow Pencil winner back in 1998). I can still remember the first time I saw this video on MTV Alternative when I was sixteen years old. Come to Daddy was pure dark energy blasting out of my crappy TV and has been a big inspiration ever since. The moment I managed to get my hands on an early version of Final Cut, I started destroying old VHS tapes to create similar types of glitches. I still love to bring some elements of this style to my projects when given the chance.

Aphex Twin - Come To Daddy

What’s the best advice you’ve received during your career?

Unfortunately, the best piece of advice I can share was not given to me as such but is something I learned over time. What I learned is that when you hit a creative roadblock, the natural reaction is to spend even more time on the project, up until the point where all you do is work. This can be extremely frustrating because it doesn’t always pay off. What I can tell from personal experience is that most of the eureka moments happen during moments when you are deliberately not thinking about the problem you need to solve. Taking a step back can really help you to move forward.

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