Umeric started in September of 2001. With a desire to start something new we both left our day jobs and began the long collaboration that has turned into Umeric.
When I first met you Ash you were making the move from a web dev agency. How did you transition into motion/broadcast?
We started out working in film /motion, the first project Ash and I worked together was a music video for his band in New Zealand in 1995. When the Internet really kicked off in 1999, we both became very interested in it for a few years, but we struggled with bandwidth and eventually in 2001 we when back to the real world.
Recently you traveled to the US to pitch on some directing work. How did it go and what was the process?
We can't go into to much detail but basically.
Ash was approached by Roy Lee, co-founder of Vertigo Entertainment and Executive Producer of films such as The Departed, the Ring, and The Grudge, to direct a feature.
Ash was asked to put together a pitch for the project and went to LA to meet with Hollywood studios. During the process Ash also picked up a Feature Film Manager, Missy Makin at Brillstein Entertainment, Agents at United Talent Agency, and a Lawyer Warren D. Dern, at Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern. Who has a vert ramp in his backyard, which Ash tell 's me you have to sign a waiver to skate! And is also one of Ash's favorite director's Spike Jonze lawyer. The project is moving forwards and all very exciting.
Ash was also signed with David Fincher's Production Company Anonymous Content as a commercials director in North America.
From what I have heard you guys run your studio quite differently from most, how so?
Umeric is a Film, Design and Vfx studio, we run it like the film project, meaning that we hire guns for each project rather than lots of full time staff. We also try to run it in a way that works best for us and for the project, by that I mean sometimes businesses seem to start running the people who set them up and we never wanted that to be the case for us. We have a lot of flexibility and freedom and can take on major projects or quite small more independent jobs depending on whether we believe in them. We have always had this approach and it suits us being very creative driven.
How big is the Umeric team?
Umeric is made up of Ash Bolland, Von Dekker and whatever crew we have on at the time to get a job done, which can be up to 7-15 Artists in Post and about 30 on Production. And you and Von are a couple - is that correct? How do you separate the work from home life at the end of the day?
We are a couple, Amon Dekker Bolland our 2 year old son makes sure we keep track of what's really important.
What has been your most outlandish idea a client has said yes to?
Ash has written some outlandish Director's Treatments and we are always amazed when they say yes!
What was the brief for the MTV Organic work? I'd love to see it as the resulting work was very unique.
The basic open brief out to Director's/studios was to make the MTV logo out of something and place it in environments.
Ash wrote and sketched up a treatment that was to take the MTV logo and make it out of fish parts, wood, cloth, everyday materials and each logo would reflect a feeling, soft, hard, gentle, aggressive, etc - He didn't want to make it cool but make even ugly, it was risky treatment pitch.
Cristian Jofre the who at that time was the Senior VP Marketing and Creative Director for MTV Networks International and was in Australia acting as Creative Director for MTV Australia really got behind the idea.
As a large percentage of your work is based overseas, what are the hurdles you face?
With the broadband, Skype and cheap flights, We have to say not many if any.
What is the Umeric setup like? Are you guys running big post production rigs like Flint/Flame or can you get away with a tricked out Mac?
No flame, we prefer shake. We run PC's and Mac's. Red camera's, 5d's, motorised bikes, 1900 Harley Davidson Push bike.
What was the last book the studio bought?
The End of the World, Haruki Murakami. The American Motorcycle 1869-1914. Bird. What do you guys do to break up the routine and keep yourself inspired?
We watch lots and lots movies, read books, listen to music, walk, talk, ride bikes,swim, shoot guns at the L.A gun club, buy art, read comics, take photos, play in the sun. What about outside of studio life, what keeps you going?
We have a son Amon, who is a constant source of fun and adventure, we also love to travel, see art, discovering new things, seeing new places.
What album is on high rotation in the studio?
The Baths, The lovely blood flow.
What is the next big project you are about to unleash?
Sorry but we can’t reveal that! Immediate plans for the future?
Ash is currently writing a script "The Gentle Art of Violence". I'm growing a garden in our new house.