Jack of All Trades is a wacky one minute animated series centred on Jack, a regular guy with an extraordinary imagination – he’s the child in all of us. Each episode has Jack using his creativity to complete his job in a funny way.

JOAT is highly visual and has already been chosen as a Vimeo staff pick. The series is created by Cirkus, a well-established and award winning animation house, whose artists use a diverse range of techniques to create the most exciting and entertaining images.

We asked Producer: Marko Klijn about JOAT.

How where did the idea/inspiration come for the character Jack? And the series?

Romain Borrel (Director) can’t help himself and comes up with all sorts of random quirky ideas – and can we please get this made asap? The simple idea of Jack being this character, who makes any odd job really cool, is something that appeals to everyone. It’s Cirkus’ ambition to reach out to a worldwide audience and create many episodes – initially in-house, then more through crowdfunding, and then WHO KNOWS? The ambition is there to create something BIG.

The Carpenter episode was used as part of a Cannes Lions workshop?

We used the carpenter as a showcase to “build your own episodes” to highlight how easy and fun animation can be. For Jack, only the main characters are 3D – the environment and secondary characters are 2D – put on 3D planes. All the love goes into the character animation to deliver the slap stick like action – this gets its inspiration from the good old 20’s and 30’s Laurel & Hardy, Chaplin and Buster Keaton shenanigans.
Of course this wonderful work does help us position Cirkus as a high end production company in the commercial industry which is a nice by-product from a marketing perspective.

What audiences will enjoy JOAT the most?

Everyone? My kids like it – yes the Butcher too! Maybe not so much for the politically serious inclined?

Can you give us any details about the production process?

Romain boards each episode then makes a 2D animatic. We then look at creating a new 3D side kick character and illustrate backgrounds – then 3D animation character passes – rendering and compositing is reasonably straight forward with this cut out look. We use Maya, Photoshop and After Effects.

Can you tell us about the team behind JOAT?

Romain is helped out by a string of talented up and coming young New Zealand animators – some passes have been and will be done by animators oversees – Cirkus being Cirkus – it does not really matter where you are. By far the most work has been achieved by the generous contributions in time by these talented people: Animation: Joon-Seok Yoon, Mauricio Bartok, Hugo Garcia, Priyan Jayamaha, Scott Wilkinson, Shuo (Tim) Liu, Ty Jepsen, Laurent Gillot, Claire Courtois, Glen Christie, Fraser Page. Render and Cloth in “The Zookeeper”:Priyan Jayamaha, Agathe Trebosc, Camille Haumont. Sound & Music: The Sound Room. Script for “The Postman”: Gael Falzowski.

What’s next for JOAT?

Following on from all the hard work done so far we would like to Kickstart this to be able to produce more and pay people more for the fantastic work done – then we will go to market with the intention to set up a New Zealand JOAT production – no production in India or Bangladesh please. Speaking of crowdfunding – for now can everyone please like: https://www.facebook.com/misterjackofalltrade?

What have you enjoyed most about creating JOAT?

Let us keep this simple – this is just plain fun! The challenging part is to keep this “going on goingly” – but we’ll get there!

Anything else you’d like to mention?


More about Jack of All Trades – A Cirkus Act



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