Toerisme Vlaanderen - Flemish Craftsmanship

A traditional Flemish tale

The aim of this ambitious project was giving those travelling from Brussels Airport one last culinary memory of Flanders.

Drawing attention with a video about a regional product amidst such a sea of impressions was a great challenge, which we gladly accepted.

We told the story of the long and mostly invisible journey endive takes from root to dish in a way that traditional film can’t.

We’re happy to let our creative directors share some insights in the creative process behind this film.

Animation:

Volstok

Client:

Toerisme Vlaanderen

Concept:

Volstok

Design & direction:

Volstok

Music:

Ian Clement

Script & storyboard:

Volstok

About 25 million people travel through Brussels Airport per year and this video will give them one last culinary memory of Belgium. A unique opportunity to make an impression. What part of this project really left a mark on you?

WOUTER: The great relationship with our client, Toerisme Vlaanderen. It was a great honour for us to collaborate on such a prestigious project. We were instantly excited to tackle this challenge and to approach it as a short film rather than a promotional video.
Working directly with the client enabled us to get to the essence of their intention and translate it to a solution that exceeded their expectations.

THIJS: Also in terms of creation process this was an extraordinary assignment. Thanks to the faith of the organisation we had the creative freedom to approach this challenge our own way, enabling us to spend more time on those parts of the production that needed it. This approach really paid off.

A movie about endive could very easily get boring. What makes this project so visually appealing?

THIJS: Making a movie in a vertical format is a real challenge, but rather than seeing it as a restriction, we conceptually embraced it as a source of inspiration for our compositions.
It also inspired us to work with an uninterrupted camera movement, taking the viewer on a ride through the story.

WOUTER: In order to draw attention we developed a monumental black-and-white style that catches the eye no matter how busy the environment. We deliberately kept a steady pace, so that those who notice the video will be able to join in immediately. We opted for cel animation, which is much more time-consuming, but significantly more beautiful. It’s that traditional Disney magic: breathing life into drawings.

Few products that are as typically flemish as endives. But the whole film oozes flemish tradition. How did you go about imaging this feeling?

THIJS: We wanted the film to breathe an authentic flemish mood without it being too obvious or dominant. The hand drawn illustration of the farmer might bring to mind a painting by Constant Permeke called ‘Liggende boer - De oogst (1933)’. (smiles)
His farmer with unusually big hands is depicted on the old 1000 Belgian Francs note.
The carved look and the use of black and white is inspired on Masereel’s monumental and graphical style.

WOUTER: The journey’s decor reminds me of my own childhood in the country. The fields, markets and characters are portrayed in a recognizable and realistic way. The animation takes us through big flemish cities that paint a memorable image of our country.

 
The striking contrasts as a result of the interaction between light and shadow gives this movie a very particular feel.

From script to storyboard - an authentic travel journey

From the start we decided endive should be the protagonist,
following it closely during its extraordinary journey.  

With a global audience in mind we exploited
animation's strongest power: a universal language
that speaks to your imagination.

We scripted the journey before we created the storyboard,
making sure Toerisme Vlaanderen was comfortable with
the story we were telling.
The storyboard followed fairly quickly because of the
highly visual nature of the project.

 

 

An animation team of six, one fluent movie.

The bar was set high. We divided the shots per animator in a way that allowed us to capitalize on their individual strengths. In some shots we focus on subtlety and attention to detail whereas in other ones more emphasis was put on camera movement or the acting of the characters.

Thanks to consistent supervision and direction, artistic vision and a meticulous production follow-through, we were able to achieve a result that we are very proud of.

 

Belgian Minister of Tourism, Ben Weyts inaugurates the campaign on the 10th of June in the departure hall of Brussels Airport. A good spot for this campaign?

With about 25 million people visiting Brussels Airport every year we definitely think it’s a great location for putting our flemish culture in the spotlight. 

Whether you are visiting from Tokyo or Guatemala, at the end of this video, you’ll love endive too.

#VisitFlanders #StateoftheArt #Volstok
Flemish Minister Ben Weyts inaugurating the project at Brussels Airport on June 10th 2018


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