Google Voice Q&A with JR Canest and Kasey Lum

Work-In-Progress images from JR Canest

What were your plans after graduation?
Jorge: First thing I wanted to do was to spend some time with my family again, so I came back to Mexico and at one point a door for an internship opened so that became my plan, to earn more real work experience and knowledge in design… although there are still a lot of plans or dreams, I still want to study more and maybe sometime start a small studio helping or directing at the same time some kind of non-profit organization.
Kasey: Plans after graduation included getting back to a healthy lifestyle (An intense year stuck in a classroom can be quite draining). This included spending time with friends, family and skateboarding. I intend to look for motion jobs here in Vancouver, Academy being one of my first choices. After all, this is my first year experiencing motion graphics, and there is still tons of learning ahead of me.

Is Google Voice your first “professional” motion job together? How did you end up getting the job?
Jorge: Together it is, it’s our first real professional job even individually, all other projects were quite small and less elaborate. One day they emailed us asking if we were able to do an animated video explaining the whole Google Voice thing. They saw our work before including the one animated info-graphic I worked with Kasey, Marisa Torres and Alex Badr. so once I answered that I would to be part of the project everything started.
Kasey: Jorge told it straight! One little tidbit, Jorge and I started doing little videos together in early 2009 and found that we worked extremely well together.. plus the kid is hilarious to be with.

How did you come up with the the design and execution for the spot?
Jorge: Google sent us the first script and there were changes on it during the whole process, at the end they also provided the VO and the music. once we received the first script with some visual ideas/references we decided to start from nothing, so after some talks via web with Kasey we came up with the first thumbnails and Kasey made them as beautiful storyboards… so the feedback started, first we were focused more on a character based story with Google Voice involved and we ended with a more feature focused video. we wanted to add different styles such as frame by frame animation, green-screen, 3d and 2d of course so once the Storyboard was finally accepted we started working on the animations.
Kasey: What Jorge said is true.

What was it like making it, how did you two collaborate and split up the workload? Kasey, you’re in Canada and JR, you’re in Mexico, right?
Jorge: Correct, and Google is in California so chat and online shared folders were quite crucial in the project, I focused more on the whole composition and Animation of the video and Kasey worked on the more analog side of it, I started animating in 3D and sending the files for him to rotoscope them, he took charge of the green screen and so on. it was quite easy to get things together because we were working on different parts of the video that at some point they were going to mixed together.
Kasey: To be more specific, Jorge and I had a little help from “Dropbox” for file sharing. Before the project started we had a clear sense of who would do what… And Jorge, being the great “pace maker” he is, put the assets together quite nicely. Once and a while, when one of us would be away from email and chat, and we desperately needed each other.. we used a special “cawing” noise to communicate.

What are your plans now? Any upcoming work that you’re excited about?
Jorge: Personally, really looking forward to have this real work experience in this studio and keep learning (because there is still tons… I’m a newbie in design) and do what I love doing.
Kasey: Ohhh.. there is an immense amount of learning ahead, and I’m excited about that. Right now I’m making an infographic for a company out of the UK. and once that is complete I intend to keep freelancing and making cool videos. When Jorge finishes his internship he’s coming back to Canada and we are opening a studio… right Jorge?

Client: Google
Direction: Jorge R. Canedo Estrada and Kasey Lum
Animation: Jorge R. Canedo Estrada and Kasey Lum
Script and Music: Jason Toff