We love making new friends so we are very excited to bring you Umbrella! A fresh collective from the cultural hotspot that is Budapest. We caught up with them to find out everything about them so you all can see why we like them so much...
PP: Hello! So who are you all?
U: We are Balazs Simon, David Dell’Edera, Miklos Mendrei, Daphne Samaras, Luka Kostil and Emil Goodman.
U: We all currently live in Budapest, sometimes we move to other cities such as Barcelona, Berlin, and NYC, but always come back! Most of us are born and bred Hungarian, Luka is Russian, David is partly Italian, Daphne has Greek grandparents and Emil is from Slovakia, so we are pretty multi-cultural.
PP: How did you all get into animation?
U: All of us have always had a passion for visual techniques and telling stories, but not everyone knew they wanted to be an animator professionally. David had actually trained to be a stuntman until he one day he couldn't jump from a certain height and that was the exact moment he decided to become an animator. Miki credits Tom & Jerry and Samurai Jack as his inspiration for a career in animation, and Balazs was 14 when he read an article on computer animation and that was it, best decision ever.
PP: So who is Umbrella? And where did the name come from?
U: We are a bunch of curious, creative people, we love experimenting with different techniques and solutions to telling a story within a certain time frame or in a certain style. Working on different platforms allows us to work with a wide variety of clients which means really interesting projects. We are many different talents all under one roof, so Umbrella is the perfect name for us and what we represent.
U: It’s pretty varied. We all have our own styles, some are simple, some expressive, some colourful and lively and the great thing is, they all compliment and contrast each other. For example Miki loves character orientated design, Luka has a more abstract approach, Balazs experiments with technology but we are all a team so can pool our talents to create the ideal style for each client.
PP: What is the biggest influence /inspiration in your careers?
U: Wow, this is hard to sum up. There are a lot of influences we all incorporate into our work and obviously the internet is a source of daily inspiration, but if we had to list our top few: Hiro Murai, Coen Brothers, Nabil Elderkin, Denis Villeneuve, David O’Reilly or Alex Webb.
PP: Is there one project that stands out as a favourite for you?
U: There are a quite a few that are favourites. David’s film “Balcony” is one of the projects we are all very proud and has just won the Jury Award at Annecy this year. He worked in every part of the process and creating a world with the team was really exciting.
Then there is also Balazs’ music video for Nils Frahm. He often refers to that project as one of his favourites, since Nils was really kind and easy going, so it was fun work on that.
And Luka really enjoyed our collaboration with the Art Directors Club. Three short films which describe immortality from three different point of views - a scientific, human and from an artistic perspective. All three films are symbolic and meditative.
PP: Can you give us an insight on living and working in Budapest, is it an inspirational place to live and work?
U: Inspiration works kind of the same way for everyone here. Certainly places, atmospheres, friendships and amusing people play a huge role in this and of course Budapest has all this. It is also important that there is a certain vibe of the city, since we kind of feel that East and West meets here so that creates a special atmosphere.
PP: Please can you tell us a secret that no one else knows about Umbrella?
U: About 10 years ago, we had a relatively big project for the national bank of Hungary, obviously with a short deadline. We worked the last 24 hours leading to the deadline nonstop, so you get the feeling in what state we were in. We managed to write the Dvd with the final delivery just in time, gave it to the courier, then high-fived each other that we finally finished the project. Soon the phone rang and it was the client. He said: "Thanks guys for the DVD, my colleagues already installed the Prince of Persia Game that was on it, but we'd love to see our film as well!" Shortly after we delivered the right DVD to them, thankfully they had a sense of humor!
To view a selection of Umbrella's work - click here.