The 9to3 animation team consists of a group of friends, each having his or her specialty.
Ernst Janssen Groesbeek
Ernst Janssen Groesbeek is the founder and director of the studio. He studied architecture at Delft University of Technology. His first encounter with the possibilities of animation was at the University of Mississippi, where he studied for a year in 1995. From 1997 until 2011 Ernst was a teacher and professor at his Alma Mater. But starting his own animation studio was an ambition he could not ignore and in 2011 he started full time working on animating one of his favourite fairy tales by Annie M.G. Schmidt’s The girl who lost her name. During the years as a university professor teaching computer animation for architecture he already enjoyed working with Renderman, the 3D rendering program developed by Pixar. For Ernst the Canadian animator Richard Williams is a shining example. In 2014 during the Annecy Animation Film Festival Williams’ feature animation The Thief and the Cobbler, an animated fantasy film he directed, co-wrote and co-produced was – finally- shown. The first animation film Ernst remembers watching is Walt Disney’s Robin Hood. His favourite animation feature is Toy Story 3 by Pixar.
Pauline Quast is 9to3animation’s graphic designer. She modelled the various film sets of Venice – the church square and the characteristic streets and bridges – where our hero Tom roams around. Pauline does the research how to transform Helen van Vliet’s drawings into a 3D animation model. She is also responsible for the production of promotional material and the design of our website.
Pauline studied architecture at Delft University of Technology and worked many years for different (interior) architects, for example the Eckhart Interior Design Group, Mulderblauw Architecten and Dok architecten. Her favourite animation is Corps Bride by Tim Burton. The first feature animation she remembers watching with her sister, is Walt Disney’s Cinderella. ‘We went to the film together. It was shown in the old Babylon cinema in the Hague. The whole event was extra special because we won two tickets for the show’.
Henk Kok works both on the story animatic and the animation tests which support the making of the film. He studied animation at the Willem de Kooning Academy. He also did a three day masterclass at the Dutch insitute for animation film (NIAF) hosted by Kyle Balda, a former Pixar animator. Subjects included among many other topics acting, walkcycles, anatomy and rigging. He also did the Animation Mentor Studies in advanced character animation.
The first animation films Henk remembers enjoying are the series of Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote. The characters were created by animation director Chuck Jones in 1948. Henk’s favourite feature is Ratatouille, the eighth animation film by Pixar Animation Studios.
Marleen Janssen Groesbeek
Marleen Janssen Groesbeek is the writer of the 9to3animation team. She is an economist and a former journalist. In order to improve her writing she enlisted in several script writing courses. That is how she became involved in writing the first version of script for The girl who lost her name when Ernst started 9to3animation. Currently she is working on the different communications related to the studio and our film, i.e. social media and the website.
Marleen’s first animation series she remembers watching as a child is The Magic Roundabout, a French production that was distributed in many European countries, among which the Netherlands and the UK. Her favourite animation feature is Pixar’s Wall-E.
Thijs Welman is 9to3animation’s developer together with Sander. He creates the 3D character rigs, develops the render style scripts and supports the team with tools that makes everybody’s work easier. He studied architecture and building technology at Delft Technical University. Later he became lecturer at the chair of Design Informatics (TOI) of the Faculty of Architecture. In his spare time he brews beer and practices the art of bouldering.
The first animation short Thijs can remember enjoying very much is the series The White Cowboy. Many episodes of the famously polite cowboy can be found on YouTube. The first animation feature Thijs saw as a child is Walt Disney’s Jungle Book.
Sander Mulders is 9to3animation’s developer together with Thijs. He studied architecture and building technology at Delft University of Technology. He is specialised in developing renderman scripts for the specific render style. He is also responsible for the development of the app that will accompany the short film upon its release. Currently he is CTO at GeoPhy, an independent provider of global objective data-driven information and analysis for everyone with financial exposure to real estate. The first animation Sander remembers seeing is the Dutch animation series David de Kabouter. His favourite animation features are A Nightmare before Christmas and The Incredibles.
Jan is 9to3animation’s planner. He studied sociology at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. He joined the 9to3animation team because of his planning and organising skills. Animation films were not his first passion but he has been infected by the virus since visiting the Annecy Animation Film Festival in 2014. The first animation he remembers seeing are Walt Disney’s Donald Duck shorts. His favourite short is the Oscar winning animation Father and Daughter by Michael Dudok de Wit. ‘It is amazing how such tiny drawing lines can convey so much emotion.’
Frank is the rigger of 9to3animation’s team. He is a senior 3D-generalist from Hamburg and has worked during the past 12 years on several feature-movies, commercials, tv-series/short-films & games. He received his animation training at the character animation workshop with Jason Taylor of Blur Studio and Blue Sky. More about Frank on his website.
Michiel van Iperen
Michiel is a freelance 3D artist. For 9to3animation he is responsible for the look development and has started the development of the render style. Before he became a freelancer he worked for Guerilla Games and LBi Netherlands. More about Michiel can be found on his website (in Dutch).
Helen van Vliet
Helen van Vliet is our illustrator. Because our animation film is set in Italy in the fifties, we wanted to have a look and feel that fitted that atmosphere. Helen’s natural way of drawing inspired us to create our own specific render style. Her drawings are used in all our current presentations and are the core of our latest moving storyboard. Helen studied at the Academy for Visual Arts in Tilburg, the Netherlands. She started as an independent illustrator in 1988. You can admire her work on her website.
Hisko Hulsing has made the story board for The girl who lost her name. He majored in painting and animation at the art academy of Rotterdam in 1995. His films Harry Rents a Room, Seventeen and Junkyard won many awards, including the Grand Prize at the Ottawa International Animation Festival and the Audience Award at the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film. Both Seventeen and Junkyard were the official Dutch entry for the Oscars. Besides writing, directing, painting and animating for his animated films, Hisko composes the orchestral soundtracks for his own films. Hisko made illustrations and storyboards for over 100 advertising- and production companies such as Saatchi & Saatchi and Czar. More information on his website.
Sander de Regt
Sander has adapted the fairy tale The girl who lost her name into an animation film script. He trained as a director and has written more than 40 hours of television and film scripts. His graduation project at the Dutch Film Academy was a science fiction musical Kaya. After his graduation he made title sequences and visual effects for Dutch films like Otje, Zus en zo, Volle Maan, Liever Verliefd and the three Zoop-films. In 2003 he decided to return to the content side of film making. He wrote a script about a very Dutch topic, Sinterklaas. Although the film has never been made, the quality of the script drew the attention of Dutch director Johan Nijenhuis. For him Sander wrote the scripts voor Costa!. More can be found (in Dutch) on his website.