The Gory (and True) Story Behind “MUTE”

Dutch motion/design/illustration/music trio Job, Joris & Marieke reveal the macabre origins of their newest short film: “Some years ago Joris cut his toe while swimming. He looked at the cut and thought; it looks just like a mouth! Other people were quite disgusted when Joris tried to make his toe talk, but we saw a film in it.”

“For the appearance of the characters in this film we found our inspiration in an unexpected corner of the internet. We were searching for people whose style of clothes got stuck between the 80’s and the 90’s. Eventually we discovered we could find just what we were looking for when we searched for staff members of small American universities.

“Our inspiration for the backgrounds came from Google Streetview. For a whole day we wandered through the suburbs of Bucharest, taking screenshots from sad building blocks. It was actually a very nice and cheap way to have a little studio holiday.

The Way we work:
“We always start a project together. We work on the concept and we start sketching the first character designs. When we’ve found the direction we want to take it, we divide the work. Marieke writes the scripts and she animates, Joris also animates and is our director, Job does all the illustrations and the music.

“We got a little funding from the City of Utrecht, so we had to invest a lot of our own time. But this had to be done next to our commissioned work, so that was difficult. The three of us probably worked on it for two months. MUTE got a great response at its premiere at the Dutch Film Festival.
You always hope people will get it, and they will laugh at the right moments. It was great fun to hear this wave of laughter.”


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