[FRAMED]: Art Director, Jonathan Opgenhaffen
[FRAMED] exists to shine light on Framestore’s most fascinating cast of characters: its people. Presented with a probing list of questions and a demandingly short deadline, this feature puts the hopes, dreams, and desktops of our MVPs on the digital wall, for all to see. Welcome to [FRAMED].
Name: Jonathan Opgenhaffen
Title: Art Director
Let’s jump right into it. What are you guilty of?
I spend far too much time on Pinterest…
What was your last brush with danger?
Guitar string snapping hit me in the eye… luckily I blinked in time!
Ouch! Lucky indeed. Last brush with greatness?
I went to a folk gig in Camden and had drinks with banjo virtuoso Eamon Coyne. (The great thing about folk gigs is that they aren’t famous enough to not have a drink with you afterwards, but supremely talented and beautiful people all the same.)
Your worst character fault?
I have a bit of an addictive personality and get a bit obsessed with projects (in and out of work).
Your most shining quality?
I get excited about sharing stuff I’ve learned / figured out. Sharing is caring…
You’re on the run, where are you headed?
Somewhere up a mountain. Any mountain. Preferably one with a lake by it.
Dreamy. Who’s your partner-in-crime?
My amazing partner Kirstie, and our beautiful daughter Lena. It’s us vs the world.
Jiddu Krishnamurti. Philosopher and amazing human being. If he’s busy, then folk musician Kris Drever with a guitar. I’d be forever happy!
Your greatest achievement?
Raising our daughter Lena… hands down.
#ParentGoals. Most valuable skill?
Figuring stuff out. When I get an itch, I can’t stop until I’ve solved the problem. Helps me learn lots of different random things.
Go on, share a humblebrag:
I got to present my animated college short “halo boy” at SIGGRAPH LA when was 19. It’s the last big project I did that was truly mine from start to finish.
Name your pet peeve?
Ego… there’s no space for it if you want to collaboratively solve problems.
OK, let’s talk about the day job. DYING to know what your DREAM project would entail?
I love any project where I’m working directly with the director or production designer. I feel like it becomes a truly creative conversation and you cut right through the riff raff and come up with the magical stuff.
Your career highlight to date:
Probably joining the Framestore Art Department… Couldn’t be happier that I’ve joined such a humble yet supremely talented group of people.
ALL THE FEELS. What new thing have your learned this week?
My daughter informed me that Uranus probably has a large amount of diamonds in its core. I thought she was being imaginative…. Until I googled it…
What’s your current view?
Our awesome room on the 6th floor, looking out at London rooftops and sky. Going to enjoy it while it lasts.
Give us a desk tour:
My desk is pretty boring. I try and keep it clear and tidy. My current setup for work is Photoshop (obvs), Blender, and Zbrush. I dip into Maya/Houdini/Octane/Nuke/3d coat when the occasion calls for it. Hardware > 24” Cintiq HD (couldn’t live without it)
What do you need to work on the daily?
Finding various ways of getting “in the zone” and being creative on tap.
Framestore is, to you, in three words:
Talent, professionalism, artistry.
Best thing about your work environment?
Being around talented enthusiastic people. Feels like a family.
Framestore is great at:
Achieving excellence. Feels awesome to work in a place where second best won’t do.
We have to ask, being an Art Director, what’s your favourite artform?
Beautiful sketches can be as powerful as fully rendered images/paintings. It’s almost like glimpsing into the mind of the creator before it becomes the final piece. It’s completely personal, intimate, and beautifully to the point.
I don’t have a particular image in mind, but it’d probably be an old Craig Mullins piece [see below] which inspired me when I was 13, and told me that digital art can be masterfully done.
Fictional character you’d like to hang with?
Weirdly, Dr. Manhattan has always fascinated me… It asks the question, “what if we could transcend ourselves into a higher, more understanding life form, and learn more about who/what/where we are and come from”.
Let’s get (even more) personal. What does happiness look like to you?
Good friends, good food, and good music in one sitting.
If not here, then where?
The Welsh mountains…
What do you think of too often?
Where we come from / What we are
And not enough?
How lucky I am to be doing what I’m doing.
Couldn’t live without:
Fresh stone baked pizza, a good drink, and a good tune.
OK, now I’m hungry. If you ruled the world?
Books and education would be free… Everybody deserves the chance to be educated and better the world. Oh, and we’d not be killing animals to feed ourselves. It’s so not necessary in this day and age of abundance/waste/technology/awareness.
Jonathan Opgenhaffen, you’ve been [FRAMED]. Jonathan and his team worked on creating concepts to bring to life the ‘Illusion Battle’ in Spider-Man: Far From Home. Visit our website to find out more.