Blog

Let it rip, dude!

Bruce has been a partner at Kaiserbrand for exactly one year today! I can’t believe how fast this year went by. Probably because it was the sh### year of all time and our brain has already suppressed everything. But today is not the time to complain about COVID-19. Today is paaartey time!

How exactly did Bruce end up at Kaiserbrand?

Yes, how did Bruce get to Kaiserbrand? I rummaged in my mailbox today and actually found our first ever email correspondence. On April 21st, 2008 Bruce sent us his showreel and asked if he could come over. At that time he was already living right around the corner from our studio (less than 100 meters) and saw in our shop window that we are an animation studio.

„HEY WOLF
BRUCE HERE
ITS A LOVELY DAY TODAY (TUESDAY)… SO I THOUGHT I MIGHT POP BY YOUR STUDIO AND SAY HELLO THIS AFTERNOON, IF YOUR NOT TOO BUSY.
BRUCE“

If you don't know Bruce in person: He is 6 ½ feet tall, tattooed all over and had a freshly shaved head at the time. Some of you would probaly have changed the side of the street if you'd met him at night. But the little prince taught us that only inner values count. And the showreel (which was awesome)!

Our first project

Exactly one month later we needed a Flash animator for an advertising campaign by Natural American Spirit, for which we had to animate a few short videos (on behalf of the advertising agency RÖMER WILDBERGER). Yes, this sounds weird indeed, but 13 years ago Flash websites were still a thing and it was OK to work for cigarette ads too 🤣

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What can I say, Bruce rocked the project and we've worked together regularly ever since. From day one I admired his no-bullshit working attitude: no matter how complicated the scenes assigned to him were - he just sat down and worked like a machine. No complaints, no excuses. And he's so damn fast!

In a larger project for the museum in the Albrechtsburg in Meissen (2009 with GERHARDS & GLÜCKER agency), for which we had a team of 6 animators, Bruce, for example, did almost 50% of all scenes. And he still had time to sneak in outtakes like this now and then when delivering previews.

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Bruce and I have worked out a perfect workflow over the years, with which the two of us are as productive as a team of 10. No joke! I don't have any statistics, but I think Bruce and I produced a good ⅔ of all Kaiserbrand projects on our own.

And they all animated happily everafter…

When Jana left Kaiserbrand last year, it was the only logical decision to have Bruce on board as a partner. The process was made "a bit" difficult by the first lockdown, but life would be boring without some hurdles. We drew up contracts, set up new bank accounts, dealt with all sorts of paperwork - all without seeing each other once. I was in Corona exile in "Saxon Switzerland" and Bruce was at home in Berlin. We saw each other for the first time at my wedding, about a month later!

The moral of the story?

Stay at home, keep at least 1.5 meters away from others, wash your hands. And never change shareholders during a global pandemic. Unless you have a Bruce too! 🤘

International Women’s Day - we should all be feminists by now!

Now let's be honest folks! It's 2021 and women are still de facto disadvantaged in so many areas. Gender Pay Gap? We despise companies that don't pay the same wages for the same work. Sexism in media or at the workplace? Shame on you! 🤮

At the moment, Kaiserbrand is a pure men’s business again, but we've had a female CEOfor the past 10 years. A single mother of three children. Yes, things like that are possible!

We would never dream of paying an animator or illustrator less money just because she is a woman. The only thing that counts for us is talent. The best proof of this are some of our flagship projects, for which we have especially hired female colleagues because they are much better than us at a certain animation style.

At Kaiserbrand, only talent counts!

For instance, we've hired our Danish friend Mette Ilene Holmriis to design and animate the Löwenzahn explainer video “Inventions”. In this animation we've also introduced more gender equality by suggesting not to use the stereotypical primitive caveman, but a cavewoman who fights a saber-toothed tiger and tames the flame!

By the way, my two favorite artists that influence my style the most right now, are also girls: the incredibly talented Beatrice Blue and the master of bright colors Ragon Dickard aka Ragonia.

And we salute animation studios like monströös! When we met by chance last year, we were immediately on the same wavelength and established a breakfast get-together (irregular due to the pandemic). 6 girls and one guy - that's a decent quota for women. HELL YEAH! 👏👏👏👏

As a feminist, you learn something new every day

Personally, I consider myself a feminist. This "way of life" began with the good upbringing by my parents, but has become much more distinct in recent years after I've met my wife. She finds every little bias or inappropriate phrase unerringly, points it out to me and I try to improve myself. It is sometimes really amazing how deep these old gender roles are stuck in the subconscious. I've even learned to swear gender neutral - which is very difficult in German 🤣

My biggest “sacrifice” so far under the sign of equality has been to give up my last name at our wedding. Even in the otherwise so open Berlin, I was asked several times by the registrar whether I would really want to do that...

PS: And real men pee sitting down - just like women!

Brutal rebranding against Corona Blues! Hussah!

In the first lockdown, we were anything but bored. The lockdown fell precisely on our change of shareholders. We had so many organizational details to clarify – new company contract, new lease, new bank (YEAH !! Finally a business account with the GLS Bank!) and in addition to all that my name changed due to my wedding – the prescribed home office was almost a relief. 😅

Then we had to adapt to the new global situation. Almost all animation projects were put on hold or even canceled completely. So we made a virtue out of necessity and adjusted our range of services: More small projects for customers with a low budget. Now we are masters in creating GIF animations and have discovered the world of LottieFiles! 😍😍

In the second lockdown we maintained our efficient routine and finally had time for a long overdue giant project:

The total rebranding of Kaiserbrand!

True to the motto "Kaiserbrand is dead, long live Kaiserbrand!" New logo, new colors, new fonts, new GDPR-compliant website, new showreel!

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We hope you enjoy it!

PS: The project archive is still a bit sparsely populated, we will fill it up gradually. At the moment, there are only projects from 2018/19 and very little from 2020.

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