Ashley Govers & Jurjen Versteeg aka. From Form, Designer and Filmmaker
From Form is a Rotterdam based design and film studio founded by Jurjen Versteeg and Ashley Govers. Find out more about their creative approach to create playful, engaging and memorable work.
Ashley: I am Ashley. I am one part of From Form and I studied interior architecture in Rotterdam, that’s where we still have our studio. Within From Form I am taking care of set design and making skill models and we also sort of have a small workshop in the studio and that's where my parts take place.
Jurjen: I am Jurjen – the other half of From Form and I do more on the direction side and design. We do film, graphic design, set design, we make installations.
Most of the time we start projects together, but then it splits up – then most of the time I am working on the graphic aspect of the project or post production or animation. We really like to work with our hands, at the moment we can do that, we are happy.
Ashley: We also are a couple, so we actually support each other to start in the morning and have some discussions already during breakfast.
Jurjen: We know found our ways to deal with it and to set limits at certain points, so when we both feel like it’s not something to talk about work … it’s something you both feel, most of the time it can have its advantages. We are in Berlin now, for mostly work related stuff – in the meantime we can eat ice cream
Can you remember your first experience with design?
Jurjen: The most intense experience to us when we worked on the history of time sequence, which was our graduation project and we met at art school and decided to collaborate with this project together. We just noticed there was this very organic way of collaborating, so because Ashley studied – she did interior design and I did film – and we noticed that in this project it really complimented each other. It was the starting point of setting up the studio together.
What was your most intense moment in your job so far?
Jurjen: Well, we actually work on “offf titles”, which was quite intense, but intense in a good way. We had about six weeks to make the titles, we just put all of our energy into it. We just had our studio and we painted it all white, and then we thought, let’s make this 19th century room, let’s build it from scratch. We repainted all of the walls and the made floor and build the whole room in our studio. We didn’t have a lot of knowledge about lighting or cameras. And we also got all these probs from different people, we strolled flea-markets and eBay. So this was like six weeks, but very intense six weeks, with luckily a very nice pay off.
What was your worst experience in your job so far?
Ashley: We got an email from “Into the great wide open” and they asked us to do the design for the festival, and we thought, it’s really great because we love the festival. And we also love the island where the festival is. Then we had a first meeting where we got to know each other and then they told us it was a pitch – we were in but we thought we already had to do it, that was sort of funny and kind of awkward moment at the time: "Ah okay, now we sort of have to sell us.” But in the end we just got it. It was quite funny.
Is there anything in your job so far what made you feel unsure?
Jurjen: Well, a lot. We noticed that most of the time it is about this very little idea. You make some sketches, you talk about it together, you try to visualize it. But then comes a moment where you have to realize it, to make an actual design or actual film. This is always so frightening, makes us always feel insecure. That’s the moment where you need to bring it from paper to a set or a design or real life. I think we experienced that in every project, for instance the “offf titles”, where we talked about this 19th century room but then: “Okay, we have to build it, how and where do we start?”
Some words to future designers:
Ashley: Testing is one our favorite things, when we have an idea we always try and experiment and test.
Jurjen: And sometimes it can be a visual test, in this case it’s the audio that gives you new images to work with: “Maybe we can do it like this – on top of the voice over, instead of the other way around”. About the lesson: I think that experimenting and testing is good, don’t be afraid to sort of change your idea along the way, you know, when you find out that you want to change it and you think something works better: go ahead and do it.
You just have to experiment and change it.