…We may have seen Thor
and other Hollywood
adaptations, but all of
those fall short of what
the Norse mythos
MOOD is a visual development studio based in Denmark, Copenhagen co-founded by Rasmus Berggreen. The studio is known for the talent it houses—with the likes of Jan Ditlev, Titus Lunter, and Suzanne Helmigh. The team at MOOD strive to bring high-end artworks to their clients whilst working toward a positive work environment for themselves.
Berggreen and MOOD are respectively renowned because of the outstanding Fall of Gods art book—based off of the Norse mythos—that was realized through a successful Kickstarter campaign and is to be made into a feature film. The team at MOOD have tried their hand at other notable projects as well, these include: Hitman Absolution, Idealisten, and The Absent One. Having tackled so many challenges, it’s no wonder that MOOD is favored by many long-term clients who’ve worked with them in the past, and will continue to do so in the future. We wanted to hear Berggreen’s thoughts and ideas on what’s happened with the studio till now, and what could happen in the years to come.
You’re working as a Concept Artist and CEO at MOOD Visuals, tell us about your day-to-day responsibilities as well as the bigger things you’ve got to deal with.
Our main focus is delivering high quality, as well as that, we’re making sure that we meet the deadlines. We’ve got more than one project going which led to us having an art director for each one so that they can manage the day-to-day tasks. A great deal of things can change, with internal deadlines moving etc so we often have a quick meeting so that everyone can get a feel for each project and the challenges that come with it—even help out if needed.
People need to be part of a good working environment, so that they can be creative. This is something we are trying to improve on everyday. Luckily, we have Line, our studio manager. She is the backbone here at MOOD Visuals, and assures that everything runs smoothly!
Describe what it was like in the first six months after establishing MOOD Visuals; what ups and downs were there in the early days, when the studio was still growing?
Both me and the Co-founder, Jan Ditlev, were very fortunate to get to keep our relations with the company that employed us before we set out to establish MOOD Visuals. Thanks to this, we were able to grow as we kept getting new assignments from them. There were a lot of worries about the future, and we were uncertain if we’d be able to build the place we dreamed of. The ups and downs were mostly in our heads. We had to have confidence in the work we were delivering as well as trusting that we have the talent that clients expected. I feel that we’re in a good place now, and most of those concerns are less intrusive.
It took me a long while to grasp that we were building our own place, and that we would have our own culture. It was exciting to think about, but difficult to pull it off. New people are becoming a part of our team. As a result of that, we had to stop paying all of our attention to the work, and also put some time into making the studio a place that people will stick with, and put their time into.
The City Gates
What are the attitudes and feelings of those who’re working at MOOD Visuals, and do you feel that it’s a positive work environment?
I feel that we have a great working environment. Overall, there is a lot of positive energy at MOOD Visuals, and that leads to everyone wanting to contribute to make it even better. This place has always been driven by the artists, and each of them likes to have a big responsibility when it comes to the tasks that they’re working on. We encourage all to be honest and to give both critique and feedback, so that we can help one another to improve. Moreover, we’re focused on the balance of our working lives and how much time we spend with our families and friends. Even if there’s a lot of work sometimes, there is always flexibility, and I believe that this is appreciated.
Walk us through the process that you and the work team at MOOD Visuals undertake when starting work on a new project.
Whenever we’re asked to take on a new project, we always ask ourselves if the project excites us and if we’re suitable for it because we need energy to drive the creative process forward. Every project is different, so before we start to draw, we sit and talk to the client. This helps us with figuring out and pinpointing the core of their project, and that means that we’ve got better coherence in the end. We want to make something that stands out, something original.
Most of our work is on existing franchises, and we work with clients that we’ve known for a long time. We don’t start work on new things all of the time, instead, we focus on a vision, as well as keeping that vision within the boundaries of a given project. Some of them stay in development for years, we must continuously deliver high quality in order to be a partner in the creative process.
MOOD Visuals has been developing Fall of Gods, tell us a little bit about that, what are the thoughts and ideas behind the world that you’re building?
We wanted to have our own take on Norse mythology because we felt that it hasn’t been done in the past. We may have seen Thor and other Hollywood adaptations, but all of those fall short of what the Norse mythos is about. With that in mind, we began exploring how we could do it differently. That led us to Vali, a warrior haunted by his past. When his wife disappears, he must venture out into the world once more in order to find her. He will travel a world where man is trying to build a civilization, but the Jotnar are a threat to that dream.
The aim is to reach a synergy between the art and the story. We formatted it this way by having each page with a part of the story write-up accompanied with an illustration. I am so pleased with how it all worked out. The whole universe is fleshed out, and we could do a good job conveying Vali’s thoughts through the illustrations.
This is our first intellectual property. We’re hoping that there will be more further down the line.
Vali – Artwork by Eve Ventrue
It’s been rumored that Twentieth Century Fox is picking the movie rights to Fall of Gods, should we be looking forward to a film in the future?
You should definitely be looking forward to a film, and I couldn’t be happier about that. With Wes Ball attached to direct, we’ve found a great team! I am sure it will turn out well. It is in development at the moment, and like all films, it will take time. We will all have to be patient.
By VoxGroovy staff writer;
All images used with permission by the artists;
© MOOD Visuals or their respective copyright holder;
Publishing rights for this article have been synchronized with MOMENTA MAG.
Article in Slovak language;