The Shoebox is a graduation film created at the Art Academy in Rotterdam by Joost van den Bosch and Erik Verkerk, better known as Ka-Ching Cartoons nowadays. The film’s original Dutch title de Kijkdoos translates literally to “the looking box” and comes from an old tradition in Holland in which children create elaborate dioramas inside shoeboxes.
Since graduating from school in 2006, Verkerk and van den Bosch have worked on the animated series Skunk Fu! and created more short films of their own. The directors will be participating in the comments section so please forward any questions to them. Here are some additional details they’ve provided us about the film:
We wrote this film as a concept for a series, where we always would start with live-action, then a problem would appear the main live action character would find a ‘magic’-shoebox, and when they look inside it they’ll see a story with a similar problem and a solution (animated). This solution would help the live-action character solve their problem.
This film was made with this concept, we’ve got a lot of help from very talented students from the Film Academy to support us with the live-action. They even arranged really good and professional actors for the film. All the animation was created in Maya where we tried to simulate a real paper feeling. We originally tried to do it in stop motion, but the deadline for graduation made that impossible. We animated facial expressions in Flash, then we put it as an animated texture on our paper-3D model to achieve the result we wanted.
The music was all composed for this film and then live recorded by the musicians who were playing and watching the film at the same time. This film was in many ways challenging. We had never done live action before and never done 3D animation before. We also had to do this all in a very short time. We were very happy with the result and it allowed us to graduate with honors.
This film was the start of our company Ka-Ching Cartoons and the start of series of very special projects, we just finished a monster movie (with 3D glasses) called The 3D Machine and we’re currently working on a 25-minute opera about cockroaches.