Check out the professional journey of Matti.
Matti Vesanen is the Creative Director and Co-founder of Veli, a media production company based in Finland. He runs the post production side, called VELI.fx. The company also focuses on art direction, motion graphics and VFX (3D).
Why the creative industries?
My background to the creative industries comes from watching skateboarding and snowboarding videos which lead me to create my first commercials for companies that my friends owned. I started a production company with my brother in Helsinki when I was just 16 years old and we are now a 9 people studio with an in-house 3D animation team as well.
What is your current role?
My current role is Creative Director and I’m responsible for our Animation and VFX work. I oversee all our post-production projects but as we are such a small team, I’m also hands on working on all the details on most of the projects. We have been fortunate enough to get to work with good agencies and creatives from the beginning, which has led to some major prices in different galas. I’ve been selected as the ‘Young European Creative’ in Design category by the Art Directors Club in 2017 and as the ‘Junior of the Year’ in Vuoden Huiput 2018, which is the main Finnish annual gala for work in advertising.
My favourite part of the job is to get involved in the projects right from the beginning with the agency creatives, to really push the limits that we can do with motion graphics and animation.
What projects have you worked on? And what was your favourite?
My favourite projects are definitely Slush Helsinki 2017 trailer (https://vimeo.com/244614079), my first personal short film Nightmare (https://vimeo.com/266866465) and our latest work for the Helsinki International Film Festival (https://vimeo.com/354182306) where we got the honour to do the trailer of the festival. The Slush Helsinki trailer was the project that kicked off my animation career and it’s also where I met the best colleague I could imagine, Sakke Soini. After that project we decided to implement the animation studio within our production company.
What are you working on at the minute?
Right now we are starting and finishing some new major commercial projects for big Finnish brands and we’re also in the pre-production phase for some VFX work for a short film by a Los Angeles based filmmaker. We usually work on the projects right from the beginning, until delivery, so first off we need to do a treatment to a given brief and then execute it in the given budget. Quite often the projects shift directions during the production, so we have to be really flexible to changes to get the best possible outcome.
How did you get into the industry and is there anything you would have done differently?
I had been working on video production company mainly as a Director before studying at Escape Studios, so it was quite natural to continue working on the same stuff and slowly gather 3D work at the same time from the same clients and agencies. Nowadays I just work on animation, so I think I’ve done all the necessary steps needed!
What advice would you give to budding creatives?
If you’re interested in advertising you really need to get to know the creatives and producers in the agencies. When you have a mutual trust, it’s so much easier to get involved in projects from the beginning. Personal passion projects are my advice for getting the attention needed. If you are able to get a solid showreel or a well made short film it’s so much easier to approach potential clients! And don’t just do what’s currently trending on Instagram or Behance, but rather try to find a unique style from the get-go.